What is Planned Parenthood and who was its founder – Margaret Sanger?


Today, our government funds Planned Parenthood. Susan G. Komen helps fund Planned Parenthood. Do you know that Planned Parenthood was founded by a woman named Margaret Sanger to exterminate, among others, a race of people – the black race:

PLEASE take time to watch all of the following video:

Did you know this?

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About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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31 Responses to What is Planned Parenthood and who was its founder – Margaret Sanger?

  1. smijer says:

    genetic fallacy – one must be cautious about it.

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    • jlue says:

      Anyone who is a big fan and supporter of Planned Parenthood probably will appreciate your attempt to bypass the words and intentions of Margaret Sanger and to portray PP as an organization that, while founded by Margaret Sanger with the intentions that she states in her writings, has no current connections to her or her original motives.

      Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood has in no way rejected her legacy. At Planned Parenthood, History and Successes one finds the following:

      Planned Parenthood is rooted in the courage and tenacity of American women and men willing to fight for women’s health, rights, and equality. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, is one of the movement’s great heroes. Sanger’s early efforts remain the hallmark of Planned Parenthood’s mission:

      I am certain that those who love what PP does will be ready to disavow the truth of what Margaret Sanger believed and what she wanted for America.

      Perhaps the truth about Planned Parenthood is the real “Inconvenient Truth” of today.

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      • smijer says:

        Personally, I’m pretty indifferent to the mission of planned parenthood. I am very interested in the genetic fallacy, and how easily it can distort our perspectives when we want it to.

        The founding fathers of the United States were slaveholders by and large, and their purpose was to create a state which, among (many) other things, relied on slave labor. Critics of the United States often bring this point up, and nearly as often run afoul of the genetic fallacy when doing so.

        If you pointed out that these critics were employing the genetic fallacy, they might reply by saying, “Unfortunately, the United States has in no way rejected the legacy of the slaveholding founding fathers.”, and then excerpting any number of statements of praise for the founding fathers. This is how they rationalize that, they are not employing the genetic fallacy. But they have made a mistake… They are still employing the genetic fallacy. Can you find their mistake?

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      • jlue says:

        While some of the founding fathers were slave holders, I do not see the evidence that the founding fathers were:

        The founding fathers of the United States were slaveholders by and large, and their purpose was to create a state which, among (many) other things, relied on slave labor.

        This doesn’t mean that Sanger was or wasn’t trying to begin a foundation that would by selective breeding and abortion end a race of people.

        You didn’t answer my question. I am going to ask it again and add to it. Did you watch the video or have you read the book Sanger wrote that is referenced there?

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      • smijer says:

        You didn’t answer my question. I am going to ask it again and add to it. Did you watch the video or have you read the book Sanger wrote that is referenced there?

        Does the book explain the genetic fallacy and how to avoid making that particular mistake? If not, I’ll save it for later…

        I am interested in history, but right now the historical source I’m interested in is JM Keynes’ 1919 piece lambasting the treaty of Versailles and predicting troubles to follow from it (which famously materialized as the second world war). Even so, I read it as a mere curiosity – I don’t have the skill or time to work out its full historical import.

        Are you interested enough in history to read primary sources like Sanger’s book?

        For the video, I don’t have an appetite for polemics right now, and I hope I don’t re-develop such an appetite. Spending time trying to understand decision theory and cognitive science are things I do as insurance against developing that sort of appetite.

        Did you find the mistake I mentioned in my earlier post?

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      • jlue says:

        I thought the mistake you made was saying that the founding fathers wanted to create a society that relied on slave labor. That is a mistake as shown by the following excerpts from the writings of the founding fathers. If this isn’t the mistake you made, I will have to look again:

        As Thomas Jefferson explained:

        Where the disease [slavery] is most deeply seated, there it will be slowest in eradication. In the northern States, it was merely superficial and easily corrected. In the southern, it is incorporated with the whole system and requires time, patience, and perseverance in the curative process.

        George Washington wrote:

        I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery]; but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by Legislative authority; and this, as far as my suffrage [vote and support] will go, shall never be wanting [lacking]

        I could go on, but I am busy this morning, too. Is this not the mistake you are referring to?

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      • smijer says:

        No, that wasn’t the mistake… you’re looking in the wrong place, I think. You can set up a defense of the founding fathers to blunt the particular criticisms of those who employ the genetic fallacy against the U.S., but that can only ever go so far, since no defense of the founding fathers can be complete: they truly did hold slaves themselves, and they truly did write the constitution so as to enshrine it. There is a more fundamental mistake having to do with the rules of logic. Can you find it?

