Intelligent Design

Planned Parenthood Disavowed Margaret Sanger — Finally

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The New York Times reports:

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York will remove the name of Margaret Sanger, a founder of the national organization, from its Manhattan health clinic because of her “harmful connections to the eugenics movement,” the group said on Tuesday.

Wikipedia reports that in “The Morality of Birth Control”, a 1921 speech, Sanger divided society into three groups: the “educated and informed” class that regulated the size of their families, the “intelligent and responsible” who desired to control their families in spite of lacking the means or the knowledge, and the “irresponsible and reckless people” whose religious scruples “prevent their exercising control over their numbers”. Sanger concludes, “There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.”

So Planned Parenthood is at least 99 years late. But at least they finally got there.

19 Replies to “Planned Parenthood Disavowed Margaret Sanger — Finally

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Wikipedia also says she opposed abortion except where the mother’s life was at risk:

    Margaret Sanger opposed abortion and sharply distinguished it from birth control, the latter being a fundamental right of women, the former being a shameful crime.[129]:36–37[19]:125 In 1916, when she opened her first birth control clinic, she was employing harsh rhetoric against abortion. Flyers she distributed to women exhorted them in all capitals: “Do not kill, do not take life, but prevent.”[130]:155 Sanger’s patients at that time were told “that abortion was the wrong way—no matter how early it was performed it was taking life; that contraception was the better way, the safer way—it took a little time, a little trouble, but it was well worth while in the long run, because life had not yet begun.”[14]:217 Sanger consistently distanced herself from any calls for legal access to abortion, arguing that legal access to contraceptives would remove the need for abortion

    There doesn’t seem to be much there that you would disagree with.

    She was also a proponent of the empowerment of women in the area of reproductive rights. The founding principles of the American Birth Control League, which she founded, were as follows:

    We hold that children should be (1) Conceived in love; (2) Born of the mother’s conscious desire; (3) And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health. Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.

    And in the context of eugenics, Wikipedia writes:

    After World War I, Sanger increasingly appealed to the societal need to limit births by those least able to afford children. The affluent and educated already limited their child-bearing, while the poor and uneducated lacked access to contraception and information about birth control.[109] Here she found an area of overlap with eugenicists.[109] She believed that they both sought to “assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.” She distinguished herself from other eugenicists, by saying that “eugenists imply or insist that a woman’s first duty is to the state; we contend that her duty to herself is her duty to the state. We maintain that a woman possessing an adequate knowledge of her reproductive functions is the best judge of the time and conditions under which her child should be brought into the world. We further maintain that it is her right, regardless of all other considerations, to determine whether she shall bear children or not, and how many children she shall bear if she chooses to become a mother.

    I suspect Planned Parenthood are acting out of political expediency. While Sanger displayed very poor judgment when she addressed the KKK group or endorsed negative eugenics they do not detract from all the good work she did on behalf of women’s rights. Unfortunately, those who want to destroy PP are not going to be interested in such nuanced evaluations so Sanger is being sacrificed in a probably futile attempt to appease them.

  2. 2
    BobRyan says:

    Sanger hated abortion due to its lack of permanence. She preferred sterilization, which she continued to support until she died in the 1960s. She was an atheistic eugenicist who was every bit as motivated by race as National Socialism was. Planned Parenthood was founded on the basis of eugenics and you cannot alter the root by changing the name.

    She was a staunch supporter of Woodrow Wilson, who was a eugenicist and segregated the federal government, including the military. It was not until Eisenhower became president that segregation ended, which came after Roosevelt died. He had 4 terms to end segregation, but why end what one supports? Sanger was supportive of segregation and made clear it was either segregation for black people or sterilization.

    She had identical views as the Nazis and talked about how much better German courts were in regards to forced sterilization than that of US courts. In the 1950s, most eugenicists disappeared into the shadows, but she continued to talk about sterilization and never stopped being a eugenicist.

    There are no positives to eugenics. It is all based on the idea of superiority of race and following what Darwin wrote about in Descent of Man. It was Darwin who wrote about a time in the near future when the civilized races of man would bring about the extinction of the savage races of man.

  3. 3
    BobRyan says:

    Seversky:

    Rather than Wikiedia, go to the actual source and read her words. Her idea of birth control was sterilization of those she deemed to be lesser racially than her.

    In 1932, Margaret Sanger wrote My Way To Peace, which included blacks who were the only ones being segregated.

