98+ Best Margaret Sanger Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Margaret Higgins Sanger was an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. Profoundly inspirational Margaret Sanger quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

Famous Margaret Sanger Quotes

I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world that have disease from their parents, that have no chance to be a human being, practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin – that people can – can commit. – Margaret Sanger

Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives. – Margaret Sanger

Couples should be required to submit applications to have a child. – Margaret Sanger

Women of the working class, especially wage workers, should not have more than two children at most. The average working man can support no more and and the average working woman can take care of no more in decent fashion. – Margaret Sanger

Enthusiasm is a divine possession. – Margaret Sanger

Birth control is the means by which woman attains basic freedom. – Margaret Sanger

Negroes and Southern Europeans are mentally inferior to native born Americans. – Margaret Sanger

A free race cannot be born of slave mothers. – Margaret Sanger

Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon American society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupid, cruel sentimentalism. – Margaret Sanger

No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective. – Margaret Sanger

I cannot refrain from saying that women must come to recognize there is some function of womanhood other than being a child-bearing machine. – Margaret Sanger

Birth control is nothing more or less than…weeding out the unfit. – Margaret Sanger

We should not minimize the great outstanding service of Eugenics for critical and diagnostic investigations. It demonstrates … that uncontrolled fertility is universally correlated with disease, poverty, overcrowding and the transmission of hereditable traits. – Margaret Sanger

As an advocate of birth control I wish … to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit,’ admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation…. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective. – Margaret Sanger

Organized charity itself is. . . the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents and dependents – Margaret Sanger

The submission of her body without love or desire is degrading to the woman’s finer sensibility, all the marriage certificates on earth to the contrary notwithstanding. – Margaret Sanger

It now remains for the United States government to set a sensible example to the world by offering a bonus or a yearly pension to all obviously unfit parents who allow themselves to be sterilized by harmless and scientific means. – Margaret Sanger

… the ocean could not be swept back with a broom. The truth was out. It illuminated the world. Motherhood no longer cringed before the relentless laws of fecundity. – Margaret Sanger

If we are really to live at all we must put our convictions into action. – Margaret Sanger

Many people are horrified at the idea of birth control. . . . It is simply the keynote of a new moral program. – Margaret Sanger

As often as I have witnessed the miracle [birth], held the perfect creature with its tiny hands and feet, each time I have felt as though I were entering a cathedral with prayer in my heart. – Margaret Sanger

Women must have economic and social equality with men. – Margaret Sanger

Very early in my childhood I associated poverty, toil, unemployment, drunkenness, cruelty, quarreling, fighting, debts, jail with large families. – Margaret Sanger

Against the State, against the Church, against the silence of the medical profession, against the whole machinery of dead institutions of the past, the woman of today arises. – Margaret Sanger

Speaking of Margaret Sanger, Grandson Alexander Sanger, head of Planned Parenthood of New York City, said: She made people accept that women had the right to control their own destinies. – Margaret Sanger

Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a menace to the race. – Margaret Sanger

The basic freedom of the world is woman’s freedom. – Margaret Sanger

The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind. – Margaret Sanger

The mother memories that are closest to my heart are the small gentle ones that I have carried over from the days of my childhood. They are not profound, but they have stayed with me through life, and when I am very old, they will still be near . . . Memories of mother drying my tears, reading aloud, cutting cookies and singing as she did, listening to prayers I said as I knelt with my forehead pressed against her knee, tucking me in bed and turning down the light. They have carried me through the years and given my life such a firm foundation that it does not rock beneath flood or tempest. – Margaret Sanger

The campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical with the final aims of eugenics. – Margaret Sanger

Birth Control which has been criticized as negative and destructive, is really the greatest and most truly eugenic method, and its adoption as part of the program of Eugenics would immediately give a concrete and realistic power to that science. . . as the most constructive and necessary of the means to racial health. – Margaret Sanger

Life has taught me one supreme lesson. This is that we must—if we are really to live at all, if we are to enjoy the life more abundant promised by the Sages of Wisdom—we must put our convictions into action. My remuneration has been that I have been privileged to act out my faith. – Margaret Sanger

Apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring. – Margaret Sanger

Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit. Both are seeking a single end but they lay emphasis upon different methods. – Margaret Sanger

The most serious charge that can be brought against modern benevolence is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression. – Margaret Sanger

