Margret Sanger, eugenics, and the origin of Planned Parenthood

See Eugenics and Birth Control from American Experience on PBS by clicking here.

Excerpt copied below:

Margaret Sanger’s birth control movement and quest for the Pill intersected the rise of the eugenics movement in America. At a time when birth control was still not publicly accepted in American society, some eugenicists believed birth control was a useful tool for curbing procreation among the “weak.” In the 1920s and 30s, Sanger calculated that the success of the eugenics idea gave her own movement legitimacy, and tried to ally her cause with the movement. Eugenics was a dominant theme at her birth control conferences, and Sanger spoke publicly of the need to put an end to breeding by the unfit. In 1920 Sanger publicly stated that “birth control is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit [and] of preventing the birth of defectives.”

Continuing excerpt:

Some African Americans believed that Sanger’s motive was not to aid black women but to eliminate future black generations. In promoting the development of the birth control pill in the 1950s, Sanger had heralded it as the panacea to world overpopulation, starvation and hunger. Sanger wrote: “I consider that the world, and almost our civilization for the next 25 years, is going to depend on a simple, cheap, safe, contraceptive to be used in poverty stricken slums, jungles and among the most ignorant people.” Although African American women appreciated the effectiveness and reliability of oral contraceptives, and used the method in large numbers, they resented the way white-dominated organizations seemed to push the Pill in black communities.

Which brings me to one of the most shocking things I’ve read in a very long time:

Ordinarily, I dislike “gotcha” tactics in obtaining the truth, but there are times like this one when it’s the best way . . . We’ll never see abortion rights activists marching with signs in favor of “preventing the birth of defectives” or touting birth control in “slums, jungles, and among the most ignorant.”

Shades of the Master Race:

Safe, legal, and rare — the phrase coined by President Bill Clinton — seems to be giving way among more extreme abortion rights activists to borderline infanticide. TRUTH: Not even Roe v. Wade gives complete license to terminate pregnancy up to the moment of birth. A few fanatics even oppose medical intervention for babies who somehow survive the abortion procedure in the third trimester, claiming that they should be left to die outside the womb.

Is this something that progressives really want to advocate? Only the power of the state matters, not the rights of the most vulnerable among us . . .

— MRW

1 thought on “Margret Sanger, eugenics, and the origin of Planned Parenthood

  1. Mark Miller

    I liked this presentation of Roe v. Wade. It reveals what a cock-up it was.

    It’s not that abortion is itself illegal under the Constitution, but that the federal government has nothing to say on whether it should be illegal in states or not.

    Reply

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