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You might say that Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, was the mother of the birth control movement and the grandmother of the abortion industry. She would have embraced the first title and bristled at the second. Birth control, Sanger assured us, would eliminate the “crime of abortion.” It would help protect children, whom she called “the chief asset of a nation.” Margaret Sanger, believe it or not, referred to human fetuses as “child[ren] in the womb,” marked conception as the “point of creation,” and despite her contempt for the “unfit,” decried the practice of euthanizing “defective progeny” through infanticide—something Planned Parenthood refuses to do today. Sanger opined that the the pursuit of wealth was no reason to “shut our eyes to the sacrifice of human life” and argued that “each human being is essentially implicated in every question or problem which involves the well-being of the humblest of us.“ Nevertheless, the organization she founded for the propagation of birth control went on to become the largest abortion business in America. Though abortion has long existed on the fringes of society, Planned Parenthood brought it into the corporate mainstream—on the coattails of birth control.
I’ve already addressed Margaret Sanger’s religious devotion to birth control and her contempt for Christian charity, but there remains at least one more piece to the puzzle—as revealed in her 1922 treatise on birth control, The Pivot of Civilization. To truly
I mentioned last week in my initial review of Margaret Sanger’s The Pivot of Civilization that it was a surprising book—both better and worse than I expected. Among her critics, the Planned Parenthood founder has a well-earned reputation for being a racist and a libertine. While I do believe those charges are fair, the expression of each is somewhat veiled in this particular work. Sanger sings the praises of eugenics, but is caged in her comments on race. She continually calls for a general throwing off of sexual restraint, but warns against going too far. In fact, some of her assertions about sex are ones I can’t help but agree with—including the following:
Asceticism defeats its own purpose because it develops the obsession of licentious and obscene thoughts, the victim alternating between temporary victory over “sin” and the remorse of defeat. But the seeker of purely physical pleasure, the libertine or the average sensualist, is no less a pathological case, living as one-sided and unbalanced a life as the ascetic … in trying to get something for nothing, he is not merely cheating others but himself as well…. Sensuality … is on a level with gluttony—a physical excess—detached from sentiment, chivalry, or tenderness…. Its real and effective restraints are those imposed by a loving and sympathetic companionship, by the privileges of parenthood, the exacting claims of career and that civic sense which prompts men to do social service. (Kindle Locations 1928-1932,
Though Planned Parenthood now operates the largest abortion business in the country, its historical roots are entirely tied to birth control—as evidenced by its original name: the American Birth Control League. There is a tragic irony in this fact, since the woman who founded Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, argued that birth control would ultimately eliminate “the crime of abortion.” Birth control, as we’ve found out, does not eliminate the crime of abortion—though it certainly played a central role in decriminalizing abortion and turning Planned Parenthood into a billion-dollar corporation along the way.
In 1922, Margaret Sanger published The Pivot of Civilization, which I read for the first time last week. I was led to it for three reasons. First, I recently stumbled upon a 1957 video interview Sanger did with Mike Wallace. Second, I watched a lecture on eugenics delivered last month at Ohio University, which referenced Sanger extensively. Third, a new, pro-Sanger biography was published last year, asserting that Margaret Sanger’s “connection to eugenics … has been exaggerated by deceitful critics.” I considered forking over $10 to read the book until I realized that Sanger’s own work is a free, Kindle download. Why not go straight to the source?
As is so often the case, the results were surprising. The tone and energy of the book stand in stark contrast to the impression you get from the Wallace interview where, despite her feeble attempts at cordiality, Sanger
Each year around this time, I put together a “State of the Union” for Abort73.com. Not surprisingly, it focuses on web traffic. Virtually everything we do is predicated on getting as many people to visit Abort73.com as we possibly can. In our ongoing effort to combat abortion through education, it’s our most objective way of measuring success. Generally speaking, the results are encouraging. Though growth is never as fast as I’d like, our year-to-date numbers have always exceeded the year before. Until now. Through October, there have been .18% fewer visits to Abort73 this year than there were in 2012. Though that’s a statistically insignificant decrease, the last few months make the problem more apparent. From January through July, 2013 web traffic was 10% ahead of 2012. But from August through October, 2013 web traffic fell behind 2012 by 28%.
The end result of my analysis is a 14-page document that looks under the hood at all sorts of visitor metrics. It is admittedly esoteric, but if you take a deep interest in the work of Abort73 (or in web analytics in general), it should be of interest to you. As always, it is available online for your perusal. I share it for the same reason that I post our giving and spending each month, along with our shirt sales and visitor numbers—because I believe in transparency. And because churches and charities don’t always have a great track record when it comes to full-disclosure.
Though it’s hard to pinpoint a single culprit for the
Obviously, that’s a tongue-in-cheek title, but it stems from two responses that were lately received through the Abort73 website. One comes from Africa and one from Nevada. One comes from a teenage girl and one from a man in his late 20’s. One is personal and heartbreaking, and one is abstract and disjointed. But despite their contextual, demographic differences, both share a common theme. It goes something like this: the world is profoundly messed up; abortion is necessary to keep the peace. Here’s the first one, from a 16-year-old girl in Africa:
This is my sisters story. We were living in our old village in Africa; she was 13 at the time. One night my mother, me, and my other sisters were out at the market. She was staying at home with my father and 2 brothers because my father wanted her to. She was the youngest and his favorite. While we were out, my brothers and father held her down and took turns raping her. She tried to struggle, but they just hit her. By the time my mother and sisters and me got home, they had covered up the evidence and threatened they would do it again if she told anyone. Two months later, when my brothers were at school and my father was at work, she started crying and would not stop. She told me, and I told our mother. She slapped her in the face and said she was a devil child. She told her to go and never come back. But I took her to the city and to the doctor. He told her she had AIDS and was pregnant with triplets. We both started