Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s newest President, wrote a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled, “In Defense of Margaret Sanger on Eugenics,” and the article is basically chock full of lies.
Two months ago Alexis McGill Johnson took over as the interim President of Planned Parenthood after Leana Wen was abruptly fired from her position as President and CEO for not pushing abortion as heavily as the board of directors desired.
Planned Parenthood’s decision to move Alexis McGill Johnson – herself an experienced political activist – from the board into the position as interim president is itself an indication that Planned Parenthood intents to actively continue politically promulgating.
Johnson has lived up to predictions making claims like trying to argue that Planned Parenthood isn’t political. Now, in her latest op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Johnson makes outrageous claims like saying that Margaret Sanger did not promote eugenics.
This is untrue. Planned parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger most definitely supported eugenics and infanticide.
In her works Woman and the New Race, Pivot of Civilization, and My Fight for Birth Control, Margaret Sanger offers a range of justifications for killing “unwanted children.” This is no surprise considering how she reacts when she witnesses an act of violence against an infant: “I saw a sickly baby in the arms of a terrified woman whose drunken husband had thrown the wailing, naked infant into the snow,” she recounts, and “I remember having keen sympathy with that man!” His wife had given birth to eleven children, six of them living, and the last “evidently had eczema” and “whined night and day,” so the situation was just “too much” for the father, and “out of the door into the snow the nuisance went!” The justification Sanger offers is purely subjective: “desperate for want of sleep and quiet,” the father’s “nerves overcame him.” Infanticide is simply ridding oneself of an intolerable “nuisance.”
Sanger also famously said, “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Not only was the founder of Planned Parenthood a eugenicist, she also became known for other activities. On pages 366-367 of her 1938 autobiography, Sanger spoke warmly of her May 1926 speech to the women’s chapter of the KKK in Silverlake, New Jersey. In August 1914, Sanger was indicted for inciting murder and assassination, and for violating obscenity laws, and subsequently fled the country. Two years later, the charges were dropped.
In 1919, on the topic of birth control and racial betterment, Sanger advocated for both sterilization of “the unfit” and birth control as a better additional measure:
While I personally believe in the sterilization of the feeble-minded, the insane and syphilitic, I have not been able to discover that these measures are more than superficial deterrents when applied to the constantly growing stream of the unfit. They are excellent means of meeting a certain phase of the situation, but I believe in regard to these, as in regard to other eugenic means, that they do not go to the bottom of the matter. Neither the mating of healthy couples nor the sterilization of certain recognized types of the unfit touches the great problem of unlimited reproduction of those whose housing, clothing, and food are all inadequate to physical and mental health. These measures do not touch those great masses, who through economic pressure populate the slums and there produce in their helplessness other helpless, diseased and incompetent masses, who overwhelm all that eugenics can do among those whose economic condition is better.
The very day after abortion was legalized in New York City, Planned Parenthood began taking the lives of innocent babies, performing 56 abortions that day. It was not until three years later in 1973, that abortion was legalized nationwide in the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.
Sanger is famously quoted from a 1957 interview with Mike Wallace,in which she said: “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world—that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin—that people can—can commit.”
Sanger also suggested parents should be required to get a state issued permit in order to bear children. She wrote: “No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.“
Margaret Sanger’s ideology clearly still has an impact on the way Planned Parenthood operates today, despite Alexis McGill Johnson’s claims to the contrary.