The Racist Origins of Planned Parenthood

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a eugenist and racist. 

Maria D.

27 February 2021

In this article, we will be examining a 1923 article of hers titled, “A Better Race Through Birth Control.” You can read the original article here: 

The Public Papers of Margaret Sanger: Web Edition (nyu.edu)

Early in the first paragraph, the author says, “It has often been said, and never with more truth than at the present time, that man breeds his cattle with more intelligence and care than he breeds his own kind.” 

She says a man will put more effort into his cattle than his children. Lack of what she deems as quality humans-ones with high educations, ones from fortunate backgrounds- will continue to surface in this article. A perfect example:

“The draft figures alone should be sufficient to galvanize the human race to action, for the intelligence tests made on our soldiers during the recent war indicated that approximately 25 per cent of our population never attains a mentality superior to that of a twelve-year-old child.” 

If this is true, so what? Not every person should be a genius scientist, go to college, or even be good at math. Every person is gifted, some with intelligence in regards to school, others in different ways. Everyone has something to bring to the world. If you do not have a high education, you are still needed. You may be building houses, serving food, stocking shelves, or fixing cars (not that those people cannot be smart;

the point is that their careers are essential trades, and may be highly skilled, but are often done without college education).  Margaret Sanger likely relied on these people in her day-to-day life. If she lived in a house, went to the grocery store, or had a car that needed repairs, these workers made her life easier. 

“The object of civilization is to obtain the highest and most splendid culture of which humanity is capable. But such attainment is unthinkable if we continue to breed from the present race stock that yields us our largest amount of progeny. Some method must be devised to eliminate the degenerate and the defective;”

She is stating that we need to eliminate the people who do not fit her description of perfect- with no “defects.” What she saw as perfect, as we will look into in another article, is also strictly white. 

Less than two paragraphs in, Margaret has devalued humans she sees as imperfect to “the degenerate and the defective.” 

“It is impossible to conceive of eugenic legislation that would be acceptable and that would cover the present need.” 

The term eugenics is often used when talking about the Holocaust. Hitler and others believed Jews to be a dirty race, less fit than the Aryans. No proof backs eugenicists’ beliefs. The concept of eugenics is this- have the people with desirable traits reproduce, and limit reproduction of those with undesirable traits.

Throughout history, the “undesirable traits” have been race and ethnicity. 

“Fortunately, however, birth control offers an avenue of escape…Given Birth Control, the unfit will voluntarily eliminate their kind.”

Since she cannot legally prohibit the reproduction of “undesirables,” she attempts to reach her goal by manipulating the “unfit” into being eliminated. 

 

“It is reasonable to assume that women of subnormal mentality, however lacking they may be in vision and altruism, would prefer to avoid the pain and responsibilities of procreation, if the satisfaction of sex could be divorced from reproduction.”

She wants to take away consequences.

“Birth Control will be an effective force in the solution of the problem of the social evil, and in the control of venereal diseases.”

Her expectations were unrealistic, as almost 100 years later, STDs are still around. She has another unrealistic expectation: that Birth Control will end prostitution. Wouldn’t having prevention of any consequences only strengthen the amount of prostitution?   

“With adequate knowledge of Birth Control, these young men would very generally choose marriage instead of prostitution, and the solution of the problem of the social evil might be achieved.”

“Almost any rational person is willing to admit that the earning power of an average husband and the physical health of an average wife are unequal to the demands of an excessively large family, and that earning power and health should be considered in determining the number of children in a family.”

She does make a good point that having many children can place a financial strain on families. 

She goes on to say, “Marriage itself is reduced to prostitution when the child is regarded as a necessary justification for sex relations.”

So nearly every marriage before the last century or so was prostitution? Her statement goes against many religious beliefs, so people exercising those beliefs are involved in prostitution? 

“The home is the backbone of the state, and upon it depends the whole social structure.”

The previous statement is true, something nice in this paper. 