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      • jlue says:

        Actually I haven’t read all her works, but I have looked into what I can find. Please, if you do nothing else today, go to Dr. Alveda King’s site and read what she has here:

        http://www.dianedew.com/sanger.htm

        I will look for your logic mistake another time.’Genetic Fallacy’is one of those ideas invented as a cop-out, in my opinion.

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      • smijer says:

        ’Genetic Fallacy’is one of those ideas invented as a cop-out, in my opinion.

        Genetic fallacies themeselves may be inventions, but the view that it is incorrect to judge an idea, person or thing because of arguments about how it originated (without showing directly that how it orginated is the best available evidence about what it currently is or does) – in other words the principle of the genetic fallacy – is not an invention but a deduction.

        You say that it is an invention and a cop-out. What is your reasoning behind this view?

        I want to point this out again and more forcefully: the genetic fallacy is is the mistake a person makes when criticizing the modern United States as a nation of slavery because it was chartered in a document that undeniably embraces slavery.

        Such a person is also making other mistakes (for instance, ignoring a lot of information about how the founding fathers professed to view slavery, etc… as you point out) – but those are lesser mistakes and their discovery does not fully remove the force of the criticism.

        Without finding the pivotal mistake: the genetic fallacy – one has no reason not to accept the conclusion that the United States is at best a disgusting vestige of a slave society and worse a slave society proper.

        Do you really think that it is a “cop-out”?

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  2. jlue says:

    Did you really watch the entire video and listen to Margaret Sanger’s words?

    Our nation has denounced slavery repeatedly and in some cases the founding fathers who owned slaves, depending upon their political persuasion. I understand the parallel you are drawing, but there is a major difference here.

    Can you show me where PP acknowledges, let alone denounces Sanger’s racist ideology? This failure cannot be explained away. They do not acknowledge that she believed we should employ eugenics to produce a ‘super-race’. They simply sweep this under the carpet. One reason is because those who believe in abortion believe that people who have a high risk for being born with syndromes, such as Downs, should be put to death prior to birth. It will be very hard to use Genetic Fallacy to explain away PP’s love affair with Margaret Sanger. Does PP agree that an entire race of people should be bred out of existence? Not at the moment, but when political winds change, who knows which people will be singled out as unfit for survival?

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    • smijer says:

      Again, my subject of interest is the genetic fallacy moreso than planned parenthood…To answer your question, PP either denies or disavows most of what is in your video. Here is a document written by PP personnel and posted on the PP web-site, concerning that topic.Most of it is denial, but where it doesn’t deny, it rejects:

      Although Sanger uniformly repudiated the racist
      exploitation of eugenics principles, she agreed with
      the “progressives” of her day who favored
      · incentives for the voluntary hospitalization
      and/or sterilization of people with
      untreatable, disabling, hereditary conditions
      · the adoption and enforcement of stringent
      regulations to prevent the immigration of the
      diseased and “feebleminded” into the U.S.
      · placing so-called illiterates, paupers,
      unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, and
      dope-fiends on farms and open spaces as
      long as necessary for the strengthening and
      development of moral conduct

      Planned Parenthood Federation of America finds
      these views objectionable and outmoded.

      In any case, were you able to find the mistake I was asking about in the earlier comment?

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    • smijer says:

      Two of her books (at least) are available for free on the internet, if you are interested in some primary historical resources. I would encourage you to first learn as much as you can about rationality.. If your desire to read them is rooted in historical curiosity, particularly about Sanger’s part in the culture of the early 20th century, then these books may be a valuable resource to you. But, if your desire is to feed polemical fires, you may find that your appetite for them is curbed when you have seen how polemic can damage your ability to reason.

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      • smijer says:

        And an interesting side note… where the genetic fallacy can seemingly cut the other way… from wikipedia:

        Sanger’s family planning advocacy always focused on contraception, rather than abortion. It was not until the mid 1960s, after Sanger’s death, that the reproductive rights movement expanded its scope to include abortion rights as well as contraception. Sanger was opposed to abortions, both because they were dangerous for the mother, and because she believed that life should not be terminated after conception. In her book Woman and the New Race, she wrote, “while there are cases where even the law recognizes an abortion as justifiable if recommended by a physician, I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization.”

        Historian Rodger Streitmatter concluded that Sanger’s opposition to abortion stemmed from concerns for the dangers to the mother, rather than moral concerns. However, in her 1938 autobiography, Sanger noted that her opposition to abortion was based on the taking of life: “[In 1916] we explained what contraception was; that abortion was the wrong way no matter how early it was performed it was taking life; that contraception was the better way, the safer way — it took a little time, a little trouble, but was well worth while in the long run, because life had not yet begun.” And in her book Family Limitation, Sanger wrote that “no one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception. This is the only cure for abortions.”

