Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was one of the most influential American women of the 20th century. As a progressive and eugenicist, she believed that some humans were, by nature, inferior to others. Sanger was primarily driven to provide women complete control over their reproductive life and to make it impossible for the “unfit” to have children. Sanger wanted to create a master race. To achieve her ends, she sought to legalize and spread contraception and sterilization. Sanger was not a fan of abortion, but she wanted it legal and her work paved the way for the modern abortion industry. In 1921, she established The American Birth Control League, later to be named Planned Parenthood.
Eugenics, according to the online Merriam Webster Dictionary, is “the practice or advocacy of controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) to improve the population's genetic composition.” Margaret Sanger believed in eugenics. Sanger wrote at the top of her birth control magazine publications, “More children from the fit and less from the unfit. That is the chief aim of birth control.” In a New York Times interview in 1922, she stated, “Superman is the aim of birth control.” In her book, The Pivot of Civilization, Sanger wrote, “Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class should be segregated during the reproductive period.” Sanger supported infanticide of disabled babies and wanted the legalization of abortion to achieve her eugenic goals.
Was Sanger a racist and did she want the elimination of ethnic minorities in America because of their race? That is hard to answer. But there is no doubt she believed she was able to decide who should live and who should not. Writing in 1931 “My Way to Peace, Sanger states she wants the government 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 feeble-minded, idiots, morons, insane, syphiletic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class . . . 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.
For Sanger, birth control was the primary method to promote a superior race, although she also wrote in favor of legalizing abortion. During the first half of her lifetime, birth control was illegal in the United States of America. Sanger worked to change society about contraception. In 1921, she formed the American Birth Control League to promote contraception. In 1929, she formed lobby group to push legislators to make contraception legal. In a 1936 court case, Sanger challenged and won the right for physicians to obtain contraceptives. That next year, the American Medical Association adopted contraception as a normal medical service.
The majority of Americans in the early 1900s believed that God should be in charge of determining when life begins, and that people should not use artificial means to influence pregnancy. Every major Christian religion opposed artificial contraception until 1930, when the Anglican Church approved it for married couples. Shortly after, other Protestant Christian Churches approved it. The Roman Catholic Church still teaches that artificial contraception is inherently evil.
Margaret Sanger sought to control the population, especially in low income, immigrant, and African-American communities. She wrote, “A License for Mothers to Have Babies” with the subtitle, “A code to stop the overproduction of children.” In this publication, she asserted that parenthood was not a right but a privilege that only the state could give. She championed the 1939 initiative “The Negro Project,” which sought to get rid of too many births among African Americans. She declared, “The mass of Negroes, particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more than among whites, is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear children properly.”
Sanger visited the totalitarian countries of Nazi Germany and Communist Soviet Union in the 1930s. Her main reason was to investigate how these two totalitarian governments handled women’s rights, eugenics, and human reproductive matters. While not a NAZI, Sanger shared the stage with other NAZI eugenicists and did not denounce them. Sanger did not approve of Hitler’s barbarism, but she also did not change her views on forced sterilizations of the unfit or legalizing abortion. After visiting the Soviet Union in 1935, she wrote for the Birth Control Review, "Russia today is the country of the liberated woman. The attitude of Soviet Russia toward its women...would delight the heart of the staunchest feminist." She liked that the Soviets gave out free contraceptive devices to women, but she disliked the Soviet use of abortion as a means of mass population control. She didn’t object to legalizing abortion, but thought that Russians used abortion too frequently and women needed more access to contraceptives.
Margaret Sanger died in 1966. Her work changed American society and perhaps the world. For Progressive who think the government and certain “fit” women should decide who should live and who has the right to procreate, she is their hero. When Sanger was born, in 1879, birth control and abortion were illegal throughout the United States of America, and both were viewed as sinful by the great majority of Americans who were Christian. She worked to make every means of birth control and eugenics a reality in America. At her death, birth control was legal in most states, and, seven years after her death, abortion became legal, as well. The organization that she founded, Planned Parenthood, became the nation’s largest provider of abortion and today, promotes abortion and sterilization around the world. In 2020, Planned Parenthood accounted for 345,672 abortions and 2.6 million contraceptive services in the United States. Annually, there are over 1 million abortions in America, averaging 3,000 a day. Sanger’s views on population control, eugenics, and birth control and abortion have had a major influence in the country and in the world.
Mildred Fay Jefferson
One of America’s greatest doctors and activists for the least protected in society was Mildred Fay Jefferson (1927-2010). Jefferson was the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, the first woman to graduate in surgery from Harvard, and the first woman to become a member of the Boston Surgical Society. She influenced a President of the United States of America to change his mind on abortion, and throughout her life, she was a voice for powerless in American society.
