Except for his unfortunate argument over abortion with Sonia Ossorio (pictured right), President of the New York City Chapter of the National Organisation for Women (NOW), I found myself in almost complete agreement with Tucker Carlson in his 24 July episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight (38 minutes in length). This episode includes debate and discussion of a number of important developments and issues in United States politics - border control, abortion and the ongoing attempts by the establishment, supported by the Democrats, 'leftists' and even much of the Republican Party, to oust President Trump. Carlson interviewed and debated Jeff Weaver a spokesperson for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a socialist in the Democratic Party. Also, early in this episode, Tucker Carlson (pictured left) argued strongly and in great detail why he was opposed to war against Iran.
Sonia and the NOW support the right of women to control their own fertility, including the right to abortion. Unfortunately, Tucker Carlson is emotively opposed to the "killing of unborn children" and argued quite fiercely against Sonia Ossorio. In spite of his shouting over her and even cutting her off at the end, it seemed to me that Sonia Ossorio won the short debate.
Pope Francis needs to be praised for calling for an "ecological conversion" for the faithful in his sweeping new encyclical on the environment. "Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever," he writes.
In a draft of his encyclical on the environment , Pope Francis says that the world could see the destruction of entire ecosystems this century without urgent action on climate change. He makes direct connections between our "throw-away culture" that pollutes and degrades the environment with how our society discards those "excluded" from the global economy, exploits workers, harvests human organs, and traffics in people.
The release of the Pope's 184-page teaching letter on the environment is being seen as the moment when the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics threw the Church's support behind the climate movement. 2
The Pope backs scientists who say global warming is mostly man-made and that developed countries have a particular responsibility to stem a trend that will hurt the poor the most. However, the Pope is being intellectually dishonest and evasive by rejecting suggestions that population control would solve the environmental crisis, saying instead the problem is one of “extreme consumerism”.
But, contradictorily, he also claims that:
Population "control", or less harshly, family planning, is far removed than a "culture of death" but of spacing pregnancies and avoiding unwanted ones. It doesn't have to mean abortion, but the use of contraceptives! He's equating "population control" with "abortion"?
Overpopulation is often the cause of poverty,and environmental degradation.
The Pope does not acknowledge that the Catholic Church has contributed to these environmental and social justice problems by its irrational and adamant opposition to responsible family planning.
So, if we will all switch off excessive lights, reduce the use of paper, plastic and water, separate trash, practice car-sharing then global population can keep overshooting natural limits with impunity? While we may individually reduce our impact on natural resources and waste, in absolute terms anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions will still keep rising due to exponential population growth!
Pope Francis still defends the Church's opposition to contraception. He's being enlightened, but at the same time directing the blame for over-consumption on the "wealthy" nations. Disingenuously, he's ignoring the impoverishing and destructive impacts of overpopulation.
Pope Francis goes on to acknowledge that “attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels” . Apparently, then, it is not a surplus of babies that is the real problem, but where they are born.
Overpopulation is certainly not the sole cause of our environmental crisis, but there’s no question it is a significant contributing cause, and a rapidly expanding population will only exacerbate our environmental problems. 2
Improved access to contraception must be an integral part--albeit an essential one--of a larger effort to improve health and well-being in the developing world. 4
The Center for Biological Diversity has a very successful campaign linking human population growth to other species loss. They sell "Endangered species condoms." Their creative approach has now been independently recognised by, of all things, the American Advertising Federation. Good on them!
Our wildly popular Endangered Species Condoms are getting some additional love. This week we found out the colorfully packaged condoms, part of our campaign highlighting the connection between overpopulation and species extinction, won the American Advertising Federation's gold ADDY Award in Tucson in the "public service" category. In case you haven't seen them, the nifty condom packages feature illustrations of six different endangered species, along with catchy slogans like "Cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle" and "Wear a jimmy hat, save the big cat." The Center handed out 350,0000 condoms last year and hopes to send more out soon to draw attention to this crucial issue. Through the empowerment of women, education of all people and universal access to birth control, we can curb our population to an ecologically safe level.
But some members of Congress are making that very hard. In fact, the House has just passed a bill to cut government funding for critical programs like women's health clinics -- which for millions of people provide the only available access to reproductive services, family planning and birth control. With this February marking Global Population Speak Out month, it's time to tell our elected representatives they should be expanding those programs, not cutting them -- for the sake of our planet and the public.
