Pelosi: channeling the ghost of Margaret Sanger

Commentary: Ridiculous items in stimulus plan


I'd settle for removing more of the ridiculous items that House Democrats slipped into the legislation to advance their sociopolitical agenda. Like $350 million for child care on military bases. Or $335 million to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

In normal economic times, there might not be anything wrong with this. But these aren't normal times. And these politically motivated giveaways do nothing to fight the recession.

Another such item, which was removed from the bill, was a plan to spend more than $200 million on birth control funding as a way of stimulating the economy.

Who could possibly defend such a thing? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concocted an argument that was ridiculous and offensive. In fact, the argument was so bad that it might have single-handedly led to the demise of the funding, which some conservatives considered a giveaway to Planned Parenthood.

When ABC's George Stephanopolous asked Pelosi to explain how birth control helps the economy, here's what the speaker said: "The family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now, and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those -- one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

You know the nation's cupboard is bare when politicians propose limiting the number of births as a way of improving the economy. That's a conversation we shouldn't be having.

There is nothing more private -- that is, none of the government's business -- than the personal decision that a family makes about how many children to have. Besides, Pelosi's comments had an ugly ring to them.

For a minute, it sounded as if the House speaker was channeling the ghost of Margaret Sanger. The 20th-century birth control advocate is a hero to those who worship at the altar of reproductive freedom. She even founded the American Birth Control League, which became Planned Parenthood.

But there is more. Sanger also embraced birth control as a means of social engineering. She was a leader in the eugenics movement, which had a number of influential supporters.

Many in that school of thought considered immigrant groups like Jews, Italians and Irish to be inferior genetically, and they felt that these groups were having too many children, a trend they believed needed to be stopped -- by forced sterilization if necessary.

In an article she wrote in 1932 for Birth Control Review, a publication she founded, she spelled out her "Plan for Peace," which included having "Congress set up a special department for the study of population problems and appoint a Parliament of Population" whose main objectives would include keeping "the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race such as ... [those] barred by the immigration laws of 1924." Those laws were mainly intended to stop the immigration of Italians, Greeks and Jews.

Nice. There are still people who believe that stuff. The only difference is that, in this century, the folks under attack are more likely to be Hispanic or African-American.

When you make the argument that contraception is a cost-saving measure for state and federal government, some might think what you're implying is that the babies who would otherwise have been born were destined to become dependent on welfare and other public services.

Comment: For decades, abortion has disproportionately targeted minority babies (Whatever the intent of the abortion industry may be, by functional standards, abortion is a racist institution. In the United States, black children are aborted at 5 times the rate as white children and Hispanic children don't fare much better)


  1. Quite sad that so many people through last century told that lie of eugenics. I can think of one particular that I believe everyone would cringe at, Hitler.

  2. It was intersting how that comment by that education guy, Bill Bennet, died off so quickly. I can't even remember what it was, but he made some comment about how abortion affects minorities more than others. It seems like it died off because the media couldn't have it both ways: lambast a guy and label him a racist while at the same time admitting he was telling the truth.


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