feature-2011-04-margaretsanger

On Margaret Sanger, the Soviets, and Democrats

April 15, 2011 | by | Topic: Faith & SocietyPrint Print

Editor’s note: A longer version of this article first appeared in American Spectator.

“[W]e could well take example from Russia,” advised Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, “where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.”

Sanger, racial-eugenicist who spoke to a 1926 KKK rally, whose work included a “Negro Project,” who wished to rid America of “human weeds” and “morons” and “imbeciles,” and who wanted birth control for “race improvement,” had just returned from a pilgrimage to Stalin’s Russia. Like many progressives (click here for John Dewey’s experiences), she went there to soak in the alleged triumphs of the communist motherland, marveling at Lenin’s and Stalin’s advancements for women.

And so, in the June 1935 edition of her publication, Birth Control Review, in an article titled, “Birth Control in Russia,” Sanger concluded:

Theoretically, there are no obstacles to birth control in Russia. It is accepted … on the grounds of health and human right…. [W]e could well take example from Russia, where there are no legal restrictions, no religious condemnation, and where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.

I could quote more, including this jaw-dropping prediction: “All the officials with whom I discussed the matter stated that as soon as the economic and social plans of Soviet Russia are realized, neither abortions nor contraception will be necessary or desired. A functioning Communistic society will assure the happiness of every child, and will assume the full responsibility for its welfare and education.”

Now there, ladies and gentleman, is progressive utopianism, an absolute faith in central planners. Contrary to the Planned Parenthood matron’s optimism, abortions skyrocketed to seven million annually in the USSR.

What struck me in recently re-reading this article is how Democrats in America have arrived at Sanger’s ideal, where Planned Parenthood’s services have become, in their mind, “part of the regular welfare service of the government”—just like Stalinist Russia.

Consider the revealing response by Democrats to completely legitimate Republican attempts—amid record deficits and debt levels—to cut taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood:

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed: “The dangerous, ideological cuts to Planned Parenthood … are never, never, never going to pass the Senate.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Republicans had placed a “bull’s eye on women in America,” barring them from “health services they need.”

“The real reason that the right-wing extremists in Congress orchestrated this outrageous government shutdown,” added Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), “is to try and defund Planned Parenthood as part of their ideological assault on women’s health care.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) explained, “This is a war on women. They’re trying to inject their politics and their religion into local family planning.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) insisted that defunding efforts were “nothing more than an opportunity for the right wing in the House to sock it to women.”

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it a “very dangerous situation” for women. Pelosi told reporters: “It’s degrading to women.”

And Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) described Republican efforts as a “vendetta” against women, insisting, “Behind each of these Republican proposed cuts, there are thousands, maybe millions of people who would be hurt.”

Remember when liberals called for civility?

And remember, too, when President Obama referred to “tax cuts for the wealthy” as the Republicans’ “Holy Grail?” Well, taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood appears to be the Democrats’ Holy Grail. As Obama and Republican Speaker John Boehner battled over a budget compromise, Obama drew a line in the sand on Planned Parenthood, snapping: “Nope. Zero. John, this is it.”

The room fell silent. Obama had hoisted the Holy Grail.

You’d think from Democrats’ reaction that taxpayer funding of the nation’s largest abortion provider was Article 1 of the Constitution, an inalienable right in the Declaration, a sacred political covenant with taxpayers, anchored in the writings of Jefferson and Madison and Locke and Adams, etched in cement at the base of the Washington Monument.

It’s preposterous that America has run so far aground that we even seriously entertain directing taxpayer dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider. The “right” to an abortion had to be read into the Constitution, at the exclusion of sections (the 14th Amendment) guaranteeing a right to life. Abortion was read into the “right to privacy,” three words which don’t exist in the Constitution.

It took Democrats a while to get there, but, finally, almost a century after the start of the Bolshevik Revolution and Margaret Sanger’s organization, they’ve arrived at where the Soviets and Sanger found common ground. They indeed act as if, as Sanger said about Stalin’s Russia, “birth control … is part of the regular service of the government.”

The saddest thing is that neither they, nor their supporters, nor America, seem to comprehend the outrageousness of their position.

Paul G. Kengor

Paul G. Kengor

Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative. His other books include The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.

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