Margaret Sanger answerscomIf you missed the first part of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s biography, please click here.  It will put this second and final part into perspective.

Beginnings of respectability

Once she returned home to New York from England, Margaret employed age-old radical forms of public relations she had learned from her Socialist friends.  These are still used today, most recently in America’s 2008 general election, as codified in Saul Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals.  By skillfully drumming up public support, Margaret was able to get herself off charges of violating the Comstock Laws.  She then used this new fame and notoriety to good effect in a public-speaking tour, which took her across America for three-and-a-half months. 

In the 1920s, New York had large numbers of European immigrants.  Margaret decided to open a birth control clinic in one of the largest immigrant enclaves, Brownsville, a district in Brooklyn. Although the authorities closed it down within two weeks and sentenced her and her sister to a month in the workhouse, upon her release, Margaret launched a new publication, The Birth Control Review.  A respectable-sounding publication would help her build the reputation she needed to open new clinics.  She was right.  It wasn’t long before she had the ear and the support of prominent socialites who could help further her cause. She was also able to commission guest pieces from well-known authors and innovators such as Pearl Buck, H. G. Wells and Karl Menninger.  By 1922, the name Margaret Sanger became a household word. In 1925, she was able to hold an international conference about population control. 

Her book which came out at the same time, The Pivot of Civilisation, advocated the elimination of ‘human weeds’, a ‘cessation of charity’ and the sterilisation of ‘genetically inferior races’.  Why was she against charity?

Philanthropy is a gesture  characteristic of modern business lavishing upon the unfit the profits extorted from the community at large. Looked at impartially, this compensatory generosity is in its final effect probably more dangerous, more dysgenic, more blighting than the initial practice of profiteering.

Eugenics and left-wing ideology

Never forget that Socialism and Fascism are inextricably linked: both are left-wing ideologies.  Sanger maintained her support among eugenicists, many of whom served on the board of her American Birth Control League, which later became Planned Parenthood.  Other political groups which supported eugenics at the time were the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis (National Socialists).  Both groups believed that governments were best placed to control family decisions and reproduction.  Only the government knows whether a woman should have children or how many.  These decisions are often made on the basis of gender, health or race.  Discrimination is always part of the eugenicist’s plan, which is rooted in power politics.  Think of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Mao and their cults of death.

You read in a preceding post about the Negro Project.  Sanger also wanted similar restrictions on ‘Hispanics, Amerinds, Fundamentalists and Catholics’.  Even religion entered into the picture for her.  Remember that, like the dictators of the 20th century, she, too, was an atheist.

Post-war ‘successes’ continue

After the Second World War, Sanger’s organisation held an international meeting in Bombay with eugenicist societies to define what the new Planned Parenthood, renamed in 1942, would do.  The name was purposely chosen to sound non-threatening and nice.  Together, they put together a philosophy of what Planned Parenthood programmes were to be about:

  • Advocating ‘legal access’ to ‘unrestricted abortion’
  • Coercive government action to force eugenic sterilisations and limits on births
  • Lobbying for legal and economic reproductive incentives and disincentives: maternity leave, child ‘tax’
  • ‘Value-free’ sex education for children, including the use of pornography, active encouragement of sexual activity and discouraging long-established family values.

On the last point, Madalyn Murray O’Hair — the atheist who had school prayer banned in the US — also advocated compulsory sex education in schools.

Planned Parenthood applauds the ‘success’ of restricted births in China, calling it a ‘stunning success … worth our attention and awe‘.  As for abortion, even in countries where it is illegal, they have ways of working around the law.  In the Phillipines, for example, Planned Parenthood can perform a ‘menstrual extraction’.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out this is actually an abortion.  In Brazil, which forbids sterlisation, the organisation performs as many as 20m of these procedures annually in its field clinics.

In the UK, Planned Parenthood issued the following advice internally:

Family Planning Associations and other non-government organisations should not use the absence of the law or the existence of an unfavourable law as an excuse for inaction; action outside the law, and even in violation of it, is part of the process of stimulating change. 