Some other high expectations she has:

“Birth Control means liberation for women and for men. It means freedom and happiness. It means gifts and blessing for the family and the nation.” 

“Birth Control will give the husband courage.”

“Husband and wife…will be made permanently happy and successful.”

“Birth Control will thus make of the home a place of peace, harmony, and love.” 

“Birth Control will prevent abortion.” 

All of these statements could be true in some cases, but not in most. Abortion, at the time, was an illegal thing.  Her hypothesis of birth control preventing abortion was inaccurate, especially now with Obama Care completely covering the cost of birth control. 

“It will give the woman a chance to develop mother-love, instead of being an irritable drudge, overwhelmed by the demands of too many children, a broken-spirited, harassed slave of excessive motherhood.” 

The connotation of this is very negative. She seems to dislike the concept of large families. For some people, a large family would not work, but others want large families. Some women even enjoy mothering many children. 

Because Margaret Sanger (a mother of three) does not think she could handle a large family, she assumes every woman with many children is an oppressed baby machine (as China has said about the Ugher

Muslim women). 

“Birth control will prevent child labor.”

Legislation did that, not birth control.

“Constant exhortations from writers and preachers to the men and women of the better educated classes are being made to urge them to increase their small and carefully controlled families. This is a very definite testimony to the general conviction that in these families are to be found the finest children, the best Americans of the future. Give the women of the poorer classes a chance also to limit and control their families, and it will be found that in very many cases the material is equally good. The difference is that, like plants crowded too close together on poor soil, there is no chance to develop and the whole families are left impoverished in mind and body. Give room for each [to] grow and all may become fine and healthy American citizens.”

Earlier she has said mothers are stressed out with more children, but she is outright saying these more “desirable” people should have more children, and the “less desirable” should have fewer.

While this article of hers may not be as blatantly racist as others, she is definitely classist. 

This article is neither for nor against Magart Sanger’s Birth Control, but its purpose  is to start showing who the founder of Planned Parenthood was. 

Citations:

Sanger, Margaret. A Better Race Through Birth Control, Nov. 1923, pp. 60–62. Margaret Sanger Project , http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/webedition/app/documents/show.php?sangerDoc=306638.xml. 

Image from: Margaret Sanger | National Women’s History Museum

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The Racist Origins of Planned Parenthood

A Teen’s View on How Abortion Affects Women

Suicidal thoughts, future infertility, life-threatening conditions, and substance abuse.

Maria D. 

20 February 2021

While the Pro-Life Movement has drawn attention to abortion being murder, abortion’s effect on women has not been stressed enough. Post-abortive (PA) mothers suffer from depression, suicide, future infertility, addiction, and cancer. 

Suicide

An Italian study revealed that the rate of maternal deaths after abortion is more than twice the rate as those giving birth. 

A similar Finnish study reported similar results. 

A U.S. study of about 170,000 low income California women showed they had a 154% higher suicide risk than if they had given birth. They had twice the risk of dying in the next two years.  

A British study says post-abortive women are 35% more likely to display suicidal behaviors and 21% more likely to commit suicide than non-abortive women. Other studies have decided PA women are 2.6 times more likely to commit suicide. 

Post Abortive Syndrome

After giving birth or adopting, mothers have a 10-20% chance of developing postpartum depression. At least 19% of post-abortive women suffer from PAS, or Post Abortion Syndrome. Half of post-abortive women have some, but not all symptoms, which include easy irritation, rage outbursts, trouble sleeping, flashbacks to the abortion, anxiety attacks, and severe grief on the anniversasry of the abortion or child’s due date. They also may experience nightmares and abuse drugs and alcohol.

Danger, Complications, and Future Pregnancies 

Abortion is the 5th leading cause of maternal death in the United States, following infection, hemorrhage, pulmonary ebolism, and anesthetic issues. Abortion can lead to ectopic pregnancies. 

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus. This is life-threatening for the mother; if it gets too big it will infringe on other organs. Sadly, the baby cannot be saved. An ectopic pregnancy can cause reduced fertility. The odds of having one of these are increased by medicated abortions more than surgical.

