The Strange World of Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review

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About 25 years ago, I bought a complete set of Margaret Sanger’s journal The Birth Control Review and ambitiously set out to read every one of its 5,631 pages. The strange experience left me just a little uncertain about what is real and what is not. Sanger’s world has that effect on a person, because it is so completely different from the one we are accustomed to.

Sanger associated with racists and anti-Semites, people who despised everyone who was not a Nordic god or goddess, and those who demanded coercive eugenics programs to eliminate “lesser” humans. The whole bunch, of course, participated in continuous vicious attacks on the Catholic Church.

Most pro-lifers have a vague feeling that Margaret Sanger, the founder of the American Birth Control League (later Planned Parenthood), is somehow “bad,” but they really have no idea. The malignant influence of Sanger and similar thinkers not only has ruined the West to the point that it is dying, but seems Hell-bent on corrupting the rest of the world as well.

Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Beliefs

Breed, little mothers,
With the tired backs and the tired hands,
Breed for the owners of mills and the owners of mines,
Breed a race of danger-haunted men,
A race of toiling, sweating, miserable men,
Breed, little mothers,
Breed for the owners of mills and the owners of mines,
Breed, breed, breed!

― Birth Control Review, April 1930.1

Margaret Sanger’s journal was primarily devoted to the legalization and spread of voluntary birth control. However, the main theme running through The Birth Control Review was eugenics, thus the masthead “Birth Control: To Create a Race of Thoroughbreds.”

The pseudo-science of eugenics was taken very seriously in the first half of the twentieth century and was taught in hundreds of colleges and universities using scores of textbooks written by distinguished scholars.  A.P. Pilloy, writing in the BCR, describes both negative and positive eugenics: “Broadly speaking, the aims of eugenics are two: To prevent the unfit from leaving any descendants, and to encourage the multiplication of the more fit and useful citizens.”2

The Birth Control Review frequently highlighted the mission of its parent organization: “The American Birth Control League. Its Aim: To promote eugenic birth selection throughout the United States so that there may be more well-born and fewer ill-born children ― a stronger, healthier and more intelligent race.”3

Margaret Sanger neatly summarized the intimate relationship between the eugenics and birth control movements:

Before eugenists and others who are laboring for racial betterment can succeed, they must first clear the way for Birth Control. Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit…. Birth control of itself, by freeing the reproductive instinct from its present chains, will make a better race…. Eugenics without birth control seems to us a house built upon the sands. It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit.4

Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger

Some of the writers for The Birth Control Review waxed positively poetic on this theme. One said, “Voluntary control of pregnancy and childbirth is a great torch on one side of the gateway through which intelligent humanity is moving toward a civilization based on human quality…. On the other side of that gateway stands the torch lighted by Eugenics.”5

Another enthused that the combined forces of birth control and eugenics would “Speed the day when woman shall be free! Then, too, shall man be free and they together, emancipated from the degrading ignorance and superstition of the past, shall walk the highlands of vision, mate in perfect love, and people the earth with a race of gods.”6

Sanger followed eugenic reasoning to its logical conclusion ― that charity is “dysgenic,” leading to a degradation of the human race. She said, “We are now in a state where our charities, our compensation acts, our pensions, hospitals, and even our drainage and sanitary equipment all tend to keep alive the sickly and the weak, who are allowed to propagate and in turn produce a race of degenerates.”7

One BCR advertisement proclaimed, “Giving to charities merely perpetuates the evil ― Birth Control means prevention!”8 And Edward East proclaimed, “Well-intentioned philanthropy and social service is nothing but a brutal gesture to posterity.”9

Sanger described her view of the root of societal problems:

[Woman’s] instincts are fundamentally creative, not destructive. But her sex-bondage has made her the dumb instrument of the monster she detests. For centuries she has populated the earth in ignorance and without restraint, in vast numbers and with staggering rapidity. She has become not the mother of a nobler race, but a mere breeding machine grinding out a humanity which fills insane asylums, almshouses and sweat shops, and provides cannon fodder that tyrants may rise to power on the sacrifice of her offspring.10

Of course, then as now, if the lowly do not immediately embrace the Utopian plans of the elite, they must be whipped into line by greater and greater degrees of coercive pressure. Sanger herself said, “Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupidly cruel sentimentalism.”11 She also said, “To meet this problem [of dysgenics] as a great scientist has recently pointed out, we need not more of the fit, but fewer of the unfit. The propagation of the degenerate, the imbecile, the feeble-minded, should be prevented.”1

The doctors who wrote for The Birth Control Review openly advocated what they called a “medical utopia with birth control.”  J. Walter Carr, M.D. wrote, “The community would have to take suitable precautions in self defense and might decree that all adolescents should be examined at puberty and steps taken to sterilize those who could not reasonably be expected to beget healthy children.”16 Another physician, Anna Blount, wrote:

There they are, a motley group, from the gay, light-hearted moron, who cannot make an intelligent plan, even to do mischief; to the doddering idiot, the crafty paranoiac, the wretched epileptic, the moral imbecile, the chronic criminal with hereditary taint, and even the village ne’er-do-well. What do they cost us, in wealth, in labor and in misery? They must be eliminated. Eugenics makes birth control imperative.… But whatever the means this stream of human waste must be deflected from the melting-pot.… Godspeed the day when the unwilling mother, with her weak, puny body, her sad, anemic, unlovely face, and her dependent whine, will be no more. In that day, we shall see a race of American thoroughbreds, if not the superman.17

This loathing of the less fortunate saturates the pages of The Birth Control Review. Frequent contributor George Kilpatrick wrote:

Unsentimental and rigid examination revealed him [“the moron”] to be so inadequate and incapable that he was worthless even for cannon fodder. Mentally meager, culturally nothing, socially as selfish as a shark, sexually as eager as a rabbit, careless as a crow and prolific as a rat, the moron now in astonishing numbers confronts society as a grinning, scoffing brute in boots ― and in full possession of sovereign political rights.… He breeds with Biblical abandon, and is not discouraged by the religious in his industrious reproduction of his personally and socially worthless self.18

What a contrast to the attitude of St. Lawrence, who said of the blind, maimed and leprous, “These are the treasures of the Church!”

Of course, then as now, Sanger’s opponents were smeared with every vicious label the writers for The Birth Control Review could muster, including “enemies of humanity” and “savage traitors.”19

 

Sanger’s Connection to Nazis

One of the most enthusiastic supporters of eugenics in the pages of The Birth Control Review was Professor Doktor Ernst Rudin, Adolf Hitler’s Director of Genetic Sterilization and founder of the Nazi Gesellschaft fur Rassenhygiene [Society for Racial Hygiene].13 In fact, Rudin’s boss, Adolf Hitler, avidly read American eugenics journals and developed his ideas of an Aryan “master race” from their writers.14

Like the Nazis, writers for The Birth Control Review advocated positive eugenics.  C.C. Little said, “The eugenist is very clear on the two facts which have been given you this morning: That the production of the unfit should be discouraged or stopped, and that the production of the fit should be encouraged and possibly forced.”15 This was the first mention in modern times of an idea that evolved within a decade into the Nazi’s grotesque Lebensborn program, which bred the “highest-quality” Aryan men and women like cattle.

 

Hatred of the Catholic Church

The most common themes of Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review (BCR) were eugenics and contraception, with hatred of the Catholic Church running a close third.

Planned Parenthood’s loathing of the Catholic Church is nearly a century old, and springs mostly from its realization that the Church is its primary opponent.

As one editorial in The Birth Control Review revealed, “Our experience of the last ten years of constant fighting has been that of all the reactionary groups in the country the Roman Catholic Church is the most politically pernicious and menacing to any progressive movement.”20 Another writer asserted, “Religion, in its organized forms, is the arch enemy of the birth control movement throughout the world.… That they are out of touch with current opinion and modern thought, seldom if ever occurs to them, as they wave their venerable superstitions in our faces.”21

Margaret Sanger herself said, “Today the chief warfare against Birth Control is waged by the Roman Catholic clergy and their allies.”22 She recounted, “Very early in childhood I associated large families with poverty, toil, unemployment, drunkenness, cruelty, quarreling, fighting, debts, jail ― and the Catholic Church.”23

Then, as now, the people who demanded tolerance for their own views accused the Catholic Church of “fiendish cruelty,”24 forcing women to “choose between perpetual adoration and perpetual pregnancy,”25 plotting to “apply the thumb-screw and the rack to all those who believe in a woman’s right to practice voluntary motherhood,”26 and that the Church demanded that “women shall be bent and broken on the torture rack of ignorance.”27

Frequent BCR contributor and science fiction writer H.G. Wells raved, “Rome is the source and center of Fascism…. Why do we not bomb Rome? Why do we allow these open and declared antagonists of democratic freedom to entertain their Shinto allies and organize a pseudo-Catholic destruction of democratic freedom?”28

Such nonsense was warmly welcomed in the pages of The Birth Control Review not once or twice, but hundreds of times.

Many of these statements were simply the result of profound and blinding ignorance, which allowed people to make blanket statements that made no historical sense. For instance, one doctor alleged, “All religions have always considered woman as a breeding machine and nothing else.”29

 

Anti-Catholic Conspiracies Galore

The anti-Catholics who wrote for The Birth Control Review perceived the Catholic Church as the root of all their troubles, and feared a Papist conspiracy lurking around every corner. They were every bit as paranoid then as the “pro-choicers” are now.