        If you can see why this historical tidbit doesn’t give reason for modern abortion opponents to endorse the mission of planned parenthood, then perhaps you are a bit closer to understanding the genetic fallacy.

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      • jlue says:

        You go a long way in proving your own point. We do tend to take what others say and built our case to prove we are right. Maybe we can continue the discussion when we have BOTH read the complete works of Margaret Sanger. It may be hard to lay hands on the personal letters that have the most damaging accounts as those things usually have a way of going underground, but no I do not:

        see why this historical tidbit doesn’t give reason for modern abortion opponents to endorse the mission of planned parenthood

        What I see is how Historian Rodger Streitmatter decided she was against the taking of life through abortion, but that in HER book she wrote “no one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable…”

        Interesting that the language had not been cleaned up when Streitmatter wrote his defense of Sanger. He called abortion what it is, the taking of life.

        Sanger’s most damaging statements came from letters she wrote, so her books will not give the total picture, but even if they did, I think changing a person’s mind on the subject is impossible. Those who approve of abortion will not change their mind without first having a change of heart toward the unborn.

        Call it genetic fallacy cutting the other way if you please in Sanger’s case. An effort to make Margaret Sanger’s words and beliefs politically acceptable has been underway for sometime.

        Personally, I could not care less which way ‘genetic fallacy cuts’. I think it is another attempt by those who cannot easily rewrite history to find another way to rewrite a legacy to make it more palatable or more damaging – whichever suits their cause.

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  3. smijer says:

    Maybe we can continue the discussion when we have BOTH read the complete works of Margaret Sanger.

    Sanger is one historical figure among many. As such, she is an interesting subject for students of history. Personally, I am at best a dilettante of the field history. Whatever other interests you have in it, in this thread, you have treated it as a field to mine extremely selectively for ammunition against an organization that provides abortion. If you have any native curiosity about history, you have been utterly distracted from it in this conversation.

    The only interest I have in this discussion is to demonstrate how the polemical mind deceives itself and is easily deceived. To me, this is a discussion about the genetic fallacy and related errors of cognition. To discuss it more, I don’t need to read more history; if anything I need to read more mathematics.

    And for your part, if your goal is to believe, produce, or propagate unreasoning propaganda regardless of its merits, then you needn’t read anything else at all.

    If your goal is to understand the history of the early 20th century and Margaret Sanger’s role in it, then you can probably get by without reading her complete works, but you will need to invest time in learning the methods of historical inquiry and will have to spend some time studying others sources to help you contextualize Sanger’s biography.

    If your goal is to understand reality and relate your values in a truthful and legitimately compelling manner, then your first order of business should not be to dabble much more in primary sources from Margaret Sanger. If your goal is to appreciate reality, and form and convey your values with integrity, you need to spend your time learning about “classical” rationality, decision theory, and Bayesian reasoning. To begin with classical reasoning, you could try familiarizing yourself with the elementary mistakes of reasoning. When you have developed a secure foundation in the art of correct reasoning, then you may find that you need more reading in primary sources to decide whether you approve of Planned Parenthood, or you may discover that you hardly need to consider historical questions at all in order to determine your stance about that organization.

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    • jlue says:

      Edward Frederic Benson said, “How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.

      If you believe that you have arrived and reached a secure foundation in the art of correct reasoning, you may someday find that you have deceived yourself.

      You believe that others reached their decisions by the same biased methods you use or used for so long. Perhaps that is why you feel the need to teach others how to see the error of their ways and believe as you believe. It is easy if you find an intellectual out for everything that makes you uncomfortable.

      I do not think you would weigh in on the PP post if the subject did not reach you at an emotional level that you are unwilling to acknowledge. It is safer to change the subject to “genetic fallacy’, or logic, or the art of reasoning. If you are able to find flaws in my reasoning, in Dr. Alveda Kings reasoning, in all those who see abortion as exactly what Streitmatter described it as being, if it can be called “unreasonable propaganda” then whatever it is that convicts the conscience can more easily be silenced.

      Go ahead and do what makes you feel comfortable if you must, but do not lecture those who have allowed themselves to face the reality and those who are willing to look at factual information for what it is.

      I am able to do what you do, if I so choose, but at some level I always know the difference between rationalization and actualization.

      I know that there is a defense that can be made for almost any action, but I also know that does not make every action defensible.

