Skip to comments.Time Capsule: Mike Wallace hammers Margaret Sanger in 1957 interview
Posted on 12/03/2010 4:23:28 PM PST by wagglebee
December 3, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In 1957, an aging Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and the international birth control movement, agreed to an interview with CBS News Mike Wallace. In stark contrast with the sympathetic reception Sanger could expect to receive today in a network television interview, Wallace hammered Sanger with difficult questions and caught her in contradictions, while Sanger squirmed, fidgeted, and denied statements she had made only a week earlier in pre-interview discussions with CBS staff.
This fascinating and sometimes chilling interview with Sanger can be found at the website of the Harry Ransom Center, which is located at the University of Texas, and which has published all of the installments of the Mike Wallace Interview from 1957 and 1958. In the interview, Sanger expounds upon her views on a variety of topics, including birth control, eugenics, population growth, homosexuality, marriage, and religion.
Among the more revealing moments is Sangers explanation of the greatest sin of having children who violate her eugenic standards, and have no chance ... to be a human being practically.
Asked if she believes in sin, Sanger tells Wallace: I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world, that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically, delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things, just marked when theyre born. That to me is the greatest sin that a people can commit.
However, pressed by Wallace about her beliefs about sin, Sanger at first refuses to answer, and then balks at recognizing infidelity as such. I dont know about infidelity, it has so many personalities to it, and what a persons own belief is, I couldnt generalize, she says, after Wallace insists that she respond to the question.
Sanger balks even more when Wallace begins to cite statements she has made publicly, even to his own staff, claiming that she has been misquoted. At first Sanger rejects the claim made in the womans magazine Redbook, in reference to contraception, that immunity from parenthood encourages promiscuity particularly when unmarried persons can so easily avail themselves of the [birth control] devices. But Wallace then reads Sangers own words from a Philadelphia Daily News article from 1942, encouraging the use of birth control to avoid illegitimacy.
You were not advocating Christian morality but rather ways for single women to avoid bearing illegitimate children, Wallace tells her. I doubt it, Sanger responds curtly. I dont believe I ever made such a remark. Sanger also denies telling a CBS staff member that it should be made illegal for any religious group to prohibit dissemination of birth control, even among its own members. I dont think I said it quite that way, she protests.
Given Margaret Sangers role in founding Planned Parenthood, one might expect the interview to mention abortion, but the topic is only addressed in passing. When the interview was conducted in 1957, abortion was illegal throughout the United States, and Sanger always claimed to oppose the practice, as did Planned Parenthood at that time. However Planned Parenthood would go on after Sangers death in 1966 to become the biggest abortion provider in the world, focusing mainly on the impoverished groups whom she had once referred to as human waste.
Asked about her belief in God, in a sense of a divine being that rewards or punishes after death, Sanger responds, I have a different attitude about the divine. I feel that we have divinity within us. And the more we express the good part of our lives, the more the divine within us expresses itself. She claimed to be Episcopalian.
See the whole interview here.
Yes, you’re right...she was big into government sponsorship.
I hope that it was clear I was making comments in reference to the discussion in the video. Some might appear odd out of context.
Actually, didn’t watch the whole thing yet. Saving it for later. Loved the opening, though.
The word itself never passed her lips, in between all the scratching, but she certainly alluded to it when she spoke of what she characterized as "the sin" of bringing certain people into the world.
eugenics: a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed
Yes! I think Don Draper did have Philip Morris. I agree about the iconic TV spot. I was thinking the very same thing.
Very interesting - thanks for posting this!
Thank you for the informative post pointing to a more detailed AV interview of that monster than I knew existed.
I never knew this existed.. Thanks it is always good when light is shed into darkness
Thank you. I enjoyed watching that interview. It was a treasure chest in a time capsule, indeed.
No accounting for leftists’ tastes in icons. At least Che was good looking.
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