Common Sense, or Non-Sense?

UPDATE: Eric Scheidler’s response to Ms. Sherman’s column was published in today’s Beacon.

This morning's BeaconIn this morning’s Beacon News, columnist Deena Sherman offered some thoughts in the “Common Sense” column about putting aside disrespect and hate in the abortion debate. Sherman is right to call for civility, but her article  makes no advances towards any such thing. In a column ostensibly about Eric Scheidler’s libel case against Planned Parenthood, Ms. Sherman addresses everything from Nazism to Mahatma Gandhi. Everything, that is, except whether whether Steve Trombley lied about Eric and Aurora’s pro-life community. “That’s not the question I’m asking.”, Ms. Sherman said. But she never even answers the question she claims to be asking! The question she claims to be asking is whether “radical pro-life zealots” (who she defines as anyone who’s ever held a face the truth sign) are being properly rebuked within the movement. Not that she did any research, mind you. Not that there’s been a single instance of pro-life violence in Aurora, mind you. She’s just not sure. Just like Trombley, she makes drive-by accusations that are nearly impossible to verify against people who are nearly impossible to identify. The one thing she is clear about is what a wonderful person she thinks Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was. She briefly references a column that ran on a date she doesn’t list by an author she doesn’t name that contained “blatant lies” about Sanger being associated with the Nazis. She goes on to say that Sanger won the respect of Martin Luther King Jr. and worked to “prevent [women] from ever considering abortion”. The facts aren’t adding up here. Just who is mis-characterizing Ms. Sanger? It is acknowledged fact that Ms. Sanger supported the “science” of Eugenics, that is the practice of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding. She was strongly of the opinion that those she considered “inferior” or “unfit”, such as the mentally challenged or even “imbeciles”, those not smart enough to meet her standards should be forcibly sterilized and contraception should be used by everyone. Thinking people, she said, have three children or less. Let’s just take a brief look at some verifiable things that Margaret Sanger actually said (emphasis added):

“…the number of insane and feeble-minded are increasing. Ignorance and stupidity create too many children.
—Margaret Sanger (editorial comment). Birth Control Review, Volume II, Number 7 (July 1918), page 9.
“As long as the feeble-minded and other unfit are allowed to reproduce their kind, we shall have just such social needs.”
—Margaret Sanger. “Editorial Comment,” Birth Control Review, Volume IV, Number 6 (June 1920), page 6.
“…the poor little waifs are a sad, miserable lot. It would be a great kindness to let them die outright, I believe.” (referring to babies in hospitals with less than perfect conditions)
—Margaret Sanger. “Women in Germany.” Birth Control Review, Volume V, Number 1 (January 1921), page 9.
“To meet this problem as a great scientist has recently pointed out, we need not more of the fit, but fewer of the unfit. …syphilitics, consumptives, epileptics and semi-idiots are permitted to propagate their own curse, both what is called legitimately and illegitimately. Is it not time to protect ourselves and our children and our children’s children? The propagation of the degenerate, the imbecile, the feeble-minded, should be prevented.”
—Margaret Sanger. “Birth Control — Past, Present and Future.” Birth Control Review Volume V, Number 8 (August 1921), page 19.
“Today Eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political, and social problems … As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the “unfit” and the “fit,” admittedly the greatest present menace to the human race, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between the two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over fertility of the mentally and physically defective …”
—Margaret Sanger. “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda.” Birth Control Review, Volume V, Number 10 (October 1921), page 5.

Oh, and here’s one more verifiable quote, though not from Ms. Sanger:

“I believe Margaret Sanger would have been proud of us today if she had seen the directions that we have most recently in this organization taken.”
—Faye Wattleton, former President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, at PPFA’s annual luncheon in St. Louis, on May 2, 1979.

No spinning, lying, or misquoting necessary. Ms. Sanger’s words speak for themselves. So do Planned Parenthood’s. As I said, the Margaret-Sanger-is-a-saint issue is just one of many raised in this column. Read the whole column for yourself and consider sending a response to the Beacon, via e-mail or by post:

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