Check out our Endangered Species Condoms Project and sign the GPSO pledge. Then learn more about the legislative attack on family-planning services from politico.com and contact your senators asking them to counter it. (Ed. Actually www.politico.com doesn't appear to have any directly accessible information on this subject.)
The Center for Biological Diversity
[The following material comes directly from the Center for Biological Diversity.]
Through a network of more than 5,000 volunteers, in 2010 the Center for Biological Diversity distributed 350,000 free Endangered Species Condoms in all 50 states — as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico — to highlight how unsustainable human population growth is driving species extinct at a cataclysmic rate.
The earth’s population has nearly doubled since the original Earth Day in 1970. In those days, it was well understood that human overpopulation was causing the many environmental challenges cropping up around the world. Now, with the passing of the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day, unsustainable human population growth is too often ignored, even though it continues to drive all the major environmental problems that plague our planet.
At 6.9 billion people, the human race is not only the most populous large mammal on Earth but the most populous large mammal that has ever existed. Providing for the needs and wants of this many people — especially those in high-consumption, first-world nations — has pushed homo sapiens to absorb 50 percent of the planet’s freshwater and develop 50 percent of its landmass. As a result, other species are running out of places to live.
Human overpopulation is the driving force behind the current mass-extinction crisis, endangering:
• 12 percent of mammals
• 12 percent of birds
• 31 percent of reptiles
• 30 percent of amphibians
• 37 percent of fish
To help people understand the impact of overpopulation on other species, and to give them a chance to take action in their own lives, the Center is distributing free packets of Endangered Species Condoms depicting six separate species: the polar bear, snail darter, spotted owl, American burying beetle, jaguar, and coquí guajón rock frog.
The beautifully designed packages, featuring clever slogans, are being distributed by a network of 5,000 volunteers ranging from ministers to grandmothers to healthcare providers to college students and biologists. The condoms will be handed out at concerts, bars, universities, spiritual groups, local events, and farmer’s markets. Along with two condoms, each package contains original artwork and information on the species, facts about overpopulation and the extinction crisis, and suggestions on how the human population can be stabilized.
To help ensure a world that is livable for other species — and healthy and prosperous for us — practice responsible reproduction and learn more about the Center’s campaign to address overpopulation.
Originally published 22 January, 2010
I wish I could be sure that including what some may see as ‘coercive’ population policies to achieve global sustainability and avoid massive human catastrophes were unnecessary.
For many decades there has been a willful blindness in recognising that human population growth is one of the pre-eminent problems we face. A problem the US-based Population Media Center and other population activist groups are well aware off. A problem that is driving the astonishing growth of fossil fuel use and its depletion, climate warming, bio-diversity loss and species extinction, the growing shortage of fresh water to meet human needs - and as a consequence of these changes – the prospect that agriculture will be unable to produce enough food to feed us.
Together, these changes are the most important immediate challenge to humankind. The threat – still largely unrecognized - transcends all the other problems that transfix our policy makers, says Lindsey Grant, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment.
Most people are unaware that as recently as 1930 world population was barely two billion, not the 6.8 billion now. Almost never do the media portray reduction in human numbers as a beneficial step away from the impossibility of endless population growth.
Population activists point out that increase in use of modern family planning methods rose from 10 percent of the world’s couples in 1960 to 55 percent today and there has been an associated decline in average fertility rates. But they admit many people are still not using family planning and are having large families. Yes, most of the progress made to date on slowing population growth has been done through voluntary means. But will this be enough to meet the population and environmental impacts we are facing?
Funding for population and reproductive healthcare programs, as a share of global health aid declined from 30 percent in 1994 to just 12 percent in 2008. The proportional decrease is due to increasing attention to HIV/AIDS. (World Bank). Global spending on contraceptive supplies and services totaled just $338 million in 2007, considerably less than half what it was in 1995 - despite a 20-percent increase in the number of people of reproductive age in developing countries. (Worldwatch Institute)
Assumption on population growth may also be too low. The UN assumes that our current growth rate will decline, but in many countries, particularly in Africa and parts of the Middle East, populations are rising rapidly, and growth rates show no sign of decline. In addition, a growing number of developed countries, with high ecological footprints have introduced new baby bonuses in the ill-informed belief that encouraging a population ponzi scheme to maintain existing demographic support ratios and retirement pensions is a good idea. The challenge of supporting aging populations is grossly over emphasised by those with particular interests, like the pensions industry. It is a totally phoney argument that we need more young people and more immigration to support a growing number of older people. Young people generally cost society more than older people - in crime, in education, unemployment and many other ways. With typical short-term vision, we forget that all these extra young people get old too and will need support. The media and politicians do not emphasise this.
