Margaret Sanger quotes:

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  • Women of the working class, especially wage workers, should not have more than two children at most. The average working man can support no more and and the average working woman can take care of no more in decent fashion.

  • Speaking of Margaret Sanger, Grandson Alexander Sanger, head of Planned Parenthood of New York City, said: She made people accept that women had the right to control their own destinies.

  • The submission of her body without love or desire is degrading to the woman's finer sensibility, all the marriage certificates on earth to the contrary notwithstanding.

  • 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 periodwe prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.

  • Slavs, Latin, and Hebrew immigrants are human weeds ... a deadweight of human waste. Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a menace to the race.

  • Woman must have her freedom, the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she will be a mother and how many children she will have. Regardless of what man's attitude may be, that problem is hers - and before it can be his, it is hers alone.

  • Covertly invest into non-White areas, invest in ghetto abortion clinics. Help to raise money for free abortions, in primarily non-White areas. Perhaps abortion clinic syndicates throughout North America, that primarily operate in non-White areas and receive tax support, should be promoted.

  • She goes through the vale of death alone, each time a babe is born. As it is the right neither of man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether she will endure it.

  • I accepted an invitation to talk to the women's branch of the Ku Klux Klan.

  • By all means, there should be no children when either mother or father suffers from such diseases as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, cancer, epilepsy, insanity, drunkenness and mental disorders. In the case of the mother, heart disease, kidney trouble and pelvic deformities are also a serious bar to childbearing No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective.

  • War, famine, poverty and oppression of the workers will continue while woman makes life cheap. They will cease only when she limits her reproductivity and human life is no longer a thing to be wasted.

  • Against the State, against the Church, against the silence of the medical profession, against the whole machinery of dead institutions of the past, the woman of today arises.

  • Eugenics, which had started long before my time, had once been defined as including free love and prevention of conception... Recently it had cropped up again in the form of selective breeding.

  • A mutual and satisfied sexual act is of great benefit to the average woman, the magnetism of it is health giving. When it is not desired on the part of the woman and she has no response, it should not take place. This is an act of prostitution and is degrading to the woman's finer sensibility, all the marriage certificates on earth to the contrary notwithstanding.

  • Diplomats make it their business to conceal the facts.

  • We should not minimize the great outstanding service of Eugenics for critical and diagnostic investigations. It demonstrates ... that uncontrolled fertility is universally correlated with disease, poverty, overcrowding and the transmission of hereditable traits.

  • When motherhood becomes the fruit of a deep yearning, not the result of ignorance or accident, its children will become the foundation of a new race.

  • Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need ... We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock.

  • Birth Control which has been criticized as negative and destructive, is really the greatest and most truly eugenic method, and its adoption as part of the program of Eugenics would immediately give a concrete and realistic power to that science. . . as the most constructive and necessary of the means to racial health.

  • Through sex, mankind may attain the great spiritual illumination which will transform the world, which will light up the only path to earthly paradise.

  • As I look back upon my life, I see that every part of it was a preparation for the next. The most trivial of incidents fits into the larger pattern like a mosaic in a preconceived design.

  • A free race cannot be born of slave mothers.

  • I wanted each woman to be a rebellious Vashti, not an Esther.

  • Very early in my childhood I associated poverty, toil, unemployment, drunkenness, cruelty, quarreling, fighting, debts, jail with large families.

  • In passing, we should here recognize the difficulties presented by the idea of 'fit' and 'unfit.' Who is to decide this question? The grosser, the more obvious, the undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind. But among the writings of the representative Eugenists [sic], one cannot ignore the distinct middle-class bias that prevails.

  • Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.

  • Birth control is the first important step woman must take toward the goal of her freedom. It is the first step she must take to be man's equal. It is the first step they must both take toward human emancipation.

  • No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.

  • Usually this desire [for family limitation] has been laid to economic pressure It has asserted itself among the rich and among the poor, among the intelligent and the unintelligent. It has been manifested in such horrors as infanticide, child abandonment and abortion.

  • It is apparent that nothing short of contraceptives can put an end to the horrors of abortion and infanticide.

  • No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child without a permit for parenthood.

  • The most successful educational approach to the Negro is throgh a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the Minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

  • No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.

  • Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.

  • We are failing to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying . . . a dead weight of human waste . . .an ever-increasing spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all

  • The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it

  • The most far-reaching social development of modern times is the revolt of woman against sex servitude. The most important force in the remaking of the world is a free motherhood ...

  • Women must have economic and social equality with men.

  • Give dysgenic groups [people with 'bad genes'] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.

  • Apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

  • There is only one reply to a request for a higher birthrate among the intelligent, and that is to ask the government to first take the burden of the insane and feeble-minded from your back. [Mandatory] sterilization for these is the answer.

  • To give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization. g. to apportion farm lands and homesteads for these segregated persons where they would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.

  • I resolved that women should have knowledge of contraception. They have every right to know about their own bodies. I would strikeout--I would scream from the housetops. I would tell the world what was going on in the lives of these poor women. I would be heard. No matter what it should cost. I would be heard.

  • As often as I have witnessed the miracle [birth], held the perfect creature with its tiny hands and feet, each time I have felt as though I were entering a cathedral with prayer in my heart.

  • Diplomats make it their business to conceal the facts, and politicians violently denounce the politicians of other countries.

  • ... it has always been the depth of my belief, my faith, or my love that was the mainspring of my behavior. When once I believed in doing a thing, nothing could prevent my doing it.

  • ... the ocean could not be swept back with a broom. The truth was out. It illuminated the world. Motherhood no longer cringed before the relentless laws of fecundity.

  • [N]o one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception. This is the only cure for abortions.

  • A woman's duty: To look the whole world in the face with a go-to-hell look in the eyes" to speak and act in defiance of convention.

