In order to establish a factual biography on the life of Margaret Sanger, the author of this article had recourse to Sanger’s own works, which are fortunately extensive. It is in this context that we present to you, dear readers, the true face of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is the strongest organization advocating abortion in the United States today. We invite those who oppose the pro-life movement to face the reality concerning the ideologies that Margaret Sanger propagated during her lifetime.
Margaret Sanger was born on September 14, 1879 to Michael and Anne Higgins. Although skilled in trade, Michael Higgins alienated many of his customers because of his alcoholism and his promotion of radical politics. As a result of this, the couple’s eleven children were not properly cared for and suffered from cold, privation and hunger. Margaret left this unhappy situation at an early age and went to briefly study nursing at Claverack College.
She was a poor student, skipping classes and neglecting her part-time job. She soon dropped out of school and, after a brief stay at home to help care for her dying mother, moved in with her older sister and worked as a first grade teacher. She taught the children of immigrants but left after only two terms. This bleak experience may have contributed to her later enthusiastic embrace of eugenics.
In 1902, Margaret married architect and painter, William Sanger, and they had three children. Her marriage was very unhappy; she detested domestic life and neglected her children to the point where the neighbors had to care for them.
Sanger’s second husband, oil magnate and founder of the 3-in-1 Oil Company, James Noah H. Slee, was also very wealthy. At one point, Margaret wrote to her secretary, “I don’t want to marry anyone, particularly a stodgy churchgoer… Yet …how often am I going to meet a man with nine million dollars?”
Soon after her second marriage, Margaret discovered Marxism, anarchism, secular humanism, free love and Darwinism; in these radical ideas, she found her passion in life and used her husbands’ wealth to support her activities. Above all else, the sexual license evidenced in her own life inflenced many of her writings.
She kept a journal entitled The Woman Rebel, in it she wrote that in her opinion, marriage is “a degenerate institution” and that modesty is an “obscene prudery.”
From 1917 to the 1940’s, Sanger founded the Birth Control Review and was either an editor or contributor of this publication during most of its existence. Sir Francis Galton, who founded the Galton Laboratory of National Eugenics for Great Britain, was one of many eugenicists that were a source of inspiration for Sanger’s articles and speeches. Her passion for eugenics was clearly expressed in the pages of Birth Control Review from its inception, and was reflected in her books, The Pivot of Civilization (1926) and The Medical and Eugenic Aspects of Birth Control (1926).
“Birth Control demands a ‘scientific means by which and through which each human life may be self-directed and self-controlled.’ …Only when given intelligent mastery of the procreative powers can the great mass of humanity be aroused to a realization of responsibility of parenthood… upon this may we base the quality of the race… The lack of balance between the birth-rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit’ is admittedly the greatest present menace to the civilization.
“The neo-Malthusian (Malthus believed that the earth could only sustain a certain amount of people and so we had to control the population growth through abortion/birth control) movement in Great Britain with its history of undaunted bravery, came to our support.
“The example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit, and therefore less fertile, parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective. …Chance and chaotic breeding has resulted from our stupid, cruel sentimentalism.
“Paternalistic philanthropies and sentimental charities, which sprang up like mushrooms, only tended to increase the evils of indiscriminate breeding. …Birth Control… is really the greatest and most truly eugenic method, and its adoption as part of the program of Eugenics would immediately give a concrete and realistic power to that science.”
“I have touched upon these various aspects of the complex problem of the feeble-minded, and the menace of the moron to human society, not merely for the purpose of reiterating that it is one of the greatest and most difficult social problems of modern times, demanding an immediate, stern and definite policy, but because it illustrates the actual harvest of reliance upon traditional morality, upon the biblical injunction to increase and multiply, a policy still taught by politician, priest and militarist… We prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.
“Eugenics seems to me to be valuable in its critical and diagnostic aspects, in emphasizing the danger of irresponsible and uncontrolled fertility of the ‘unfit’ and the feeble-minded establishing a progressive unbalance in human society and lowering the birth-rate among the ‘fit.’”
The Birth Control Review regularly published articles written by eugenicists such as Ernst Rudin, the psychologist who was president of the International Federation of Eugenic Organizations and a world leader of the eugenics movement. (Author’s note: incidentally, Rudin’s ideology of an Aryan race was a great influence on the policies used by Adolf Hitler during World War II.)
