In 2012, Margaret Sanger was named one of TIME’s “20 Most Influential Americans of All Time.” Given her enduring influence, it’s important to know just what kind of woman she really was.
Margaret Louise Sanger (1879 – 1966) was a birth control, population control, and eugenics activist. She changed the world, but for the worse.
Not only was the founder of Planned Parenthood a eugenicist, she also became known for other activities. On pages 366-367 of her 1938 autobiography, Sanger spoke warmly of her May 1926 speech to the women’s chapter of the KKK in Silverlake, New Jersey. In August 1914, Sanger was indicted for inciting murder and assassination, and for violating obscenity laws, and subsequently fled the country. Two years later, the charges were dropped.
In 1919, on the topic of birth control and racial betterment, Sanger advocated for both sterilization of “the unfit” and birth control as a better additional measure:
While I personally believe in the sterilization of the feeble-minded, the insane and syphilitic, I have not been able to discover that these measures are more than superficial deterrents when applied to the constantly growing stream of the unfit. They are excellent means of meeting a certain phase of the situation, but I believe in regard to these, as in regard to other eugenic means, that they do not go to the bottom of the matter. Neither the mating of healthy couples nor the sterilization of certain recognized types of the unfit touches the great problem of unlimited reproduction of those whose housing, clothing, and food are all inadequate to physical and mental health. These measures do not touch those great masses, who through economic pressure populate the slums and there produce in their helplessness other helpless, diseased and incompetent masses, who overwhelm all that eugenics can do among those whose economic condition is better.
The very day after abortion was legalized in New York City, Planned Parenthood began taking the lives of innocent babies, performing 56 abortions that day. It was not until three years later in 1973, that abortion was legalized nationwide in the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. In the past 100 years, Planned Parenthood has aborted at least 6,803,782 unborn babies, documented in its own annual reports. Lifenews wrote:
The number likely is even higher. The abortion chain was doing abortions prior to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade in 1973. … It is unknown how many babies were aborted during those…years.
Family Research Council’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu writes of Sanger:
Sanger shaped the eugenics movement in America and beyond in the 1930s and 1940s. Her views and those of her peers in the movement contributed to compulsory sterilization laws in thirty U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including people she considered “feeble-minded,” “idiots,” and “morons.”
Sanger is famously quoted from a 1957 interview with Mike Wallace,in which she said: “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world—that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin—that people can—can commit.”
Sanger also suggested parents should be required to get a state issued permit in order to bear children. She wrote: “No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.“ This ideology surely has an impact on the way Planned Parenthood operates today.
Neither Planned Parenthood, nor its founder Margaret Sanger deserve to be celebrated. Instead of helping the vulnerable, as the organization claims, Planned Parenthood preys upon those in need.