American Eugenics Society and Sanger

Sanger worked with the American Eugenics Society (AES), the major eugenics organization in America. Sanger had many organizational connections to the AES, other eugenic groups, and many individual eugenicists.

  • Of the clergymen, scientists, and physicians listed on the National Council of her American Birth Control League (ABCL) in the 1920s, at least 23 of the 50 people were involved at a prominent level in eugenics, either as members of the Board of Directors of the AES or by otherwise publicly supporting her eugenics agenda.  
  • Sanger was a dues-paying member of the AES even at the end of her life (see the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Margaret Sanger Papers Collection, letter, AES to Margaret Sanger, 9/29/63).
  • The AES officially endorsed her group, an early version of Planned Parenthood (ibid., note, 5/32).
  • The first issue of The Birth Control Review (Feb. 1917, p. 15) contains a “Working Bibliography on Birth Control” which lists half a dozen eugenics books as recommended reading.
  • The AES testified for birth control bills which Sanger's National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control (NCFLBC, another forerunner of Planned Parenthood) supported, and they pledged their complete support of her efforts (ibid., AES Board Meeting minutes, 1/9/35).