It is misleading to say that ‘coercion’ or more appropriately, ‘incentivisation’ for the wider good of society doesn’t work and there is no evidence to support the claim. Incentivisation through the tax and legal system DOES work all the time. We accept laws, fines and much more for a stable society and to discourage anti-social behavior like speeding, drink-driving, drug peddling and aggression on others. Try not paying tax and see what the government can force you to do.
What can be more important than saving the future of our planet, for ourselves our children and other species that rightfully share our world? We are already in serious ecological overshoot according to the Global Footprint Network and this is set to get much worse as China, India, Brazil and other developing nations expand their economies, resource use and populations.
The urgency of achieving fertility reductions is clear. A largely ignored UNPD news release on March 11, 2009, warned that if global fertility remains at current levels the world population could increase by nearly twice as much as projected - to around 11.1 billion by 2050. The population of the less developed regions would increase to 9.8 billion instead of the 7.9 billion projected by assuming that fertility declines and a projected 1.28 billion in developed countries. Unless we wake up and take action, it won’t stop there.
If we are to have any chance of moving to a genuinely sustainable world, we have to bring together and consider all the options at our disposal – fully accessible global contraception and advice, education about population impact and its social, economic and environmental consequences and fiscal incentives to encourage fewer births rather than perverse incentives to increase our numbers.
Just as tackling the challenge of climate change requires global action instead of blame chasing assertions that it is the developed world’s emissions that are the problem not the smaller emissions of developing countries that are set to grow their populations significantly, we need global action on population. We will sink or swim together.
The US-based Population Media Center (PMC) has been innovative in its media outreach work around the world and believes the major reason for the success of China's often criticized population policy is that they used intensive person-to-person persuasion that convinced people to comply willingly. Yet some would say this was social ‘coercion’. What could we do if some countries refused to use coercion, leading to endless population growth and resource wars?
Political or religious ‘coercion’ to prevent family planning in countries like Albania, the Philippines, Rwanda and Iran during the early years of the Khomeini regime, led to rapidly increasing populations, increasing poverty, even genocide. Iran has changed policy and fertility rates fell.
But it won’t be enough. In Europe, the United States. Canada and Australia – all places with high consumption footprints, lower fertility is being boosted by high immigration from developing countries and failing states happy to off load surplus populations they are unable to support. Developed countries are under ever increasing infrastructure pressures from immigration that impacts disproportionately on their own disadvantaged communities.
We spend billions of tax dollars every year on aid programs, which in many places have been shown to be ineffective through a mixture of corruption, a bloated and competing aid sector and other factors. Yet the aid industry consistently ignores rapidly growing populations in many recipient countries as a major factor in lack of progress in reducing poverty.
There are already many failed and failing states on permanent food aid – in Haiti, Somalia, Afghanistan and more – all highly susceptible to instability and terrorism. Yet conditional aid seems unacceptable to many in the aid industry who would rather bury their heads in the sand. Others argue that aid should go hand in hand with donor governments ensuring countries that receive year on year aid have effective and fully accessible family planning programs in place. It is potentially a win-win situation that squeezes systemic corruption, improves long-term prospects for the countries concerned, supports women’s rights and hopes for a genuinely sustainable and more equitable world.
Japan, Iran, Sri Lanka and Brazil are countries that have achieved replacement fertility levels in a matter of a decade or so after strong persuasion campaigns were combined with readily accessible family planning services. Persuasion is vital to achieve a broad public consensus but political and personal ‘incentivisation’ is also needed if we are to have any chance of a reasonable future.
Ill-informed critics wilfully misinterpret calls for population stabilisation and gradual decline to save the planet as ‘Genocide’ and ‘Holocaust’. It is their ‘my rights only’ and forget the rest of you that is the real path to ‘genocide’ The response from some development and religious lobby groups is disgraceful. Can they not see beyond the end of their noses? The world badly needs a grown-up, rational discussion of the population issue - without blame, abuse and hysteria.
