An article by Stephanie Simon in today's Los Angeles Times (Wednesday, March 21, 2007) states that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger "did not support coerced birth control." However, Sanger's own words suggest otherwise (all emphasis mine):
"[M]odern society ... is now confronted with the problem of protecting itself and its future generations against the inevitable consequences of this long-practised policy of LAISSER-FAIRE.
"The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately. Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives. The male defectives are no less dangerous. Segregation carried out for one or two generations would give us only partial control of the problem. Moreover, when we realize that each feeble-minded person is a potential source of an endless progeny of defect, we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.
"This, I say, is an emergency measure ..."
(From Chapter 4, "The Fertility of the Feeble-Minded," from the book by Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization (1922).) (link)
The Times' Simon also wrote that Sanger merely "associate[d] with proponents of eugenics, the philosophy that only the most worthy should be allowed to reproduce" (emphasis mine). Again, Sanger's own words reveal that she actually advocated the philosophy.
"Society is divided into three groups ... The third group are those irresponsible and reckless ones having little regard for the consequences of their acts, or whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers. Many of this group are diseased, feeble-minded, and are of the pauper element dependent upon the normal and fit members of society for their support. There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped. For if they are not able to support and care for themselves, they should certainly not be allowed to bring offspring into this world for others to look after." (Speech quoted in "Birth Control: What It Is, How It Works, What It Will Do." The Proceedings of the First American Birth Control Conference. Held at the Hotel Plaza, New York City, November 11-12, 1921. Published by the Birth Control Review, Gothic Press, pages 172 and 174.) (The speech was delivered on November 18, 1921. link)
Eugenics: "the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems." ("The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda," Birth Control Review, October 1921, page 5) (link) (link)
From today's Los Angeles Times (all emphasis mine):
Antiabortion activists are fighting back with their own appeals to black pride. In particular, they target Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, as a racist intent on eliminating people of color. One popular flier — recently mailed to 10,000 homes in minority neighborhoods in Waco, Texas — declares, "Lynching is for amateurs" and compares "Klan Parenthood" clinics to Nazi death camps.
Sanger did associate with proponents of eugenics, the philosophy that only the most worthy should be allowed to reproduce. But she did not support coerced birth control ..."
Any chance we'll see a correction from the Times? Anyone? ... Hello?