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Pro-choice researcher admits Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist

by | Feb 10, 2021

By Sarah Terzo

Writer and researcher Edwin Black, who supports the work of Planned Parenthood, said the following about its founder, Margaret Sanger:

[Margaret] Sanger was an ardent, self-confessed eugenicist, and she would turn her otherwise noble birth control organizations [which would be renamed Planned Parenthood] into a tool for eugenics, which advocated for mass sterilization of so-called defectives, mass incarceration of the unfit, and draconian immigration restrictions.

Like other staunch eugenicists, Sanger vigorously opposed charitable efforts to uplift the downtrodden and deprived, and argued extensively that it was better that the cold and hungry be left without help, so that the eugenically superior strains could multiply without competition from “the unfit.”

She repeatedly referred to the lower classes and the unfit as “human waste” not worthy of assistance, and proudly quoted the extreme eugenic view that human “weeds” should be “exterminated.”

Moreover, for both political and genuine ideological reasons, Sanger associated closely with some of America’s most fanatical eugenic racists. Both through her publication, “Birth Control Review,” and her public oratory, Sanger helped legitimize and widen the appeal of eugenic pseudoscience. Indeed, to many, birth control was just another form of eugenics…

[Margaret] Sanger always considered birth control a function of general population control and embraced the Malthusian notion that a world running out of food supplies should halt charitable works and allow the weak to die off.”

Edwin Black, War against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (Washington DC: Dialog Press, 2003, 2012) pp.127, 128.

Black cites the following sources to back up his claim:

Margaret Sanger The Pivot of Civilization (New York: Brentano’s, 1922) 101 – 102, 104, 108 – 109, 113 – 117, 120 – 121, 123

Julian Huxley “Toward a Higher Civilization” Birth Control Review (December, 1930) 344

“Editorial” Birth Control Review (March, 1928) 73

Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography (WW Norton & Company, 1938; New York: Dover Publications, 1971) 376 – 377

Margaret Sanger “A Plan for Peace” Birth Control Review April 1932, pp. 107 – 108

Margaret Sanger “Racial Betterment” The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger: Vol. 1: The Woman Rebel, 1900 – 1928, edited by Esther Katz (Chicago: University Of Illinois Press, 2003) 446, 333 – 334

Margaret Sanger “Is Race Suicide Probable?” Collier’s (August 15, 1925) 25

Ellen Chesler, Women of Valor (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992) 343 – 344

Margaret Sanger Papers Project “Notes on Sources” The National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control 1929 – 1937

Henry Pratt Fairchild, The Melting Pot Mistake (Boston: Little, Brown and Company: 1926) 109 – 112

Roswell H Johnson, “The Eugenic Aspects of Population Theory” Birth Control Review (September 1930) 256 – 258

Eleanor Dwight Jones, “Practical Race Betterment” Birth Control Review (July 1928) 203 – 204

American Medicine, “Intelligent or Unintelligent Birth Control?” Birth Control Review (May 1919) 12

Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.

Categories: PPFA