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If Margaret Sanger Ran for President

By Mary Kizior

Margaret Sanger was the outspoken founder of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in America. Although she primarily focused on promoting birth control, Sanger had a lot to say about public policy and economic reform, claiming that population growth was a major problem in society.

Sanger might not have held a position of power in her day, but she wielded power in high places that to this very day has made an indelible mark on public policy dealing with birth control, abortion, and women’s health. Having said that, we can still use our imagination to wonder aloud about what might have been. Based on her own words, what would the great United States of America look like under a Sanger presidency? Let’s take a look at Sanger’s platform.

People encroach on the environment

“As population increases in any given territory, it encroaches upon all natural resources—forests, grasslands, soil fertility, water levels and watersheds. The increasing population threatens not only the food, clothing and shelter of the present living people, but the living standards of the present population lower as naturally as the night follows the day.” (Speech for the Third International Conference on Planned Parenthood in Bombay, India. “The Humanity of Family Planning.”)

Sound familiar? Today, we hear more and more stories about how people are the cause of our environmental problems (save the gorilla, not the little boy!). Better yet, eliminate the people to save the environment. Just like the environmentalists of today, Sanger worried that the earth’s finite resources would be eaten up by the hordes of recklessly reproducing people who were, according to Sanger, probably unfit to produce quality children. The truth is that the world is not overpopulated (Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2, 1996). And people should always come before other animals or the environment.

Taxpayers should pay for sterilizations

“Federal funds should be made available for [sterilizations] when needed. It would be the best National investment. It would be a better use of taxpayers’ money to pension the sterilized couple rather than paying a dole to increase the size of the family as it is being done in various countries.” (Speech for the Human Betterment Foundation, February 1951)

Today, we hear those same words from politicians in favor of taxpayer-funded abortion and contraception. We, the taxpayers of this nation, are paying to dismember and murder innocent children. Same old lies, just a different twist. Society has not only followed Sanger’s advice for “the best national investment,” but we have fulfilled her twisted ideology. The mindset that some people are more valuable than others can only lead to one thing—the destruction of human beings.

When we hear angry women screaming for their right to contraception, we must remember that this is exactly what Sanger wanted. It was the legalization of birth control in our country that led to the legalization of abortion. Abortion, contraception, and sterilization are all part of the same agenda—the culture of death that denies the dignity of each and every human being and seeks to destroy innocent preborn children, senior citizens, the sick, the poor, and disabled persons.

“We must break down prejudices against sterilization—we must enlighten and educate our people as to its harmlessness.” (Speech for the Third International Conference on Planned Parenthood in Bombay, India. “The Humanity of Family Planning.” November 1952)

No, Margaret Sanger was not kidding. She actually believed sterilization was acceptable and a necessary measure for society. Doesn’t this quote sound a lot like how people describe abortion today? Abortion is promoted as a necessary, safe, and harmless procedure. But how many women and babies have to die before we recognize the evil that abortion perpetrates in society?

Why waste money on charity?

“If those requesting charity, either state or private, were [re]fused aid until they consented to undergo the preventive treatment of sterilization, we should be effectively working for the abolition of pauperism, criminality and dysgenic breeding. Why allow license to the feebleminded and unfit types and make freedom impossible for the normal?” (“The Unifit,” typed draft article, The Margaret Sanger Papers Collection.)

Sanger believed that sterilization, not helping others, would solve society’s problems. Why should the state provide for poor families when they could just eliminate the poor in the first place? For Sanger, sterilization was the only way to prevent “extra” people from overpopulating the world. One of Sanger’s greatest fears was watching America become filled with “morons” who not only had many children, but who also had the right to vote. The truth is, the world is not in danger of becoming overpopulated, least of all the United States.

“Relief, by its ver[y] nature is not conservation. It may serve a destructive purpose, first by keeping alive the most unfit and encouraging them by federal, state and local aid, to multiply their kind. Second: Relief cannot do more than try to patch up a bad situation. It serves to prolong conditions of poverty and misery. It provides just enough to keep from actual starvation those who live, normally, almost submerged.” (Speech “Human Conservation And Birth Control,” March 1938).

As a world leader, Sanger would solve worldwide hunger and disease by forcing countries to accept birth control and abortion before sending food and much needed medical supplies. This is exactly what foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF force on poorer nations. Start having less children and then we’ll consider helping you.

“Consider for a moment: the millions, nay the billions of dollars we shovel every year into the bottomless pit of so-called charities. Futile extravagance!—this effort to keep alive the delinquent, the defective, the dangerous classes that, in all compassion should never be brought into the world at all!” (“Woman of the Future,” September 1933)

Today, countries like India entice women with food, money, cars, and TVs—luxuries they are too poor to afford—to be sterilized. Women are dying and the economy is not improving. Society’s solution to modern problems is not to help people rise above their hardships. Society’s solution is to kill them. Sanger would be proud.

What’s scary is that Sanger’s ideas are still alive and well today. We hear politicians and pro-aborts echoing Sanger’s words every day. America still faces the same problems as it did in the early twentieth century, but because of world tragedies like the Holocaust, we now know where the idea that some people are worth more than others leads. Killing people doesn’t solve any of society’s problems.

We don’t have to put up with Sanger any longer. The next generation of young people deserves to know the truth about Margaret Sanger and where her ideas have brought our nation. If they know the truth about Planned Parenthood’s real agenda, they don’t have to buy into the lies of politicians, celebrities, and world leaders who hold her up as a role model.

This summer, the Culture of Life Studies Program will release a multimedia unit study on Margaret Sanger and her impact on society. To help us bring this important educational supplement to high schools, college pro-life clubs, and communities across the nation, we have launched a Kickstarter project to raise the necessary funds to finish the series in time for a fall release.

Learn more about this important educational supplement at or at Would you like a copy of the unit study? Back our Kickstarter project. Backers who pledge $25 or more will receive a copy of the study as well as other pro-life gear.

Mary Kizior is a content developer for American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, which stresses the culture of life as an integral part of every academic discipline. CLSP is dedicated to helping students become effective communicators of the pro-life message. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter to see how we can help you foster a culture of life at home and in school.