One writer claimed that the Church wanted to rule the world by making everyone live by Catholic teachings (sound familiar)?30 Another hoped that the Church’s “dastardly attempt to destroy our liberties will be failed,” and complained that She was trying to “deprive Americans of the right of free speech and the free discussion of their laws.”31 George Hallett was convinced that Church leaders “have most of the legislators enslaved.”32 Finally, Margaret Sanger griped that “the influence of the Roman Catholic Church was seen everywhere…. the Church apparently dominates American courts of justice and political life today.”33

One writer for The Birth Control Review wrote, “The Catholics are directing our legislators to act according to their will. We have all been troubled by the fear that this Catholic threat to our free institutions would materialize if Catholics were given positions of power in our government.”34

Imagine the reaction if the word “Jew” appeared in the above quote instead of “Catholic.” But somehow, such anti-Catholic bigotry seems perfectly acceptable to Planned Parenthood.

planned parenthood clinic

Frequent contributor Norman Himes claimed that the Pope ran Massachusetts and that “we shall soon have the iron heel of Romanism upon our throats even as it treads upon the freedom of Italian citizens today.”35 Himes also believed that Catholic “stock” was inferior to that of Unitarians, Universalists and Freethinkers,36 and that all rights (including the right to life) are bestowed by the State and can be revoked at any time.37

Of course, the Catholic Church was attacked by Protestant denominations that had surrendered in the fight against birth control. One submission from the magazine The Protestant said, “It is limitation of the birth rate, and not the means by which the limitation is accomplished, that the Papacy is fighting. Its demand is for large families and large Roman Catholic voting populations. It is the fact, not the methods, of birth control that angers it.”38

There were charlatans and turncoats then as there are now. One minister claimed that birth control was “good religion.”39 Another alleged, “The eugenic ideal may become a distinct aid to Jesus’ dream of His kingdom on earth, and may well be integrated as a general religious concept.”40

One of the worst afflictions of the Church over the past century is failed priests who soothed their own guilty consciences by attacking the Church. Former priest L.H. Lehmann wrote articles that are almost identical to those that appear in Catholics for [a Free] Choice literature today;

At the bottom of the Papacy’s attitude towards sex, as in its attitude towards everything else in the domestic and public life of men and women, is its unceasing reach after supreme control of the bodies and souls of all men.… Although universal power and dominion be foreign to the mind of Christ, history is writ large with the record of shame brought upon the fair name of Christianity by this unceasing reach of the Roman Church after undisputed dominion over all men and nations.41

Writers for The Birth Control Review used exactly the arguments that CFFC and other pro-abortion groups use today. One editorial claimed:

The coercive attitude of the National Catholic Alumni Federation protest is far more serious, threatening as it does the American principle of freedom of opinion and the separation of church and state…. The real issue centers in the Catholic disregard of the principle of freedom of conscience upon which the country was, supposedly, founded.42

Another charged:

Instead of separation of church and state with equal rights for all religious denominations, they are asking that the religious tenets of one church shall be by law binding on all the men and women of America…. Let the Catholic Church guide its own people, but let it not dominate the lives of those who are not in its fold.43

Another editorial proclaimed, “The Roman Catholics say that Birth Control is immoral. We claim that for us Birth Control is of high moral value. We do not ask to constrain their consciences, let them cease to attempt to constrain ours.”44

The Culture of Death thinks that “separation of Church and state” really means “Where the state advances, the Church must retreat.” And so, we have constant efforts by pro-abortion groups to force Catholic hospitals and doctors to perform abortions and sterilizations and distribute contraceptives.

 

Science to Replace Religion

One book review in The Birth Control Review said, “The main argument is a simple one, that many features of orthodox religion in themselves are bad and that the old religious culture pattern is hopelessly inconsistent with modern science and with a progressively secularized culture. Crush the infamous thing and away with the rubbish.”45

If this “infamous thing” is to become “rubbish,” what will replace it? Francis B. Summer says:

Science now aims at nothing less than the establishment of a new religion, without priest or dogma, the sole aim of which is the happiness and ennoblement of humanity on earth, and Neo-Malthusianism, though not the whole, is the chief factor in that religion.46

Another writer called science “the only possible savior of mankind.”47

Science as savior hasn’t done too well for itself, has it?

Although the editors of The Birth Control Review preferred articles submitted by dissenting “Catholics,” they were kind enough to occasionally allow authentic Catholic writers to submit opinion pieces. Seen from a vantage point nearly a century later, these articles are eerily prophetic.

For example, Father Fulton Sheen commented on the Federal Council of Churches capitulation on birth control, writing, “Since a week ago last Saturday we can no longer expect them to defend the law of God. These sects will work out the very logic of their ways and in fifty or one hundred years there will be only the Church and paganism. We will be left to fight the battle alone ― and we will.”48

Sheen was absolutely correct. Since 1960, the membership of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States has risen 43%, and the memberships of all pro-life churches has increased by 38%. Meanwhile, the combined membership rolls of pro-abortion churches in the United States have plunged 34%.49 Most interestingly, those timid and lukewarm churches that have proclaimed that they are “neutral” on abortion have lost 81% of their members since 1960.

 

Racism in The Birth Control Review

Contributors to The Birth Control Review loathed the Catholic Church, but they had plenty of hatred left over for minorities. When these eugenicists started talking about “race suicide” and “human stock,” they could not help but rank various racial, ethnic and national groups according to their utility, thereby revealing their naked racism.

To begin with, what did these eugenicists consider to be the “master race?” H.J. Muller wrote “I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that in respect of mental gifts the Nordic race marches in the van[guard] of mankind.”50 One of Harry H. Laughlin’s biographers described him as “among the most racist and anti-Semitic of early twentieth-century eugenicists.”51 He stated in The Birth Control Review that “It is generally agreed that biologically ― physically, mentally, and emotionally ― the Greeks were perhaps the finest product of human breeding since the advent of the human species.”52

Some defenders of Sanger or her journal claim that writers referring to “race suicide” or “the decline of the race” were speaking of humanity as a whole. Anyone who has studied The Birth Control Review realizes that nothing could be further from the truth.

For example, Julian Huxley founded the World Wildlife Fund and was a leading English pro-abortion agitator. In The Birth Control Review, he commented “There is, first, the mere question of quantity of population, quantity of Americans in the world versus the quantity of Englishmen, versus the quantity of Africans, versus the quantity of Chinese. If you have one race whose population is going down and another whose population is going up, there is always the possibility of race suicide.”53

In The Spectator, Huxley gave his opinion that

The negro mind is as different from the white mind as the negro from the white body. The typical negro servant, for instance, is wonderful with children, for the reason that she really enjoys doing the things that children do…. You have only to go to a nigger camp‑meeting to see the African mind in operation ― the shrieks, the dancing and yelling and sweating, the surrender to the most violent emotion, the ecstatic blending of the soul of the Congo with the practice of the Salvation Army.  [Intermarriage between the] negro and Caucasian type gives rise to all sorts of disharmonious organisms…. By putting some of the white man’s mind into the mulatto, you not only make him more capable and more ambitious (there are no well‑authenticated cases of pure blacks rising to any eminence), but you increase his discontent and create an obvious injustice if you continue to treat him like any full‑blooded African. The American negro is making trouble because of the American white blood that is in him.”54

The most vocal contributor to The Birth Control Review was undoubtedly Lothrop Stoddard, a member of the National Council of the American Birth Control League. He wrote in his book The Rising Tide of Color against White World‑Supremacy:

Black blood, once entering a human stock, seems never really bred out again.… White men cannot, under peril of their vary race‑existence, allow wholesale Asian immigration into White race‑areas…. The grim truth of the matter is this:  The whole White race is exposed, immediately or ultimately, to the possibility of social sterilization and final replacement or absorption by the teeming colored races.

And, of course, the more primitive a type is, the more prepotent it is. This is why crossings with the negro are uniformly fatal. Whites, Amerindians, or Asiatics ― all are alike vanquished by the invincible prepotency of the more primitive, generalized, and lower negro blood.… We or the next generation will take in hand the problem of race‑depreciation, and segregation of defectives and abolition of handicaps penalizing the better stocks will put an end to our present racial decline.55

Stoddard emphasized his concerns in the pages of The Birth Control Review, fretting that “It is the lower elements of the population, the negroid aboriginal tribes and the Pariahs or Outcasts, who are gaining the fastest.”56

This concern with “differential fertility” permeated the BCR. Malcolm H. Bissell wrote that “The white will practice voluntary restriction of their numbers while “uncivilized” races remain prolific, with the ultimate result of the extermination of white civilization by a ‘rising tide of color.'”57

Major Leonard Darwin, son of Charles Darwin and longtime Chairman of the British Eugenics Society, wrote extensively on this topic, claiming in The Birth Control Review:

Of all the problems which will have to be faced in the future, in my opinion, the most difficult will be those concerning the treatment of the inferior races of mankind.… We ought to decide, in the first place, whether it would be preferable that there should be a larger number of persons at a lower level of civilization or a smaller number at a higher stage of culture.58

Many other eugenicists writing for The Birth Control Review insisted on ranking people based upon their intelligence. H.J. Muller said:

Average specimens of the mongoloid races greatly excel the average Negro in mental equipment…. It is indisputable that the population of southern Europe is less well equipped mentally than that of northern Europe, and the population of eastern Europe than that of western Europe…. Both by temperament and character, and also in respect of rational endowment, the Mediterranean occupies an intermediate position between the Nordic and the Negro.59

 

Eugenics: The “Solution” to the “Negro Problem

It is no surprise that the many eugenicists who wrote for The Birth Control Review saw birth control as the solution to the problem of differential fertility — that is, too many children from the “lower” races and not enough from the “higher” races.  L.C. Dunn wrote:

From this discussion it appears that the social and biological worth of the individual is determined by his inheritance; that the different races are radically unequal in mental endowment, and that civilization in America is threatened with deterioration through overpopulation, the unrestricted reproduction of persons of bad heredity and inferior racial constitution. The remedy is tersely given, ― Birth Control.60

Others believed that differential mortality would solve what Elmer A. Carter called “the vexatious Negro problem.” He wrote:

Not a few anthropologists and sociologists have valiantly maintained that the difference in Negro and white mortality rates is conclusive evidence of the innate inferiority of the Negro.… the Negro who, in addition to the handicaps of race and color, is shackled by mental and social incompetence serenely goes on his way bringing into the world children whose chances of mere existence are apparently becoming more and more hazardous.61

In an article entitled “God’s Chillun” in the special “Negro Number” of The Birth Control Review, Walter Terpenning wrote that “Many of the colored citizens are fine specimens of humanity. A good share of them, however, constitute a large percentage of Kalamazoo’s human scrap‑pile…. The dissemination of the information of birth control should have begun with this [Negro] class rather than with the upper social and economic classes of white citizens.”62

 At least we cannot accuse the contributors to The Birth Control Review of being inconsistent in their racism, because they held everyone in contempt who did not measure up to their Nordic ideal.

  • On Puerto Ricans: “He lives literally in chronic starvation, crowding his filthy scarecrow body into a hut where his female counterpart and their numberless wretched children almost always share at least one of his diseases.”63
  • On Italians: “Look over “Who’s Who in America” for Italian names. They are conspicuous by their absence.”64
  • On the Polish: “Polish men are often immoral because they have been born of too young mothers or preceded by many born before.”65
  • On Southerners: “The southern woman is fifty years behind the rest of the women in the country. She has no mind, no individuality, no initiative, and without question accepts all the absurd conventionalities that hedge her about and keep her a charming and useless dependent on her husband.”66

Nearly a century ago, John Galsworthy wrote in The Birth Control Review that “I’m afraid there’s no question but that it’s unpatriotic not to believe in limiting our population…. Birth control is essential for the slums, anyway.”67 Alexander Sanger, grandson of Margaret and head of Planned Parenthood’s largest affiliate, said the same thing sixty years later:  “We currently have a small storefront office in central Harlem, and it is my first priority to see if we can transform that into a[n abortion] clinic…. With all her success, my grandmother left some unfinished business, and I intend to finish it.”68

And so, the eugenics program targeting the “lower” races in the United States continues unabated under the banner of “choice.” It took 82 years to lynch 3,445 Blacks, which led to universal outrage and social revolution. It takes 82 hours to kill that many Black babies through abortion.69

The result is inevitable. One-tenth of the White race has been wiped out by legal abortion, but a staggering one-third of the Black race has been aborted.70

The American Birth Control League led the way in the 1920s, and its successor, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America leads, the way now. As former PPFA President Faye Wattleton boasted “I believe Margaret Sanger would have been proud of us today if she had seen the directions that we have most recently in this organization taken.”71

 

The Birth Control Review as the Origin of the Pro-Abortion Slogans

Most of us have heard all of the tired old pro-abortion slogans many times. When we hear people start to chant them again, we usually roll our eyes and think “I’d sure give a lot to hear something original!”

