By: Mary Arbogast CST, RN, BS, CNOR, Nursing and Healthcare Outreach Coordinator
About 1 in 50 children are afflicted with some form of Autism according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may know someone who has a child with Autism or a form of it. You may know someone who actually has the disease. Or maybe you have a friend with a brother or sister who has Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism. With a number like 1 in 50, it’s likely your life has been touched in some way by one of these individuals.
Have you seen the way their parents take care of them and love them even though, at times, their behavior can be difficult? Did your friend tell you a funny story of how her brother with Autism made them laugh or made them proud when he had a breakthrough?
Now, imagine yourself living in the early twentieth century- about 1925. You just heard about a woman named Margaret Sanger. She’s a progressive thinker. She’s making news but you don’t know what all the fuss is about. Who is she? What’s she saying? Why is she saying it? What’s she doing? And why is she doing it?
Without getting into a full biographical history of Margaret Sanger, I’d rather have you investigate it for yourself. Are you a nurse? Have you taken an oath? What do you believe? Here’s an excerpt from FrontPageMagazine/DiscovertheNetworks:
“At a March 1925 international birth-control event in New York City, Sanger advocated — for the ‘salvation of American civilization’ — the sterilization of those ‘unfit’ to procreate. In addition, she condemned the “irresponsible and reckless” rates of procreation among those ‘whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers.’ She was referring specifically to Catholics who rejected the use of contraception. ‘There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people,’ she added, ‘that the procreation of this group should be stopped.’
In her quest to engineer a civilization devoid of ‘subnormal children,’ Sanger often worked jointly with groups and individuals whose goals vis a vis eugenics overlapped with her own, even if their larger agendas differed from hers. In 1926, for instance, she presented a lecture on birth control to the women’s auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey. In September 1930 she invited Nazi anthropologist Eugen Fischer (whose ideas were cited by the Nazis to legitimize the extermination of Jews) to meet with her at her home.”
Ask yourself, how do you define “subnormal children”? Would the children with Autism or a form of it be considered “subnormal”? How about children with cerebral palsy? Are they “subnormal”? Should they not be afforded the same opportunities as any other person? Do they lose their right to reproduce? Should they have been killed in the womb had the technology existed in 1925? Who decides who should live or die?
You see, Margaret Sanger has been touted as a hero for her work in promoting birth control; however, you rarely hear about her views on race control, population control, or Eugenics. But don’t just take my word for it. Learn for yourself from the original source; read Margaret Sanger’s own words in her publications. She’s published the following works:
What Every Mother Should Know (1917); Woman and the New Race (1920); Happiness in Marriage (1926); Motherhood in Bondage (1928); My Fight for Birth Control (1931); and Autobiography (1938). Another book, The Pivot of Civilization, was published posthumously in 2006.
Finally, Sanger is the notable founder of Planned Parenthood. After investigating her words and works, ask yourself if you’d be proud to receive the Margaret Sanger Award. It’s given to those persons who promote the organization’s ideas and values (which are Sanger’s ideas and values).
Can you believe she was a maternity nurse? What kind of nurse will you be? What are your values and beliefs?
Fast-forward to present time. When you look at your friend’s brother with Autism, do you see him differently now you know more about the views of Margaret Sanger? Do you think he’d been born in Margaret Sanger’s world? And can you believe she’s often championed as a nursing hero and advocate?
Remember, this wasn’t about simple birth control or family planning. This was always about control of a larger kind.
“The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind,” ~Margaret Sanger
By George Grant
By George Grant
Major Introductory Resources:
By Victor Spooner, January 2005
By Jonah Goldberg, June 24, 2008
By Kathryn Jean Lopez, April 13, 2009
By Marian L. Ward, December 5, 2008
The Legal Aspects of Birth Control, Religion and the Birth Rate, and Joyful Ignorance — In Birth Control Review, April 1932