Woman was and is condemned to a system under which the lawful rapes exceed the unlawful ones a million to one. – Margaret Sanger

Birth control is the first important step woman must take toward the goal of her freedom. It is the first step she must take to be man’s equal. It is the first step they must both take toward human emancipation. – Margaret Sanger

Birth Control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization. – Margaret Sanger

Usually this desire [for family limitation] has been laid to economic pressure It has asserted itself among the rich and among the poor, among the intelligent and the unintelligent. It has been manifested in such horrors as infanticide, child abandonment and abortion. – Margaret Sanger

I resolved that women should have knowledge of contraception. They have every right to know about their own bodies. I would strikeout–I would scream from the housetops. I would tell the world what was going on in the lives of these poor women. I would be heard. No matter what it should cost. I would be heard. – Margaret Sanger

Some lives drift here and there like reeds in a stream, depending on changing currents for their activity. Others are like swimmers knowing the depth of the water. Each stroke helps them onward to a definite objective. – Margaret Sanger

By all means, there should be no children when either mother or father suffers from such diseases as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, cancer, epilepsy, insanity, drunkenness and mental disorders. In the case of the mother, heart disease, kidney trouble and pelvic deformities are also a serious bar to childbearing No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective. – Margaret Sanger

The most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it. – Margaret Sanger

We are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all-that the wealth of individuals and of state is being diverted from the development and the progress of human expression and civilization. – Margaret Sanger

Diplomats make it their business to conceal the facts. – Margaret Sanger

The masses of Negroes…particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disasterously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more than among whites, is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit. – Margaret Sanger

As I look back upon my life, I see that every part of it was a preparation for the next. The most trivial of incidents fits into the larger pattern like a mosaic in a preconceived design. – Margaret Sanger

In passing, we should here recognize the difficulties presented by the idea of ‘fit’ and ‘unfit.’ Who is to decide this question? The grosser, the more obvious, the undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind. But among the writings of the representative Eugenists [sic], one cannot ignore the distinct middle-class bias that prevails. – Margaret Sanger

Knowledge of birth control is essentially moral. Its general, though prudent, practice must lead to a higher individuality and ultimately to a cleaner race. – Margaret Sanger

She made people accept that women had the right to control their own destinies. – Margaret Sanger

I wanted each woman to be a rebellious Vashti, not an Esther. – Margaret Sanger

Diplomats make it their business to conceal the facts, and politicians violently denounce the politicians of other countries. – Margaret Sanger

The first right of every child is to be wanted, to be desired, to be planned for with an intensity of love that gives it its title to being. – Margaret Sanger

No despot ever flung forth his legions to die in foreign conquest, no privilege-ruled nation ever erupted across its borders, to lock in death embrace with another, but behind them loomed the driving power of a population too large for its boundaries and its natural resources. – Margaret Sanger

The procreation of [the diseased, the feeble-minded and paupers] should be stopped. – Margaret Sanger

No woman can call herself free who cannot choose the time to be a mother or not as she sees fit. – Margaret Sanger

No one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception. This is the only cure for abortions. – Margaret Sanger

In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered. The conversation went on and on, and when we were finally through it was too late to return to New York. – Margaret Sanger

While there are cases where even the law recognizes an abortion as justifiable if recommended by a physician, I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization. – Margaret Sanger

Hordes of people [are] born, who live, yet who have done absolutely nothing to advance the race one iota. Their lives are hopeless repetitions… Such human weeds clog up the path, drain up the energies and the resources of this little earth. We must clear the way for a better world; we must cultivate our garden. – Margaret Sanger

More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief aim of birth control. – Margaret Sanger

The most far-reaching social development of modern times is the revolt of woman against sex servitude. The most important force in the remaking of the world is a free motherhood. – Margaret Sanger

The third group [of society] are those irresponsible and reckless ones having little regard for the consequences of their acts, or whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers. Many of this group are diseased, feeble-minded, and are of the pauper element dependent upon the normal and fit members of society for their support. There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped. – Margaret Sanger

Give dysgenic groups [people with ‘bad genes’] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization. – Margaret Sanger

Covertly invest into non-White areas, invest in ghetto abortion clinics. Help to raise money for free abortions, in primarily non-White areas. Perhaps abortion clinic syndicates throughout North America, that primarily operate in non-White areas and receive tax support, should be promoted. – Margaret Sanger