It turns out that these pro-abortion slogans are even more unoriginal and unimaginative than we thought.

Reformed abortionist Bernard Nathanson recounts how he spent his time plotting the future course of the pro-abortion movement with NARAL co-founder Larry Lader:

“Women must have control over their own bodies.”

“Safe and legal abortion is every woman’s right.”

“Who decides? You decide!”

“Freedom of choice ― a basic American right.”

I remember laughing when we made those slogans up. We were looking for some sexy, catchy slogans to capture public opinion. They were very cynical slogans then, just as all of these slogans today are very, very cynical.72

But history reveals that it was not Nathanson and Lader who created the modern-day pro-abortion slogans. This dubious honor must go to Margaret Sanger and other writers for the Birth Control Review.

 

“Woman’s Body, Woman’s Choice”

The precursor of this slogan first appeared in the October 1928 Birth Control Review, when the editor claimed, “When women are in full control of their own bodies, then the world will honor motherhood and will learn that it is worth while to do everything possible to make it safe and desirable.”73

Three years later, Maynard Shipley said, “One can say of him [author George Ryley Scott] that he is sincere, forthright, and unafraid; that he is a thorough believer in birth control, and also in legalized abortion ― in other words, over a woman’s right to possession and use of her own body.”74

Magnus Hirschfield wrote, “For we have here merely the question of a woman’s rights over her own body. Moreover, experience shows that when proper methods are not available wrong and harmful ones are resorted to.”75 This slogan soon caught on and became very popular among writers for the Birth Control Review.

 

“Every Child a Wanted Child”

This hideous slogan, which reduces children to the status of appliances, was first used by Mary Knoblauch in the April 1919 issue of the Birth Control Review. She said, “The first right a child should have, and since he can’t protest, we should insist upon it for him, is that of being wanted.”76

Margaret Sanger echoed, “The first right of the child is to be wanted ― to be desired with an intensity of love that gives it its title to being and joyful impulse to live.”77

Ella K. Dearborn said, “It is an injustice to both parents and child to bring an unwelcome baby into the world.”78

This “better off dead” slogan is still very popular among pro-abortionists today in their attempts to portray themselves as kind, child-loving people.

 

“Children by Choice, Not by Chance”

This slogan first appeared in the May 1927 edition of the Birth Control Review. Louis Mann wrote, “Religin…believes in cosmos, not chaos, in choice not chance, in free will, not fatalism. It must, therefore, believe in children by choice rather than by chance.”79

Harry Fosdick claimed:

The tragedy of unplanned parenthood our children’s children will look back upon as utterly inhuman. It is just as much a man’s problem as it is a woman’s to see that this inhumanity is done away and that voluntary parenthood is established as the normal functioning of family life.80

Similar slogans appeared throughout the magazine’s entire run.

 

“Freedom of Choice”

Although Nathanson and Lader claimed credit for the star-spangled “freedom of choice” slogan, Margaret Sanger used it a half-century before NARAL was organized. She said:

Woman must have her freedom ― the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she shall be a mother and how many children she will have….That right to decide imposes upon her the duty of clearing the way to knowledge by which she may make and carry out the decision.81

 

“No Mandatory Motherhood!”

The “No mandatory motherhood!” slogan is a favorite of the most extreme feminists. Margaret Sanger first used it when she claimed, “My interest is to see American womanhood freed from forced maternity”82 and “Women clamor for deliverance from compulsory motherhood.”83

She also claimed, “The Church has been powerless and the champions of worn out moral creeds find themselves trying in vain to force all women to become mothers against their wills.”84

Ella Dearborn later wrote in the Birth Control Review that “forced motherhood and unwelcome children are pitiful and heartbreaking.”85

 

Even this slogan, which helped Bill Clinton get elected to the Presidency, was first used in the Birth Control Review. John Vaughn stressed, “The bringing about of an abortion should never be necessary; can never be moral; and must rarely be legal.… I say again, abortion should never be necessary, can never be moral, and must rarely be legal.”86

It is interesting now that as the extreme pro-abortion crowd has become politically empowered, they now demand that abortion be considered good, and no longer claim that they want it to be rare. Some have actually said that they want more, not fewer, abortions, and the hundreds of women who have been killed by negligent and incompetent abortionists show that the self-described “feminists” certainly do not care about the safety and health of women.

 

“Not the Church, Not the State!”

As we have previously seen, the birth controllers and eugenicists who wrote for the Birth Control Review correctly recognized that the Catholic Church was their greatest enemy. Therefore, they did their best to shame and sideline the Church and her spokesmen.

The “Church and State” slogan is derived from a 1931 argument by Kate Gartz: “The church and the state must keep their hands off these most personal affairs.”87

Later the same year, Clarence Little launched an attack on priests specifically when he wrote, “This hierarchy of celibate priests is as unqualified to give advice on matters dealing with the physiology of reproduction as their complete inexperience can make them.”88

Of course, a priest who has counseled hundreds of couples anticipating matrimony or experiencing marital difficulties probably knows much more about marriage and reproduction in general than the average married person, just as a mechanic usually knows much more about a car than the person who owns and drives it.

 

Nathanson and Lader said:

We fabricated the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000, but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200‑250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000.89

This detestable play for public sympathy actually originated in the pages of the Birth Control Review. Writers often fabricated numbers for the United States, but often mentioned other nations as well. One writer from Sanger’s German affiliate wrote:

[In Germany] according to very conservative estimates, there are about one million abortion cases a year. Considering the fact that tens of thousands of women die [annually] because of these illegal operations, very often performed by quacks and midwives, it becomes evident to the sensible that more light must be cast on the subject.90

Another writer claimed that 4,300 women committed suicide in Germany each year due to unwanted pregnancies, and thousands more died of illegal abortions.91 As always, the authors offered no documentation or references to back up these “statistics.”

And they still don’t.

 

The Takeaways

The most popular pro-abortion slogans first appeared in the Birth Control Review in one form or another, only in those days they were in support of contraception. This demonstrates yet again both the link between birth control and abortion, and that the pro-abortion movement has no imagination. As we have previously seen, not one of the “pro-choice” slogans has any scientific, theological or moral basis. They are designed to get people to accept abortion without thinking.

This is one of the reasons that the final victory of the pro-life movement is inevitable. Truth always wins out in the end. We have to get people to think. Sometimes this task may seem well-nigh impossible, but if we all get involved, we will hasten the final victory of the Culture of Life.

 

The False Promises of the Birth Control Review

Just like the Devil, the Culture of Death always promises us the moon and the stars, but delivers nothing but death and destruction.

The year after Roe v. Wade, NARAL claimed:

Legal abortion will result in a reduction in welfare rolls. Legal abortion will decrease the number of illegitimate births…. Legal abortion will decrease the number of unwanted children, battered children, child abuse cases, and possibly subsequent delinquency, drug addiction, and a host of social ills believed to be associated with neglectful parenthood.92

Here NARAL was echoing many the promises made in the Birth Control Review: “Birth Control properly established would go further to eliminate poverty, sickness, insanity, crime, with all that these scourges imply than any other remedy proposed.”93

S. Adolphus Knopf enthusiastically predicted:

What would be gained if we followed the example of Holland, where birth control has been officially sanctioned for over fifty years? There would be fewer marital maladjustments, fewer divorces, less illegitimacy, less prostitution; syphilis and crime would be diminished.… There would be decided physical, material, moral and even spiritual progress.94

Others made even more extravagant promises. Holmes Alexander said, “As I understand it, the final goal of birth control is, by limiting reproduction, to improve the race, to promote individual and domestic happiness, and to curtail such scourges as war, famine, insanity, poverty, unemployment, and congenital crime.”95

We all know how a hundred years of empty promises by the Culture of Death have turned out. We have more illegitimacy, crime, war, famine, unemployment, mental problems and divorce than ever before, in addition to a host of problems Sanger and her companions never dreamed of.

Let us examine some of the more specific promises made by the birth controllers that never came true….

 

1. An End to Abortion

The most popular prediction made in the Birth Control Review was that the widespread use of contraception would completely end the practice of abortion, whether legal or illegal.

Margaret Sanger’s group frequently emphasized its official position on abortion: “The American Birth Control League is absolutely and unequivocally opposed to any but therapeutic abortion. Abortion is dangerous, physically and psychically. Universal knowledge of Birth Control would reduce it to a minimum.”96

Sanger claimed, “Anyone who knows anything about either birth control or abortion knows that scientific birth control methods would do away with abortions which occur in appalling numbers in America every year.”97 She also said that “a knowledge of Birth Control, which is denied to the women of Austria, would, of course, wipe out the practice of abortion.”98

Sanger’s claim was backed up by a glittering galaxy of the leading physicians of the day. Ella Dearborn, M.D., said, “Abortion, however, must not be confused with Birth Control, which employs contraceptives and thus does away with the demand for abortion.”99

Rachelle Yarros, M.D., claimed, “Not only has Birth Control nothing in common with Abortion but is a weapon of the greatest value in fighting this evil. With its help we may hope to limit and, I trust, eradicate this criminal practice.”100

Not to be outdone, Nadina R. Kavinoky, M.D., wrote:

Present scientific knowledge of birth control has reached such a stage that abortion is entirely unnecessary and the abortion rate is mute evidence of the neglect of society to care for its mothers…. The application of our present knowledge of birth control methods can practically eliminate abortions.101

Many other doctors, including the famous William J. Robinson,102 C.V. Roman,103 Hannah Stone,104 and Alice Hamilton105 made exactly the same claim.

But long experience has shown us that no country has legalized abortion without first “softening up” society with years of contraception, which frequently fails and leads to an inevitable demand for illegal abortion. Of course, the pro-abortionists, who caused the problem in the first place, then demand the “solution” of legalized abortion.

We have witnessed the Culture of Death manufacturing one crisis after another in order to pave the way for social change. This tactic was effective nearly a century ago, as writers for the Birth Control Review grossly exaggerated the numbers of abortions taking place in the United States. Alexander M. Campbell predicted, “The increase of criminal abortion, which may be conservatively estimated at two million a year in America, would be materially reduced if contraceptive measures were scientifically administered.”106

Of course, some writers took the opportunity to criticize their opponents. One said, “The real friends of abortion are ignorance of and opposition to wise, humane scientific contraception.”107

Dr. Ira Wile proclaimed, “Every intelligent person knows that contraception is opposed to abortion.”108

Sexologist Havelock Ellis used a slogan that pro-abortionists still frequently use in various forms today: “There cannot be any doubt about it, just as all those who work for birth control are diminishing the frequency of abortion, so every attempt to discourage birth control promotes abortion.”109

History has shown us how the “birth control does away with abortion” prediction has fared. The United States has been saturated by every kind of birth control for half a century, and we have suffered nearly sixty million abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, there are two million contraceptive failures each year, and nearly two-thirds of women getting abortions were using contraception when they got pregnant.110

It seems that the fatal error of the “experts” in the Birth Control Review was not just naiveté about human nature, but the assumption that science would soon deliver an infallible means of birth control ― and that everyone would use it.

