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4/14/11

Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography reviewed: Sanger Was A Strategist, but a Racist

In reviewing Sanger's autobiography (The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger (Dover Value Editions)), there is a difficult balance to manage.
On one hand, Sanger had a genuine desire to reduce unwanted births and, indirectly, reduce the population of the poor and mistreated.
On the other hand is the ungirdings of her beliefs: that African-Americans were second-class citizens. Backing what she believed was a growing acceptance of eugenics, that to have a better world, the population needed to be genetically purer. For Sanger, not too different that Hitler, this meant encouraging abortions among African-Americans.

To read Sanger's auto-biography alone might mislead the reader into believing her views were founded in cleanly laid-out welfare theories and of women's rights. That was part of it. But deeper still -- and the reason I'm not comfortable fully recommending this book -- is her core racial prejudice under the guise of freedom.
I understand my review might offend fans of Sanger, but read it in context.

Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned ParenthoodPick up George Grant's book on it (Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood) get past his over-emphasis on his own conservative views, and read his analysis of her own comments. Better yet: if you can find one, read Doug Scott's "Bad Choices" expose of the founding and practices of Planned Parenthood. Again, exceedingly conservative and not for the close-minded, but his citations of Sanger's letters and official documents are astounding and alarming.
Anthony Trendl
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