    (d) apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization, and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

    https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/webedition/app/documents/show.php?sangerDoc=129037.xml

    Sanger gave a speech in 1938 when Hitler was in power in Germany. “There are 1,700 special courts and 27 higher courts in Germany to review the cases certified for sterilization there… The rights of the individual could be equally well safeguarded here.”

    https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll/opinion/cc-op-sprinkle-010420-20200104-opc3c76o4na47mtdtun4nvqw3y-story.html

    In 1951, Sanger wrote an article where she made it clear of her continued support for forced sterilization:

    The program in this country at least, does not involve compulsory features. No one here proposes that some official be endowed with the authority to order anyone to be sterilized… At present, sterilization programs under State laws are carried out chiefly in institutions… Most of the debate on sterilization as a method for improving the quality of peoples, the eugenic debate, has been on the level of prejudice and preconceived opinions.

    https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/webedition/app/documents/show.php?sangerDoc=239501.xml

  4. 4
    vividbleau says:

    “I suspect Planned Parenthood are acting out of political expediency. While Sanger displayed very poor judgment when she addressed the KKK group or endorsed negative eugenics they do not detract from all the good work she did on behalf of women’s rights.”

    Yes the rights of white woman of the upper class. Interesting to observe Sev speaking in glowing terms of and defending a racist.

    Vivid

  5. 5
    AaronS1978 says:

    Why would you defend her
    I mean I get it I would never defend her I’m a Catholic I vehemently oppose abortion

    But she was also eugenicist, a ridiculous racist, and a poor scientist if you could call her that

    Honestly why defend her

  6. 6
    BobRyan says:

    AaronS1978:

    Sanger did not support abortion. She supported forced sterilization. When segregation came to the US, she made clear it was either segregation or sterilization for black people. Planned Parenthood is rooted in eugenics. There is a reason Planned Parenthood sets up shop close the black community in the inner-city. They continue with her work by reducing the black population as much as they legally can.

  7. 7
    polistra says:

    Most icons and statues aren’t worth the trouble of defending. Most iconic figures were iconized for crass or partisan reasons, and many were simply fakes. Though the topplers are also acting for crass reasons, we’re better off with a lot less icons. The topplers are doing us a favor.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Polistra, you are acceding to mob rule and to the follies of disqualify, shame and cancel culture tactics. The basic premise of lawful states is riotous assemblies, Red Guards and their backers should not be allowed to set policy by default. (Such includes the elementary point that a riot is not a peaceful protest or petition for redress of grievances.) Mob rule is anarchic chaos, a cat’s paw for subjugation under a new tyranny. The message I am seeing is that democracy and its stabilising buttresses are not worth defending. That is the road to suicide for liberty under just law. It is time to stop the madness. KF

  9. 9
    john_a_designer says:

    Contemporary secular progressivism is based on two things: (1) A conceit that their enlightened moral thinking is politically correct and, therefore, tacitly absolute– though they’ll never own up to the latter. Along with their blatant virtue signaling which is nothing more than a lot of disingenuous pseudo humility and posturing.

    And, (2) a contempt for anyone who believes in traditional moral values, who they view as uneducated, backwards and bigoted.

    However, as I have said here before what makes one person’s moral opinions binding on anyone else? If it’s nothing more than their subjective opinion it’s not binding on anyone else.

    It becomes dangerous when self-appointed paragons of virtues start “discovering” (really inventing) new rights which they then try to enact into law. In the U.S. the secular progressives have succeeded in creating new laws, based on so-called new rights (a right to abortion, a right to same sex marriage etc.) by going through the courts, thus completely short-circuiting democratic debate and the legislative process. That is one of the reason there is a growing grassroots populist movement here. One can only hope that it’s not too late.

  10. 10
    Querius says:

    Question for Seversky . . .

    Do you think it’s OK for people with congenital birth defects to be allowed to pass them on by having children?

    Do you think that unregulated human reproduction is OK even if the result harms the human gene pool?

    Just asking.

    -Q

  11. 11
    Fasteddious says:

    JaD @ 8: excellent post. I have always wondered why the squeaky political wheel gets the grease and how it is that the mob gets its way. Yes, the aggressive, progressive, transgressive crowd makes demands, and then the media and all the woke wannabes pick up the refrain. Meanwhile, the majority sits back and hopes it will just go away. If they dare speak up, they are shouted down or cancelled. Even when the majority votes against some politically correct change, it inevitably gets foisted on us anyway by the courts or the mainstream press. Worst of all, the mob cannot even describe where it is all headed, much less back up the direction with evidence and rational argument. Woe to us all!

  12. 12
    john_a_designer says:

    Eugenics was one of the primary moral causes of progressive “scientifically” enlightened elites in the early twentieth century. This should give us some pause. How can we be sure that so called progressive elitism isn’t making the same kind of mistake in the 21st Century?

    The dirty little secret that never gets discussed is that Eugenics never really went away. It just went into hiding only to be re-labelled and re-emerge in the pro-abortion movement.

    According to [a recent] CDC report, the rate of abortion among African-American women is far higher than among white American women. While black women make up only six percent of the U.S. population, they account for 35 percent of abortions reported…

    Pro-life advocates have long argued that the abortion industry specifically targets minorities, highlighting the movement’s racist roots.