 

2. Preventing Worldwide Famine

Many writers for the Birth Control Review predicted that millions of people would starve if birth control were not immediately adopted all over the world.

In 1920, the self-described “expert upon the population situation” R.C. Martens predicted:

Within the next few months millions of human beings, mostly Europeans, will starve to death. Food to meet the needs of the Earths’ population is lacking and cannot be produced in time to avoid the great crash ― the crash which will, as its chief incident, cost uncounted millions of lives, and bring in the train of that disaster no one knows what governmental and social changes.111

Oxford Professor and Director of the Natural History Museum Sir Ray Lankester did not shrink from using apocalyptic imagery:

If man continues to act in the reckless way which has characterized his behavior hitherto, he will multiply to such an enormous extent that only a few kinds of animals and plants which serve him as food and fuel will be left on the face of the globe. He will have converted the gracious earth, once teeming with innumerable, incomparably beautiful varieties of life, into a desert, or, at best, a vast agricultural domain abandoned to the production of food‑stuffs for the hungry millions, which, like maggots consuming a carcass, or the irrepressible swarms of the locust, incessantly devour and multiply.112

Famed science fiction author H.G. Wells almost matched Lankester in vivid imagery:

The world is already too full…. Unless a solution is found, life will come to mean a world without animals, for we shall not be able to support even squirrels. There will be no open country, no streams, cataracts, and woods, no independent travel ― and still the increase will continue.113

The writers for the Birth Control Review could not seem to make up their minds about future population numbers. In 1930, Warren Thompson and P.K. Whelpton said that the world population would collapse to a mere 185 million by the year 2000,114 and Raymond Pearl predicted that the population of the United States would be about 197 million by the year 2100115 (its current population is 320 million). On the other hand, H.G. Duncan predicted that there would be 75 trillion people on the earth by the year 3000, for a population density of 551,000 people per square mile (one person for every 50 square feet of land area)!116

Paul Ehrlich of The Population Bomb infamy might have received his inspiration from Frank Hankins, who claimed, “With an increase of fifty per cent in agricultural efficiency and a utilization of all tillable areas America can raise food for only 208 million people.”117

Whether the prediction was people teeming on the earth like ants or a sudden collapse and starvation of 90% of the world’s population, the solution proffered was always Birth Control.

Instead of famine, we have problems with widespread obesity. Instead of people with standing room only on the earth, the United Nations now predicts that the world population will peak at about 8.3 billion and will then begin to decline.118

We have seen that the writers for the Birth Control Review were wildly inaccurate in their predictions that contraception would decisively end abortion, and that billions would die of starvation if birth control were not universally adopted by the people of the world in the 1930s. Contributors to Sanger’s journal made many other predictions that turned out to be entirely wrong.

However, one writer did make a prediction that must inevitably come true.

 

3. An End to War

The Birth Control Review began its publication run as World War I was winding down, and Margaret Sanger knew that most people were sick of fighting. She took advantage of this by promising that birth control would bring to an end to the conflicts that plagued the world. She said, “There are still some of us who believe birth control to be a fundamental solution to the problems of poverty, prostitution, child labor, and even war itself.119

In the same issue, Wesley Frost stated:

Only limitation of births will prevent future European wars…. If people could be made to comprehend that it was the overcrowding of European nations, except France, that caused this war, birth control would become a patriotic duty and an unwritten policy.120

This theme was interwoven throughout the 24-year run of the Birth Control Review. Edward Ross summed up the view of many contributors by saying, “There are good reasons for believing that the real enemy of the dove of peace is not the eagle of pride nor the vulture of greed, but the Stork.”121

In reality, none of the major conflicts of the twentieth century were caused by overpopulation. After all, most European nations had already adopted widespread birth control by the 1930s, and this fact did nothing to avert World War II.

 

4. An End to Prostitution

Margaret Sanger asserted:

Birth Control will prevent prostitution, because young people will be able to marry early and wait until their incomes are sufficient before having children, and wives will be freed from the haunting fear of pregnancy which hovers over a woman from month to month and frequently drives husbands to prostitutes.122

One editorial predicted, “Birth Control will attack the institution of prostitution and increase the stability of the family,”123 and another claimed, “Our remedy for prostitution is to encourage early marriage by spreading the knowledge that couples can avoid having any more children than they are able to do justice to.”124

As we have seen, the famous William J. Robinson, M.D., predicted that birth control would lead to an end of abortion. He also said:

It is my well considered opinion that with the further spread of preventative knowledge and with divorce becoming easier, the number of marriages will go on increasing.… And this will do away, to a great extent, if not with promiscuity, certainly with commercialized prostitution.125

Writers for the Birth Control Review were so ignorant of human nature that they believed that the widespread availability of contraception would even lead to a decrease in extramarital sex. Reverend Harry Fosdick maintained:

The idea that the mere removal of the dread of conception is going to let loose a flood of iniquity is, I suspect, a misapprehension of the facts. Children of this new generation who have been trained in a code of honor involving the existence and the right use of Birth Control will be less likely even than their mid‑Victorian parents to treat the matter lightly or to be beguiled by fools.126

Not surprisingly, some women writers were knowledgeable enough about human nature to accurately predict what would happen if birth control became freely available. Gertrude Doniger said:

This new animal who swears, crosses her legs, dresses unconventionally and indulges in what were formerly masculine vices, is paradoxically a serf to her new sexual freedom. Under her new regime she has freed herself from fecundity only to indulge her exhibitionistic and narcissistic tendencies and carries her infantile demands into maturity.127

 

5. An End to Crime

One of the assumptions made by the eugenicists who wrote for the Birth Control Review was that most crime was committed by “the lower classes.” Therefore, it seemed logical that getting lower-class women on birth control would reduce crime.

Montgomery Mulford wrote, “The theory of birth control makes no extravagant claims; but I am of the belief that the acceptance of birth control by society, and its frank teaching, can help diminish criminal activity!”128

Another writer claimed, “Birth Control is a proper procedure, which is, perhaps, able to create a balance between the fit and the unfit. Its practice would go far toward a solution of the crime problem of today.”129

Dr. Ira Wile, who made many different predictions regarding birth control, said, “Contraception among all classes of the community would undoubtedly lead to a decrease in delinquency and crime.”130

This is an attitude that unfortunately persists today. As we have seen in a previous article in this series, it is not abortion that has caused the steep drop in violent crime in America over the past two decades, but a host of unrelated influences.131

 

6. Utopia

According to many writers for the Birth Control Review, the universal adoption of contraception would without doubt lead to a paradise on Earth. Racist and eugenicist Julian Huxley, founder of the World Wildlife Fund, wrote:

Many of you will remember reading Mr. J.B.S. Haldane’s brilliant little book Daedalus, in which he envisaged the future of the human race many centuries hence when eugenics would really be eugenics and all breeding of new human beings would be done entirely in incubators. That may seem fantastic, but in these [birth control] researches we have at any rate the first step towards its possible realization.132

Dr. William F. Ogburn added, “Possibly babies will be supplied according to the laws of supply and demand which control the amounts of other products, such as potatoes.”133

Finally, C.V. Drysdale expressed the vision that all eugenicists hold dear:

When all nations follow the same course, and especially eliminate their undesirable types by fostering Birth Control, restrictions of all kinds will relax and gradually disappear, international intercourse shall be welcomed, we shall be citizens of the world as well as of our respective nations, international war will be unnecessary and unthinkable, and we shall all be able to combine as one human family and empire to subdue the destructive forces of Nature.134

 

7. Surrender of the Catholic Church

The most compelling evidence that Margaret Sanger and her fellow writers did not comprehend the nature of their most implacable enemy was their belief that the Catholic Church would eventually surrender in the battle over birth control.

Boyd Barrett confidently predicted that “under pressure of the public opinion and moral sense of the Church’s children, and also under pressure of reason, the [Roman Catholic] Church will change her position in regard to Birth Control.”135

Just like today’s quisling groups like Call to Action and Catholics for [a Free] Choice, some writers said that Church teaching should simply conform to current thinking. Robert N. Ford held:

If one’s religion does not coincide with or include this highly moral code of Birth Control, then perhaps we should re‑interpret the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran and other holy writ to include it. A critical review of religious evolution shows that man has been quite proficient in adopting religions to his needs, and certainly Birth Control is becoming a pressing need.136

Sanger occasionally allowed her opponents to write for the Birth Control Review, perhaps to give her readers insight into the thinking of those who opposed contraception. On such occasions, these writer’s predictions turned out to be very accurate indeed.

The best of these was penned by the famous social reformer Father John A. Ryan, who stirringly wrote:

We give this challenge to the proponents of birth control. We [Roman Catholics] too, are of yesterday, but we shall be the America of tomorrow; we shall be the majority. We shall occupy and dominate every sphere of activity; the farm, the factory, the counting house, the schools, the professions, the press, the legislature. We shall dominate because we shall have the numbers and the intelligence, and above all, the moral strength to struggle, to endure, to persevere. To you we shall leave the gods and goddesses which you have made to your image and likeness, the divinities of ease, of enjoyment, of mediocrity. We shall leave you the comforts of decadence and the sentence of extinction.137

Although scandals and indifference have rocked the Catholic Church throughout her history, we have two unbeatable allies in this fight: God and demographics. Father Ryan saw the truth more than eight decades ago; we have only to fulfill his prophecy. But this will require us to treasure our fertility as Jesus Christ intended us to.

Only time will tell if we are up to the task.

 

Attempts to Defend Sanger

When confronted with some of the more offensive racist, eugenicist and anti-religious material in the Birth Control Review, pro-abortionists — particularly Planned Parenthood employees — tend to respond with three standard objections.

 

1. “The Material Is Taken out of Context”

The Birth Control Review enjoyed a 24-year run, from 1917 and 1940, and accounted for 5,631 pages and 4.3 million words of text, a large volume of information by any standard. If this material included two, three, or even a dozen or so questionable or offensive quotes, Planned Parenthood defenders would have a point if they stated that “the material was taken out of context.” However, the pages of the Birth Control Review are saturated with noxious ideas and statements ― eugenic, racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, and so on.

The “out of context” defense is completely unpersuasive because the many repugnant ideas in Margaret Sanger’s journal are the context!

Pro-abortionists have a habit of smearing pro-life organizations with labels such as “anti-Semitic” and “racist,” often using a single quote by a spokesperson that is decades old. So why the loud protest from the champions of “choice,” who think they can get people to ignore the hundreds of bizarre and extreme quotes written by the founder of Planned Parenthood and her fellow writers?

