Dear Editor

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to some inaccuracies in Letter to Editor called “Cold Blooded Murder” which attacked Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was born in 1879 and died in 1966. She worked first as a nurse where she learned firsthand of the health and social problems of too many pregnancies. She  spent time in jail to fight for sex education and for distributing contraceptive information and contraceptives. Margaret Sanger lived long enough to see the practice of birth control declared a constitutional right (for married couples) in 1965. Some of her actual quotes were as follows:

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.

Greater understanding and practice of planned parenthood, through the use of contraceptive measures prescribed by doctors and clinics, will mean that there will be more strong and healthy children and fewer defective and handicapped babies unable to find a useful or happy place in life.

It is our experience, as it was our aim, that as a result of child-spacing, and adequate care of mothers, death rates would be reduced. 

Actual Quotes by Margaret Sanger on Racial issues:

A sickly race is a weak race. As long as Negro mothers die in childbirth at two and a half times the rate of white mothers, as long as Negro babies are dying at twice the rate of white babies, colored homes will be unhappy. 

Negro participation in Planned Parenthood means democratic participation in a democratic idea. Like other democratic ideas, Planned Parenthood places greater value on human life and dignity of each person. Without planning at birth, the life of Negroes as a whole in a democratic world cannot be planned.

What hangs over the South is that the Negro has been in servitude. The white southerner is slow to forget this. His attitude is the archaic in this age. Supremacist thinking belongs in the museum. 

The big answer, as I see it, is the education of the white man. The white man is the problem. It is the same as with the Nazis. We must change the white attitudes. That is where it lies. 

Misattributed, Inaccurate, or Misleading Margaret Sanger quotes:

A quote which Margaret Sanger did not say, but which is often attributed to her: More children from the fit, less from the unfit- that is the chief issue of birth control.

A quote usually taken out of context, and which was from W.E.B. duBois (Co-Founder of NAACP) instead of  Sanger: The mass of ignorant negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among whites is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly. 

A quote attributed to Sanger, but which cannot be found attributed to her in print before 1980 and which does not appear in the supposed source document: “Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a menace to the race”.

A quote taken out of context: “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” (In the context, it’s apparent that she didn’t want such word to get out because such a characterization of her work was common—and untrue. Then as now.)

When Sanger used terms like “racial betterment” she was generally referring to the human race, so in looking at quotes using such phrases, check the context before making assumptions.  Her opinions of the disabled and immigrants—opinions not attractive or politically correct today—were often the source of such sentiments as “racial betterment.”

In other words, the quotations in the “Cold Blooded  Murder”  were either false or taken out of context by nay sayers of Planned Parenthood. After researching her, it seems to me that  Ms. Sanger held human life at great value regardless of race. 

The Planned Parenthood organization offers Cancer Screening, STD checks and treatment, and contraception counseling and contraception. Abortions are only 3 percent of the services they provide. BY LAW THOSE ABORTIONS ARE NOT TAX PAYER FUNDED.   

A breakdown as follows: Cancer screenings - 16 %; Contraception - 35%; STD testing and treatment - 35%; Other health services - 10%; other services - 1% and abortions - 3%.

Whether we hold the belief of Right to Life or are Pro Choice, we owe it to ourselves to know what is fabricated, embellished, exaggerated or just misquoted. I am certain there are many young women in Caldwell County that depend on the services that are offered by  Planned Parenthood.  Do we turn our backs on them?

Gayle Toms

Polo, Missouri

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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