    Planned Parenthood founder and eugenics advocate Margaret Sanger started “The Negro Project” in 1939 to thwart the population growth of the poor and minorities, or, as Sanger put it, to discourage “the defective and diseased elements of humanity” from their “reckless and irresponsible swarming and spawning.”

    Sanger, a Darwinist, enlisted black ministers to convince minorities to use contraceptives, explaining, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    Ironically, Sanger is someone who is still celebrated by the secular progressive left.

    https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/campaigns/ppfa-margaret-sanger-award-winners

    Notice, who won the prestigious Margaret Sanger Award in 2009 and who else won it in 2014.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    Querius @ 10

    Do you think it’s OK for people with congenital birth defects to be allowed to pass them on by having children?

    Do you think that unregulated human reproduction is OK even if the result harms the human gene pool?

    Yes, to both questions.

    By all means educate those who are carriers of congenital disorders about what is known about them and the risk of their being transmitted to a child but, ultimately, it is up to them as to whether or not they have children.

    And, as I wrote before, whatever the short-term benefit of a crude culling of the weak and infirm, there is a much greater long-term benefit in caring for those so afflicted, learning about what causes the disorders and, eventually, finding ways to cure them.

  15. 15
    Marfin says:

    Sev . You talk about the weak and infirm as though they are different in value to the strong and healthy,
    is a weak and infirm person who dies at 30 years old but dedicated those 30 years to doing what they could to helping others, any less valuable than a Michael Jordan or Richard Dawkins.Is a weak and infirm person would can do very little in their 30 years but love and be loved by their family any less valuable than a Tom Cruise or an Barack Obama . Sev please tell me what is the yard stick you measure human value on.
    Our human values are pathetic how I know this is go into any store selling magazines you will see
    row after row of magazines on , Gossip, Hollywood, sport , Looking good , etc but no magazine called good deeds done by good people , because we love gossip, good looks, actors, sports stars way more than we love those who dedicate their lives to doing good , unfortunately thats our values , but thank God for The gospel which if we let it opens our eyes to how pathetic we really are.

  16. 16
    Querius says:

    Marfin @ 15,

    Our human values are pathetic how I know this is go into any store selling magazines you will see row after row of magazines on , Gossip, Hollywood, sport , Looking good , etc but no magazine called good deeds done by good people , because we love gossip, good looks, actors, sports stars way more than we love those who dedicate their lives to doing good , unfortunately thats our values , but thank God for The gospel which if we let it opens our eyes to how pathetic we really are.

    A lot of our decision-making process depends on how we rank our values. In this example thankfully, Seversky assures us that he doesn’t support forced sterilization or genetic tests for a license to have children, citing a higher priority for learning about human pathologies and defects.

    As you point out, the spiritual, intellectual, and moral value of humans wasn’t given a higher priority. Thus, for example, the long-term value of Stephen Hawking would have been primarily to learn more about ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

    -Q

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    Marfin @ 15

    Sev . You talk about the weak and infirm as though they are different in value to the strong and healthy, is a weak and infirm person who dies at 30 years old but dedicated those 30 years to doing what they could to helping others, any less valuable than a Michael Jordan or Richard Dawkins.Is a weak and infirm person would can do very little in their 30 years but love and be loved by their family any less valuable than a Tom Cruise or an Barack Obama . Sev please tell me what is the yard stick you measure human value on.

    I only mentioned the weak and infirm in the context of being the most likely to be eliminated by any process of unmitigated natural selection. I did not mean that they were somehow less valuable to me or the human race as a whole.

    Like others, I judge how “civilized” a society is by the way it treats the least advantaged of its members. I believe that all members of a society, while being unequal in many and varied ways, should be equally entitled to the same basic rights and liberties, such as those set out in the US Constitution or the European Convention on Human Rights, and those rights may only be abridged for individuals who have harmed the rights of other members of society.

    As for being pathetic, perhaps we are. But we are what we are and that is all we have to work with. That is true whether or not we were created because, if we were created by some all-knowing and all-powerful deity like the Christian God then that is how He intended us to be since nothing happens but by His will. Does it?

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, you fail to address the significance of freedom as requisite for mind and ability to love, pivot of true virtues. KF

  19. 19
    Querius says:

    Seversky wrote:

    As for being pathetic, perhaps we are. But we are what we are and that is all we have to work with. That is true whether or not we were created because, if we were created by some all-knowing and all-powerful deity like the Christian God then that is how He intended us to be since nothing happens but by His will. Does it?

    Nope. For humans to have a free will of necessity requires a self-imposed limit on God’s will. That’s why the Lord’s prayer includes the request, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    God did create a perfect world but humans and evil spiritual powers corrupted it and continue to corrupt it. For example, why do you think the Bible says the following in Revelation 11:18 with respect to God’s judgment?

    The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.

    -Q

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