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Response to Doreen (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 13, 2018, 04:53 AM

6. You might benefit by reading Margaret Sanger's Autobiography. She went to prison for teaching...


EVEN TEACHING WOMEN CONTRACEPTION WAS AGAINST THE LAW. Illegal abortion was rampant -- and so was death. A desperate woman could get an abortion, but she could not gain access to caps, pessaries, spermicides, or indeed any info about how her reproductive system worked.

There is a passage in her Autobiography (1879-1966) that says it all about how she took up this crusade. She was a Public Health Nurse who visited poor women and their families in their tenement apartments. Passing thru the neighborhood one evening she saw a long line of women with their shawls hiding their faces waiting to enter a door. She was told they were all waiting to see the abortionist, and she was shocked, as this was outside her experience.

One of her patients was a woman with 3 chldren. Sanger described her children and rooms as clean and scrubbed. Their mother was sick in bed with a fever, infected from an abortion. The doctor in attendance was condescending: "You mustn't do this again, Mrs. Levine. Tell Jake to sleep on the couch." When the doc left, Mrs. Levine grabbed Sanger's hand and pleaded with her to "tell me the secret. My Jake is a good man. The doctor knows, but he won't tell me. There must be some secret that rich people know because they don't have so many children. You're a nurse -- you must know."

But Sanger truly did not know herself. She was a nurse but this was not part of her training.

She wrote that the next time she was called to this woman's bedside "she was sick again from the same cause," only this time she died.

There are many lies told about Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood, but one of the most abominable is that is was founded to abort rather than to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place. PP clinics did not provide abortions until the Supreme Court legalized the procedure.

Sanger set out to educate herself first, which involved travelling to England and Europe. When she returned she began to educate other women and to set up clinics. She was arrested for obscenity, among other crimes of the time. Telling women (and showing them drawings) that they had a uterus, ovaries, vagina, etc was considered obscene. She mailed educational pamphlets, which was also obscene and illegal. She went to prison.

Bits and pieces of her life story get picked up and twisted -- and while it is true she came to believe in eugenics for awhile, so did a lot of people at the time. Mostly what I can say about that is that she was a hero, not a saint.

Planned Parenthood does not "push abortion," nor have they ever done so. Abortion services constitute about 3% of the medical care they provide.

For further information, please visit the Planned Parenthood national website.

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