Margaret Sanger Wanted to Eliminate “Human Weeds”

Ben Domenech’s Transom email is chock-full of good links and thoughts.  Recently, it included the material listed below from the Margaret Sanger corpus.  Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, came up recently when Herman Cain, embattled Republican candidate for the presidential nomination, suggested on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that she wanted “to kill black babies.”  Here’s the transcript.

This remark touched off a heated debate.  Here’s one response, for example, that decries Cain’s remark, arguing that he “offered an alternate version of history” in serving up this assessment.  You can also see the response from the Washington Post in the link above.  And make sure you read this helpful breakdown by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway (and the telling comments section).

Domenech included the following quotations from Sanger’s writing and remarks.  They are, in a word, stunning.  They show an audacious confidence in Sanger’s ability to determine who should be a part of civilization and who should not.  I’m pasting them in directly from the Transom:

“Birth control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks–those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.” (From this 1923 NYT story:, quoted in this study:

“The eugenists wanted to shift the birth control emphasis from less children for the poor to more children for the rich. We went back of that and sought first to stop the multiplication of the unfit. This appeared the most important and greatest step towards race betterment.” (From her biography:

“Today Eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.” (From this essay:

“The unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit,’ admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation… On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.” (October 1921:

“Knowledge of birth control is essentially moral. Its general, though prudent, practice must lead to a higher individuality and ultimately to a cleaner race.” (From the NYU archive of her papers, in 1918:

These quotations speak volumes about Sanger’s views on eugenics.  It is clear that she believed that she had found a solution to the “problem” of the “over-fertility” of the “mentally and physically defective,” of whom African-Americans were a part.  This is material that should shock us, burn in our hearts, and cause us to peaceably and prayerfully oppose the work of Planned Parenthood and other abortion practitioners with the greatest Christ-inspired urgency. Planned Parenthood is not a liberator, but a killing machine; Sanger was no hero, but the head of this sub-human agency.

Satan is real, and he wants to destroy humanity (1 Peter 5:8).  His work–including the destruction of innocent babies in the womb–will finally be defeated when Christ returns.  Until that day, we must oppose it with every fiber of our being.

  • Derek

    Wow, the irony of blaming Cain of revisionist history! Planned Parenthood and her partners in the media have been whitewashing their history for 100 years and show no signs of letting up.

  • Bobby Harnist

    If the statistics on this website are true, Sanger did her job
    Also the highest percentage of religious people are “Protestant” (in quotations purposefully). This tells me that there are many people in our churches who need the gospel not moralism.
    Love the stuff you are posting bro. I was just pondering this issue the other day.

  • ibivi

    Planned parenting is not evil. Birth control is not evil. What the eugenics movement wanted to do was evil.

    • Jim Whiteman

      Amen !

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  • Bob

    Let me be very clear up front — I am solidly pro-life and anti-abortion. I do not support Planned Parenthood. Abortion is wrong in most, if not all, cases. However, I can’t help but wonder whether any person who has a current leadership role in Planned Parenthood would even dream of espousing (publically or privately) eugenics. While taking a stand against Planned Parenthood because of PP’s involvement in abortion is right, doing so because of philosophies that have been abandoned seems to me to be tantamount to being against the Southern Baptist Convention because it was begun as a way for slave owners to be appointed as missionaries — a tacit, if not explicit, endorsement of slavery, a stance that has long since been abandoned and acknowledged as morally wrong and unbiblical.