      The original post isn’t about logic or genetic fallacy. It is about the impact Margaret Sanger, her words and actions have had on the unborn in the USA. Those who want to defend her are free to do so and many have, but I am not one of those people. I think that young women need to know how PP began and why some people wanted abortion legal in the USA.

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      • smijer says:

        but do not lecture those who have allowed themselves to face the reality and those who are willing to look at factual information for what it is.

        If I run into anyone like that, I will be sure not to lecture them 🙂

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    • smijer says:

      And by the way, I can’t say that I have reached a secure foundation in the art of correct reasoning. There is a lot of math that I don’t fully understand yet. But I do at least recognize the elementary mistakes, I am eager to avoid them, and when I am caught in one, it is (now) far more important to me to correct the mistake than to cling to the conclusions I reached on its basis. That was not the case for me not so long ago. When the righteousness of my political views was so self-evident to me, and so much more powerful than merely avoiding dumb mistakes, I spent a great deal of time believing, producing, and relating propaganda that was not based on reason (unreasoning propaganda), regardless of its merit.

      It has taken quite an effort for me to divorce myself from my former ideologies in order to have some hope at being able to reason well. I may not have “arrived” yet, but I took a difficult first step.

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      • jlue says:

        It is extremely important to know the difference between “political” views and “moral” issues. That is a fundamental understanding that a person must have to move forward in forming any sort of political ideology. I guess I was trying to say that the other day, but did not make it clear.

        Abortion is not a truly a political issue although many politicians have taken on defending it as a cause. Abortion is actually a moral issue. Because the courts have declared it legal, there are those of us who wish to fight for those who do not have a voice, cannot fight for themselves and who are being killed by the millions in America. This is much the same as your wanting to give a voice to people on death row. Because you can see their faces, read about their lives, know what is about to become of them, you want to fight for their lives to be spared. It is a moral issue to you. It is only a political issue in the same way that abortion has become a political issue. Courts hold the right of life or death for the people involved.

        I respect your desire to not be swayed by propaganda on political issues, but you must understand what propaganda is and the difference in a political issue and a moral issue. It would be criminal to withhold information from the courts or those who hold power of life and death over another person, yet that is exactly what you and others want done in the case of the unborn. You want information withheld from the women who have the most to lose and information that could save the child.

        If you accept the wikipedia definition of propaganda, then some of what you say may be relevant:

        Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position.

        If, however, you accept the original definition of propaganda by Meriam Webster, then it isn’t propaganda when a person shares information with others. Webster adds: “spreading rumors for the cause of injuring an institution, a cause, or a person or to damage a person or an opposing cause.”

        When I use the term propaganda, I am using the second definition.

        There is not one thing that I have printed that isn’t true and I believe you know that. You want it withheld because it influences others. In your opinion, that is noble. In my opinion it is criminal.

        Is it better to come to a right conclusion or a reason(able) conclusion?

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      • smijer says:

        When using reason, one has hope of reaching the right conclusion. When any other consideration takes precedence, reaching the right conculsion is hopeless. That’s why it is said that the first virtue of reason is curiosity.

        It is always best to come to the right conclusion, if possible. If you are unwilling to subordinate any other motivation to the process of reason, then you surrender before you begin: there is little hope of reaching the right conclusion.

        If the right conclusion is the goal, it’s time to back up and learn to reason.

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      • jlue says:

        Spend some time on that and I am sure you will come up with some exceptions to your rule. Perhaps if you substitute the word “wisdom”, we will be close to an agreement on this one. Even ‘right’ can become subjective without guiding principles. When we do what is right in our own eyes, we sometimes get into deep trouble.

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      • smijer says:

        I don’t think that “wisdom” rightly so-called could contradict the truth.

        Reason is the set of all of the methods we have available to us for approaching the truth. So, “wisdom” could be a subset of reason, or a synonym for reason. If it is anything else, then you are no longer talking about a method for approaching the truth… If “wisdom” is not exactly the careful avoiding of error and correct process of deduction and induction that consistently approaches the truth, then “wisdom” is an inferior substitute for that purpose. If “wisdom” is not as described, it is only useful for other tasks, or for no tasks at all.

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      • jlue says:

        Sounds like you have made up your mind. Your world is a world of reason.

        The wisdom of which I speak is the wisdom of God.The Bible speaks of wisdom from God and it is almost always synonymous with understanding. It’s instruction leads to justice, judgment, and equity. The Bible teaches that it is the principal thing that we should seek other than God.

        Other things the Bible teaches about wisdom: Without the fear of the Lord, a person is unable to find wisdom, but those who find it are able to use knowledge and discretion to their advantage. It is the opposite of pride and it is better than gold or silver. We can seek it in all of mankind’s ways,but it will not be found. It can only be found through seeking the righteousness of Christ, upon whom the Spirit of Wisdom rested, and it brings life and strength. The Bible speaks of hidden wisdom that was ordained before the ages for our glory.

