In “Awe” of a Eugenicist?

By Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Editor’s note. The belated split between Planned Parenthood’s largest affiliate and PPFA Margaret Sanger was long overdue. As we reported yesterday, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York said it was it was “remov[ing]  the name of Margaret Sanger, a founder of the national organization, from its Manhattan health clinic because of her ‘harmful connections to the eugenics movement,’” according to Nikita Stewart, writing in the New York Times.

Sanger’s deeply eugenic disposition is no secret to pro-lifers (and, no doubt, to many of the movers and shakers at Planned Parenthood). The following 2009 remarks from Rep. Smith were in response to then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of the Margaret Sanger award.

Mr. Speaker, last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton …went on to Houston, Texas, to receive the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood. 

Margaret Sanger

In her remarks, Secretary Clinton said she was ‘‘in awe’’—I repeat, ‘‘in awe’’—of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. To our distinguished Secretary of State, I respectfully ask: Are you kidding? In ‘‘awe’’ of Margaret Sanger, who said in 1921, ‘‘Eugenics is the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political, and social problems.’’ And who also said in 1922, ‘‘The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.’’ 

Later, in 1939, Sanger wrote, ‘‘We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social service backgrounds and with engaging personalities.’’ She wrote, ‘‘The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,’’ she goes on, ‘‘and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.’’

 Secretary Clinton in her speech said that Margaret Sanger’s life and leadership was ‘‘one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race.’’ …

Each year Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood kills approximately 300,000 unborn children in their abortion clinics throughout the United States. 

Worldwide the loss of innocent human life at the hands of Planned Parenthood is in the millions. Planned Parenthood even supports the hideous brain sucking method of abortion called partial-birth abortion. 

In her book, The Pivot of Civilization, Margaret Sanger devoted an entire chapter entitled ‘‘The Cruelty of Charity’’ to her inhumane case of not helping—I repeat not helping—poor, pregnant women with prenatal and maternal care.

Sanger said in the book, ‘‘We are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.’’ 

In chapter 5—again, chapter 5 is called: ‘‘The Cruelty of Charity’’—she writes, ‘‘Organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease.’’ Sanger writes, ‘‘Those vast, complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and diminish the spread of misery and destruction 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.’’ That’s Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. 

She continues, ‘‘My criticism therefore is not directed at the failure of philanthropy but rather at its success.’’ Sanger goes on to say, ‘‘There’s a special type of philanthropy or benevolence now widely advertised and advocated both as a Federal program and as worthy of private endowment, which strikes me,’’ that is to say Sanger, ‘‘as being more insidiously injurious than any other. This concerns itself directly with the function of maternity and aims to supply gratis medical and nursing facilities to slum mothers. 

‘‘Such women are to be visited by nurses and receive instruction in the hygiene of pregnancy, to be guided in making arrangements for confinement, to be invited to come to the doctors’ clinics for examination and supervision. They are, we are informed, to receive adequate care during pregnancy, at confinement, and for 1 month afterwards. Thus, are mothers and babies to be saved, childbearing is to be made safe.’’ 

Construing to demean the generosity of pregnancy care centers, Margaret Sanger goes on to say, ‘‘The work of the maternity centers in the various American cities, which they have already been established and in which they are supported by private contributions and endowment, it is hardly necessary to point out is carried out among the poor and the most docile section of the city, among mothers least able, through poverty and ignorance, to afford the care and attention necessary for successful maternity. 

 ‘‘The effect of maternity endowments of maternity centers supported by private philanthropy would have perhaps already have had exactly the most dysgenic tendency. The new government program would facilitate the function of maternity among the very classes in which the absolute necessity is to discourage it.”

“Such benevolence,” she goes on to say, “is not merely superficial and nearsighted.’’ Sanger continues, “It conceals a stupid cruelty. Aside from the question of the unfitness of many women to become mothers, aside from the very definite deterioration in the human stock that such programs would inevitably hasten, we may question its value even through the unfortunate mother.”

Sanger concludes, ‘‘The most serious charge that can be brought against modern benevolence is that it encourages’’—and I say this again—‘‘the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents, and dependents.’’ Such audacity, such an inhumane view of human life. 

Mr. Speaker, in her speech at the Planned Parenthood gala accepting the Margaret Sanger award—and I have many other quotes from Sanger that I will put into the RECORD, and I invite Members and the American people to look at those quotes, and there is so much more. But in her speech last Friday, Secretary Clinton said she admired Sanger for her vision, was in awe of her, and that Margaret Sanger’s work here and in the United States and certainly across the globe is not done. 

Translated, ‘‘not done’’ means more abortions here in the United States, in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, the world. Planned Parenthood’s mission statement, documents, and work in the field make it absolutely clear that they seek a global unfettered right to commit violence against unborn children at all stages of development. Planned Parenthood seeks integration of all health care with abortion, with no conscience rights whatsoever for medical practitioners, no parental consent or notification whatsoever for minors. And all of this paid for by the United States taxpayer.

Which begs the question, Mr. Speaker. Is our Secretary of State unaware of Margaret Sanger’s inhumane beliefs? Was she not briefed on Margaret Sanger’s cruel and reckless disregard for poor, pregnant women? Respectfully, Secretary Clinton should at a minimum return the Sanger award. 

More importantly, Congress and the White House must at long last take a long, hard, second look at the multimillion, almost billion, dollar corporation called Planned Parenthood, Child Abuse Incorporated. 

Let’s be honest, Mr. Speaker. Abortion is violence against children. It dismembers and chemically poisons a child to death. It hurts women physically, psychologically, and spiritually. There is nothing whatsoever compassionate, benevolent, ennobling, benign, or empowering about abortion. It is a violation of a child’s fundamental human rights.

Rather than partnering with Planned Parenthood and like minded NGOs to promote abortion worldwide, with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, the United States should affirm the inherent value, dignity and worth of both victims of abortion—mother and child. We need to promote both at home and abroad. We should always and in every way affirm the precious lives of both. On that score, Margaret Sanger and far too many others would disagree. I strongly urge my colleagues to take that second look at Planned Parenthood. It is time to respect the value and dignity of all human life.