Peter Bagge on Planned Parenthood, Eugenics, and “Woman Rebel”

Anti-abortion groups are conducting a national day of action resulting from the video interviews of Planned Parenthood officials they allege were illegally going to sell aborted fetuses. Did you know that Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), the birth-control pioneer often credited as the founder of Planned Parenthood, was actually opposed to abortion?

Reason contributor Peter Bagge’s new cartoon biography of Sanger, Woman Rebel, is a deep, heavily researched dive into Sanger’s unconventional life and times. An apostle and practitioner of free love, Sanger was arrested multiple times merely for discussing contraception and sex. And, as Bagge explains in this interview with Nick Gillespie, her experiences as a nurse serving the urban poor led her both to condemn abortion and to push for female sexual autonomy.

Even Margaret Sanger’s support for eugenics is widely misunderstood, says Bagge, who argues that she never embraced coercive schemes to enforce racial or ethnic purity. Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, Bagge’s take introduces you to a Sanger you’ve never met before.