        Here are some verses I like:

        He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. Jeremiah 10:12

        He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, And stretched out the heaven by His understanding. Jeremiah 15:51

        The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens…Proverbs 13:19

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  4. smijer says:

    We both live in the same world… One world… one reality. We have differing priorities and approaches. It is my first priority to understand the world as best possible. All other priorities are better served if that is my first. As a result of my priority, my approach is to eliminate error every chance I get.

    No one who cares about the truth should follow methods aimed at anything else. Either your Bible recommends methods aimed at the truth or it recommends something else. I’ll leave it for you to decide which. I care about the truth and will follow the methods aimed at approaching it either way.

    The day you hear me shrug off an error in reasoning because correcting it doesn’t help me pile up stones on an organization that I dislike is the day you will know I’ve decided that the truth isn’t that important after all.

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    • jlue says:

      So tell me, what untruth have you read here? There is truth and there is error. What have your read that cannot be substantiated.

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      • smijer says:

        The most glaring from today: “’Genetic Fallacy’is one of those ideas invented as a cop-out, in my opinion.”

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      • smijer says:

        The rest kind of follows from that. The authors of the video almost certainly either committed the genetic fallacy themselves, and passed along their flawed reasoning, or hoped to entice others to commit the genetic fallacy. My suspicion is the former…

        But, if wasn’t one of those two, then what was the point of taking snippets of text that, can be construed to place Sanger in the cultural context of hard-line eugenicists, and taken without the full context of her words and mission could give the false impression that her program of contraception was conceived primarily to exterminate non-white races? The authors almost certainly planned for people to make the mistake of assuming that Planned Parenthood was conceptually racist at its formation, and the larger mistake of assuming that Planned Parenthood has a racist agenda today. If not, what is the purpose of the video? What is the purpose of including only those snippets, and hiding their context both in Sanger’s words, and in terms of the larger ethos and culture in which Sanger was operating?

        Furthermore, can you deny that you either made those mistakes, or were complicit in trying to get others to make those mistakes? Else, why did you post the video?

        I know you are fond of saying you just innocently wanted “give information” and that “information shouldn’t be hidden”. But, that doesn’t fully explain your selection of this video. That doesn’t explain why you choose this information for promulgation. What was your goal, if not to present the one side of this story that seemed like it could damage Planned Parenthood’s reputation?

        I don’t think you were being dishonest with your readers. I do not think it was a lie of commission. But it is pretty apparent that you were being dishonest with yourself: that it was a lie of omission. You didn’t want to reason carefully about the issues presented in this video, did you? You weren’t striving to understand the truth, were you? You heard something that sounded despicable about an organization you find despicable, and your reflexes took over, didn’t they?

        You know what? You may well be right to despise Planned Parenthood. You have every right to despise Planned Parenthood. You have every right to feel the way you do about abortion But just the fact that you despise abortion, and despise Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion – this fact doesn’t make true every despicable thing you can imagine about them.

        It doesn’t make true the story that Planned Parenthood wants to eliminate the non-white races. It does not even make it true that their founder, as a historical curiosity which is not the best evidence about their current mission, wanted to eliminate the non-white races.

        It’s a mistake… one that came from the failure to employ reason. And the failure to employ reason can be explained by the attractive proposition of getting in a propaganda hit against someone you despised.

        As I suggested at the beginning of this conversation – that is something to be cautious about if you care about the truth. The rest of this discussion has been my insisting that this is an error to be avoided, and you trying to find a way to avoid that conclusion, apparently striving after stones to pile on an enemy instead of striving after the truth.

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      • jlue says:

        IF you had stated that clearly in the beginning, perhaps it would have been more honest on your part, however, the video was pointing to the fact that those who honor Margaret Sanger, including the Smithsonian Institute, omit the truth concerning her background. The truth that is omitted is that which explains who she was and what she had in mind when she began her passionate drive to make contraception available to women.

        The very thing that you call ‘Genetic Fallacy’, (I call it omission of inconvenient truths) has been in play for a very long time when it comes to the history of Margaret Sanger. Those who want to honor her prefer that no one brings up the part of her past that motivated her to do what she did. There is no criticism from liberals for that type of dishonesty because it is politically correct to present abortion in good light.

        Dr. Alveda King has been shunned and discredited because she dared to speak out.

        Yes, I want readers and all young women everywhere to know and understand that PP is all about abortion, not about improving women’s health. Abortion does not make women healthier.

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