Abortion becomes a Catholic issue

Around the world, Western countries adopted Planned Parenthood projects.  Even the United Nations began subsidising them in developing countries as far back as 1958.  

It seemed that Planned Parenthood had only one opponent: the Catholic Church, namely in Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae.  And, from that moment, abortion became inextricably linked with the Catholic Church.  Never mind that some Protestant denominations and other major world religions also strongly oppose the practice.  It doesn’t matter in progressive PR and rhetoric, which has been used to discredit the Church — and Catholics — with dramatic and devastating effect.

Just one more thing — SEX!

Meanwhile, what of Margaret Sanger’s private life during this time?  Well, before the Second World War, her daughter died of pneumonia while Margaret was away from home.  Her two sons were left to their own devices.  Margaret suffered the effects of being without her loving husband.  She turned to libidinous relations and alcohol to ease her woes.  Her lovers were many, yet even increased sex couldn’t dull the pain. 

Then she met conservative Episcopalian J Noah Slee of the 3-in-1 Oil fortune.  He couldn’t have disagreed more with Margaret’s organisation and her personal philosophy but he fell in love with her in a big way.  So big, in fact, that he proposed to her and would share his $9m fortune with her in marriage. Yes, it was a lot of money in those days. And, if there was one thing that Margaret loved as much as sex, it was money.  She didn’t feel about Slee the way he felt about her, so she drew up a hard-hearted pre-nuptial agreement whereby he would have to ring her on the phone to even see her!  She would have her own apartments in his home and would be free to come and go as she pleased.  Best of all, she would have access to cold, hard cash. 

And one final thing — MONEY!

She was still miserable as Mrs Slee, but, hey, at least she had money again!  Slee’s fortune helped Margaret open doors and fight battles she couldn’t have done previously.  She opened a clinic as a ‘research bureau’ to avoid legal tangles.  She smuggled diaphragms into the US from Holland.  She lobbied doctors and won them over.  She secured bigger and better grants from the Rockefeller, Ford and Mellon foundations.  She testified before Congressional committees advocating social planning and birth control.  Imagine doing all this during the Depression and Second World War.

The post-war period enabled her to work on the psyches of ordinary, middle-class Americans.  She knew they were eager to live in nice houses, drive cars and participate in the new consumer society.  In order to enjoy these things, they would need a secure, safe and clean environment.  So, she emphasised the values that accompany these: patriotism, personal choice and family values.

To make Planned Parenthood a part of the Establishment and a household word, Sanger enlisted celebrities, corporations and charities.  Of course, she could not have done it without Slee’s money.  She returned to her radical roots in New York City and London to get the activist youth interested and on-side. She was even able to get tax-exempt status for the organisation, so that it was like a charity or a church! 

Like a true leftist, Margaret Sanger was tenacious in her efforts and skilled in her propaganda.  And it worked.  Planned Parenthood is part of our lexicon of today’s received wisdom.

Let us learn from this

Despite all this, her affairs continued as did her use of alcohol and, now, drugs.  She also became deeply interested in the occult.  None of this brought her happiness.

Meanwhile, back at Planned Parenthood, the organisation teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.  She didn’t pay the bills on time and failed to give an account of her financial mismanagement to her benefactors.  Although the Planned Parenthood board was able to remove her from the board several times, they couldn’t do without her services completely.  So, they kept her on for her genius in promoting the organisation.

Yet, one sin begets another and, with the lack of belief in God, Margaret Sanger believed in sex, money, the occult, mind-altering substances and control.  This led to lust, avarice, distorting the truth and advocating violence towards women. 

Margaret Sanger died just before her 87th birthday on September 6, 1966.  By then, she had lost friends, family and peace of mind.      

Slee’s money had run out.  And time was called on Margaret Sanger. 

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but to lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37) 

Source: Killer Angel, by George Grant, Ars Vitae Press (1995)