It is well documented – and we’ve been telling you for years – that Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was a eugenicist who believed that society could, and should, create a superior race of people.
Yet, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly overlooked its founder’s racist ideals and goals and has referred to her as “a woman of heroic accomplishments” who was, “like all heroes[,] . . . complex and imperfect.” Planned Parenthood claims that it “acknowledge[d], denounce[d], and work[ed] to rectify” some of Margaret Sanger’s “beliefs, practices, and associations.”
These might include, perhaps, the time when Margaret Sanger spoke to the Ku Klux Klan to engage them in her efforts to push birth control. Planned Parenthood diplomatically explained that “[i]n the 1920’s the KKK was a mainstream movement and was considered a legitimate anti-immigration organization with a wide membership that included many state and local officials.” Ah, well, that makes everything better! But what about Margaret Sanger’s belief that the disabled have no place in the world? These are her actual words:
No matter how much they desire children, no man and woman have a right to bring into the world those who are to suffer from mental or physical affliction. It condemns the child to a life of misery and places upon the community the burden of caring for it, probably for its defective descendants for many generations.
Never mind the fact that Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood which targets African American communities for abortion and was responsible for the death of nearly 346,000 innocent babies during the 2018-2019 fiscal year alone.
This year our country has experienced more unrest, uncertainty, and upheaval than most of us can remember, and the cancel culture has seized on the opportunity to denounce our nation’s founders, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even Abraham Lincoln. It does not matter to the cancel culture the time or place in which these men existed. It does not matter the complexities of the society that surrounded them, or even traditions or practices that were considered legitimate or mainstream. In fact, it doesn’t even matter that these men espoused higher principles and morals and founded a country in which freedom can truly be found for all people; a country that actually protects the right of the cancel culture to speak and protest.
For decades, the woman who founded the nation’s largest abortion provider has been lauded as a hero. But in cancel culture, no one is safe. Last month I told you that some of Planned Parenthood’s own employees released a statement criticizing Planned Parenthood’s founder, stating:
Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist, white woman. That is a part of history that cannot be changed. While efforts have been made to undo some of the harm from institutional racism, many of these issues have worsened . . . . After years of complaints from staff about issues of systemic racism, pay inequity, and lack of upward mobility for Black staff, highly-paid consultants were brought in three separate times to assess the situation. Each time, employees of color were brutally honest about their experiences, but nothing changed.
Since that statement was issued, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York has announced that it “will remove Sanger’s name from its Manhattan clinic because her ‘racist legacy’ and ‘deep belief in eugenic ideology’ can no longer be denied.”
Planned Parenthood openly admits: “The removal of Margaret Sanger’s name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color.”
As one report indicates, the reproductive harm alluded to in Planned Parenthood’s statement includes an “estimated 20 million African-American abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973” which “is more than America’s entire black population in 1960.” And in fact, “79 percent of abortion-offering Planned Parenthood facilities are within walking distance of black or Hispanic neighborhoods.”
This move by Planned Parenthood – or at least one of its largest affiliates – to distance itself from Margaret Sanger is long overdue. However, simply removing her name and denouncing her beliefs will not change the very nature of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is fully rooted in racist and eugenic beliefs, and statistics show that babies of color are more frequently targeted for abortion. And in fact, Planned Parenthood still fights for the right to abort potentially disabled children.
One affiliate removing Sanger’s name does not erase the sins of the entire global organization. If Planned Parenthood truly desires to correct a flawed history and set itself on a trajectory for helping the African American community, then it will denounce abortion and end the culture of death Margaret Sanger founded all those years ago.
I realize it’s unlikely that will ever happen, but “never say never!” After all, that’s what we both hope and fight for every day here at the ACLJ. And until or unless Planned Parenthood voluntarily closes up its abortion shop, we’re here to continue fighting against them for the protection of all unborn babies. Because these innocent lives have the unalienable right to life, they should never be canceled.
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