MSNBC’s Alex Wagner got very dramatic while talking about birth control on Friday’s episode of her show NOW with Alex Wagner. Ms. Wagner and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood were discussing the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether the government (via ObamaCare’s contraception mandate) can order private business owners to violate their religious faith by providing abortion-inducing drugs to their employees. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In a moment of raw emotion, Wagner let out her anguish over some unidentified force that is holding back progress toward free birth control for every woman. She mourned:
Deacon Greg Kandra was an interesting presence on the CBS staff in the Katie Couric era. He edited her blog Couric & Co. as he was ordained a Catholic deacon in 2007. At his Beliefnet blog The Deacon's Bench, he responded to the blog Creative Minority Report claiming Couric is a modern Margaret Sanger, the controversial eugenics-endorsing founder of Planned Parenthood. (The label came from Couric's recent subsidize-the-contraceptives commentary.) I expected Kandra might offer some defense to the CBS star. Instead, Kandra wrote:
CMR calls Katie a "modern Margaret Sanger."
I know what CMR is talking about. And boy, do they have Katie nailed.
True story. A few years ago, when Katie first came to CBS News, I worked as the editor of her blog "Couric & Co." One afternoon, I had a meeting with her in her office overlooking the CBS newsroom. Her suite of offices is gorgeous: white-on-white, with a marble desk and gorgeous black-and-white prints on the walls.
New York Times editor-turned-columnist Gail Collins's Saturday column celebrated the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill and waxed on birth-control activist Margaret Sanger for several paragraphs, without touching on Sanger's racism and support for eugenics. The online headline: "What Every Girl Should Know About Birth Control."
Discussing purity crusader Anthony Comstock, Collins wrote:
One of his targets was Margaret Sanger, a nurse who wrote a sex education column, "What Every Girl Should Know," for a left-wing New York newspaper, The Call. When Comstock banned her column on venereal disease, the paper ran an empty space with the title: "What Every Girl Should Know: Nothing, by Order of the U.S. Post Office."
Sanger was the first person to publish an evaluation of all the available forms of birth control. As a reward, she got a criminal obscenity charge. She fled to Europe to avoid going to jail, and her husband was imprisoned for passing out one of her pamphlets. In the end, he got 30 days, and Anthony Comstock got a chill during the trial that led to a fatal case of pneumonia.