Editor’s Introduction: Recently Marjorie Maguire, self-styled “Catholic theologian” from Milwaukee, USA, toured Canada at the invitation of CARAL, the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League. The purpose of the visit was to promote the idea that Catholics are divided on the abortion issue.
Her husband Daniel, a former priest who teaches moral theology at the Catholic University of Marquette in Milwaukee, follows a similar approach in the United States.
The following is borrowed from an article by Kevin G. Long, “The Fourth Reich’s House Theologian,” The Wanderer, June 27, 1985. (Readers will recall that Hitler’s empire was called the Third Reich). The article comments on the background of Planned Parenthood, following a speech given by Maguire at its California convention.
Ironically, in his opening remarks, Maguire noted with amusement that Planned Parenthood had invited a Roman Catholic theologian to speak. The real issue though, is that Maguire continues to identify himself as a Catholic when he is nothing of the kind. After Humanae Vitae was issued in 1968, he became “embarrassed to be seen in a (Roman) collar, to think anyone could identify me with any such ideas.” Furthermore, in spite of his outspoken advocacy of abortion rights – for which Ms Magazine named him one of the 40 male heroes of the past decade – he makes the astonishing claim that he is still “pro-children, pro-family, and pro-life.”
Even more astonishing, given the origin and history of Planned Parenthood, was Maguire’s suggestion that racism and “right-wing mean-spiritedness” were behind the pro-life movement, Maguire’s remarks recalled the outrageous subterfuge employed by Planned Parenthood in their full-page ads taken out the previous week in several major American newspapers. One of them said” “Anti-abortion laws discriminate against low-income women, who are driven to dangerous self-induced or back-alley abortions. That is all they can afford. But the rich can travel wherever necessary to obtain a safe abortion” (Los Angeles Times, Mary 21st, 1985). The idea that a Planned Parenthood is on the side of minorities and the poor may well be the biggest hoax since the “Piltdown Man.”
“A race of thoroughbreds”
Perhaps a bit of background is in order. Planned Parenthood was originally founded at the National Birth Control League in 1914 by a white supremacist named Margaret Sander (see “Margaret Sanger: American Nazi” in The Wanderer, Dec. 30th, p.4, in 1921, it merged with the Volunteer Parenthood League and several other eugenics groups to form the American Birth Control League, with Sanger as president. She also became editor of a monthly journal, The Birth Control Review, which the league adopted as its official organ.
In the November, 1921 issue of the Review, Sanger summarized her racist views in a phrase that would become the motto of the eugenics movement, “Birth Control: to create a race of thoroughbreds.” The following year, she published her magnum opus entitled The Pivot of Civilization, in which she offered “scientific proof” that blacks and Southern Europeans were near morons. Sanger also feared the Anglo-Saxon political and economic power was being threatened by the numerical superiority of “Slav, Latin, and Hebrew” immigrants. She called for voluntary contraception and sterilization among these undesirable classes.
“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. The wealth of individuals and the states is being diverted from the development and progress of human expression and civilization” (Pivot of Civilization, p.189; emphasis mine). Apparently, Sanger had long before been persuaded that abortion was “a moral choice” by British sexologist Havelock Ellis, with whom she had an adulterous affair. Sanger shrewdly kept her pro-abortion views under her hat until public opinion had been softened up. This passage, however, is quite revealing.
The target of Sanger’s voluntary eugenics program was unmistakable. The first birth control clinic she set up was in the Brownsville section of New York City which was heavily populated by recent “Slav, Latin and Hebrew” immigrants. But by 1930, it was obvious that Sanger’s racist scheme had backfired. It was the Anglo-Saxon ruling elite, not the “undesirable classes,” who had taken advantage of the widely available methods of birth control. On May 18th of that year, a sympathetic New York Times editor observed:
The refusal to propagate by those elements among the American people to whom the country must look for leadership. . .has been the main theme of concern over declining birthrates. The eugenicists (are) worried by a depletion of children among the fit. . .and the danger of submergence by inferior races. The scientists of the Robert Brookings Institute at Washington have lately been asserting that. . .the peoples of Western civilization – Anglo-Saxons, Germans, French and Scandinavians – no longer reproduce themselves, yet it is precisely among these people that birth control continues to win new victories.”