It is apparent that nothing short of contraceptives can put an end to the horrors of abortion and infanticide. – Margaret Sanger

War, famine, poverty and oppression of the workers will continue while woman makes life cheap. They will cease only when she limits her reproductivity and human life is no longer a thing to be wasted. – Margaret Sanger

No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother. – Margaret Sanger

The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order. – Margaret Sanger

Like begets like. We gather perfect fruit from perfect trees… . Abused soil brings forth stunted growths. – Margaret Sanger

The mother memories that are closest to my heart are the small gentle ones that I have carried over from the days of my childhood. They are not profound, but they have stayed with me through life, and when I am very old, they will still be near . . . – Margaret Sanger

She goes through the vale of death alone, each time a babe is born. As it is the right neither of man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether she will endure it. – Margaret Sanger

Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression. – Margaret Sanger

There is only one reply to a request for a higher birthrate among the intelligent, and that is to ask the government to first take the burden of the insane and feeble-minded from your back. [Mandatory] sterilization for these is the answer. – Margaret Sanger

Never be ashamed of passion. If you are strongly sexed, you are richly endowed. – Margaret Sanger

No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child without a permit for parenthood. – Margaret Sanger

… it has always been the depth of my belief, my faith, or my love that was the mainspring of my behavior. When once I believed in doing a thing, nothing could prevent my doing it. – Margaret Sanger

The greatest issue is to raise the question of birth control out of the gutter of obscenity … into the light of intelligence and human understanding. – Margaret Sanger

The most successful educational approach to the Negro is throgh a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the Minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members. – Margaret Sanger

It is a noteworthy fact that not one of the women to whom I have spoken so far believes in abortion as a practice; but it is principle for which they are standing. They also believe that the complete abolition of the abortion law will shortly do away with abortions, as nothing else will. – Margaret Sanger

I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan. – Margaret Sanger

When motherhood becomes the fruit of a deep yearning, not the result of ignorance or accident, its children will become the foundation of a new race. – Margaret Sanger

Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tryanny of Christianity no less than Capitalism. – Margaret Sanger

Every single case of inherited defect, every malformed child, every congenitally tainted human being brought into this world is of infinite importance to that poor individual; but it is of scarcely less importance to the rest of us and to all of our children who must pay in one way or another for these biological and racial mistakes. – Margaret Sanger

Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race. – Margaret Sanger

Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying . . . demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism. – Margaret Sanger

A mutual and satisfied sexual act is of great benefit to the average woman, the magnetism of it is health giving. When it is not desired on the part of the woman and she has no response, it should not take place. This is an act of prostitution and is degrading to the woman’s finer sensibility, all the marriage certificates on earth to the contrary notwithstanding. – Margaret Sanger

The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately. Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive periodwe prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded. – Margaret Sanger

We gather perfect fruit from perfect trees. – Margaret Sanger

Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems. – Margaret Sanger

To give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization. g. to apportion farm lands and homesteads for these segregated persons where they would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives. – Margaret Sanger

Eugenics, which had started long before my time, had once been defined as including free love and prevention of conception… Recently it had cropped up again in the form of selective breeding. – Margaret Sanger

A woman’s duty: To look the whole world in the face with a go-to-hell look in the eyes… to speak and act in defiance of convention. – Margaret Sanger

Woman must have her freedom, the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she will be a mother and how many children she will have. Regardless of what man’s attitude may be, that problem is hers – and before it can be his, it is hers alone. – Margaret Sanger

It is … marvellous … to have a period of apparent fanaticism. No obstacle can discourage you. The single vision of your quest obscures defeat and lifts you over mountainous difficulties. – Margaret Sanger

On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective. – Margaret Sanger

How are we to breed a race of human thoroughbreds unless we follow the same plan? We must make this country into a garden of children instead of a disorderly back lot overrun with human weeds. – Margaret Sanger

Has knowledge of birth control, so carefully guarded and so secretly practiced by the women of the wealthy class – and so tenaciously withheld from the working women – brought them misery? Rather, has it not promoted greater happiness, greater freedom, greater prosperity and more harmony among them? The women who have this knowledge are the women who have been free to develop, free to enjoy in its best sense, and free to advance the interests of the community. – Margaret Sanger

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