The Demographics of atheism are difficult to determine. Different people interpret "atheist" and related terms differently, and it can be hard to draw boundaries between atheism, non-religious beliefs, and non-theistic religious and spiritual beliefs. Furthermore, atheists may not report themselves as such, to prevent suffering from social stigma, discrimination, and persecution in certain regions. Despite these problems, most studies indicate that the non-religious make up about 12-15% of the world's population. (Read more...)
Margaret Higgins Sanger (September 14, 1879 – September 6, 1966) was an American birth control activist, an advocate of eugenics, and the founder of the American Birth Control League (which eventually became Planned Parenthood). Initially meeting with fierce opposition to her ideas, Sanger gradually won the support of the public and the courts for a woman's choice to decide how and when she will bear children. Though her tentative support of eugenics was less well received, Margaret Sanger was instrumental in opening the way to universal access to birth control.
Sanger remains a controversial figure. While she is widely credited as a leader of the modern birth control movement, and remains an iconic figure for the American reproductive rights movements, she also is reviled by some who condemn her as "an abortion advocate" (perhaps unfairly so: abortion was illegal during Sanger's lifetime and Planned Parenthood did not then support the procedure or lobby for its legalization). Groups opposed to Planned Parenthood and/or legalized abortion have frequently targeted Sanger for her views, attributing her efforts to promote birth control to a desire to "purify" the human race through eugenics, and even to eliminate minority races by placing birth control clinics in minority neighborhoods. For this reason, Sanger is often quoted selectively or out of context by detractors, and her history and involvement with socialism and eugenics have often been rationalized or even ignored by her defenders and biographers. Despite the allegations of racism, Sanger's work with minorities earned the respect of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. (Read more...)