Posted by: Jayme | November 21, 2008

Origins of Planned Parenthood – Celebrated by Smithsonian

The taxpayer supported Smithsonian Institute recently opened an exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery that “Celebrates Women who have challenged and changed the United States.” Among the honorees is Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger.


The American Life League put a video together (it’s easier to find in this post from the Dakota Voice) that gives a brief (7 minute) overview of Sanger’s goals for the organization.  I’d recommend watching it and passing it on.

Since we don’t always have 7 minutes available, though, here are some quotes from the “celebrated” Sanger herself.  They came from Diane Dew’s fact sheet, and you can read more about Planned Parenthood and the eugenics movement there.  I really like this page because the quotes are so well documented.

On [black people], immigrants and indigents:
“…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”  Margaret Sanger,
Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people

On sterilization & racial purification:
Sanger believed that, for the purpose of racial “purification,” couples should be rewarded who chose sterilization. Birth Control in America, The Career of Margaret Sanger, by David Kennedy, p. 117, quoting a 1923 Sanger speech.

On the extermination of [black people]:
“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

On respecting the rights of the mentally ill:
In her “Plan for Peace,” Sanger outlined her strategy for eradication of those she deemed “feebleminded.” Among the steps included in her evil scheme were immigration restrictions; compulsory sterilization; segregation to a lifetime of farm work; etc. Birth Control Review, April 1932, p. 107

Margaret Sanger may be an influential historical figure, but need she be a celebrated one?


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