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May 25, 2012



Sanger was no saint, but let's put a couple things in perspective:

When Sanger was a nurse she visited the homes of the ill to render aid (docs and nurses made house calls back then) & encountered many large poor families living in dirty, cramped hovels and subsisting on "bread, broth, and bacon." The mothers begged her to tell them how to prevent future pregnancies, info which was illegal back then. She herself had no idea when she was starting out.

When Sanger visited wealthy homes she saw the families were always small, and the women told her candidly about their 'French' birth control methods -- unavailable to the poor women, of course.

Sanger educated herself on these methods and distributed the info to poor women and was jailed for it multiple times. She received literally tens of thousands of letters from mothers desperate to curb their fertility (you can read several of them here: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5083/). As I said, she was no saint, but she provided a needed service to women who had no access to contraceptive information.

As far as eugenics, the theory was very popular in the U.S. in the 19th and early 20th centuries -- the Nazis got their inspiration from America, not vice versa! It was actually considered "scientific" and biologists in universities supported it. It was scientists and politicians in California at the turn of the century who developed eugenics and disseminated the idea at the highest levels, not Margaret Sanger. Heck, the Women's Christian Temperance Union thought eugenics was a bully idea (and they loved the KKK as well).

This is a long post, but Sanger has been the whipping girl for the pro-life movement for far too long, I think. Most of what is said about her is half-truth or no-truth, and even though I am against abortion, I think the truth about people in history is more important that whatever ax I may have to grind.


I came across this today, and was so encouraged! I had my first baby 8 months ago, and am getting to the point where I'm beginning to feel like this isn't meaningful. I love my baby so much, but chasing him around the house and feeding him and changing him gets a little mundane, and thoughts have started popping into my head.

You're wasting your gifts. You're wasting your college degree. What you're doing isn't meaningful.

I know these things aren't true! But I've been struggling to define how raising children is meaningful for God's kingdom. Reading this really helped me, "By bearing and nurturing life, you are reflecting the life-giving characteristics of our holy God! Made in His image, you are reflecting Him when you care for the lives He has created."

Thanks for the helpful insight!

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