 

2. “Most of the material in the Birth Control Review was not written by Margaret Sanger.”

This is certainly true, but irrelevant. Sanger wrote a relatively small portion of the total volume of information contained in her journal, yet she still managed to provide several dozen quotes that demand very close scrutiny. For example, she wrote frequently about negative eugenics, including her infamous “Plan for Peace.” She also edited the Birth Control Review from its founding to 1928, and was an officer of the American Birth Control League throughout its entire run, which means that she is responsible for its contents.

Consider this: If an American Nazi or well-known racist was allowed to print an article in a pro-life newsletter, the pro-abortionists would never let us forget it. They would not only smear the pro-life organization that published the offending article, they would relentlessly tar and feather the entire pro-life movement as “Nazis” and “racists.”

We are merely holding Planned Parenthood to the same standard. The Birth Control Review is larded with articles written by such ‘luminaries’ as Lothrop Stoddard, American Birth Control League board member and author of the book The Rising Tide of Color against White World-Supremacy, and Ernst Rudin, Adolf Hitler’s Director of Genetic Sterilization and founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene ― the organization behind the master plan to exterminate Jews during World War II.

We can thus say with certainty that Planned Parenthood honors a person (Margaret Sanger) who not only supported actual Nazis and racists, but gave them a widespread platform from which to spread their poison.

Some of the more interesting characters who wrote for the Birth Control Review include the following people. Note the common twin threads of a seething hatred of the Catholic Church and a fundamental belief that non-white races are inferior. If Planned Parenthood has ever disavowed the statements or philosophies of any of these people, we don’t know about it:

  • Havelock Ellis, president of the Galton Institute, who once said that “the whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.”138
  • Norman Himes, who believed that Catholic “stock” was inferior to that of Unitarians, Universalists and Freethinkers.139 Himes also believed that all rights (including the right to life) are bestowed by the State and can be revoked at any time.140
  • Julian Sorell Huxley was President of the English Eugenics Society and founder of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). He was a hard-core racist who wrote, “The negro mind is as different from the white mind as the negro from the white body…. You have only to go to a nigger camp-meeting to see the African mind in operation — the shrieks, the dancing and yelling and sweating, the surrender to the most violent emotion, the ecstatic blending of the soul of the Congo with the practice of the Salvation Army.”141
  • Elmer Pendell, who wrote the following in his 1951 book Population on the Loose:

“The Catholics are promulgating a breeding program to gain political control in the United States. In the poorer countries, they favor war as a method of keeping population and resources in balance. In these poor countries, the denser population is denser because the dumber Catholics and dumber others are having so many dumb children — so the major influence of the Catholic’s campaign against birth control is that they trade away their smart Catholics and get dumb ones.”

  • George Bernard Shaw, socialist economist and playwright, who wrote: “There is now no reasonable excuse for refusing to face the fact that nothing but a eugenics religion can save our civilization from the fate that has overtaken all previous civilizations.”142 He also supported the mass murder of people who did not “pull their weight” in society:

“Are you pulling your weight in the social boat? Are you giving more trouble than you are worth? Have you earned the privilege of living in a civilized community? That is why the Russians were forced to set up an Inquisition or Star Chamber, called at first the Cheka and now the Gay Pay Oo (Ogpu), to go into these questions and “liquidate” persons who could not answer them satisfactorily.”143

  • Marie Carmichael Stopes, one of whose husbands described her as “supersexed to a degree which was almost pathological.” She was President of the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress. Marie Stopes International, an organization founded in the 1970s by pornographers, is so bad it makes the Planned Parenthood Federation of America look like a bunch of do-gooders by comparison.
  • H.G. Wells, famous science fiction writer and avid anti-Catholic bigot, who raved, “Rome is the source and center of Fascism….Why do we not bomb Rome? Why do we allow these open and declared antagonists of democratic freedom to entertain their Shinto allies and organize a pseudo-Catholic destruction of democratic freedom?”144

 

3. “The Birth Control Review does not reflect our current thinking.”

Planned Parenthood alleges that Margaret Sanger lived a long time ago, and that her thoughts and writings are not representative of the philosophy of today’s “new, improved” Planned Parenthood. As former PPFA President Faye Wattleton so lamely asserted, “No one can really interpret what Sanger meant because she’s dead.”145

Sorry, Faye. Sanger’s thinking was clear and explicit.

No Planned Parenthood spokesperson ― at any level ― has ever disavowed Margaret Sanger. In fact, Planned Parenthood gives its Margaret Sanger Award annually to the person that it perceives as most advancing the cause of “reproductive rights” during the previous year.

Without a doubt, Planned Parenthood still warmly embraces its founder.

Wattleton said, “I believe Margaret Sanger would have been proud of us today if she had seen the directions that we have most recently in this organization taken.”146 She also said, “As we celebrate the 100th birthday of Margaret Sanger, our outrageous and our courageous leader, we should be very proud of what we are and what our mission is. It is a very grand mission…abortion is only the tip of the iceberg.”147

Wattleton’s successor, Gloria Feldt, praised Sanger to the skies: “I can’t think of anyone who has made a greater contribution to the lives of women, children and families ― of all races ― than Margaret Sanger. You have to look at [her] life to see she had a desire to help the poor and the downtrodden of any race.”148

Margaret Sanger’s grandson, Alexander C. Sanger, was President and Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood of New York City, the largest PPFA affiliate in the United States. He said:

I intend to be out on the front lines of our issues. That is why I’m here….Right now, we have three [abortion] clinics in this city and I want ten more. We currently have a small storefront office in central Harlem, and it is my first priority to see if we can transform that into a clinic….With all her success, my grandmother left some unfinished business, and I intend to finish it.149

In fact, Planned Parenthood adores Sanger so much they even had a “photo album” devoted to her life on its website until recently.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, an organization does not honor a person with photo albums, fawning articles, and attempts at canonization unless it embraces that person’s philosophies ― in Sanger’s case, eugenics, free love, and anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant bigotry.

+ Endnotes

[1] Lucia Trent, Children of Fire and Shadow. Quoted in “The Poetry of Lucia Trent.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 4 (April 1930), page 113.

[2] A.P. Pillay. “Eugenical Birth Control for India.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 11 (November 1931), page 310. Or, as Mabel Boyden put it, “It [eugenics] does advocate the improvement of human beings along two lines: (1) improvement in existing human stocks and faster reproduction of superior stocks, and (2) curtailment as rapidly as possible of inferior stocks” [Mabel G. Boyden. “A Positive Eugenic Factor.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 2 (February 1932), pages 61 and 62].

[3] Advertisement in the Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 1 (New Series, October 1933), page 8. Another advertisement in this vein ran:

THE AMERICAN BIRTH CONTROL LEAGUE. Its Aim: To promote eugenic birth selection throughout the United States so that there may be more well-born and fewer ill-born children ― a stronger, healthier, more intelligent race … and in order that those who are physically and mentally unsound may use birth control to have fewer or no children.

Membership advertisement for the American Birth Control League. Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 12 (December 1932), page 319.

[4] Margaret Sanger. “Birth Control and Racial Betterment.” Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 2 (February 1919), pages 11 and 12.

[5] Dr. C.C. Little in “Man, the Forgotten.” Birth Control Review, Volume IV, Number 3 (New Series, December 1936), page 8. Henry Pratt Fairchild also said:

The integration of the birth control and eugenic interests, and the affiliation of all scientific agencies working for the establishment of these two ideals. Birth control and eugenics are by nature closely related, and neither one can attain its complete fulfillment, or render its maximum service to society, without the other.

Henry Pratt Fairchild. “Programs and Wishes for 1933.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVII, Number 1 (January 1933), page 5.

[6] Eugene V. Debs. “Freedom Is The Goal.” Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 5 (May 1918), page 7.

[7] Margaret Sanger. “Birth Control and Women’s Health.” Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 12 (December 1917), page 7.

[8] Advertisement for the American Birth Control League in the Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 9 (September 1924), page 269. Other examples of this condemnation of charity:

  1. “Such would involve a redistribution of funds now wasted upon the degenerate elements through the channel of sentimental charity which in reality results in encouraging propagation among the least desirable elements” [John C. Duvall. “The Purpose of Eugenics.” Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 12 (December 1924), pages 344, 345 and 366].
  2. “If the millions upon millions of dollars which are now expended in the care and maintenance of those who in all kindness should never have been brought into this world were converted to a system of bonuses to unfit parents, paying them to refrain from further parenthood, their procreative faculties, this would not only be a profitable investment, but the salvation of American civilization” [Margaret Sanger. “Address of Welcome to the Sixth International Neo-Malthusian & Birth Control Conference.” Birth Control Review, Volume IX, Number 4 (April 1925), pages 99 and 100].

[9] Edward M. East. Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 4 (April 1930), page 109.

[10] Margaret Sanger. “Woman and War.” Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 6 (June 1917), page 5.

[11] Margaret Sanger. “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda.” Birth Control Review, Volume V, Number 10 (October 1921), page 5.

[12] Margaret Sanger. Birth Control ― Past, Present and Future.” Birth Control Review Volume V, Number 8 (August 1921), page 19.

[13] Prof. Dr. Ernst Rudin. Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVII, Number 4 (April 1933), pages 102 to 104.

[14] See Chapter 5 of The Facts of Life, “The Holocaust Analogy to Abortion.”

[15] C.C. Little, D. Sc. “Unnatural Selection and its Resulting Obligations.” Birth Control Review, Volume X, Number 8 (August 1926), page 243.

[16] J. Walter Carr, M.D. “A Medical Utopia with Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume VII, Number 8 (August 1923), pages 205 and 206.

[17] Anna E. Blount, M.D. “Large Families and Human Waste.” Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 9 (September 1918), page 3; Anna E. Blount, M.D. “Eugenics in Relation to Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 1 (January 1918), page 7.

[18] George R. Kirkpatrick. “Salvation from the Moron.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (October 1929), page 290. Another example of this vicious condemnation of the poor is given in a book review:

Without gloves he mercilessly flays the marriage-license bureau “where, for a few pieces of silver, two lunatics or two lepers, the mentally or physically diseased can purchase the sanction of society and the authority of the State to go forth and breed diseased mongrel humans creatures like themselves.… every defective, every degenerate, every vicious criminal, every repulsive wreck of the sordid scramble of life, is naught but a monument to the stupidity of society.”

Review for Robert Edwin Pride’s book The Polluted Stream. Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 1 (January 1931), page 31.

And again: “First of all, the hordes of degenerates, diseased, idiotic, feeble‑minded, alcoholic, and vicious criminals must be wiped out” [G. Hardy. “Eugenics and Child Culture.” Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 9 (September 1918), page 18].

[19] Letter by John F. Kendrick of Chicago, Illinois. Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 1 (January 1932), page 31.

[20] “Editorial.” Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 8 (August 1924), pages 219 and 220.

[21] Henry Chellew. “Birth Control in Britain.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 11 (November 1932), pages 273 and 274.

