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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Channels Margaret Sanger

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Thanks to US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a well-known liberal and feminist, Americans are getting an inside look at what Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, probably would have embraced today – and who she would have embraced today. From her recent comments on abortion, Justice Ginsburg would have been praised by Ms. Sanger for her comments on poor people and abortion.


The oldest female judge on the bench, Justice Ginsburg gave an interview to fashion magazine Elle recently. In full context, here is the question and answer session on abortion:

[Elle:] Fifty years from now, which decisions in your tenure do you think will be the most significant?

[Justice Ginsburg:] Well, I think 50 years from now, people will not be able to understand Hobby Lobby. Oh, and I think on the issue of choice, one of the reasons, to be frank, that there’s not so much pro-choice activity is that young women, including my daughter and my granddaughter, have grown up in a world where they know if they need an abortion, they can get it. Not that either one of them has had one, but it’s comforting to know if they need it, they can get it.

The impact of all these restrictions is on poor women, because women who have means, if their state doesn’t provide access, another state does. I think that the country will wake up and see that it can never go back to [abortions just] for women who can afford to travel to a neighboring state…

[Elle:] When people realize that poor women are being disproportionately affected, that’s when everyone will wake up? That seems very optimistic to me.

[Justice Ginsburg:] Yes, I think so…. It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people. [emphasis mine]

Firstly, her assertion that many young women today aren’t as actively pro-choice because they know they can get an abortion whenever they need to is at best, a good public relations spin on how outnumbered young pro-lifers are to young pro-choicers – as noted by former NARAL president Nancy Keenan when she said of the March for Life a couple years ago: “I just thought, my gosh, they are so young. There are so many of them, and they are so young.” She cited the lack of involvement of young people in the pro-choice movement when she resigned.


Secondly, as to her point about the promotion of birth only among poor people as a default to their not being enough access to abortion for them – Margaret Sanger would have been cheering Justice Ginsburg on.

In Women and the New Race, talking about larger families often end up in poverty, Margaret Sanger said:

[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

And in “Plan for Peace” from Birth Control Review (April 1932, pp. 107-108), she said stated:

Article 1. The purpose of the American Baby Code shall be to provide for a better distribution of babies… and to protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit.

This is only a sample of what Sanger said in regards to the poor and eugenics. Justice Ginsburg may or may not believe in everything that Sanger said or profess the same degree of pro-abortion thought but it’s not the first time the Justice has made similar statements.

Kevin Williamson at National Review points out that,

This is not [Justice Ginsburg’s] first time weighing in on the question of what by any intellectually honest standard must be described as eugenics. In an earlier interview, she described the Roe v. Wade decision as being intended to control population growth, “particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” She was correct in her assessment of Roe; the co-counsel in that case, Ron Weddington, would later advise President Bill Clinton: “You can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy, and poor segment of our country,” by making abortifacients cheap and universally available. “It’s what we all know is true, but we only whisper it.”


Every life is priceless, no matter how rich or poor they are, and it is vast disservice to any mother or father to immediately discredit their offspring because of the state of life the child may be born into.

Because of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, women can have abortions for any reason at any time during their pregnancy. Is that not good enough for people like Justice Ginsburg? Is the 55+ million lives taken through abortion since 1973 not enough population control for pro-abortion enthusiasts?

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