It was 1920 when women in the United States were finally able to vote. As a tribute to the 100th anniversary, TIME Magazine decided to look back on 100 influential women in history, retroactively awarding them Woman of the Year for every year between 1920 and today. Unfortunately, the list looks more like a love note to abortion than it does a celebration of the contributions of women to society.
The list of women includes multiple abortion proponents, including Hillary Clinton for 2016, Michelle Obama for 2008, Nancy Pelosi for 2010, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being retroactively named Woman of the Year for 1996. Vocal abortion advocate Gloria Steinem claimed 1970’s Woman of the Year. One very notable exception to the lineup of pro-abortion women is “Jane Roe” (whose real name was Norma McCorvey), who not only never had an abortion, but eventually became pro-life and opposed abortion to her dying day. She would definitely not feel honored to receive the retroactive Woman of the Year for 1973 for her contribution to the legalization of abortion.
However, one woman was given the utmost praise. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was named Woman of the Year for 1925 because, says TIME, “she helped women gain control over their bodies and futures.” But while abortion proponents like to believe this was her motivation, in reality, she held a strong pro-eugenics stance and argued that birth control should be put into drinking water in poor and minority neighborhoods.
Sanger saw birth control as “the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defective.” In one of her most memorable quotes from a letter on her “Negro Project” to fellow eugenicist Clarence Gamble, she said, “We don’t want the 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.”
Ultimately, what Sanger really did by pushing for birth control was to dangle a carrot in front of women that promised freedom, power, and equality. But that carrot was rotten. As the use of birth control rose, so did promiscuity and divorce. The side effects of birth control began to show themselves through an increased risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, and depression to name a few.
Today, the organization Sanger built — Planned Parenthood — is no longer just about birth control. It alone commits 40 percent of all abortions in the United States. In 2018, despite a national decline, Planned Parenthood committed a record number of abortions: 345,672. Abortion puts women at increased risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug and alcohol use, and suicidal thoughts. Seventy-three percent of post-abortive women say they didn’t have their abortions by choice, but because they felt pressured into them. Abortion became the expected solution when the birth control Sanger had promoted to Americans failed.
However, it is fair to say that for Sanger, her plan was a successful one. The Black community has been largely affected by Planned Parenthood’s eugenic efforts. Today, Planned Parenthood’s facilities are heavily located in minority communities. And when birth control doesn’t prevent pregnancy, these facilities are there to offer abortion. Abortion has reached its highest percentage among Black women, who now account for 38 percent of all abortions, while Black Americans make up only 12 percent of the population. In New York City, more Black babies are killed through abortion than are born.
By celebrating Sanger and Roe as two of their 100 Women of the Year, TIME has done nothing more than honor the paths that lead to the destruction of 60 million innocent children and applaud the racism that still exists today inside Planned Parenthood.
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