In 1917, Sanger used her imperfect knowledge as a nurse to promote the Birth Control methods used during that time period. In her brochure, Family Limitation she states that Birth Control is, “simply a part of woman’s personal hygiene and that every intelligent woman should use and share this information.”
Many churches, especially the Catholic Church, opposed Sanger because she championed “sex without consequences,” eugenics, abortion and segregation (concentration camps) for the “unfit” – all practices to which Christianity is fundamentally opposed. Margaret said that she was against the Catholic Church because they opposed “science,” evolution, eugenics and race improvement.
The Church’s view that the handicapped, diseased and deformed were all equals in the eyes of God “struck Sanger as anathema to the dictates of the Brave New World” that she wanted to create. She even argued that persons “whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers” were “irresponsible and reckless” and that the “procreation of this group should be stopped.” Sanger “attributed insanity, epilepsy, criminality, prostitution, pauperism, mental defectiveness,” and “everything from child labor to world war,” to “unchecked breeding.”
In 1916, Sanger illegally operated a birth control clinic in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. This clinic received crucial grants from John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s Bureau of Social Hygiene from 1924 onwards. The clinic serviced the poor immigrants who heavily populated the area – those deemed “unfit” to reproduce. In 1929, Margaret Sanger turned her full attention to the promotion of Birth Control on the Negro race specifically. Sanger addressed the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey, and received a “dozen invitations to speak to similar groups.”
In December 10, 1939, Sanger wrote to Dr. Clarence Gamble about her “Negro Project,” saying: “We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and that the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
To the end of her life she fiercely supported eugenics. To demonstrate this fact, she continually attacked the welfare programs for “not eliminating the feeble-minded and unfit” and proposed “incentive sterilization,” a program to bribe the “unfit” to be sterilized.
Sanger died on September 6, 1966 in the same unhappy manner as she had lived her life, an alcoholic drug-addict; a solitary and bitter woman. She lived and died by her credo published in The Woman Rebel; namely “The Right to be Lazy. The Right to be an Unmarried Mother. The Right to Destroy. The Right to Create. The Right to Live and the Right to Love.”
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has grown to an organization with 129 affiliates and operates 875 health centers and serves about 5 million women each year. Ninety-eight percent of their services to pregnant women are abortions. Through their efforts, 332,278 babies were killed in 2009 alone. In between 2008 and 2009, 650,000 abortions were performed. Non-marital births and sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, thanks to the 4 million contraceptive services they provided in 2008.
One in four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease; this shows that Planned Parenthood does not give even a basic instruction on sexual health care. In fact, thanks to the efforts of Live Action and the Expose Planned Parenthood Coalition, it has been proven that not only does Planned Parenthood not provide health care but they also break the law by advising young girls to go back to their sexually abusive situations, (thus ensuring a returning abortion customer). Planned Parenthood headquarters recently issued a directive mandating that all of its affiliates provide abortions by 2013 because of the huge revenue that abortion provides them. As if to prove this point, Planned Parenthood has adamantly opposed laws in nearly two dozen states that require clinic staff to show a woman a sonogram before an abortion. Why? Because more often than not, after the woman sees her baby, she no longer wishes to have an abortion!
Planned Parenthood has nearly one billion dollars in net assets and has recently launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign. They receive one-third of their entire budget from American tax money every year, thanks to the legislation that was implemented by the Obama administration.
Throughout history and with much insistence, the Catholic Church has continued to urge the faithful to be aware of the seriousness of the contraceptive/abortive mentality. Pope Paul VI wrote in Humanae Vitae: “Responsible parenthood… concerns the objective moral order which was established by God, and of which a right conscience is the true interpreter. From this it follows that they (the couple) are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator.
“Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.
“Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation – whether as an end or as a means. It is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.”
The contraceptive mentality is what has caused the explosive rise in the number of abortions that we see today, most especially in our Western countries. Most countries in the world have accepted legislation legalizing abortion, thus guaranteeing the ultimate destruction of their societies. Prayer and educative diffusion of the materials provided to us by the Catholic Church are an absolute must if we are to re-evaluate our choices during these last fifty years, most especially if we want to avoid the wrath of God.
Injustice towards those who are innocent and unprotected is not ignored by God and we would do well to remember that Our Lady has warned us of this many times in her apparitions. At La Salette, she said: “If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it. For how long a time do I suffer for you! If I would not have my Son abandon you, I am compelled to pray to him without ceasing; and as to you, you take not heed of it.”
Marie Anne Jacques