Close ties to the Nazis
Over the next ten years, Sanger responded to this crisis by calling for increasingly more draconian measures. In a 1932 issue of her Birth Control Review, she laid out her “Plan for Peace,” which included mandatory I.W. requirements for immigrants, sterilization and segregation for the “feebleminded,” and government work camps for morons, illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, and drug addicts. In 1933, Sanger sympathizer Madison Grant, President of the New York Zoological Society, recommended in his book, Conquest of a Continent, that “the knowledge of birth control, now widespread among the whites, should be made available to the blacks.” He also proposed laws against inter-marriage between Anglo-Saxon or Nordic Americans with “inferior races” and denial of immigration to Mexicans, Cubans, West Indians and South Americans.
Six years later, Sanger formulated a plan by which birth control would be “made available” to blacks to slash their birthrate. Her plan was to become the prototype of all future planned parenthood operations. She would, to quote her own words, “hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities” to preach her birth control “gospel” throughout the South. “The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through 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” (Letter to Clarence Gamble, Oct. 19th, 1939). Sanger’s organization would, of course, plan and supervise the whole show from behind the scenes, allowing the public to believe that the clamor for birth control arose spontaneously within the local black communities.
Throughout the 1930s, the American eugenics movement kept close ties to its German counterpart, the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party. Harry Laughlin, a contributor to Birth Control Review, drafted a model sterilization law for Hitler, for which he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Heidelberg in 1936. Dr. Lothrop Stoddard served on the American Birth Control League’s board of directors for many years. He was the author of many white supremacist books, including the Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, written while he served on the League’s board. Havelock Ellis wrote a favorable review of Rising Tide in the October 1920 issue of Birth Control Review.
Stoddard traveled to Germany where he had been invited to participate in the Nazi Eugenics Supreme Court. While he was there, he had a personal interview with Hitler himself and came back “very impressed.” He recounted his experiences in another book, Into the Darkness: Nazi Germany Today, to which he praised the Nazi sterilization program in glowing terms: “The sterilization law is weeding out the worst strains in the Germanic stock in a scientific and truly humanitarian way” (p.196).
A change in tactics
In the years immediately preceding World War II, public opinion in the United States turned against eugenics when Americans realized that the Nazis were merely taking Sanger’s ideas to their logical conclusion. Sterilization, abortion, euthanasia, and ultimately the wholesale slaughter of Jews, Poles and others shocked American sensibilities. As Harvard Professor Stephen Jay Gould observed in The Mismeasure of Man: “The death knell of the old eugenics in America was sounded by Hitler’s use of once-favoured arguments for sterilization and racial purification” (p22).
Sanger’s forces quickly changed their tactics, their rhetoric, and their stationery. The American Birth Control League became Planned Parenthood, coercive proposals became voluntary again, and racial categories were abandoned in favor of demographic euphemisms. Demands for “liberalized” abortion laws which had begun to surface were put back into the closet. Suddenly, the same organization which had only a few years before collaborated with the Nazis, became super-patriotic.
Under the pretext of advancing the war effort, Planned Parenthood invaded 15 large factories engaged in war-time industry. It argued that birth control would lower the absentee rate among female workers for pregnancy leave, thereby increasing productivity. The underhanded modus-operandi of Planned Parenthood “counselors” was revealed in an article in Harper’s (September, 1943) entitled: “The Factory Manager Learns the Facts of Life”:
“(When the counselors’ are consulted) about an abortion they say candidly that they cannot recommend an abortionist. That would be illegal since the law declares it to be a criminal offense. But they do suggest a psychiatrist (who) often finds that serious mental upsets may attend the birth of a child. . .For these he recommends an abortion under proper medical procedure. . .In Rochester, N.Y., a group of doctors set up a private hospital and performed abortions, legally, therapeutically, and effectively, giving in each case their reasons: death might result from a kidney, heat, or other physical deficiency if the abortion had not been performed. . .The result (of Planned Parenthood efforts) is that abortion rings are doing a land-office business.”
Sanger’s Fabian strategy proved successful. By skillfully camouflaging its racist agenda, she guided her organization through a difficult period of public disfavor. Sanger, however, was well aware of the fickleness of public opinion and she look forward to the day when Nazism would again be the ideology of choice among the American elite. Although she herself died on the brink of insanity in 1966, her successors in the international “population control” network of Planned Parenthood now preside over what is quickly becoming a Fourth Reich.
