Margaret Sanger Desanitized – Truth and Charity Forum

Margaret Sanger passed away in the year 1966, one week before her 87th birthday. Though she was an atheist, funeral services were held at the Episcopal Church in Tucson, Arizona where she was eulogized as a “good, fighting saint who experienced martyrdom.” The Reverend George Ferguson went on to say that “all the elements of sainthood were personified many times in her life.”

The made-for-television movie, Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story (1995) is a highly sanitized version of Sanger as a champion for women’s rights. New York Times television critic, John J. O’Connor, stated that the movie describes an “extraordinary woman whose contraception crusade eventually led to the founding of Planned Parenthood.” Upon accepting the Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award in 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered high praise to the award’s namesake: “Now I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award. I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision . . . . I am really in awe of her.” The sentiments of admiration expressed by Clinton were shared by H.G. Wells: “The history of our generation when it is written will be a biological history and Margaret Sanger will be its heroine.”

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