Twenty percent of women experience physical complications after an abortion. Some complications: infection, bleeding, embolism (the blocking of an artery), uterine perforation, cervical damage, and shock. Minor complications include nausea, diarrhea, and bleeding. Studies have proven that these risks are higher with medication. 

One fifth of patients who receive medical abortions needed another surgery, as their first was not sufficient. 

Having an abortion can lead to fertility problems and miscarriages. Women who got abortions as teens have a 3.3 times greater chance of having a stillborn first child. Their chances of having a premature child are double, and their child will have a 2.7 times greater chance of having a very low birth weight. A  miscarriage is 60% more likely to occur. Abortion may cause future labor complications the woman would not have had. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, or PID, can lead to ectopic pregnancies. PID can occur when a woman gets an abortion while infected with chlamydia (¼ chances). Five percent of women who get an abortion without being infected will also get PID. It is also life-threatening and reduces fertility. 

Abortion can cause endometritis, which causes fevers, pain in the low abdomen, and abnormal bleeding. Endometritis is the number one cause of infection after giving birth.

Two percent of women will have immediate life-threatening complications after an abortion, according to Heartbeat International. Nine instant, major complications are infection, severe blood loss, embolism, damage to the uterus, anesthesia complications, convulsions, hemorrhaging, cervical injury, and endotoxic shock (caused by a drop in blood pressure). Injury to surrounding organs caused by a mistake by the doctor is also a risk.  

All these risks are magnified with multiple abortions. This is important because nearly half (45%) of abortions are repeat ones, meaning the woman has already aborted one child prior. 

Asherman’s Syndrome

After a D and C, or dilation and curettage, a surgical abortion (D&Cs are not always abortions, but in this article the only dilation and cutterages written of will be in reference to the surgical abortion), women may hemorrhage, get infections, or get uterine damage. D and Cs are the cause of 90% of Asherman’s Syndrome cases, says Cleveland Clinic. Common symptoms of Asherman’s Syndrome are interruptions to or an abnormal menstrual cycle, severe cramping and pain, and an inability to get or stay pregnant.

The Mental Impact

After the loss of a pregnancy, the American Pregnancy Association states that the following are all normal feelings: guilt, anger, shame, remorse, regret, loss of self esteem and confidence, feeling isolated and lonely, sleeping problems, trouble in relationships, and suicidal thoughts. 

The British Journal of Psychiatry showed that post-abortive women had an 81% increase in mental health issues. In this study, 163,831 of 877,181 women had an abortion. According to the study, post-abortive women are 27% more likely to use marijuana, 21% more likely to show suicidal behaviors, and 35% more likely to commit suicide. 

Post-abortive women exhibit twice the alcoholism, and an increased risk of drinking during the following pregnancies. They are more likely to abuse their future children and get divorced. One study found that drug use is 6.1 times higher in them, and they are 4.5 times more likely to use drugs during their next pregnancy. 

Ten to thirty percent will have serious psychological problems. The odds of anxiety issues are 34% higher, and depression is 37% higher. If you have had multiple abortions, the chance of perinatal mortality, or a late miscarriage, are raised by 80%. 

Sleep disorders within the first six months after pregnancy are doubled with abortion, compared to a woman who gave birth. The abortive one will have a higher chance for four years, but less than double. 

Another study says suicidal thoughts are raised by sixty percent after an abortion.   

Cancer

A 2009 study by the American Association for Cancer Research showed women with abortions had a 40% higher risk of contracting breast cancer. They also have raised chances of cervical, ovarian, and liver cancer. 

“Abortion is Safer than Giving Birth?” 

A 2012 study by Dr. David Grimes supported the pro-choice, “Abortion is safer than birth,” claim. However, this study cannot be seen as perfect and flawless because the man in charge is partial. He is a retired abortionist and abortion activist, and was affiliated with Planned Parenthood. 