[22] Margaret Sanger. “The Fight against Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 9 (September 1924), pages 245 to 248.

[23] Frank H. Hankin. Review of Margaret Sanger’s book My Fight for Birth Control. Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 11 (November 1931), pages 322 and 323.

[24] Hornell Hart and Malcolm H. Bissell. “Whither Are We Going?” Birth Control Review, Volume IX, Number 10 (October 1925), pages 292 to 294:

To be killed suddenly and then eaten, which was the fate of the Aztecs’ victims, is a far less degree of suffering than is inflicted upon a child born in miserable surroundings and tainted with venereal disease. Yet it is the greater suffering which is deliberately inflicted by Bishops and politicians in the name of morality. If they had even the smallest spark of love or pity for children they could not adhere to a moral code involving this fiendish cruelty.

[25] Keikichi Ishimoto. “Japan and America.” Birth Control Review, Volume IX, Number 10 (October 1925), page 289:

In Ireland there is so little sense of compromise that a girl has to choose between perpetual adoration and perpetual pregnancy. They struggle and cry for food, for air, for the right to develop; and our civilization at present has neither the courage to kill them outright quickly, cleanly, and painlessly, nor the heart and courage and ability to give them what they need.

[26] Editorial Comment. Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 6 (June 1918), page 16:

The Catholic Church is the bigoted, relentless enemy of birth control. It makes no bones about its stand. This [birth control] movement threatens its hold upon the poor and the ignorant, and probably only the existence of restraining laws prevents it from applying the thumb-screw and the rack to all those who believe in woman’s right to practice voluntary motherhood. But, since the methods of the Inquisition are out of date, it would compromise by clapping us all into jail.… In the long run, reason will inevitably triumph over darkness and superstition. Even the Catholic Church will yield to the force of public opinion.

[27] Editorial by C.C. Little, Director of the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine. Birth Control Review, Volume XVII, Number 7 (July 1933), page 169:

Christians the world over ― whether they take that name or not ― are refusing to enlist in the ranks of a God who demands that women shall be bent and broken on the torture rack of ignorance, or who encourages the animal breeding of unwanted and uncared-for children.… When the younger Catholics of the present generation reach positions of authority in the church, progress towards a common goal will be even swifter. The official Church, deep-dyed in Italian nationalism, may not care to admit a change in attitude.

[28] H.G. Wells. Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church (reprinted by Prometheus Press, 1991, page 1).

[29] B. Liber, M.D., Ph.D. “The Neo-Malthusian Idea.” Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 7 (July 1919), pages 6 and 7.

[30] “Editorial.” Birth Control Review, Volume X, Number 4 (April 1926), page 113:

The church aims to be a world-wide power essaying through the legislatures of many countries to embody the ideas of the hierarchy at Rome in laws governing the lives of Catholic and non-Catholic alike. The constitutional rights of non-Catholic Americans are nothing to it and the carrying out of the commands of Roman Catholic ecclesiastics takes precedence of considerations of patriotism.

[31] “The World We Live In.” Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 3 (March 1924), page 67:

Again it is asserted that it is the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, exercised through the Knights of Columbus, that is inspiring politicians to trample on the Constitution of the United States, and to deprive Americans of the right of free speech and the free discussion of their laws…. But liberty-loving Americans are rallying to our aid, and before our readers receive their Reviews we hope that the dastardly attempt to destroy our liberties will be foiled.

[32] “There are such [Catholic] minorities in nearly every district, and because they are ready to translate their opposition to birth control into votes while the favorable majority is politically indifferent, they have most of the legislators enslaved” [George Hallett. “What Blocks Birth Control Legislation? A Suggested Way Out.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 10 (October 1931), page 292].

[33] Margaret Sanger. “Clinics, Courts, and Jails.” Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 4 (April 1918), page 4.

[34] The actual quote from The Birth Control Review is:

The long arm of the Catholic Church is reaching into our legislative halls and is directing our legislators to act according to its will. We have all been troubled by the fear that this Catholic threat to our free institutions would materialize if Catholics were given positions of power in our government, but never before in so short a time have events developed in such irrefutable sequence as in this case of opposition to the Doctors’ [birth control] Bill.

Blanche Ames Ames. “A Grave and Present Danger.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 4 (April 1931), page 110.

[35] Norman E. Himes. “Does a Minority Rule Massachusetts?: The Senate Hearing.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 4 (April 1931), pages 108 and 109:

The [Massachusetts] legislative committee on public health permitted itself recently to be bamboozled on the merits of conception control by the most tumultuous flood of Irish oratory and Catholic demagoguery that has ever been heard on Beacon Hill since organized government began in Massachusetts. Anyone who doubts whether the Pope or the people run Massachusetts should have been at the hearing before the Public Health Committee on February 18th when more than one thousand people, mostly Catholics or representatives of Catholic organizations, jammed Gardner Auditorium, to confuse, cajole, and browbeat the committee into killing the birth control bill…. With a rising Catholic vote, with the irresponsible and less intelligent entering into a cradle competition with the responsible and thoughtful, one wonders how long it will be before Catholicism will be dominant in this country ― with all that implies for the future decadence of freedom and intellectual honesty…. One proposition seems to me valid: Unless the forces of liberalism can organize themselves sufficiently to curb the demagoguery, intimidation, misrepresentation, and open threats of the Catholic opposition we shall soon have the iron heel of Romanism upon our throats even as it treads upon the freedom of Italian citizens today.

[36] Norman E. Himes. Medical History of Contraception [Baltimore: Schocker paperback edition], 1970, page 413. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) reprinted this book in 1965 with an introduction by Alan Guttmacher, M.D. The entire quote is:

Are Catholic stocks in the United States, taken as a whole, genetically inferior to such no-Catholic libertarian stocks as Unitarians and Universalists, Ethical Culturists, Freethinkers? Inferior to non-Catholic stocks in general? No one really knows. One is entitled to his hunches, however, and my guess is that the answer will someday be made in the affirmative… and if the supposed differentials in net productivity are also genuine, the situation is anti-social, perhaps gravely so.

[37] Norman E. Hines, Ph.D. Practical Birth-Control Methods [New York City: Viking Press], 1946:

All the rights we have are those granted to us by society. Certainly there is no natural right to spawn defective children who must be supported by others through taxation or charity. The crisis in this instance is the enormous expense to the state of the care of the defective classes and the contamination of the biological stock which results from their reproduction…. While sterilization is no substitute for segregation, it is also true that segregation is no substitute for sterilization. They must go hand in hand.

Ever since the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany an objection that has frequently been raised against eugenical sterilization is that a voluntary sterilization program may turn into a compulsory one. Some thoughtful people sincerely fear this. But the history of eugenical sterilization in the United States and in other democratic countries offers little warrant for the contention. This is the old fallacy of ultimate danger; that if we take step A, it would lead to step B; that if we take step B. it may lead to step C, and so forth without end. The evidence now available shows that even in Nazi Germany, where there is a great deal of compulsion that would not be tolerated by citizens who believe in democracy, there has been as yet no attempt to sterilize any special racial group….

Most of the objections to eugenical sterilization are based upon unfounded fears, insufficient knowledge, or faulty reasoning. None of the objections has substantial merit. They are comparable to the arguments made ten years ago against birth control, even by some supposedly will-informed individuals, that birth-control devices caused sterility, necessarily led to immorality, would cause ‘race suicide,’ were unreliable, etc….

We do not need the defective classes. They are already an excessive burden upon the State. A few special students of the problem even believe that our society is undergoing a ‘moronization’ process; that the intelligence level of the American people is declining because the gifted have few children and the stupid many…. Probably it will take society a span of years to learn how to use it [eugenic sterilization] properly as a weapon for its own improvement.

NOTE: Notice the author’s representation and summation of classic eugenicist theories, which, despite their antique quaintness, are still deadly poisonous to this day; that all rights are bestowed by the State alone, even to the granting (or withholding) of the right to life to handicapped persons; that “defectives” are expensive and “contaminate the biological stock,” and therefore society does not need “the defective classes;” that the slippery slope theory (here called the “ultimate danger fallacy”) has no merit, and, in fact, all anti-eugenicist arguments are baseless and originate from ignorance; and that birth control methods are reliable, do not cause physical damage, do not lead to immorality, and may one day be compulsory.

[38] The Protestant, August 1931, quoted in “In the Magazines: Autocrats Urge High Birth Rates.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 9 (September 1931), page 269.

[39] “Be honest, know the truth and be free. Speak out, let no sensitive pride hold you back. Let no self-appointed ecclesiastic deter you. Every good thing is for you to enjoy. Soon, let us hope, the required information will be legally given to all who ask for it. Birth Control has within it possibilities for happiness, more abundant life and untold blessings for this old world. This is good religion” [Statement of Reverend E.G. Gallagher, Minister of the First Congregational Church, Waseca, Minnesota. Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 5 (May 1930), page 139].

[40] W.W. Whitehouse. “A New Frontier in Religion.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 12 (December 1932), page 293.

[41] Ex-priest L.H. Lehmann. “Papal Contradictions.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 12 (December 1932), pages 295 to 297.

[42] “Editorial.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 11 (November 1932), page 260.

[43] “Editorial.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 5 (May 1931), page 133.

[44] “Editorial.” Birth Control Review, Volume XII, Number 6 (June 1928), page 170.

[45] Clifford Kirkpatrick’s review of Harry Elmer Barnes’ book The Twilight of Christianity. Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 12 (December 1930), pages 356 and 357.

[46] Francis B. Sumner. “Birth Control and ‘Positive Eugenics.'” Birth Control Review, Volume IX, Number 7 (July 1925), page 214.

[47] “Science, the only possible savior of mankind, must put it in the power of woman to decide for herself whether she will or will not become a mother” [Robert G. Ingersoll, quoted in George Bedborough’s review of George Macdonald’s book Fifty Years of Freethought. Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 12 (December 1931), page 358].

[48] Father Fulton J. Sheen, Catholic University of America. “Comments… and Comments on the Report of The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 5 (May 1931), page 143.

[49] For calculations and references, e-mail Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org and ask for Excel spreadsheet F-20-06.XLS, “Membership in Major Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion and “Neutral” Churches in the United States, 1960-2013.

[50] H.J. Muller. Review of the book Human Heredity, by Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz. Birth Control Review, Volume XVII, Number 1 (January 1933), page 20.

[51] Paul A. Lombardo. ““The American Breed:” Nazi Eugenics and the Origins of the Pioneer Fund.” Albany Law Review, Volume 65, Number 3, page 822.

[52] Harry H. Laughlin. “Eugenical Aspects of Legal Sterilization.” The Birth Control Review, Volume XVII, Number 4 (April 1933), page 87.

[53] Julian Huxley. “Towards a Higher Civilization.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 12 (December 1930), pages 342 to 345.

