Eugenics and Planned Parenthood Essay

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When one contemplates the concept of eugenics, few think of modern contraception and abortion when in reality they are one in the same. The American Eugenics Society, founded in 1923, proudly proclaimed that men with incurable “conditions” should be sterilized. However these conditions were often none that could be helped, such as, one’s intelligence, race, and social class (Schweikart and Allen 529-532). The purpose of the society was to create the perfect class of men; elite in all ways. Likewise, Margaret Sanger’s feminist, contraceptive movement was not originally founded with this purpose. It was marketed as a way to control the population and be merciful to those yet to be born, again determined also by race and…show more content…
A superior race determined by ethnic origin, intelligence, and even physical appearance. Margaret Sanger built upon Davenport’s movement through the concept of contraception rather than sterilization. Although her initial purpose was not to create a superior race, the contraception movement had an equally detrimental effect upon society. Fuelled by the anger from her mother’s death, Sanger wrote The Woman Rebel advocating controlling who could reproduce (Citation). Just as Davenport, she had criteria for those she wished to eliminate including, Jews, Blacks, and Chinese (Schweikart and Allen 529-532). She also believed that large families were wasteful and wrong. In her book Women and the New Race, Sanger stated that “the most merciful thing a large family could do to new baby is to kill it.” She believed he could not be properly loved and cared for and furthermore considered him a waste of resources(“Margaret Sanger: Family Planning”). Her articles were condemned illegal and she fled to England where she truly let her colors show. She established the Birth Control Review in 1917 and wrote pro eugenics articles including “Some Moral Aspects of Eugenics” and “Birth Control and Positive Eugenics”. The positive response in England encouraged Sanger to return to the U.S to market birth control in a more palatable fashion as family planning. This
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