After NB Post, LA Times Admits It 'Oversimplified' Views of Planned Parenthood Founder

March 25th, 2007 7:48 PM

Following this NewsBusters post on Wednesday (3/21/07), the Los Angeles Times has admitted it "oversimplified the eugenics views of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger."

On Wednesday, we took issue with this article by Stephanie Simon in the Los Angeles Times that stated that Sanger "did not support coerced birth control." Simon also wrote that Sanger had merely "associate[d] with proponents of eugenics, the philosophy that only the most worthy should be allowed to reproduce"

In our article, we demonstrated that Sanger's own words suggested the opposite. In her 1922 book, The Pivot of Civilization, Sanger wrote, "Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period." For men, Sanger recommended the "policy of immediate sterilization." In other writings, Sanger referred to some members of humanity as "human weeds."

After my post, I wrote to the Readers Representative at the Times, and I provided a link to my article. I received a response indicating that the paper would be "running a correction."

From today's LA Times (Sunday, March 25, 2007):


Antiabortion efforts: An article in Wednesday's Section A about antiabortion efforts in black communities oversimplified the eugenics views of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger in saying she did not support coerced birth control. Sanger did not support measures to limit the population of minorities through coerced contraception. She did, however, support forced sterilization of the mentally disabled.

There you go. But here's another reminder about Sanger for the Times:

Margaret Sanger on 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)

Should you care, continue the debate among yourselves.