[54] Atheist and liberal Julian Sorell Huxley, the first Director‑General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and President of the English Eugenics Society. He also founded the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and was a member of both the Euthanasia Society and the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA). “America Revisited III. The Negro Problem.” The Spectator, November 29, 1924. Downloaded from Mark Burdman. “Eugenics: Ideology of Genocide.” Downloaded from http://www.bosnet.org/archive/bosnet.w3archive/ 9407/msg00211.html on March 5, 2002 (no longer available).

[55] Lothrop Stoddard, PhD. The Rising Tide of Color against White World‑Supremacy [New York City: Charles Scribner’s Sons], 1921. Reprinted in 1971 by Negro Universities Press, Westport, Connecticut, pages i, 8, 9, 90, 231, 298, 301, 302, 308, and 309 in the reprinted version [NOTE: Havelock Ellis, one of Sanger’s lovers, enthusiastically endorsed Stoddard’s book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World‑Supremacy in Sanger’s magazine The Birth Control Review (Havelock Ellis. “The World’s Racial Problems.” Birth Control Review, October 1920, page 16). In this book (introduced by fellow racist/eugenicist Madison Grant), Stoddard demonstrates beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt the intimate connections between abortion, eugenics and goal‑oriented racism].

[56] Lothrop Stoddard. “Population Problems in Asia.” Birth Control Review, Volume V, Number 12 (December 1921), page 11.

[57] Malcolm H. Bissell. Review of J.B.S. Haldane’s book Daedalus or Icarus: Is Science to Be Man’s Servant or His Master? Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 10 (October 1924), pages 277 and 279.

[58] Major Leonard Darwin, Hibbert Journal of January 1930, quoted in Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 4 (April 1930), page 112.

[59] H.J. Muller. Review of the book Human Heredity, by Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz. Birth Control Review, Volume XVII, Number 1 (January 1933), page 20.

[60] Review of E.M. East’s book Heredity and Human Affairs, by L.C. Dunn. Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 11 (November 1930), page 326.

[61] Elmer A. Carter. “Eugenics for The Negro.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 6 (June 1932, the “Negro Number”), page 169.

[62] Walter Terpenning. “God’s Chillun.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 6 (June 1932, the “Negro Number”), pages 171 and 172.

[63] “Puerto Rico: Old Woman in a Shoe.” Birth Control Review, Volume IV, Number 5 (New Series, January 1937), page 6.

[64] Edward M. East. “The Fascisti on Birth Control; An Italian Problem: Reply to Count Cippico.” Birth Control Review, Volume IX, Number 9 (September 1925), pages 245 and 246.

[65] Rev. T.V. Jakimowitz. “A Priest on Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume IV, Number 3 (March 1920), page 12.

[66] Bianca Van Beuren. “The Women of the South.” Birth Control Review, Volume II, Numbers 2 and 3 (February‑March 1918), page 7.

[67] John Galsworthy. Maid in Waiting. Quoted in Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 3 (March 1932), page 87.

[68] Margaret Sanger’s grandson, Alexander C. Sanger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood of New York City, quoted in “Another Sanger Leads Planned Parenthood.” The New York Times, January 23, 1991, page B2.

[69] For references and calculations, e-mail Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org and ask for Excel spreadsheet F-06-B.XLS, “Lynchings in the United States, by Year and Race, 1882-1964.”

[70] For references and calculations, e-mail Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org and ask for Excel spreadsheet F-19-04.XLS, “Analysis of United States Abortion Statistics, 1967-2013.”

[71] Excerpt from the transcript of the address given by Faye Wattleton, former President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), at a luncheon in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 5, 1979.

[72] Reformed abortionist Bernard Nathanson, M.D., quoted in “‘Pro‑Choice’ Co‑Founder Rips Abortion Industry.” Whistleblower Magazine [WorldNetDaily], December 20, 2002.

[73] Editor, Birth Control Review, Volume XII, Number 10 (October 1928), page 283.

[74] Maynard Shipley. Review of George Ryley Scott’s book Marry or Burn. Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 7 (July 1931), page 215.

[75] Magnus Hirschfield, M.D. “My Views on Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 11 (November 1931), pages 309 and 310.

[76] Mary Knoblauch. “Editorial Comment.” Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 4 (April 1919), page 2.

[77] Margaret Sanger. “Woman, Morality and Birth Control” in “Still Another Reason for Birth Control ― The Right of the Child to be Welcome.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (March 1929), page 67.

[78] Ella K. Dearborn. “Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume XII, Number 3 (March 1928), page 88.

[79] Dr. Louis L. Mann. “Religion and Birth Control” in “Varied and Powerful Testimony.” Birth Control Review, Volume XI, Number 1 (May 1927), pages 141 and 142.

[80] Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick. Birth Control Review, Volume XXIV, Number 1 (New Series, November 1939), page 17.

[81] Margaret Sanger, “A Parent’s Problem or Woman’s.” Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 3 (March 1919), page 7.

[82] Margaret Sanger. “How Shall We Change The Law?” Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 7 (July 1919), page 8.

[83] Margaret Sanger. “Women and Birth Control: Our Neighbors Say.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (July 1929), page 204.

[84] Margaret Sanger. “Birth Control or Abortion?” Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 11 (November 1918), page 3.

[85] Ella K. Dearborn. “Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume XII, Number 3 (March 1928), page 88.

[86] John C. Vaughn. “Birth Control Not Abortion: An Address before the American Birth Control Conference.” Birth Control Review, Volume VI, Number 9 (September 1922), page 183. Vaughn repeated this slogan many times in Sanger’s journal; later, he wrote that “The bringing about of an abortion should never be necessary, can never be moral; and should rarely be legal” [John C. Vaughn, M.D. “The Curse of Abortion.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (November 1929), page 307].

[87] Kate Crane Gartz, California. Letter to the Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 4 (April 1931), pages 126 and 127.

[88] Clarence C. Little. “Can One Be Christian and Free?” Scribner’s, October 1931. Quoted in Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 11 (November 1931), page 312.

[89] Reformed abortionist Bernard Nathanson, M.D., quoted in “‘Pro‑Choice’ Co‑Founder Rips Abortion Industry.” Whistleblower Magazine [WorldNetDaily], December 20, 2002.

[90] Robert Strohmeyer, German Birth Control League, quoted in “News Notes.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 7 (July 1930), page 217.

[91] “It is known that in Germany…a considerable number of the 4,300 cases of suicide by women which occur annually is due to unwanted pregnancies; and that thousands of women perish yearly from the consequences of abortion.” [“An International Report.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 3 (March 1931), page 95].

[92] Looseleaf booklet entitled “Organizing for Action.” Prepared by Vicki Z. Kaplan for the National Abortion Rights Action League, 250 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019. 51 pages, 1974. See especially the chapter written by Emily C. Moore, Ph.D., entitled “The Major Issues and the Argumentation in the Abortion Debate,” pages 33 to 43.

[93] “Birth Control: Is It Moral? Dr Ernest H. Gruening’s Answers to Mrs. Sanger’s Four Questions.” Birth Control Review, Volume VI, Number 7 (July 1922), page 133.

[94] S. Adolphus Knopf, M.D. “Birth Control in Tuberculosis and Other Serious Diseases.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 12 (December 1931), pages 343 and 344.

[95] Holmes Alexander. “The Case for Legislation.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVII, Number 2 (February 1933), page 46.

[96] “The Answer Box.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 12 (December 1930), page 366. Another “official” claim by the American Birth Control League is as follows: “IS BIRTH CONTROL ABORTION? Birth Control is not abortion. Abortion is that taking of life after conception; Birth Control is the prevention of conception. Birth Control is the great preventive of abortion” [“Birth Control Primer.” Birth Control Review, Volume X, Number 1 (January 1926), page 3. Repeated with the same title in Birth Control Review, Volume XI, Number 1 (January 1927), page 3].

[97] Margaret Sanger. “Are Birth Control Methods Injurious?” Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 1 (January 1919), pages 3 and 4. An identical quote appeared in Margaret Sanger. “Ten Good Reasons for Birth Control ― The Abolition of Abortion and Infanticide.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (January 1929), page 3.

[98] Margaret Sanger. “Preparing for the World Crisis.” Birth Control Review, Volume IV, Number 4 (April 1920), page 8.

[99] Editor’s footnote to Ella K. Dearborn, M.D. “Birth Control and a Bugaboo.” Birth Control Review, Volume IV, Number 5 (May 1920), page 14.

[100] Rachelle Yarros, M.D. “Ten Good Reasons for Birth Control ― The Abolition of Abortion and Infanticide.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (January 1929), page 3. The same quote appeared in Rachelle Yarros, M.D. “The Curse of Abortion.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (November 1929), page 307 and in Rachelle S. Yarros, M.D. “Abortion.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 9 (September 1931), page 254.

[101] Nadina R. Kavinoky, M.D. “A Program for Family Health” (Excerpts from a paper presented at the Third Pan-Pacific Women’s Conference, Honolulu, August 1934). Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 3 (New Series, December 1934), page 4.

[102] “There is one measure and only one which will positively do away with the evil of abortion, and that is teaching people how to avoid conception” [William J. Robinson, M.D. “The Curse of Abortion.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (November 1929), page 307].

[103] “The opponents of birth control assert that if contraceptive knowledge becomes general, it will be abused. This is a truism that should be accepted without argument. Let us grant this point to the reactionaries, and ask who will commit the offense? There is but one answer: Those who now resort to abortion, infanticide and desertion will be the only offenders. These crimes will disappear ipso facto, with contraceptive knowledge” [C.V. Roman, M.D., Nashville, Tennessee. Letter to the Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 4 (April 1931), page 127].

[104] “Attention is also given to the subject of abortion. Reports are submitted of its increasing prevalence and of its dangers, and the means of combating this growing and preventable evil are considered. “The spread of contraceptive knowledge,” reads another resolution, “is the best means of reducing the present high incidence of abortions”” [Hannah M. Stone, M.D. “The 7th International [Birth Control] Conference.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 11 (November 1930), page 318].

[105] “Thoughtful people who have studied the subject have pointed out over and over again that information with regard to Birth Control, dispensed by competent and high‑minded physicians, would be the most powerful means of decreasing the number of abortions” [Alice Hamilton, M.D. “The Curse of Abortion.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (November 1929), page 307].

[106] Dr. Alexander M. Campbell. “Michigan State Medical Society Accepts Report of Study Committee.” Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 1 (New Series, October 1933), page 2.

[107] George Bedbourough. Review of Edward Roberts Moore, M.D.’s book The Case against Birth Control. Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 11 (November 1931), pages 326 and 327. Here is another quotation: “Unscrupulous opponents denounce birth control as a thinly‑veiled crusade for abortion. Such an accusation betrays simple ignorance” [“The New England Conference on Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 11 (November 1931), page 320].

[108] Ira S. Wile, M.D. “Contraception and Public Health.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 1 (January 1931), page 8.

[109] Havelock Ellis. “Birth Control in Relation to Morality and Eugenics.” Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 2 (February 1919), pages 7 and 9.

[110] For calculations and references, e-mail Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org and ask for Excel spreadsheet F-19-04.XLS, “Analysis of United States Abortion Statistics, 1967-Date.”

