“At a March 1925 international birth control gathering held in New York City, a speaker warned of the menace posed by the “black” and “yellow” peril. The man was not a National Socialist (Nazi) or a leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The speaker was Dr.S. Adolphus Knopf, a member of Margaret Sanger’s American Birth Control League (ABCL) which along with other groups eventually became known as Planned Parenthood… Elsewhere Sanger spoke of her plan for sterilizing those she designated as “unfit” as the “salvation of American civilization.”
Salvation is from the Jews, Roy H. Schoeman (an absolute must read)
Some things are not always what they seem. Like when you learn about a famous woman as an idyllic, liberated , impressionable sixteen year old feminist only later to find out she was part of a movement looking to eradicate the procreation of minorities and Jewish people. I looked up to so many women like Margaret Sanger and never questioned what I was taught. After all, we were celebrating the role of the liberation of women. I am pretty sure the word “eugenics” was not discussed in my high school history book.
I never thought much about birth control or how I felt about it. Even as an initial believer, it was not something I debated or that crossed my mind. It wasn’t until God called me home to the Catholic church that it became an issue to wrestle with. And it wasn’t long before I found myself knee-deep into Scott Hahn’s book, Rome Sweet Home.
My initial reaction when I called our RCIA (adult program for Catholic converts) coordinator was, how does that work exactly? I am just going to jump out into the deep wide open at 38 with three kids under seven? And by the way, how will my husband react to this? Before I even picked up the phone, I knew deep inside my soul what the answer was. But God allowed me to understand for myself where I needed to be. He was gentle and kind and happy. And so even as I spoke with our coordinator on the subject, I knew in my heart where God was going.
Coincidentally, I was reading Salvation is from the Jews, which details salvation history from the eyes of Judaism. It didn’t occur to me that the author would be discussing birth control. But as “luck” would have it, theology and biology crashed in the middle of the pages. I read about Hitler and the Eugenics movement, the Holocaust, and Margaret Sanger, my childhood “hero.” Yes, they all occurred amongst the same pages. How could I have never known?
And then I thought back to my people, the Jewish people, perishing in the Holocaust. I thought about the orthodox Jews. I thought about how there always seemed a frantic race to replace all of my people who perished, and how somewhere deep inside me I knew that my womb was not my own. And then I thought of all the anguish I went through to have my own children. I had cried out to God the only way I knew how as a Jewish girl desperate for children of her own. And like Hannah and Rachel, God answered. He opened my womb. He didn’t give me one, he gave me three.
A week later I marched into my doctor’s office and told him that it was time. He asked me why. I said, “I’m leaving it to God.” He told me that he had heard that argument last year from a 45-year-old woman with two older children who had come back to his office later that year, pregnant with twins.
“She’ll be in her 60’s when they graduate high school. But if that’s what you want, fine with me. I don’t know how the whole trusting God thing worked out for her.”
His speech was eloquent but didn’t move me. I asked him to remove my device.
I have known God all my life, but I have only known God since finding Jesus. In all the things I have ever experienced or walked through with Him, none was ever greater or more freeing than trusting God with this; not only my mind, but now my body as well.
The drive home from the doctor’s office was scary, but I felt freer than I ever had in my entire life. I called Margaret Sanger a liar and prayed to God, all at the same time.
We all have things in our life that we have accepted as the truth, but so very few of us get up to search it out. We listen to people, other believers, celebrities about what is right and what is wrong. But the truth of the matter is that if you want to find out the truth and learn to trust God, you have to fly.
I don’t know if God has plans to give me another baby. But I know that I trust Him, now more than ever before. I know I love my husband and praise God that He trusts the God in me. And I like Hannah, can’t close the womb that God has so graciously opened.