When finite and depleting fossil fuels that have supported massive population growth in the last 80 years, a one-time economic growth binge and an industrial agriculture industry to feed us, run down, the world as we would like to know it will not exist. Alternative energy sources are simply not enough to see us through. We will face chaos and immense social pressures that will be far more draconian than making relatively simple, sensible and sustainable choices now. Have we the intelligence to collectively wake up?
A blogsite called "Catholic Dialogue" sounds so extreme in its condemnation of feminism, contraception and women's choice that you wonder if it's actually a joke. The blogsite warns people not to donate to Caritas Haiti because they support condoms, the celebration of Women's International Day and present a 'negative image of the Catholic Church'!
Please DO therefore consider donating to Caritas Haiti. Their site is here. And thanks, Catholic Dialogue, for telling us about them. They have survived the earthquake, I just learned, although their bank did not. They expect to post details of where to send help tomorrow.
"The principal organization which Development & Peace has named to assist in the country, Caritas Haiti, is likely an abortion-supporting organization too. They have a “strategy” plan that says women are discriminated against in the Church and that women do not control their “reproduction”. In addition, Population Services International– which specializes in, among other things “reproductive health” is a donor to Caritas Haiti and describes them as one of their “partners”."
So, please, DO therefore consider donating to Caritas Haiti. Their site is here.
Here Caritas Haiti describes the objectives of a plan called "Strategic operational plan 2006 – 2011; Development program; Strategic sub-program: Promotion of Women's rights.
"Analysis of the Problematic situation
Feminisation of poverty;
Low participation of women in political activity in the country;
More women are illiterate;
Very few women own businesses;
Lack of services adapted or to specific training for their reproductive health;
Women don't know about their rights or the written law;
Increased violence against women;
Increase in the level of girls who leave school early;
Women suffer discrimination through laws which give men priority;
Low support for women who are victims of violence;
Men fail to assume their family responsibilities, which then increases the weight of responsibility on the women;
Discrimination against women inside the Church, in the family, and in society;
The majority of women live in de facto relationships without legal recourse in case of conflict with their partner;
Women do not control their reproductive capacity
Women do not have access to information.
Women's work is not valued.
The majority of women do not have an occupation or profession.
Women are not emancipated and refuse to enter activities which are considered masculin
They don't know their rights and are not able to properly fulfil their role in communities and exercise their political rights;
The health of women deteriorates and becomes fragile because of their difficult living condition;
Women have little access to education and training;
Women's organisations are poorly structured;
Poor standard of means and tools to permit women to look after their issues;
Poor level of salaries for women compared to men's in the same or comparable work;
Poor access to resources;
Poor access to professional training by young girls in the country;
Women have no economic power;
Women are not sufficiently trained;
Women lack good knowledge of their basic rights;
Negligence and absence of parents;
Women are not sufficiently professionally specialised;
Customs, traditions and stereotypes are unfavourable to women;
Women are systematically excluded;
Social and familial discrimination;
Lack of health infrastructure (hospitals, pharmacies, health centers)
Women lack leadership;
Poor access to health services in remote areas;
Low consideration for gender equity in families;
High rate of unemployment (55.4% of unemployed people are women)
Women's dependent situation prevents them from negotiating their sexuality and the power of birth control;
They are not able to manage to meet their needs and take control and they fall into poverty;
Women are afraid to admit to being ill (breast cancer, uterine cancer, sexually transmitted illnesses etc)
Out of proportion population growth;
Street children are increasing with mothers unable to cope;
Increasing numbers of girls in the streets and in domestic service;
Separation and division - (single parent households);
Lack of confidence and self-esteem in women;
Violence and abuse of women;
Decision-making roles are entirely occupied by men;
Gender equity is not adequately taken into account in development projects;
Increase migration of women;
Women are marginalised;
Increased women's death rate
Increasing rates of AIDS in women;
Women are excluded and exploited."
Ugly competition for funding or pure religious fundamentalism?
Back on the Catholic Dialogue blog it all looks like an indecent scramble for the money that the earthquake will bring has suddenly erupted; the catholic dialogue is so crude:
Canada's Development and Peace Catholic organisation of "channelling Haiti emergency funding through dubious 'partner'"! And readers are crudely urged not to make their contribution through them.
