PP's Margaret Sanger: Our Main Opposition is the 'Catholic Church’ – ‘Celibates' Who Don’t Know Marriage, Children

By Sam Dorman | September 15, 2015 | 1:51pm EDT

Mike Wallace interviews Planned Parenthood founder

Margaret Sanger, Sept. 21, 1957.  (Screenshot:YouTube/ABC).


(CNSNews.com) -- During an interview with journalist Mike Wallace, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger criticized Catholic Church leaders as “celibates” who “don’t know love,” or marriage, or about rearing children, and stressed that the primary opposition to Planned Parenthood’s agenda is the Catholic Church.

In a Sept. 21, 1957 interview on The Mike Wallace Show, broadcast by ABC, Wallace questioned Sanger, a racist and a eugenicist, about the Catholic Church’s opposition to contraception; the Church’s views on marriage and children; and Sanger’s rejection of natural law.

Talking about opponents of Sanger and Planned Parenthood, Wallace asked,  “You say that originally the opposition was in all law and you had to fight against that. Today, your opposition stems mainly from where, from what source?”

Sanger said, “Well, I think that the opposition is mainly from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.”

“Of the church?” Wallace continued.

“The hierarchy,” Sanger said.

On the issue of contraception, Wallace then read from a Catholic publication entitled The Question Box.

“In forbidding birth control it says the following,” said Wallace, “It says ‘the immediate purpose and primary end of marriage is the begetting of children. When the marital relation is so used as to render the fulfillment of its purposes impossible, that is by birth control, it is used unethically and unnaturally.’

“Now what’s wrong with that position?” asked Wallace.

Sanger claimed that the Church’s view of marriage was wrong. “Well, it’s very wrong. It’s not normal,” she said.  “It has the wrong attitude toward marriage, toward love, toward the relationships between men and women.”

Wallace then focused on the Church’s reliance on natural law. “Well the natural law, they say, is that first of all, the primary function of sex in marriage is to beget children,” he said.

“Do you disagree with that?” asked Wallace.

“I disagree with it 100  percent,” Sanger said.

“Your feeling is what, then? “ said Wallace.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. (AP) 


Sanger explained that bearing children was secondary, in her view, in a loving relationship.  “My feeling is love, and the attraction between men and women, in many cases the very finest relationship has nothing to do with bearing a child,” she said. “It’s secondary.”

“Many, many times we know that,” said Sanger.  “You talk to people who are in very happy marriages, and they’re not having babies every year. Yes, I think that’s a celibate attitude.”

Wallace responded, “A celibate attitude, but do you agree that Catholicism, according to the tenets of Catholicism, they rule that birth control violates not only the church’s position -- it isn’t the church’s position -- but they say it violates a natural law, as I have just explained, therefore birth control is a sin no matter who practices it.”

Wallace continued, “Now, the violation of the natural law, you certainly can take no issue with the natural law as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church regards it.”

Sanger responded, “Well, I certainly do take issue with it. And I think it’s untrue, and I think it’s unnatural.”

“And how do they know? I mean after all, they’re celibates,” said Sanger.  “They don’t know love, they don’t know marriage, they know nothing about bringing up children, or any of the marriage problems of life, and yet they speak to people as if they were God.”

Margaret Sanger (1879 – 1966), a long-time advocate for artificial birth control who supported eugenics -- selective breeding and sterilization to diminish the so-called inferior races and promote the growth of so-called superior races -- was the founder of the American Birth Control League (ABCL).

The ABCL eventually was merged with another group, the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, in 1939, and was renamed the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) in 1942.  In 1952, Sanger helped found the International Planned Parenthood Federation and served as its first president until 1959.

Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider.  According to its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions in 2013-14 and the organization received $528.4 million in taxpayer funding through “government health service grants and reimbursements.”

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