[111] R.C. Martens. “The Coming Crash.” Birth Control Review, Volume IV, Number 1 (January 1920), page 5.

[112] Sir Edwin Ray Lankester Birth Control Review, Volume XII, Number 4 (April 1928), page 111.

[113] “H.G. Wells Speaks on Birth Control.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 11 (November 1931), page 317.

[114] Warren S. Thompson and P.K. Whelpton. “A Nation of Elders in the Making.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 6 (June 1930), page 178.

[115] Robert N. Ford. “Birth Control: A Remedy or a Palliative.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 7 (July 1930), pages 206 and 207.

[116] “The author estimates that there are now 2000 million people in the world and, at the present rate of increase, there will be 8000 million in the year of 2070 and 75,000,000 million in 3000 A.D.…Professor Wilkinson is not concerned with population problems beyond 150 years from now, and thinks it is indeed fortunate that none of us will be living in 3000 A.D.” [H.G. Duncan. Review of H.L. Wilkinson’s book The World’s Population Problems and a White Australia. Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 10 (October 1931), page 290].

[117] Frank H. Hankins, Ph.D. “Does America Have Too Many Children?” Birth Control Review, Volume X, Number 2 (February 1926), page 60.

[118] United Nations Population Information Network at http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/unpp/ panel_population.htm, September 3, 2014. The low variant is always used because it has consistently been the most historically accurate of the United Nations population predictions.

[119] Margaret Sanger. “Editorial.” Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 12 (December 1917), page 16.

[120] A Statement by Wesley Frost, former Consul at Queenstown Ireland. “The Jostling Hordes.” Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 12 (December 1917), page 15.

[121] Edward Alsworth Ross. “Birth Control the Ultimate Salvation of Mankind ― A Few Facts Gathered from ‘Standing Room Only,'” Birth Control Review, Volume XI, Number 1 (November 1927), page 283.

[122] Margaret Sanger. “More Reasons for Birth Control ― The Promotion of Morality.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (February 1929), page 35.

[123] “More Reasons for Birth Control ― The Promotion of Morality.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIII, Number 1 (February 1929), page 35.

[124] Editorial. “Birth Control ― The Cure For War.” Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 11 (November 1918), page 12.

[125] William J. Robinson, M.D. “The Future of Marriage.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 7 (July 1931), page 211.

[126] Statement of Reverend Harry Emerson Fosdick, Minister of the Riverside Church, New York City. Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 5 (May 1930), page 132.

[127] Gertrude Doniger. Review of Samuel D. Schmalhausen’s book Our Changing Human Nature. Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 3 (March 1931), page 88.

[128] Montgomery Mulford. “Birth Control Lessens Crime.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 10 (October 1931), page 293.

[129] “News Notes: California.” Birth Control Review, Volume IX, Number 9 (September 1925), page 264.

[130] Ira S. Wile, M.D. “Birth Control as Social Service.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 7 (July 1930), page 201.

[131] See Brian Clowes. “Does Abortion Reduce Crime?

[132] Julian Huxley. “Towards a Higher Civilization.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 12 (December 1930), pages 342 to 345.

[133] Dr. William F. Ogburn, University of Chicago and President of the American Statistical Association, quoted in “News Notes.” Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 4 (April 1931), page 124.

[134] C.V. Drysdale. “Peace and Population Growth.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 11 (November 1930), pages 320 and 321.

[135] E. Boyd Barrett. “The Perversion of a Natural Faculty.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 5 (May 1930), page 151.

[136] Robert N. Ford. “Birth Control: A Remedy or a Palliative.” Birth Control Review, Volume XIV, Number 7 (July 1930), page 206.

[137] Dr. John A. Ryan, quoted in Leon F. Whitney. “Religion and the Birth Rate.” Birth Control Review, Volume XVI, Number 4 (April 1932), page 101.

[138] Havelock Ellis quote from Jonathon Green. The Cynic’s Lexicon [New York City: St. Martin’s Press], 1984.

[139] Norman E. Himes. Medical History of Contraception [Baltimore: Schocker paperback edition], 1970, page 413. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) reprinted this book in 1965 with an introduction by Alan Guttmacher, M.D. The entire quotation is as follows:

Are Catholic stocks in the United States, taken as a whole, genetically inferior to such non-Catholic libertarian stocks as Unitarians and Universalists, Ethical Culturists, Freethinkers? Inferior to non-Catholic stocks in general? No one really knows. One is entitled to his hunches, however, and my guess is that the answer will someday be made in the affirmative…and if the supposed differentials in net productivity are also genuine, the situation is anti-social, perhaps gravely so.

[140] Norman E. Hines, Ph.D. Practical Birth-Control Methods [New York City: Viking Press], 1946:

All the rights we have are those granted to us by society. Certainly there is no natural right to spawn defective children who must be supported by others through taxation or charity. The crisis in this instance is the enormous expense to the state of the care of the defective classes and the contamination of the biological stock which results from their reproduction…. While sterilization is no substitute for segregation, it is also true that segregation is no substitute for sterilization. They must go hand in hand.

Ever since the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany an objection that has frequently been raised against eugenical sterilization is that a voluntary sterilization program may turn into a compulsory one. Some thoughtful people sincerely fear this. But the history of eugenical sterilization in the United States and in other democratic countries offers little warrant for the contention. This is the old fallacy of ultimate danger; that if we take step A, it would lead to step B; that if we take step B. it may lead to step C, and so forth without end. The evidence now available shows that even in Nazi Germany, where there is a great deal of compulsion that would not be tolerated by citizens who believe in democracy, there has been as yet no attempt to sterilize any special racial group….

Most of the objections to eugenical sterilization are based upon unfounded fears, insufficient knowledge, or faulty reasoning. None of the objections has substantial merit. They are comparable to the arguments made ten years ago against birth control, even by some supposedly will-informed individuals, that birth-control devices caused sterility, necessarily led to immorality, would cause ‘race suicide,’ were unreliable, etc….

We do not need the defective classes. They are already an excessive burden upon the State. A few special students of the problem even believe that our society is undergoing a “moronization” process; that the intelligence level of the American people is declining because the gifted have few children and the stupid many…. Probably it will take society a span of years to learn how to use it [eugenic sterilization] properly as a weapon for its own improvement.

NOTE: Notice the author’s representation and summation of classic eugenicist theories, which, despite their antique quaintness, are still deadly poisonous to this day; that all rights are bestowed by the State alone, even to the granting (or withholding) of the right to life to handicapped persons; that “defectives” are expensive and “contaminate the biological stock,” and therefore society does not need “the defective classes;” that the slippery slope theory (here called the “ultimate danger fallacy”) has no merit, and, in fact, all anti-eugenicist arguments are baseless and originate from ignorance; and that birth control methods are reliable, do not cause physical damage, do not lead to immorality, and may one day be compulsory.

[141] Julian Huxley. “America Revisited III: The Negro Problem.” The Spectator, November 29, 1924. The entire quotation is as follows:

The negro mind is as different from the white mind as the negro from the white body. The typical negro servant, for instance, is wonderful with children, for the reason that she really enjoys doing the things that children do…. You have only to go to a nigger camp-meeting to see the African mind in operation — the shrieks, the dancing and yelling and sweating, the surrender to the most violent emotion, the ecstatic blending of the soul of the Congo with the practice of the Salvation Army…. [Intermarriage between the] negro and Caucasian type….gives rise to all sorts of disharmonious organisms…. The American negro is making trouble because of the American white blood that is in him.

[142] George Bernard Shaw, quoted in Mark Haller. Eugenics [New Jersey: Rutgers Press], 1963, page 19.

[143] Preface to George Bernard Shaw ‘s play “On the Rocks.”

[144] H.G. Wells. Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church (reprinted by Prometheus Press, 1991, page 1).

[145] Faye Wattleton, former President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Quoted in the New York City Tribune, February 23, 1988, page 1. Also quoted in Judie Brown. “The Wattleton-Sanger Tradition: Deception.” ALL About Issues, May 1988, pages 18 and 19.

[146] Faye Wattleton, former President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, at PPFA’s annual luncheon in St. Louis, on May 2, 1979.

[147] Excerpt from the transcript of the address given by Faye Wattleton, former President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, at a luncheon in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 5, 1979.

[148] Gloria Feldt, President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) from 1996 to 2005 and former President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, quoted in the Phoenix Gazette, September 12, 1991.

[149] Margaret Sanger’s grandson, Alexander C. Sanger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood of New York City, quoted in “Another Sanger Leads Planned Parenthood.” The New York Times, January 23, 1991, page B2.

Why We Don't Need Abortion

...even for the 'hard cases' of rape, incest, life of the mother, and fetal defects.

Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.

5 Comments

  1. KCMO on October 29, 2023 at 6:00 PM

    I agree with this article but I was deeply offended by it also. It frames Protestants as pro-abortion monsters! We can disagree about Saints and thing and not trash the other side. We’re both Christians, and I notice you never mention how Planned Parenthood has attacked so many Protestant churches too. We’re on your side!

  2. sam on April 2, 2020 at 12:30 AM

    Margaret Sanger was fighting for women’s right to the pursuit of happiness during a time that every odd was stacked against her. She forged some alliances with Eugenicists to push her noble cause forward. She herself was not a believer in the race cleansing aspects of Eugenics. Women’s right to sexual intercourse without the bi-product of creating new human life has changed life for women only for the better.

    • Anti MS on December 13, 2021 at 4:55 PM

      Oh, really?! Is that why all the initial planned parenthoods are located in mostly black low income neighborhoods? In pursuit of women’s rights? only in those neighborhoods? and her path forward on women’s rights was easiest through the eugenicist movement? good try, wokester. She was a racist who wanted to “cleanse” the population of black people, and planned parenthood was/is her front.

      • Beyanca Guilme on April 28, 2022 at 12:07 PM

        You are forgetting something – Margaret, when she practiced obstetrical nursing in New York, saw the correlation between poverty, uncontrolled fertility, high infant/maternal mortality rates, and much more. As you may have known, the majority of that population happened to be African-American/Black. In other words, many Black people, or women, did not have the resources necessary to get the help that they needed with their pregnancies, abortions, and contraceptives (which obviously did not exist at the time, but were created in 1960, I could be wrong). Not to mention that Planned Parenthood doesn’t only have resources that pertain to abortions. Furthermore, Margaret did not support abortion as much as she did birth control (unless it was required for the sake of the to-be mother).

        Margaret did indeed support eugenics, but not with the racial/ethnic cleansing aspects of it (obviously eugenics can pertain to any trait, not just race/ethnicity). She saw that if people knew more about birth, sex, and the responsibilites with having children and with the onset of birth control, that human quality would become better over time.

  3. Kassala Camillus on September 13, 2019 at 1:18 AM

    Perhaps one could argue that once a society politicizes and economizes science, the result is laissez-faire democracy in its worst individualistic practice, i.e. autocracy.
    In an autocratic society the earth’s resources are monopolized by the powerful, and the weak are left to gather the crumbs which fall off the eugenics lord!

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