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Margaret Sanger's Eugenic Legacy: The Control of Female Fertility 1st Edition
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In this book, Franks shows that any concern Sanger had for women's rights was secondary to her larger agenda -- helping to create a better race by controlling the fertility of those she saw as society's least "fit" members -- the poor, the disabled, the "feebleminded," the sickly, the epileptic, the alcoholic, etc. Where persuasion worked, that was fine, but as Franks points out, Sanger and her allies were prepared to use coercion when they felt it was necessary to achieve their eugenic aims.
Franks traces what she identifies as the "control movement" from its earliest days in the 1920s when sterilization programs began to spring up in Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, and later California to the 1990s when U.N. "family planning" money helped support forced sterilizations and abortions in China. Along the way, she identifies the key players, policies, and programs that helped to mainstream many of the ideas that the world once found so abhorrent in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.
There are those in our modern PC culture that might be tempted to dismiss such charges, but this book is thorough and well documented, with over 1,200 footnotes and a bibliography featuring about a thousand books, articles, and interviews on Sanger, her associates, and the organizations they founded and led.
The tone is academic, but the language is generally accessible, so that both scholars and activists alike will benefit from the reading of it.
Despite Sanger's celebration as a liberator of women and the feminist hagiographies that have been written of Planned Parenthood's founder, Franks argues that Sanger's eugenic ideas are antithetical to freedom and to true feminism, aiming to suppress precisely what it is that makes women women.
Sanger certainly had enormous influence, but before deciding whether that influence was good or bad, one would be well advised to read this book.
This book is a must-read for anyone in the pro-life movement, whether your concern is eugenics, embryonic stem-cell research, contraception, abortion, euthenasia or the death penalty.
The book's references are all listed in the extensive bibliography and all the author's research was done in the library of congress so most of the book is based on the key player's own quotes. She even gets into how eugenics is connected to the genetic engineering movement. The book is written in a very eloquent manner but is not difficult to read or bogged down with overly academic terminology also the author doesn't tow the line that most authors do when criticising the birth control movement and evagelizing through the entire book with religious passages.