The information he relied on was supplied by Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute. 

The Study: Death risk with birth and with abortion. 

  1. He used a close to perfect number to represent the deaths in a full-term pregnancy.
  2. He used an inaccurate number of deaths with abortion, as it is not madatory to report those, so he could not have had a near-accurate number. 
  3. His study was interpretation of estimates.
  4. Denmark and Finland studies show opposite results.

“Compared to women who delivered, women who had an early or late abortion had significantly higher mortality rates within 1 through 10 years,” NCBI says on the Denmark study. 

In conclusion, abortion harms women in addition to the unborn. Suicide, depression, cancer, and bleeding are not empowering.

Citations:

Howard, Hannah. “New Study: Elevated Suicide Rates Among Mothers after Abortion.” Charlotte Lozier Institute, 10 Sept. 2019, lozierinstitute.org/new-study-elevated-suicide-rates-among-mothers-after-abortion/. 

“Facts About Postpartum Depression.” Illinois Department of Public Health, http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/womenshealth/factsheets/pdpress.htm.&nbsp;

Coleman, Priscilla K. “Abortion and Mental Health: Quantitative Synthesis and Analysis of Research Published 1995–2009.” Cambridge Core, 2 Jan. 2018, http://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/abortion-and-mental-health-quantitative-synthesis-and-analysis-of-research-published-19952009/E8D556AAE1C1D2F0F8B060B28BEE6C3D.&nbsp;

Medical News Today , 9 Aug. 2018, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313098#abortion_and_depression.&nbsp;

“How to Cope with Depression after Abortion.” Medical News Today , 9 Aug. 2018, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313098#abortion_and_depression.&nbsp;

Danielsson, Krissi. “Abortion and the Increased Risk of a Future Miscarriage.” Very Well Family, 14 Apr. 2020, http://www.verywellfamily.com/abortion-future-miscarriage-risk-2371749#:~:text=Abortion%20and%20Future%20Miscarriage,subsequent%20fertility%20issues%2C%20including%20miscarriage.&nbsp;

“Asherman’s Syndrome.” Cleveland Clinic, 29 June 2019, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16561-ashermans-syndrome. 

“Can Abortion Cause Infertility?” Healtline, 16 Jan. 2020, http://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/can-abortion-cause-infertility#types.&nbsp;

“Abortion Harms Women.” Nebraska Family Alliance, Jan. 2014, nebraskafamilyalliance.org/policy/life/abortion-harms-women/. 

“Ectopic Pregnancy .” NHS, 27 Nov. 2018, http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/.&nbsp;

Reardon, David C., and Priscilla K. Coleman. “Short and Long Term Mortality Rates Associated with First Pregnancy Outcome: Population Register Based Study for Denmark 1980–2004.” NCBI, 1 Sept. 2012, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3560645/.&nbsp;

“Abortion Hurts Women Physically.” Heartbeat International , http://www.heartbeatinternational.org/pdf/physical_risks_factsheet.pdf.&nbsp;

Ronan, Alex. “First Legal Abortionists Tell Their Stories.” The Cut, 13 Oct. 2015, http://www.thecut.com/2015/10/first-legal-abortionists-tell-their-stories.html.&nbsp;

“Endometritis.” Diagnostic Gynecologic and Obstetric Pathology, by Christopher P Crum et al., 2006, p. 1216. 

“Septic Shock.” NHS Inform, 10 Feb. 2020, http://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/blood-and-lymph/septic-shock#:~:text=Septic%20shock%20is%20a%20life,to%20a%20reaction%20called%20sepsis.&nbsp;

Images from:

https://www.protective.com/learn/life-planning/divorce

https://imgflip.com/memetemplate/229042831/Kermit-the-frog-rain-window

A Teen’s View on How Abortion Affects Women

Snake Washes up in Ireland after Legalization of Abortion

Former snake-free Ireland legalized abortion, three days later a snake appears. 

