The film will be based on author Ellen Feldman’s novel about Sanger, “Terrible Virtue,” published earlier this year.
Sanger founded the first birth control clinic in the United States on Oct. 16, 1916. She later founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, which became part of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942. Planned Parenthood traces its roots to Sanger’s first clinic. The film’s announcement comes as Sanger’s organization celebrates its centennial year.
Sanger was associated with the eugenics movement, which embraced a philosophy that contends society may be perfected by barring those deemed “unfit” from having children.
In her book “Woman and the New Race,” Sanger wrote that birth control was a key component to the improvement of society:
Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives.
Planned Parenthood began to perform legal abortions nationwide after the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, seven years after Sanger’s death in 1966.
Erika Olde, who will develop and produce the film adaptation of the novel, told Deadline Hollywood, “Margaret’s story as an advocate who led the battle for birth control and eventually founding Planned Parenthood is so relevant given our recent election and today’s climate as we are once again forced to deal with basic human rights.”
Producer Justine Ciarrocchi told Deadline Hollywood that “the scope of Sanger’s complexity, both as a revolutionary and human being, is extraordinary.”
“I blew through Feldman’s novel with such urgency, struck by the nuance, transparency and daring of her portrait,” Ciarrocchi said. “Her story explores the often brutal nature of activism and, most audaciously, the plight of the female soul.”
Phelim McAleer, one of the producers of the movie “Gosnell,” a film about convicted late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, told TheBlaze, “Hollywood wonders why box office is declining but keeps producing these kind of movies that alienate people from the movies.”
“It would be more understandable if they produced content for all sides of the debate but they don’t,” McAleer said. “They reject Gosnell which is a true story based on a court case but push movies that have a pro-abortion bias.”
McAleer previously told TheBlaze that the film was dismissed by Hollywood distributors as “too controversial,” so it will be released independently. McAleer says such decisions drive away consumers.
“They are destroying their business by not telling stories so many people want to see,” he said. “There is an audience for Margaret Sanger hagiographies but the there is also an audience for Gosnell — Hollywood needs to serve both.”
McAleer also questioned whether the film about Sanger will adequately address her affiliation with eugenics, among other controversial topics.
“I also suspect the Sanger movie won’t address her love of Eugenics and its ideas of racial purity and Sanger’s speech to the KKK – which was so well received they invited her back,” McAleer said. “It sounds like a whitewash.”