Prior to the revelations about Planned Parenthood’s selling human body parts from those it aborted, we were discussing how to handle much of our country’s racist past.
Many of our founders were slave holders. Numerous important politicians and civic leaders of the past held reprehensible views on African-Americans and other minorities.
South Carolina removed the Confederate battle flag from its statehouse grounds, but many are still calling for additional steps, including the removal of memorials honoring Southern leaders in the Civil War.
Yet, in the midst of this attempt to remove the legacy of men and women tainted by racism, one organization has been blindly given a pass. It happens to be the same organization seeking to profit on trafficking human organs—Planned Parenthood.
Their founder, Margaret Sanger made comments about minorities that would haunt virtually any other public figure and render them a social pariah. But today, the organization’s highest honor is the annual Margaret Sanger Award, given to dignitaries like Hillary Clinton.
Read these quotes and tell me how quickly any other organization would be forced to distance themselves from a founder who said such things.
Each of these comes directly from original sources or scholarly archives of Sanger’s work. If you desire to see the full context of each quotation, please read the entire articles linked.
In “A Plan for Peace,” part of the April 1932 issue of Birth Control Review, Sanger gives the steps she believes are necessary to establish peace in our nation.
The main objects of the Population Congress would be
a) to raise the level and increase the general intelligence of population
b) to increase the population slowly by keeping the birth rate at its present level of fifteen per thousand, decreasing the death rate below its present mark of 11 per thousand
c) to keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924
d) to 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
e) to insure the country against future burdens of maintenance for numerous offspring as may be born of feebleminded parents, by pensioning all persons with transmissible disease who voluntarily consent to sterilization
f) to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization
g) to apportion farm lands and homesteads for these segregated persons where they would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.
The first step would thus be to control the intake and output of morons, mental defectives, epileptics.
The second step would be to take an inventory of the secondary group such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends, classify them in special departments under government medical protection, and segregate them on farms and open spaces as long as necessary for the strengthening and development of moral conduct.
Donald Trump was rightly criticized for speaking as if all immigrants from Mexico were criminals. Could you imagine if he had advocating anything remotely similar to barring certain classes of people from coming to America because they would be “detrimental to the stamina of the race”?
Her methods for obtaining “peace” includes sterilization of certain groups and the rounding up of others to what amounts to internment camps.
Here’s more of Sanger; this time on what the government can do to limit births from “America Needs a Code for Babies” published in American Weekly in 1934.
If education, technical assistance, and public opinion fail to limit the number of babies within certain groups of the population to the country’s capacity for taking care of them, then it may be advisable to adopt more drastic procedure. I hesitate to suggest when this might be, because so many of us Americans are afraid of any new forms of “regimentation.” It will probably always be said that sex relations and parenthood are matters too intimate for any interference by public authorities. Of course, there is already a considerable amount of interference, or, if you prefer the term, regulation through marriage and divorce laws. I wonder if it will also become necessary to establish a system of birth permits. At present a marriage license is a birth permit, as well a permit for a man and a woman to maintain a common household. Suppose, for purposes of discussion of something that may not prove to be practicable, we add the following clauses to the proposed Baby Code:
Article 3. A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood.
Article 4. 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.
Article 5. Permits for parenthood shall be issued upon application by city, county, or state authorities to married couples, providing they are financially able to support the expected child, have the qualifications needed for proper rearing of the child, have no transmissible diseases, and, on the woman’s part, no medical indication that maternity is likely to result in death or permanent injury to health.
Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.
Abortion advocates frequently argue against government regulations, summed up with phrases like “my body, my choice.” Do they realize that the founder of Planned Parenthood argued just the opposite?
Sanger said many women should not have the choice. According to her, we need more governmental regulation on reproduction, not less.
One final comment comes from a letter Sanger wrote to Dr. C.J. Gamble in 1939 in which she describes what “the Federation” [Planned Parenthood Federation of America] was doing with the “Negro Project.”
The efforts including recruiting black doctors who would make African Americans more comfortable sharing “their ignorance, superstitions and doubts.”
If that is not enough, here is what she said about using African American pastors:
The ministers work is also important and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. 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 that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
Many point out that it is a misunderstanding to see Sanger’s goal as the extermination of “the Negro population,” rather her goal was to use eugenics to exterminate a certain segment of the African-American population at the time.
Joe Carter ably summed up her views: “Despite being a white supremacist, Sanger preferred intelligent, middle class African-Americans to illiterate, low class whites.”
If living in the Civil War era is no excuse for racism (and I don’t believe it is), then surely neither is living in the 1930s.
The words she wrote, ideas she held, and actions she advocated are hideous, reprehensible and racist, even if it is nuanced in more culturally acceptable ways.
If we are ridding our country of things built to honor racists, we should start with Planned Parenthood and their founder.
If nothing else, the current story and historic documents prove Planned Parenthood is consistent with the moral viewpoint of its founder—human life is to be used or discarded depending on its perceived usefulness to those in power.