Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood.

What were Margaret Sanger's goals for establishing Planned Parenthood?

Did she achieve those goals?

  • 3
    A good answer should reference and contextualize eugenics. – Affable Geek Apr 18 '13 at 11:50
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    @AffableGeek - and Malthusianism – user4012 Apr 19 '13 at 17:30
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    It should be noted that she did not have the goal of founding planned parenthood. The organization she founded eventually morphed into planned parenthood via a lot of external forces. – user1530 Dec 29 '16 at 20:50

Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League (ABCL) on November 10, 1921. As the NYU link explains "Sanger served as president from 1921 until her resignation on June 12, 1928 ... After her resignation, Sanger assumed full control of the CRB, renaming it the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau (BCCRB), and severed all legal ties with the ABCL. In 1939, the ABCL merged with the BCCRB to form the Birth Control Federation of America, which in 1942 changed its name to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America."

Immediately after founding the ABCL she discussed goals in the article Stop Perpetuating The Unfit by a National Policy on Limitation of Families. 28 December 1921 New York American :

Such is the object of the American Birth Control League (104 Fifth avenue, New York City), which aims to arouse interest among the American people to bring to birth a better quality in our race, as well as to establish clinics in all thickly populated districts where poor overburdened wretched mothers may be instructed in the methods of birth control.

We need one generation of birth control to weed out the misfits, to breed self-reliant, intelligent, responsible individuals.

Our immigration laws forbid the entrance into this country of paupers, insane, feeble-minded and diseased people from other lands. Why not extend the idea and discourage the bringing to birth these same types within our borders. Let us stop reproducing and perpetuation disease, insanity and ignorance.

Stop these and other evils at their source by a national policy and education of birth control.

For more information about her thinking and goals at the time of founding the ABCL, read her 1920 book Woman and the New Race:

Among our more than 100,000,000 population are Negroes, Indians, Chinese and other colored people to the number of 11,000,000. There are also 14,500,000 of foreign birth. Besides these there are 14,000,000 children of foreign-born parents and 6,500,000 persons whose fathers or mothers were born on foreign soil, making a total of 46,000,000 people of foreign stock. Fifty percent are of the native white strain...the slums of Europe dumped their submerged immigrants into America...The 1920 census will in all probability tell a story of an even greater and more serious problem than did the last... Do these elements give promise of a better race? Are we doing anything genuinely constructive to overcome this situation? [quoting from pages 31-33]

So her goal, for the United States, was to increase the representation of the "native white strain", which did not include first or second generation immigrants in her mind.

She wanted to achieve this without abortion and wrote "abortion is the destruction of life. Every high-minded respectable doctor shuns those looking for abortion".

Sanger wrote in Birth Control or Abortion? Birth Control Review December 1918:

I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization.

So, because there are still hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year, despite birth control, her goals have not been achieved in this regard. And while blacks have been aborted at about 3 times the rate of whites, according to Statistically Abstracts of the United States 2012, table 101, Sanger has not been entirely successful in selectively breeding the "native white strain".


Margaret Sanger had two goals regarding planned parenthood and birth control. To make it 1) legal, and 2) safe for women.

The legal victories came first. Shortly after her arrest, a court in the state of New York ruled that DOCTORs could prescribe birth control. In the following decade, the 1920s, birth control became much more accepted and discussed in American society. This was partly because many American soldiers served in, then came back from Europe where attitudes toward sex were much freer ("How can you keep them down on the farm after they've seen Paree.") Court victories during the 1920s largely made it possible for women to get birth control.

The next step of forward progress took place around 1960, when the "pill" was introduced. This was a method that was both safe AND convenient. Prior to that, "barrier" methods such as condoms and diaphragms were safe but not convenient, while other "convenient" methods were not safe.

So Margaret Sanger (who died in 1966), lived just long enough to see the second part of her dream realized.

  • 2
    Any sources to site? – user1873 May 21 '13 at 3:12
  • Nice answer, but sources? – Avi May 21 '13 at 4:14
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    -1 - there's absolutely no exploration of her Malthusian views, eugenics, etc... – user4012 May 22 '13 at 19:19
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    @DvK: IMHO, her views were a "sideshow," and her REAL agenda was to make things easier for women – Tom Au May 22 '13 at 19:23
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    @DVK: As I read the link, her views were pro eugenics and anti-abortion; two opposing ideas under one mind. – Tom Au May 26 '13 at 18:49

As the founder of America’s largest abortion chain, Margaret Sanger’s ideology for Planned Parenthood was cemented in eugenics, the belief and practice that eliminates certain groups of people. Her first goal was to kill or sterilize those she thought were defective: blacks, Jews, criminals, Italians, Asians, Slavs, the diseased. Her second goal was to universally decrease the human population. Part of this last goal is a mix of Malthusian (a proven falsehood) fear of overpopulation, to positively check masculinity (soldiers were a group ripe for culling according to Sanger), and finally a way to free women from the "enslavement" of marriage and families.

You asked if she was successful. Empirically she was, 60 million Americans have been aborted to date. According to the Guttmacher Institute (source below), the former pro-abortion research division of Planned Parenthood, African-American women are five times more likely to choose abortion over white women. Planned Parenthood clinics are strategically planted in minority communities, targeting blacks and impoverished minority groups, and abortion remains the leading cause of death for the black community.

From Life News

Below is a compilation of seven shocking quotes from Sanger, a famed eugenicist who birthed America’s largest abortion-on-demand corporation.

1) “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

2) “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan.”

3) “They are…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ’spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”

4) “Birth control is nothing more or less than…weeding out the unfit.”

5) “Human beings who never should have been born at all.” In “The Pivot of Civilization” and “A Plan for Peace,” Sanger describes the eugenic value of eliminating persons – minorities, the sick, and the disabled – through sterilization or segregation:

Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying … demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism … [Philanthropists] encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste.

6) “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world.”

7) “But for my view, I believe that there should be no more babies.

  • 1
    The quote in the graphic is fake. You should find a source of her saying that or delete. The closest real quote would be "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." New York Times 8 April 1923 – DavePhD Dec 29 '16 at 13:41
  • @DavePhD, the source can also be found in the link that I posted. Its dual purpose. See number 3. – K Dog Dec 29 '16 at 13:44
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    The real 'dead weight of human waste' quote is "blind, deaf and mute, in insane asylums, in homes for the feeble-minded and epileptic...dead weight of human waste" Pilot of Civilization, 1922 books.google.com/… Fake quotes suppress the truth and discredit you. – DavePhD Dec 29 '16 at 13:55
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    @KDog You might want to check the source yourself. It links to "The Pivot of Civilization" on project Gutenberg. The text does not contain the strings "human weed", "reckless breeders", "slav" (as complete word) or "hebrew". It seems like you have been tricked by a fake. You really need to be more careful. Spreading claims without verifying them because they fit into your world view is how fake news spread! – Philipp Dec 29 '16 at 15:03
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    Thanks to those that pointed out the quote in the pic was mis-attributed to Sanger. Removed – K Dog Dec 29 '16 at 15:37

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