And Catholic Dialogue goes on in an obscene focus on dogma minutiae while people are buried alive:
"Even though they don't use the word "contraception", the wording used here is eerily similar to the typical euphemisms used by the pro-choice crowd. The wording used above is not necessarily in contradiction with Church teaching. Indeed, the decision to have children or even to engage in sex should be a joint decision between husband and wife. That's why the Church teaches that even married couples must sometimes practice chastity. So if Haitian men are forcing themselves on their wives without their approval, that's akin to rape. But if that were the true intention of Caritas Haiti's education programs, they should have been more prudent with their wording. The way it's currently written sounds too much like feminist drivel about a woman's "right to control her body". We all know what that really means.
I contacted Caritas Haiti to obtain clarification of these statements on their website, but I still haven't heard back from them. They must be swamped due to the earthquake. May God help them."
Gee, I wonder what's stopping Caritas Haiti from answering these urgent questions.
But, wait, there's more. Apparently the US government has partners in AID who are, gasp, shock, horror...
"Distributing condoms on behalf of the U.S. government?
"On the website of the United States President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, you can find a list of the "partners" that work with the U.S. government to prevent the spread of AIDS. Among the list I found this:
"Is Caritas Haiti only involved in the "Abstinence/Be Faithful" programs, or are they also pushing condoms? I really hope it's the former. The same website contains a document that lists Caritas Haiti among the groups promoting "Abstinence/Be Faithful" programs. I hope that's the extent of their work on this project.
"On another site, I found a detailed curriculum for Catholic high schools in Haiti entitled Instruction curriculum for education on life, family, sexuality, and HIV/AIDS for Catholic secondary schools in Haiti. Caritas Haiti helped write this curriculum with other organizations. As far as I can tell, the curriculum teaches students to practice abstinence until marriage, which is very good. There is no mention of contraception. So we don't know for sure whether Caritas Haiti is involved in distributing contraceptives under the US government program, but the statements from their own website suggest that they are probably doing so in another context."
And, finally - at least that's all I'm going to quote -
"They helped organize the 2008 International Women's Day in Haiti
"If you visit the website of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) you'll discover that Caritas Haiti received a grant of more than $30,000 in 2008 for "Support for a Binational March to Celebrate International Women's Day - March 8, 2008". While I don't know for sure, I imagine that "Binational" refers to the two countries that share the island: Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
"In case you didn't know, International Women's Day has become an annual manifestation for radical feminists around the world to promote abortion rights and contraception. What the heck is Caritas Haiti doing supporting this event?"
Notice for International Women's Day in Rye, Victoria Australia.
And by the way folks, while we are on the subject, International Women's Day in Victoria, Australia is on the 8th of March, at 3 Lyon's Street Rye at the Women's house - that 'Purple Place'. (03) 59855955 [email protected]
Women will have the microphone all day and there will be lots to eat and lots of speakers. There will be the usual ceremony at the end of the Rye pier with a period of silence and respect for women who have died in war and through other crimes of violence against women. I think that after I send them this article, they will be talking a lot about the poor women of Haiti, who, in addition to sharing the horrors of an earthquake, must bear the injuries and indignities of Catholic Church anti-women ideology.
Source of small picture with coat-hanger in teaser was http://new.savethecourt.org/content/womens-rights
I am frankly sick and tired of growth-promoters raising the spectre of “coercive population measures” whenever a suggestion is made that we must promote family planning or smaller families. Is there some sacred reason why fertility should not be limited if deemed necessary? In a world of 6.8 billion people going on 9 or 10 billion, or in any nation suffering from exponential population growth, there can be no “pro-creative” right.
This must not be confused with “reproductive” rights. Women should have the right not to have children. But they have no right, in the context of overshoot, to have as many children as they or their husbands want. The “right to choose” cannot be the right to abuse. Even the most jealously guarded right must be measured against equally fundamental rights, most especially the right of our species, and others, to live.
I have, at present, the "right" to drive a car. But I do not have a right to drive it over the speed limit. And it is society that establishes that limit, not me. Indeed, if society determines that there are too many people driving cars, it has the moral right to impose petroleum taxes, restrict parking permits and spaces, put tolls on highways and bridges and employ an assortment of other measures to discourage me from driving. I similarly have the right to go fishing, but I don't have the right to catch as many fish as I may like. In the face of shortages, we have come to accept that our collective right to achieve sustainability supersedes any individual “right”. The number of consumers who will compete for critically scarce resources is surely every bit as important as the number of people who go fishing and how many fish they catch. If there is a licence needed to fish, why should there not, in principle at least, be a licence required to inflict a child upon the rest of society? Am I advocating “coercion”? Absolutely. Coercion if necessary, but not necessarily coercion. Mutual coercion mutually agreed upon, if voluntary efforts, yet to be exhausted, prove ineffective. But would fertility controls represent the introduction of coercion where none presently exists? Absolutely not.
