Margaret Sanger Named One of 20 Most Influential Americans Ever

Opinion   |   Susan Michelle Tyrrell   |   Jul 27, 2012   |   10:54AM   |   Washington, DC

Influence is neutral. By itself it means having a profound effect on something, but that something can be good or bad. Therefore, I can’t argue with Time Magazine’s list of The 20 Most Influential Americans of All Time that happens to include the person who has most influenced the destruction of humanity, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

I have to agree with Time’s assessment that she is one of the most influential Americans of all time because her negative influence has been responsible for the deaths of millions, far exceeding that of Hitler’s influence in World War II, whom we usually cite as an example of a single person directly responsible for millions of deaths.

Defined as “the trailblazers, visionaries and cultural ambassadors who defined a nation,” the majority of the list includes these whom we would consider pictures of the very heart of the nation, such as inventors as Henry Ford and Alexander Graham Bell and leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.

Sadly, though, Sanger is part of the heart of America. She has influenced the culture in her lifetime in ways some could only imagine doing. Planned Parenthood. Famous feminist Gloria Steinem penned the piece for Time, saying:

Contraceptive information was suppressed by clergy-influenced, physician-accepted laws. Yet the educated had access to such information and products. This injustice inspired Sanger to defy church and state. In a series of articles called “What Every Girl Should Know,” then in her own newspaper The Woman Rebel and through local clinics that dispensed woman-controlled forms of birth control (a phrase she coined), she put information and power into the hands of women. Her brave and joyous life included fulfilling work, three children, two husbands, many lovers and a large network of friends and colleagues. Indeed, she lived as if she and everyone else had the right to control her or his own life. By word and deed, she pioneered the most radical, humane and transforming political movement of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Are you catching that? Sanger put control in women’s hands—to the point that a woman now controls if another human being lives or dies—and she is being regarded as one of the most influential Americans to have ever lived. However, we can’t really argue with that assessment, can we?

We can, however, argue with Steinem’s comments that she pioneered humane movements. What kind of society calls a movement humane which destroyed its young for the sake of control?

Ours does.

We have reaped what we have sown. As a nation we have expanded abortive birth control, expanded abortion, allowed late-term abortions, and made a woman’s right to choose (to kill) a pillar of American society.

The problem here isn’t with Time Magazine but with us. We’ve become a culture that is driven by convenience and timing. If it doesn’t fit in our schedule as we like it, we abort it. It’s a mindset of false choice that dives our culture so when a woman gets pregnant, that became another decision to weigh in the balance instead do a life to consider for its value.

Was Sanger one of the most influential American’s of all time? Ask 4000 babies a day if they think she influenced them?

Except they can’t answer because her work helped lead to their destruction.

Now the question is whether we will become the voices that rise up in this wilderness and change that culture or be silent and leave the name of the abortion pioneer as a prime figure in American history.

What a tragic list Time offers us. Side by side we see the man who recognized slaves were fully human, Abraham Lincoln, with the woman who helped devalue babies in the womb as not being fully human. We are responsible for this continuum.

Will we help cut off the circle of destruction or let it reign?



LifeNews Note:  Susan Michelle Tyrrell is the editor of Bound4Life’s blog.