The altar of economic necessity
“May people think,” wrote Elasah Drogin of Catholics United for Life, “that eugenic, racist thinking ended with the Second World War when the Nazi war criminals were brought to justice, but this is far from true. The practice of racial genocide is now very much a part of the new traditional of the modern world. This final eugenic triumph was brought about by Margaret Sanger who substituted effective psychological propaganda for thinly disguised violent Nazi coercion. Now for the first time, welfare recipients and people suffering poverty in other ways because of their minority (status) can be made to seem as if they were committing racial suicide by sterilizations and abortions through their own free well.
“But what is never seen are the invisible but cruel economic goads that coerce people to sacrifice their fertility and their children on the altar of economic necessity…Sterilization and abortion are precisely and definitely genocidal and are enormously more effective in removing minority races from the face of the earth than anything Hitler and his followers had been able to develop even when they owned the richest country in Europe loc, stock, and barrel. Surely, this is truly a testimony and a monument to the innovative genius of Margaret Sanger who by subtle methods accomplished a truly effective worldwide eugenics program for the first time in history” (Margaret Sanger: Father of Modern Society, 1980, p.33).
“Enlightened Catholic leaders”
On Nov. 14th, 1966, the Catholic Bishops of the United States made a public statement on the population control issue. They called upon all Americans “to oppose, vigorously and by every democratic means, those campaigns already underway in some states and at the national level toward the active promotion, by tax-supported agencies, of birth prevention as a public policy, above all in connection with welfare benefit programs.” Shortly afterward, a full-page ad was taken out in the New York Times by the Hugh Moore Fund, a foundation which was instrumental in setting up the International Planned Parenthood Federation. The ads’ enormous headline read: CATHOLIC BISHOPS ASSAIL BIRTH CONTROL AS MILLIONS FACE STARVATION.
“The charges of the Roman Catholic Bishops,” is said, “add up to a frontal attack on organized family planning…The Bishops’ attack has been read by enlightened Catholic leaders with a sense of unbelief and dismay. They have called it unrealistic, out-of-date, reactionary, and inconsistent with the spirit of Vatican II in the modern world…The Bishops’ accusation goes beyond their unsupported charges of coercion of women on welfare. It encompasses family planning, domestic and international. It strikes at our government’s stepped-up intervention in family planning, including the subsidizing of contraceptive programs at home and abroad.
“Famine already stalks the earth…’The world is on the threshold of the biggest famine in history,’ concludes Dr. Raymond Ewell, former adviser to the government of India. Dr. Ewell predicted famine in India, Pakistan and Communist Chine about 1970, and in Brazil, Egypt, Indochina, and Turkey shortly after.
“If the Bishops succeed in their attempt…congressmen may hesitate to advance the program on foreign aid in the population field so splendidly begun by the 89th Congress. Without population control the huge $7 billion Food for Peace program will be a mere stopgap, saving the lives of those who would produce still more hungry people,” (emphasis mine).
The ad was signed by a board member of a vice-chairman of Planned Parenthood-World Population as well as leading liberal clergymen like Robert McAfee Brown, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Martin Marty, and Reinhold Niebuhr. It was also signed by Dr. William Shockley, the Nobel prize-winning scientist notorious for his racism. Today, birth control advocates routinely disavow Shockley, not because they disagree with him but because they are embarrassed by his stubborn refusal to cloak their common agenda in fashionable liberal jargon. They, following their mentor Sanger, prefer to rely on deceit, the short memory of the American public, and the collaboration of the liberal media to keep the eugenics conspiracy a closely guarded secret.
Little regard for law and O’Connor
It is beyond belief that anyone who claims to be a Catholic – as Maguire does – or a Christian, or even a noble pagan, would embrace the vile and contemptible goals of Margaret Sanger’s organization. It is truly incredible that a man who was once ordained to tend the flock of the Good Shepherd has placed himself in the service of the wolves who are out to devour it. Apparently, Maguire has adopted Sanger’s bizarre exegesis of the Gospels:
“The birth control forces embody more fully the spirit of Christ than the (Catholic) Church ever did – I’m not a theologian, but I am certain that it was never the intention of the founder of the Christian religion to require a hard and fast sexual code upon the human race” (My Fight for Birth Control, 1931, p.348).