Let's get real. A great many women in the undeveloped world at least, are having children precisely because they are coerced. Coerced by husbands, priests and mullahs to have more than the number they want. Coerced by their cultural programming to give male wishes greater priority than their own. Coerced by their lack of access to birth control information, and by the denial of educational opportunities. This is where coercion makes itself most present. Not in China. Not by communist bureaucrats and law-makers. But by the dictates of domestic and religious patriarchal power.
And what of my rights? What about my right not to see my share of non-renewable resources diminished by the “personal” decision of the couple down the street to have an unnecessary child? Did they consult me about their decision to conceive another Canadian, an earth-trampling shopping machine who emits 23 metric tonnes of carbon each year, consumes 40,000 pounds of metals and minerals and accounts for over 150 pounds of curb side waste each day? Did they submit an application to the local planning authority or town council for a permit to stress the environment even further than it is being stressed? Why is their “right” to create more life considered more fundamental than our right to sustain the life that is already here? Why should the human population level of a country or a planet be subject to the whimsy and haphazard “personal” decisions of fertile individuals? Why must they replicate their own genes? Why are so many children forced to live in orphanages, foster homes and on the squalid streets of sprawling cities to fend for themselves while irrational ego-trippers generate more children just because they want to raise someone with the same pair of ears or eyes as they have? Children do not have to share your genes to share your love.
I wouldn't dream of telling anyone to have a child. So why would anyone tell me that I should move over for theirs? To paraphrase Hilary Clinton, it takes a whole ecosystem to raise a child, and as a charter member of it, I have the right to participate in the decisions that affect me. On an overloaded planet anybody's pregnancy is everybody's business. For every extra billion we grow in number, another 200 billion tonnes of Green House Gases are emitted, and to effectively reduce emissions, we must, among other things, reduce the number of emitters. Unfettered procreative rights are of little value on a dead planet. Beyond a certain point, parenthood is not a service but an imposition, not only upon humanity, but disproportionately upon the most disempowered and poorest part of it, the very people whom many Western feminists and human rights crusaders are most concerned with. How can an unsustainable population level enhance their rights? Can anyone seriously contend that the sum total of unplanned or unwanted pregnancies does not restrict personal autonomy more than the most intrusive family planning program? Or maintain that the absence of effective birth control is not the most coercive regime that women can suffer?
Just who is coercing whom?
Tim Murray, Quadra Island, BC
"As a nurse, I was in contact with the ill and the infirm. I knew something about the health and disease of bodies, but for a long time, I was baffled at the tremendous personal problems of life, of marriage, of living, and of just being. Here indeed was a challenge to “build beyond thyself.” Where was I to begin? I found the answer at every door. [...]
For these beliefs I was denounced, arrested, I was in and out of police courts and higher courts, and indictments hung over my life for several years. But nothing could alter my beliefs. Because I saw these as truths, I stubbornly stuck to my convictions."
See also: "Progress ideology, colonial racism, right to life and family planning"
Image source was http://www.nwhm.org/ProgressiveEra/birthcontrol.html
Only in 1965 did the practice of contraception become legal between married couples in the United States, through a 1965 Supreme Court decision, Griswold v. Connecticut. Only a few months later, on September 6, 1966, Margaret Sanger, a nurse, and the founder of the US birth control movement, died at the age of 86.
(See bottom of article for details of summer internships at the Margaret Sanger institute.)
Margaret Sanger's 1953 speech about standing up to the authorities to defend her convictions
This I believe, first of all: that all our basic convictions must be tested and transmuted in the crucible of experience–and sometimes, the more bitter the experience, the more valid the purified belief.
As a child, one of a large family, I learned that the thing I did best was the thing I liked to do. This realization of doing and getting results was what I have later called an awakening consciousness.
There is an old Indian proverb which has inspired me in the work of my adult life. “Build thou beyond thyself, but first be sure that thou, thyself, be strong and healthy in body and mind.” To build, to work, to plan to do something, not for yourself, not for your own benefit, but “beyond thyself”–and when this idea permeates the mind, you begin to think in terms of a future. I began to think of a world beyond myself when I first took an interest in nursing the sick.