Maria D 

11 February 2021

Image from Irish Coast Guard

          The turtle-headed sea snake appeared January 4th, 2019, the day the new law came into effect. This law allows a safe (for the mother), free, and legal abortion in the first twelve weeks of a pregnancy. In years prior, abortion was only permitted in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. About twelve women a day would leave Ireland to seek abortion in Britain. In three years, there were less than 100 legal abortions total (72). This number drastically changed after the law passed. 

In 2019, there were 6,666 abortions. You may recognize the last three digits as the Mark of the Beast. One Pro-Choice mantra is that there are fewer abortions once it is legalized, but that is not the case in Ireland. The number of abortions Irish women got in Britain is 4,380 per year. Irish women received 2,000 more abortions than they did leading up to the legalization. 

The Republic of Ireland’s president, His Excellency Michael D. Higgins, an Independent as of ten years ago, signed the bill for the 36th Amendment, repealing the Eighth Amendment.  The Eighth Amendment guaranteed the unborn a right to life, unless the pregnancy was life-threatening. The people of Ireland favored the 36th by two-thirds of the 2.1 million votes, despite Ireland’s over ¾ Catholic population. The law was passed January 1st, 2019, which is typically the Feast Day of the Mother of God, a holy day of obligation for Catholics.    

St. Patrick and Snakes

Saint Patrick lived in the 400s. He is Italian by blood, was raised in Britain under Roman rule, and lived in Ireland for a large portion of his life. As a teen, he was kidnapped and became a slave in Ireland. He found his faith during the six years he spent herding pigs. He had a dream of escaping, inspiring  him to leave his master. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary, with the goal of strengthening and spreading Christianity after an angel appeared to him in a dream. 

He is said to have raised 33 people from the dead.  One time he was with a group  of sailors when they needed food; he prayed and when he was done a herd of pigs appeared, which would sustain the group until they could look for food themselves. 

St. Patrick is known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. The legend says he went atop a mountain, commanded all the snakes to gather at his feet, then beat a drum, banishing them into the water.

Science Shows Snakes Were Never in Ireland

However, the story of St. Patrick has been challenged by science. Nothing has pointed to snakes being in Ireland besides the story of St. Patrick. This is due to the temperature of the seas surrounding the republic. It is likely the snakes symbolized pagans, those without God. Ireland was a very Christian country, but the legalization of abortion shows that Ireland is abandoning faith, at least politically. 

Science tells us a snake washing up on the Irish coast is abnormal. Science also says the turtle-headed sea snake lives in Japan, the Philippines, and Australia. The only explanation for the appearance, besides going around the entire Europe-Asia continent, would be if the snake was someone’s pet. 

Snakes have been a religious symbol for sin since the beginning. Eve is tempted by the Devil, disguised as a snake, to eat the forbidden fruit. Mary is often depicted standing on a serpent. At the end of the day, whether you believe a snake is a bad omen or St. Patrick’s story, the fact is simple: three days after more lenient abortions were legalized, a snake washed up on the Irish Coast.

Citations:

Pattison, Brymor. “Snake Found on Beach by Irish Coast Guard in Youghal, Co Cork.” Irish Mirror, 4 Jan. 2019, 11:02, http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/snake-found-beach-irish-coast-13809956.&nbsp;

Duke, Barry. “Snakes Alive! Is This Serpent a Sign of Ireland’s Godlessness?” Patheos, 15 Jan. 2019, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thefreethinker/2019/01/snakes-alive-is-this-serpent-a-sign-of-irelands-godlessness/.&nbsp;

Turley, K. V. “Is It Mere Coincidence That a Serpent Came Ashore in Snake-Free but No Longer Abortion-Free Ireland?” Life Site, 14 Jan. 2019, 7:56, http://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/is-it-mere-coincidence-that-a-serpent-came-ashore-in-snake-free-but-no-long.&nbsp;

Lillywhite, Harvey B, et al. “Why Are There No Sea Snakes in the Atlantic?” Academic Institute of Biological Sciences, 22 Nov. 2017, academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/68/1/15/4609687. 

Steifell, Klaus. “Turtle-Headed Sea Snake.” INaturalist, http://www.inaturalist.org/guide_taxa/798667.&nbsp;

“History of Abortion in Ireland.” Irish Family Planning Association, 2018, http://www.ifpa.ie/advocacy/abortion-in-ireland-legal-timeline/.&nbsp;

Calkin, Sydney. “One Year on, It’s Clear That the New Irish Abortion Services Have Serious Limitations.” The Conversation, 15 Jan. 2020, 6:39, theconversation.com/one-year-on-its-clear-that-the-new-irish-abortion-services-have-serious-limitations-129491. 

“Abortion.” Irish Family Planning Association, 6 Jan. 2021, http://www.ifpa.ie/get-care/abortion/.&nbsp;

            “Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 – Annual Report on Notifications        2019.” Gov.ie, Department of Health, 30 June 2020, http://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b410b-health-regulation-of-termination-of-pregnancy-act-2018-annual-report-on-notifications-2019/.&nbsp;

“Fifth Annual Report on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013.” Gov.ie, 26 Oct. 2020, http://www.gov.ie/en/publication/d65673-fifth-annual-report-on-the-protection-of-life-during-pregnancy-act-2/?referrer=www.health.gov.ie/blog/press-release/third-annual-report-of-notifications-in-accordance-with-the-protection-of-life-during-pregnancy-act-2013-laid-before-the-houses-of-the-oireachtas/.&nbsp;

“Abortion in the Republic of Ireland.” Wikipedia, 24 Jan. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland. 

Staff, IrishCentral. “Hello St. Patrick?! 1.5-Meter Snake Found in Cork.” Irish Central, 4 Jan. 2019, http://www.irishcentral.com/culture/craic/hello-st-patrick-1-5-meter-snake-found-in-cork.&nbsp;

Wikipedia. “Emydocephalus Annulatus.” Wikipedia, 12 Oct. 2020, 11:42, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emydocephalus_annulatus. 

“Eighth Amendment Repealed as Irish President Signs Bill into Law.” BBC, 18 Sept. 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45568094.&nbsp;

“Census of Population 2016 – Profile 8 Irish Travellers, Ethnicity and Religion.” Central Statistics Office, http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp8iter/p8iter/p8rrc/.&nbsp;

Ignasher, Jim. “Forgotten Miracles of Saint Patrick.” Smith-Appleby House, 10 Mar. 2020, smithapplebyhouse.org/forgotten-miracles-of-saint-patrick/. 

O’Raifeartaigh, Tarlach. “St. Patrick .” Britannica, 6 Jan. 2021, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Patrick.&nbsp;

Johnson, Ben. “The Romans in England.” Historic UK, http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/The-Romans-in-England/.&nbsp;

Editors, History.com. “Who Was St. Patrick?” History, 9 Mar. 2020, http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/who-was-saint-patrick#:~:text=After%20escaping%20to%20Britain,%20Patrick,lasted%20more%20than%2015%20years.&nbsp;

Hopler, Whitney. “Saint Patrick’s Life and Miracles.” Learn Religions, 30 Apr. 2019, http://www.learnreligions.com/saint-patricks-life-and-miracles-124541#:~:text=Miraculously%2C%20a%20herd%20of%20pigs,area%20and%20find%20more%20food.&nbsp;

“A Turtle or a Sea Snake?” Smithsonian Ocean, ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/reptiles/turtle-or-sea-snake#:~:text=Like%20other%20sea%20snakes%20%2C%20the,crack%20or%20crevice%20to%20hide. 

Fecht, Sarah. “Why Doesn’t Ireland Have Snakes?” Popular Science, 17 Mar. 2015, http://www.popsci.com/why-doesnt-ireland-have-snakes/.&nbsp;

Snake Washes up in Ireland after Legalization of Abortion