Mildred Jefferson was born in raised in segregated Texas and experienced first-hand racism and sexism. She grew up in a time where legally, black Americans experienced injustices because of their color. Her father was a Methodist minister and her mother a school teacher. Even though blacks had less opportunities than whites in the 1930s and 1940s, Jefferson never let her circumstances hold her back. As a young girl, she accompanied the town doctor on his house calls and told him that she would one day become a doctor. This was during a time that nearly all doctors were men and white. She succeeded in her dream.
Jefferson was an outstanding student and throughout her career she broke new ground for black Americans and for women. At the age of 15, she entered Texas College and earned her bachelor’s degree in three years. Normally it takes four years. She went on to earn a master’s degree in biology and then to Harvard and became a medical doctor in 1951. She was Harvard’s first black woman ever to graduate from medical school. She was the first female doctor at the Boston University Medical Center and the first woman to become a member of the Boston Surgical Society.
Jefferson worked all her life to defend the innocent and society’s most vulnerable. She strongly believed in the preservation of life, and fought tirelessly to protect the unborn. Around 1970, she was one of the founders of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. She later was one of the founders of the National Right to Life Committee. She was President of this committee from 1975-1978. “Millie” was a persuasive speaker, and after one time listening to her speech, the future President Ronald Reagan became pro-life. He wrote to her, "You have made it irrefutably clear that an abortion is the taking of a human life, I am grateful to you. " In a 1978 video, Jefferson explained:
“I became a physician in order to help save lives. I am at once a physician, a citizen, and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow the concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged, and the planned have the right to live.” And, in another interview that same year, ““I would guess that the abortionists have done more to get rid of generations and cripple others than all of the years of slavery and lynchings.”
On October 15, 2020, at the age of 84, Mildred Fay Jefferson passed away in her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was a pioneer in medicine for American women and for black Americans and she tirelessly fought for the lives of those who could not speak for themselves.
Since July, 2015, The Center for Medical Progress has released six You Tube videos of Planned Parenthood doctors and staff discussing the sale of aborted fetuses and body parts of aborted fetuses. These discussions have involved Planned Parenthood personnel trying to get the highest price for the body parts. Under federal law, it is unlawful to profit from the sale of aborted fetuses or body parts of fetuses, such as lungs, hearts, etc. Representatives from The Center for Medical Progress argue that the videos show that Planned Parenthood is in the business of making a profit of selling aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood claims that the videos are edited to present falsehoods, and that no illegal activity is taking place. At least nine states Attorneys General and members of Congress have begun investigation into the allegations against Planned Parenthood. Because Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money, the controversy involves morals, ethics, and government.
Planned Parenthood was co-founded by Margaret Sanger in the early 1900s as “American Birth Control League.” Ms. Sanger believed in selective breeding, the idea to make a better human race by preventing reproduction of the ‘unfit’. Sanger believed the unfit were people of color, racial minorities, and those who were not performing well in society economically. When Margaret Sanger began her work, abortion was illegal in most states. And, all major Christian Churches banned the use of artificial contraceptives. Margaret Sanger wanted people, especially non-whites, to use artificial contraception, and to have abortions.
In the early 1900s, the great majority of Christians believed that only God should have ultimate control over whether a married couple has children. From its beginning, Christianity was against artificial contraception and abortion. 1500 years of this tradition was continued by the great Reformer Martin Luther. Luther wrote, that this “inhuman attitude, which is worse than barbarous,” was found chiefly among the well born, “the nobility and princes.” Luther:
How great, therefore, the wickedness of [fallen] human nature is! How many girls there are who prevent conception and kill and expel tender fetuses, although procreation is the work of God! Indeed, some spouses who marry and live together…have various ends in mind, but rarely children.
In the 1900s, major Christian Churches turned from the teachings of traditional Christianity regarding procreation. In 1930, the Anglican Church voted to approve the use of artificial contraception at the Lambeth Conference. Very soon after, nearly all Christian churches in America changed their stance on contraception, as well. Over time, American society changed its stance not only on contraception, but abortion, as well. Children became to be seen as burdens, and parents were urged to be “responsible” in taking over the decision to have children.
Over time, more states approved the use of contraception and abortion. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion was a constitutionally protected right. (see article below). Since 1973, it is estimated that over 56,000,000 abortions have taken place in the United States, and today, American doctors perform 3,000 abortions every day. The largest abortion provider in the country is Planned Parenthood (PP). PP is responsible for 1 in every 3 abortions. It performed over 330,000 abortions in 2014. Proceeds from abortion account for 50% of PP health services revenue. The U.S. federal government gives hundreds of millions of dollars every year to Planned Parenthood. In 2013, PP received $540.6 million (45% of its revenue) from the U.S. government, for health services.