As a nurse
As a nurse, I was in contact with the ill and the infirm. I knew something about the health and disease of bodies, but for a long time, I was baffled at the tremendous personal problems of life, of marriage, of living, and of just being. Here indeed was a challenge to “build beyond thyself.” Where was I to begin? I found the answer at every door. For I began to believe there was something I could do toward increasing an understanding of these basic human problems. To build beyond myself, I must tap all inner resources of stamina and courage, of resolution within myself. I was prepared to face opposition, even ridicule, denunciation. But I had also to prepare myself, in defense of these unpopular beliefs, I had to prepare myself to face courts and even prisons. But I resolved to stand up, alone if necessary, against all the entrenched forces which opposed me.
Supported by patients; harassed by authorities
I started my battle some forty years ago. The women and mothers whom I wanted to help, also wanted to help me; they, too, wanted to build beyond the self, in creating healthy children and bringing them up in life to be happy and useful citizens. I believed it was my duty to place motherhood on a higher level than enslavement and accident. I was convinced we must care about people; we must reach out to help them in their despair.
For these beliefs I was denounced, arrested, I was in and out of police courts and higher courts, and indictments hung over my life for several years. But nothing could alter my beliefs. Because I saw these as truths, I stubbornly stuck to my convictions.
Something had to be done
No matter what it may cost in health, in misunderstanding, in sacrifice, something had to be done, and I felt that I was called by the force of circumstances to do it. Because of my philosophy and my work, my life has been enriched and full. My interests have expanded from local conditions and needs, to a world horizon, where peace on earth may be achieved when children are wanted before they are conceived. A new conciousness will take place, a new race will be born to bring peace on earth. This belief has withstood the crucible of my life’s joyous struggle. It remains my basic belief today.
This I believe–at the end, as at the beginning of my long crusade for the future of the human race.
From a speech made by Margaret Sanger, a population activist, in November 1953, known as "This I believe".
The original electronic source is at http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/news/this_i_believe.html
Listen to an
mp3 recording of Margaret Sanger's November 1953 broadcast
on Edward R. Murrow's This I Believe radio program, provided to the Sanger Project by the National Public Radio. The text of the speech below comes from Margaret Sanger's Papers at the Library of Congress (130:620). Several earlier drafts of the speech appear on the Sanger microfilm, but this version is the closest to the one spoken by Sanger.
Summer Internships at the Margaret Sanger Papers Project in New York
Contact: Cathy Moran Hajo [mailto:cathy.hajo[AT]nyu.edu] Sent: Fri 16/01/2009 15:54 Subject: Summer Internships at the Margaret Sanger Papers Project in New York The Margaret Sanger Papers Project is pleased to announce its summer internship program for 2009. We seek applications from graduate or advanced undergraduate students to work with the editorial staff at the Project's offices in New York City. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to become proficient in primary and secondary research, and the process of editing historical documents for publication. Interns can apply for internships working with the book or digital edition.
BOOK INTERNSHIP: Interns will be working on Volume IV of the Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, covering the years 1920-1966 and focusing on her efforts to create a global birth control movement. Interns will work under the supervision of editors on specific topics, tracing people, places, events and issues covered in the documents. The research will be used to produce annotation and introductory material for the volume. Research will be conducted in the Project's offices, using the comprehensive microfilm edition and other primary sources, as well as at local libraries and with resources available on the Internet.
DIGITAL INTERNSHIP: We have two digital projects available for interns this summer.
1) We are preparing a digital edition on Margaret Sanger's 1922 trip to Japan for the Women and Social Movements web collection. Interns will transcribe, encode, and conduct research for essays and interpretation on the documents for this small collection.
2) We are also continuing work on our digital edition of Sanger's speeches and articles, focusing on texts written by Margaret Sanger in the 1930s.
Interns will be proofread the texts, add XML encoding, and draft subject index entries for the documents. Interns will conduct research as needed to verify dates, titles, and publication information, or to identify the names of people, organizations and books mentioned in the documents.
More information and application information can be located on our website, at:
http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/aboutmspp/internships.html The deadline for applications is March 1, 2009.
Cathy Moran Hajo, Ph.D.
Associate Editor/Assistant Director The Margaret Sanger Papers Project Department of History, New York University
53 Washington Square South New York, NY 10012 (212) 998-8666 (212) 995-4017 (fax)
[email protected] Visit our website at: http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger