Margaret Sanger

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Margaret Sanger and her two sons.

Margaret Sanger (born: September 14, 1879; died: September 6, 1966) founded what became Planned Parenthood[1] (then the American Birth Control League). She propagandized for eugenics and coined the term "birth control". In particular, she campained for eugenic controls to enforce what she called "race hygeine" (a plan to sterilize and marginalize American immigrant Slavs, Italians, Jews, and blacks), and was a member of the American Eugenics Society and the English Eugenics Society.[2][3][4]

Birth control activism

Margaret Sanger illegally opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, in October 1916 in Brooklyn, New York. It was raided by the police, and shut down. Sanger was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment for distributing contraceptives, which was illegal in the United States at that time.

Statements by Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger Statements
"The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." [5]
"The mass of significant Negroes, particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more than among whites, is [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit and least able to rear children properly." - Margaret Sanger - The "Negro Project" quoting W.E.B. DuBois with the omission of one word [6]
"Before eugenicists 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 eugenicists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit. Both are seeking a single end but they lay emphasis upon different methods. …"[7]

"Organized charity is itself the symptom of a malignant social disease. Those vast complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring out of this sinisterly fertile soil, are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents and dependents. My criticism therefore, is not directed at the ‘failure’ of philanthropy, but rather at its success" - Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization [NY: Brentano's, 1922], p. 108).[8]
"To each group we explained what contraception was; that abortion was the wrong way—no matter how early it was performed it was taking life; that contraception was the better way, the safer way—it took a little time, a little trouble, but was well worth while in the long run, because life had not yet begun."[9]
In Margaret Sanger's book The Pivot of Civilization she also called for the elimination of "human weeds," for the segregation of "morons, misfits, and maladjusted," and for the sterilization of "genetically inferior races." [10]


  1. Peterson 2007, Abortion History
  4. Angry White Female: Margaret Sanger's Race of Thoroughbreds
  5. Sanger 1920, p. 63, see also facsimile
  9. <Sanger, Margaret (1938). An Autobiography. New York, NY: Cooper Square Press>
  10. Who Was Margaret Sanger


  • Peterson, Jefferis Kent (2007), Abortion - A Liberal Cause?, Erik Rauch (MIT) Retrieved on 2007-07-25
  • Sanger, Margaret (1920), Women and the New Race, New York, NY: Truth Publishing Company Facsimile retrieved on 2007-07-24