In August, the U.S. Senate voted whether the U.S. government will defund Planned Parenthood. According to Senate rules, at least 60 Senators had to approve to begin discussion on the bill. The vote was 53-46, in favor of beginning of discussion. This means that the bill to defund PP failed. Voting yes were 2 Democrats and 51 Republicans. Voting no were 42 Democrats, 2 Republicans and 2 independents.
1. What did the Center for Medical Progress released regarding Planned Parenthood?
2. What does the Center for Medical Progress claim PP is doing illegally?
3. What is Planned Parenthood’s response to the Center for Medical Progress?
4. Who was the original founder of Planned Parenthood and what did she want?
5. What was the position of every Christian church on contraception and abortion before the 1900s?
1. Five-Minute Video on the Morality of Abortion from Prager University
2. History of Contraception in the Protestant Church: http://bound4life.com/history-of-contraception-in-the-protestant-church/
3. Center for Medical Progress: http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/
Planned Parenthood: http://plannedparenthood.org/
On January 22, 2015, from tens of thousands to 200,000 mainly young people marched in Washington, D.C. to demand the end of abortion in the United States of America. It was the 42nd anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that mandated legal abortion nationwide. The pro-life march, which happens every year, was not covered by the major news networks, NBC, ABC, CBS, even though it is an annual event that draws large numbers of people. The history of abortion rights in the United States is one of deception and racism.
Before 1973, the legal issue of abortion was an issue that was determined by each state. When the American Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they included the first ten amendments, which are explicit (stated in writing) guarantees of rights for the people and to the states. The framers of the Constitution did not want the U.S. federal government to become too powerful, as they believed Great Britain’s king was. The tenth amendment reserves all power that is not explicitly granted to the federal government to the states and the people. There is no power in the Constitution that refers to medicine or health. It is because of this, that from 1789 to 1973, health was considered a power that was specifically a state issue.
The Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade (1973) changed the relationship between Americans, their health, and the federal government. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court justices created a right to privacy that had not before existed and is not found in the Constitution, claiming that a woman had the right to end her pregnancy with an abortion, because she had a right to privacy. The justices argued that since Congress had not yet declared when human life begins, the unborn does not yet enjoy the right to life. The justices ordered that in every state, abortion would be legal. From then on, issues of health became a federal issue.
Jane Roe, the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade (1973), was really Norma McCorvey. The court called her Jane Roe to hide her identity. Ms. McCorvey had a challenging childhood and great difficulties in the first part of her life. In 1970, she was pregnant and was not married. Under Texas law, a person could not have an abortion unless they were raped. Ms. McCorvey went to two lawyers, who had been seeking a pregnant woman who wanted an abortion to challenge the Texas law, and worked with them to file a lawsuit against the state of Texas. In the lawsuit, the lawyers argued that “Jane Roe” had been gang raped, and that the Texas law against abortion hurt women. Ms. McCorvey gave birth to a baby, who was adopted. The case went to the Supreme Court, however, and the lawyers won, making abortion legal throughout the U.S.A.
Ms. McCorvey worked in an abortion clinic for years, but eventually, she converted to Christianity. In 1995 McCorvey was baptized by evangelical minister Filip Benham in a Texas swimming pool filmed for national television. She became a vocal proponent in the pro-life movement and joined the Roman Catholic Church. In her book, Won by Love, she writes, “Abortion wasn't about 'products of conception'. It wasn't about 'missed periods'. It was about children being killed in their mother's wombs. All those years I was wrong.”
Since 1973, it is estimated that over 56,000,000 abortions have taken place in the United States, and today, American doctors perform 3,000 abortions every day. The largest abortion provider in the country is Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger in the early 1900s as “American Birth Control League”. Ms. Sanger believed in selective breeding, the idea to make a better human race by preventing reproduction of the ‘unfit’. Sanger believed the unfit were people of color, racial minorities, and those who were not performing well in society economically. The U.S. federal government gives hundreds of millions of dollars every year to Planned Parenthood. In 2013, it received $540.6 million (45% of its revenue) from the U.S. government, for health services.
The March for Life that takes place in Washington, D.C., is an attempt to bring to light the truth behind abortion in the United States of America, and, to shed light on the abortion industry. Most Americans do not know the history of Planned Parenthood or the large amounts of money that taxpayers give to this industry.
1. What happens every year in January in Washington, D.C.?
2. Why does it take place in January?
3. What court case made abortion a mandated legal right?
4. Who started Planned Parenthood and what did she believe in?
5. Why do you think the major news networks do not cover this massive march?
John De Gree
John De Gree writes the current events with a look at the history of each topic. Articles are written for the young person, aged 10-18, and Mr. De Gree carefully writes so that all readers can understand the event. The perspective the current events are written in is Judeo-Christian.
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