To the Editor:
In response to "Planned Parenthood Nation's Largest Abortion Provider? (North Country Now June 14)"Lee Ann Martinez uses the same method that so many extremists use. She quotes a single sentence from a much larger work to push her agenda. This is pure and simple propaganda, something that the Hitler regime was also very good at. Here is a more complete excerpt from Margaret Sanger’s Women and the New Race (Chapter 5) from 1920.
“The direct relationship between the size of the wage-earner’s family and the death of children less than one year old has been revealed by a number of studies of the infant death rate.
One of the clearest of these was that made by Arthur Geissler among miners and cited by Dr. Alfred Ploetz before the First International Eugenic Congress. Taking 26,000 births from unselected marriages, and omitting families having one and two children, Geissler got this result:
Deaths during first year by birth order:
First: 23 percent
Second: 20 percent
Third: 21 percent
Fourth: 23 percent
Fifth: 26 percent
Sixth: 29 percent
Seventh: 31 percent
Eigth: 33 percent
10th: 41 percent
11th: 51 percent
12th: 60 percent
Thus we see that the second and third children have a very good chance to live through the first year. Children arriving later have less and less chance, until the twelfth has hardly any chance at all to live twelve months.
This does not complete the case, however, for those who care to go farther into the subject will find that many of those who live for a year die before they reach the age of five.
Many, perhaps, will think it idle to go farther in demonstrating the immorality of large families, but since there is still an abundance of proof at hand, it may be offered for the sake of those who find difficulty in adjusting old-fashioned ideas to the facts.
The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it. The same factors which create the terrible infant mortality rate, and which swell the death rate of children between the ages of one and five, operate even more extensively to lower the health rate of the surviving members.
Moreover, the overcrowded homes of large families reared in poverty further contribute to this condition. Lack of medical attention is still another factor, so that the child who must struggle for health in competition with other members of a closely packed family has still great difficulties to meet after its poor constitution and malnutrition have been accounted for.”
Perhaps a truer understanding of this work and its place in history and the socio-economic conditions in 1920 will help dissolve your extremist comments.
Paul F. DeShane, Canton