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Letters: In defense of Margaret Sanger; A theory as to Pelosi’s strategy

In defense of Margaret Sanger

Regarding the half-truths and disingenuous information promoted by the Jan. 4 M.K. Sprinkle column, “Margaret Sanger’s legacy of racism and the elimination of the unfit," I respond with verbiage used by Biography.com, Time.com and thegospelcoalition.com, sources without an agendized opinion.

Sanger “believed that women wanted their children to be free of poverty and disease, that women were natural eugenicists and that birth control, which could limit the number of children and improve their quality of life, was the panacea to accomplish this.” Sanger held some views that were common at the time, but now seem abhorrent, including support of sterilization for the mentally ill and mentally impaired. Despite her controversial comments, Sanger focused her work on one basic principle: “Every child should be a wanted child.”

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Much of the controversy stems from a 1939 letter in which Sanger outlined her plan to reach out to black leaders specifically ministers, to help dispel community suspicions about the family planning clinics she was opening in the South. “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members,” she wrote. It was, as The Washington post called it, an “inartfully written” sentence, but one that, in context, describes the sort of preposterous allegations she feared, not her actual mission. The irony is that is has been used to propagate those very allegations.

Sanger’s stated mission was to empower women to make their own reproductive choices. She did focus her efforts on minority communities because that was where, due to poverty and limited access to health care, women were especially vulnerable to the effects of unplanned pregnancy. Planned Parenthood officials are quick to note that, despite her thoughts on the idea in general, Sanger “uniformly repudiated the racist exploitation of eugenics principles.”

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In 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. made clear that he agreed that Sanger’s life’s work was anything but inhumane. In 1966, when King received Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award in Human Rights, he praised her contributions to the black community. “There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts,” he said. “...Margaret Sanger had to commit what was then called a crime to enrich humanity, and today we honor her courage and vision.”

Sharon Galloway

Reisterstown

A theory as to Pelosi’s strategy

As the impeachment process moves ponderously onward, all of us political junkies love to put forward theories, contrived or not, as to what might happen next. So here’s another one.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering holding up the next phase of the impeachment until a later date. So why is she doing that and when will she move on to the next phase? She knows full well that Trump will absolutely not be voted out in the Senate since not nearly enough Republicans will flip their vote for removal. Thus, she is looking for a way to at least make the entire process advantageous to her party. Here’s how.

First, remember Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch? He is a justice today because Mitch McConnell held up the nomination to the Supreme Court during Barack Obama’s last year as president, which eliminated Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia, who had recently died. This was risky but it worked. Pelosi doesn’t want to send the articles to the Senate before the Democratic primaries because all the senators running for President will be tied up in the Senate trial rather than campaigning for votes. By waiting until after the convention, she will then free them all (unless one wins the nomination) to address the trial.

Second, she could hold up the articles until after the election in November. While at this point in time it doesn’t look likely for the Democrats to flip the Senate, but if by chance they do, the Democrats will be in charge of the rules for the trial. They could subpoena whomever they want, names like Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, and others. As it stands, McConnell will likely call James Comey, John Brennen, Peter Strzok, Loretta Lynch, and possibly Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to testify under oath. What a circus that would be!

Politicians have long memories, and retribution is part of the game. I suggest that because Pelosi never makes a political move without thinking it through, she realizes the she has nothing to lose. Given the fact that the Democrats will not have 67 seats next year, she will do everything in her power to swing the advantage to her party. Sure gives a new meaning to “quid pro quo!”

Dave Price

Sykesville

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