Monday, 27 April 2009

The Legacy of Margaret Sanger to be Fulfilled - Or?

Now it's official (as if we didn't know it): Hillary Clinton has affirmed that one of the stated aims of the Obama administration is to advance so-called 'reproductive rights', including the 'right' to abortion, throughout the world.

The same Hillary Clinton recently expressed her admiration for the founder of what would become the largest perpetrator of abortions in the US, Planned Parenthood, saying she was "in awe" of Margaret Sanger and that "her work is not yet done".

Many Catholic bloggers are going into bouts of frenzy over Margaret Sanger, stating that she was a eugenicist, a racist with ties to the KKK, and whatnot. Actually, I think they are missing a far deeper point about Sanger. I don't know much about her, but if the information about her on Wikipedia is anything to go by, it turns out she was not such a horrible person after all; in fact, she was quite conservative, even for her time. She was not a eugenicist in the most perjorative sense of the word - while encouraging women to be smart about when to get pregnant and with whom, she abhorred the murderous eugenics programs in Nazi Germany. She regarded other races than the white one as intellectually and emotionally inferior, but then such a view was not a rarity in her day. The most horrible thing she advocated was actually birth control, which, although morally reprehensible and sometimes abortifacient, seldom constitutes outright murder. On all other issues regarding sexuality and reproduction she was very much a product of the century in which she was born. She viewed masturbation as gravely disordered behaviour and had great disdain for chronic masturbators. Her rationale for birth control was not to 'liberate' women, as the feminists of the 60's sought to do, but rather to prevent their immature and irrational sexual impulses (which were of course unavoidable) from getting them into trouble. And she actually opposed abortion in all instances on the grounds that it always constituted a taking of a life.

So it seems that Margaret Sanger, godmother of abortionism and hero of the sex-obsessive Left, was herself an avid opponent of abortion and had a rather more negative view of human sexuality than the Catholic Church does today. In embracing the teaching of the Church, Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton would ironically be much more true to the ideals of their great hero than they are now, and even develop a more rounded view of human sexuality and the joys which accompany it than she ever attained.

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