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Glenn Beck's Attack On Margaret Sanger Is Solid Anti-Choice Propaganda

Reported by Priscilla - February 21, 2011 -

Glenn Beck's Friday night show was an action packed hour devoted to attacking Planned Parenthood. Beck did his best to try to scare his audience about the evils perpetrated by the founder of Planned Parenthood - Margaret Sanger who liberated women by allowing them to control their fertility and for that she is a hero. But for Glenn Beck, and his fellow proponents of a patriarchal power structure who are upset that women aren't fulfilling their god-given responsibility to be happy brood sows, Sanger is evil incarnate. It's not surprising that Beck would go this route as Beck is a demagogue and, as the historian Hannah Arendt pointed out, the arguments of demagogues are framed in dichotomies of good vs. evil in which there is always a scapegoat to represent whatever the demagogue is presenting, to the public, as evil. In this case, Beck promoted the "logic" that if the evil Margaret Sanger created Planned Parenthood, then it must be evil. And in "framing" Margaret Sanger, Beck also vilified Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer and others who fully support a woman's right to reproductive freedom. His video was full of the ominous, almost apocalyptic imagery that seems to be Beck's trademark. It's ironic that Beck thinks that progressives are Nazis because his video was straight out of Goebbel's playbook. It was also out of the playbook of the radical anti-choice movement which seeks to distort the legacy of Margaret Sanger in order to pursue their political agenda of denying women access to abortion and birth control. Nice to see Fox "News" aiding and abetting that agenda.

Beck's video opened with testimony about Planned Parenthood from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The words "What was Sanger's Vision?" appeared. He showed a photo of Sanger with the quote "birth control...must lead to a higher individuality and ultimately a cleaner race." Sanger had, in the preceding paragraphs described the abysmal conditions of a working class family with 8 children which, for them, was unsustainable. She contrasts the difficulty of this type of life with the freedom enjoyed by more affluent women who controlled their fertility and asserts that, in order to avoid the squalor of overpopulation, birth control is a moral imperative - a view shared by many of today's progressive, pro-choice clergy.

The second Sanger quote: "The most merciful thing that a large family does to its infant members is to kill it." Sanger was being facetious as this quote comes before a discussion about the high infant morality in large, poor families: "The same factors which create the terrible infant mortality rate, and which swell the death rate of children between the ages of one and five, operate even more extensively to lower the health rate of the surviving members. Moreover, the overcrowded homes of large families reared in poverty further contribute to this condition. Lack of medical attention is still another factor, so that the child who must struggle for health in competition with other members of a closely packed family has still great difficulties to meet after its poor constitution and malnutrition have been accounted for." It would be nice if Glenn Beck and the anti-choicers evinced the type of concern for the poor that Sanger did.

The next quote was one that the anti-choicers love and which, when taken out of context, distorts what Sanger said: "We don't want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population." This is the whole quote: "we can train the Negro doctor at the clinic, he can go among them with enthusiasm and with knowledge, which, I believe, will have far-reaching results. . . . His work, in my opinion, should be entirely with the Negro profession and the nurses, hospital, social workers, as well as the County's white doctors. His success will depend upon his personality and his training by us. The minister's work is also important, and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation, as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. 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 (1939)." Sanger was aware of how her mission would be spun by the Glenn Beck's of her day.

Beck showed Sanger's quote about having accepted an invitation to speak to the women's KKK. And while she did speak about birth control to this group, she was also a friend of WEB Dubois and other black leaders. MLK received an award from Planned Parenthood.

The last quote, "The most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective" was written in 1921 when the mentally and physically defective did not have the kind of support services that they have today. Their life was doomed from the start so "limiting" the fertility of these folks could be seen as a benefit. She goes on to say that birth control, in preventing these types of births, could prevent future governments from enacting "Spartan" policies such as what China has.

Comment: Sanger's world view is a result of her having observed, firsthand, the economic misery of those who did not have access to birth control. "She was not a racist, an anti-Semite, or a eugenicist." She assisted some Jewish women to escape Germany. Her books were burned by the Nazis. She "vocally opposed the racial stereotyping that effected passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, on the grounds that intelligence and other inherited traits vary by individual and not by group." She did not advocate extermination of people. But more important than the person Margaret Sanger is her legacy of liberating women by enabling them to control their fertility - which thus improves their economic condition. That Fox "News" allows this type of unfettered and unchallenged propaganda about Sanger further underscores that Fox "News" is not "fair & balanced" and that in attacking Planned Parenthood, they are attacking American women!