Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was a birth control advocate who started the nation's first birth control clinic s, and established Planned Parenthood's predecessor groups. She was also a racist. an advocate of eugenics, and an admirer of Nazi Germany's policies on sterilization.
It is said a fish as large as a man has a brain no larger than the kernel of an almond. In all fish and reptiles where there is no great brain development, there is also no conscious sexual control. The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.
"America Needs a Code for Babies," March 27, 1934:
Many groups of the socially unfit, as for example the feeble-minded and the criminal, are not sufficiently susceptible to education or the moral pressure of the community. For such people sterilization is indicated. Some states already have sterilization laws, and others should adopt similar measures. While there must be ample safeguards in administering such laws so that the rights of the individual are considered, the paramount need is to protect society as a whole. Sterilization would go far in reducing human misery, not to speak of the financial saving in the upkeep of the unfit offspring. Therefore I suggest the following clause in the Baby Code:Article 8. Feeble-minded persons, habitual congenital criminals, those afflicted with inheritable disease, and others found biologically unfit by authorities qualified judge should be sterilized or, in cases of doubt, should be so isolated as to prevent the perpetuation of their afflictions by breeding.I do not pretend in the above suggestions to have arrived at the formulation of a workable baby code, but my puzzling over this problem has convinced me that America needs such a code. I should be very much interested in hearing the suggestions of others.
This is the great day of social planning. We have come to believe in planning the production and distribution of goods. We plan methods of governing cities, states, and the nation. We plan jobs, and leisure-time activities, and vacations. We plan almost everything, big and little, except families. It can scarcely do any harm and it may do a vast amount of good to engage in thoughtful, planning of our population, a population with a still larger percentage of happy families."Human Conservation And Birth Control," March 3, 1938:
Again, however, we must stress the fact that in a national program for human conservation institutional and voluntary sterilization are not enough; they do not reach those elements at large in the population whose children are a menace to the national health and well-being.
Reports in medical journals state that the indications laid down in the German law are being carefully observed. These are congenital feeble-mindedness; schizophrenia, circular insanity; heredity epilepsy; hereditary chorea (Huntington's)' hereditary blindness or deafness; grave hereditary bodily deformity and chronic alcoholism.
Surely everyone will agree that the children of parents so afflicted are no contribution to the nation for even if they do not inherit these defects they are children of parents so handicapped that life will give them little, owing to their necessarily bad environment.
There are 1,700 special courts and 27 higher courts in Germany to review the cases certified for sterilization there. The rights of the individual could be equally well safeguarded here, but in no case should the rights of society, or which he or she is a member, be disregarded.