Sanger openly advocated selective breeding, elimination of ‘undesirables’ via birth control, sterilization and abortion.
The CEO of Planned Parenthood has come out against the organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger, saying the infamous abortionist needs to be canceled over her history of eugenics and racism.
In a New York Times op-ed published Saturday, titled, “I’m the Head of Planned Parenthood. We’re Done Making Excuses for Our Founder,” CEO Alex McGill Johnson explains Sanger’s promotion of eugenics focused on eliminating poor and non-white people is indeed a problem for the organization.
“Sanger, a nurse, opened the nation’s first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in 1916, and dedicated her life to promoting birth control to improve women’s lives. But was she, or was she not, racist?” Johnson asks.
“It’s a question that we’ve tried to avoid, but we no longer can. We must reckon with it.”
Johnson goes on to admit PP has bent over backwards selectively-editing history to defend Sanger; all this despite historical evidence proving she worked alongside KKK groups and openly called for sterilizing “undesirables,” including poor, black, or disabled people.
Up until now, Planned Parenthood has failed to own the impact of our founder’s actions. We have defended Sanger as a protector of bodily autonomy and self-determination, while excusing her association with white supremacist groups and eugenics as an unfortunate “product of her time.” Until recently, we have hidden behind the assertion that her beliefs were the norm for people of her class and era, always being sure to name her work alongside that of W.E.B. Dubois and other Black freedom fighters. But the facts are complicated.
Sanger spoke to the women’s auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan at a rally in New Jersey to generate support for birth control. And even though she eventually distanced herself from the eugenics movement because of its hard turn to explicit racism, she endorsed the Supreme Court’s 1927 decision in Buck v. Bell, which allowed states to sterilize people deemed “unfit” without their consent and sometimes without their knowledge — a ruling that led to the sterilization of tens of thousands of people in the 20th century.
Far from taking issue with the founder’s involvement in the extermination of millions of unborn babies, Johnson says PP must move away from Sanger so as not to become a “Karen” organization that “privileges whiteness.”
And sometimes, that’s how Planned Parenthood has acted. By privileging whiteness, we’ve contributed to America harming Black women and other women of color. And when we focus too narrowly on “women’s health,” we have excluded trans and nonbinary people.
“Sanger remains an influential part of our history and will not be erased, but as we tell the history of Planned Parenthood’s founding, we must fully take responsibility for the harm that Sanger caused to generations of people with disabilities and Black, Latino, Asian-American, and Indigenous people.”
Johnson says Sanger’s association with the KKK was most problematic because “In doing that, she devalued and dehumanized people of color.”
Since for years the organization characterized Sanger in such a positive light, Johnson rightly feels PP can’t “simply call her racist, scrub her from our history, and move on.”
PP’s move to get away from Sanger started last year when the clinic of Greater New York in Manhattan announced it would remove Sanger’s name from its title, the Manhattan Health Center, and remove her name from an honorary street sign near the clinic.
“Margaret Sanger’s concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy,” explained PPGNY board chair Karen Seltzer at the time.
“There is overwhelming evidence for Sanger’s deep belief in eugenic ideology, which runs completely counter to our values at PPGNY. Removing her name is an important step toward representing who we are as an organization and who we serve.”
As noted in Alex Jones’ 2007 documentary, “Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement,” Sanger also recommended in a letter to fellow eugenicist Clarence J. Gamble discussing the “Negro Project” that hiring a “negro physician” could be helpful in convincing “colored negroes” in the South about the value of eugenics.
“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members,” Sanger wrote.
Once again, it turns out that Alex Jones was right.