Catholic congressmen take on Clinton over Sanger

Catholic congressmen take on Clinton over Sanger

This is what a real Catholic congressmen sounds like. US Reps. Chris Smith and Jeff Fortenberry take Hilary Clinton to task for her admiration of the racist Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Here’s what Fortenberry had to say:

Your remarks last month, when you called Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, a person whom you enormously admire, were stunning to me. Margaret Sanger clearly embraced bigotry and racism. She advocated for the elimination of the disabled, the downtrodden and the black child. In one of her writings, she said, “Today eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.” I don’t believe these ideologies have a place in our pluralistic society. And you went on to say that you will use American foreign policy in your position to further reproductive rights, which includes abortion, across the globe.

Madame Secretary, I don’t believe we should use American foreign policy to export abortion. This will undermine, in my view, our foreign relations in many areas throughout the world, including Latin America and Africa and among Muslim peoples. Promoting the international abortion industry is an imposition of our own woundedness upon others. Abortion has caused tremendous grief in this society, and its export I believe will be seen as a form of neocolonialism that is paternalistic and elitist and an assault on the dignity especially of the poor and vulnerable. I believe women deserve better, women throughout the world deserve better.


Clinton’s response?

Well, Congressman, let me say with respect to your comments about Margaret Sanger, you know, I admire Thomas Jefferson. I admire his words and his leadership and I deplore his unrepentant slaveholding. I admire Margaret Sanger being a pioneer in trying to empower women to have some control over their bodies and I deplore statements that you have referenced. That is the way we often are when we look at flawed human beings. There are things that we admire and things we deplore.

Apart from that, how did you like the play Mrs. Lincoln? In other words, Clinton says that if we ignore the racist, classist, genocidal stuff, Sanger was pretty cool. Unbelievable.

Of course, she might already have practice overlooking such things: “I admire Bill Clinton. I admire his words and his leadership and I deplore his unrepentant philandering.” Sounds like something she might have said.

[Link via Amy Welborn.]


  • She doesn’t even acknowledge that abortion is a form of evil, let alone an intrinsic evil.  So in truth what she said is that she admires the woman for one form of evil while rejecting the others.  You might expect to hear that from someone who said to (I believe it was China) ‘We shouldn’t let something like human rights get in the way of our making money together.’

  • Props to Chris Smith.  I actually understand where Clinton was coming from in her response.  Some of the people we admire in some ways were absolutely wicked in others.  I can admire Andrew Jackson’s battle against the banks while deploring his Trail of Tears, just like I can admire Freddie Mercury’s musical genius while disapproving of his lifestyle.  The problem with Margaret Sanger is there is nothing in her public work worth admiring.