  • As a cause becomes more and more successful, the ideas of the people engaged in it are bound to change ...

  • As an advocate of birth control I wish to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the 'unfit' and the 'fit,' admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.

  • Birth Control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks "? those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.

  • Birth control is nothing more or less than...weeding out the unfit.

  • birth control is the means by which woman attains basic freedom ...

  • Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives.

  • Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a menace to the race.

  • Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.

  • Couples should be required to submit applications to have a child...

  • Enthusiasm is a divine possession.

  • Eugenics is the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.

  • Every single case of inherited defect, every malformed child, every congenitally tainted human being brought into this world is of infinite importance to that poor individual; but it is of scarcely less importance to the rest of us and to all of our children who must pay in one way or another for these biological and racial mistakes.

  • Has knowledge of birth control, so carefully guarded and so secretly practiced by the women of the wealthy class - and so tenaciously withheld from the working women - brought them misery? Rather, has it not promoted greater happiness, greater freedom, greater prosperity and more harmony among them? The women who have this knowledge are the women who have been free to develop, free to enjoy in its best sense, and free to advance the interests of the community.

  • Hordes of people [are] born, who live, yet who have done absolutely nothing to advance the race one iota. Their lives are hopeless repetitions" Such human weeds clog up the path, drain up the energies and the resources of this little earth. We must clear the way for a better world; we must cultivate our garden.

  • I cannot refrain from saying that women must come to recognize there is some function of womanhood other than being a child-bearing machine.

  • I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world.

  • If we are really to live at all we must put our convictions into action.

  • In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered. The conversation went on and on, and when we were finally through it was too late to return to New York.

  • It is ... marvellous ... to have a period of apparent fanaticism. No obstacle can discourage you. The single vision of your quest obscures defeat and lifts you over mountainous difficulties.

  • It is a noteworthy fact that not one of the women to whom I have spoken so far believes in abortion as a practice; but it is principle for which they are standing. They also believe that the complete abolition of the abortion law will shortly do away with abortions, as nothing else will.

  • It now remains for the United States government to set a sensible example to the world by offering a bonus or a yearly pension to all obviously unfit parents who allow themselves to be sterilized by harmless and scientific means.

  • Like begets like. We gather perfect fruit from perfect trees... . Abused soil brings forth stunted growths.

  • Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit. Both are seeking a single end but they lay emphasis upon different methods.

  • Many people are horrified at the idea of birth control. . . . It is simply the keynote of a new moral program.

  • More children from the fit, less from the unfit -- that is the chief aim of birth control.

  • Negroes and Southern Europeans are mentally inferior to native born Americans.

  • Never be ashamed of passion. If you are strongly sexed, you are richly endowed.

  • No despot ever flung forth his legions to die in foreign conquest, no privilege-ruled nation ever erupted across its borders, to lock in death embrace with another, but behind them loomed the driving power of a population too large for its boundaries and its natural resources.

  • No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective.

  • No woman can call herself free who cannot choose the time to be a mother or not as she sees fit.

  • On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.

  • Organized charity itself is. . . the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents and dependents

  • Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying . . . demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism,

  • Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon American society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupid, cruel sentimentalism.

  • She made people accept that women had the right to control their own destinies.

  • Some lives drift here and there like reeds in a stream, depending on changing currents for their activity. Others are like swimmers knowing the depth of the water. Each stroke helps them onward to a definite objective.

  • The basic freedom of the world is woman's freedom.

  • The campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical with the final aims of eugenics.

  • The first right of every child is to be wanted, to be desired, to be planned for with an intensity of love that gives it its title to being.

  • The greatest issue is to raise the question of birth control out of the gutter of obscenity ... into the light of intelligence and human understanding.

  • The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order,

  • The masses of Negroes...particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disasterously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more than among whites, is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit...

  • The most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it.

  • The most serious charge that can be brought against modern benevolence is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression.

  • The mother memories that are closest to my heart are the small gentle ones that I have carried over from the days of my childhood. They are not profound, but they have stayed with me through life, and when I am very old, they will still be near . . .

  • The mother memories that are closest to my heart are the small gentle ones that I have carried over from the days of my childhood. They are not profound, but they have stayed with me through life, and when I am very old, they will still be near . . . Memories of mother drying my tears, reading aloud, cutting cookies and singing as she did, listening to prayers I said as I knelt with my forehead pressed against her knee, tucking me in bed and turning down the light. They have carried me through the years and given my life such a firm foundation that it does not rock beneath flood or tempest.

  • The procreation of [the diseased, the feeble-minded and paupers] should be stopped.

  • The real hope of the world lies in putting as painstaking thought into the business of mating as we do into other big businesses.

  • The third group [of society] 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.

  • The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind.

  • Towards orthodox religion, father's own attitude remained one of tolerance. He looked upon the New Testament as the noble story of a human being which, because of ignorance and the lack of printing presses, had become exaggerated. He maintained that religions served their purpose; some people depended on them all their lives to make them honest. Others did not need to be so held in line. But subjection to any church was a reflection on strength and character. You should be able to get from yourself what you had to go go church for.

  • We are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all-that the wealth of individuals and of state is being diverted from the development and the progress of human expression and civilization.

  • We gather perfect fruit from perfect trees.

  • While there are cases where even the law recognizes an abortion as justifiable if recommended by a physician, I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization,

  • Woman must not accept; she must challenge.

  • Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tryanny of Christianity no less than Capitalism.

  • Woman was and is condemned to a system under which the lawful rapes exceed the unlawful ones a million to one.

  • Knowledge of birth control is essentially moral. Its general, though prudent, practice must lead to a higher individuality and ultimately to a cleaner race.

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