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Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, and the FACTS

Originally published in 2016

By Judie Brown

Amita Kelly, writing for NPR, attempted to put a sweet face on the ugly truth about Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger and the organization’s attitude toward poor black Americans. Kelly is not new to the task of defending Planned Parenthood, and has done so on numerous occasions.

Having said that, we must point out that Kelly provided some very good information, but arrived at some fictional results. That is where our fact checking came in handy.

On the subject of eugenics, Kelly did her research, including this shameful attempt to wrap Sanger in a version of history that suits her fans: “‘That Sanger was enamored and supported some eugenicists’ ideas is certainly true,” said Susan Reverby, a health care historian and professor at Wellesley College. But, Reverby added, Sanger’s main argument was not eugenics—it was that ‘Sanger thought people should have the children they wanted.’”

Note the caveat Reverby tosses out there. All of a sudden Sanger is a compassionate woman who cares about people and their decisions? Not so! Sanger’s proclivity for eugenics does not deserve a pass. We found clear and convincing proof of that. Among other sources, this report tells us all we need to know:

Sanger shaped the eugenics movement in America and beyond in the 1930s and 1940s. Her views and those of her peers in the movement contributed to compulsory sterilization laws in 30 U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including people she considered “feeble-minded,” “idiots,” and “morons.”

She even presented at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1926 in Silver Lake, N.J. She recounted this event in her autobiography: “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan . . . I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses . . . I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak. . . . In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered” (Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, page 366). That she generated enthusiasm among some of America’s leading racists says something about the content and tone of her remarks.

On the subject of Sanger’s connections with Nazi Germany, Kelly says she could not find anything to confirm this fact, but we had no problem locating this: In April, 1933, Sanger was the editor of the Birth Control Review and published an article on sterilization by Dr. Ernst Rudin, head of the Nazi sterilization program. In 1939, Sanger was honorary chairman of the Birth Control Federation of America when it published an article entitled “Birth Rates in Fascist Countries” that praised the German population control program.

Regarding PP’s targeting of the black population, Kelly found a spokesperson at Planned Parenthood who argued that Planned Parenthood does not have an agenda that targets black neighborhoods with its clinics. But the reality is far different.

The facts about the location of specific Planned Parenthood offices/clinics tell a disturbing story. These clinics are inordinately positioned in black neighborhoods, but don’t take my word for it. A study done by Life Issues Institute entitled “New Research Shows Planned Parenthood Targets Minority Neighborhoods” proves the point. The Institute states: “Our analysis shows that 102 out of 165, or 62% of the Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are located in areas with relatively high African American populations, or in ‘targeted neighborhoods.’”

In addition, we should not overlook the fact that Sanger invited Dr. Lothrop Stoddard (who authored “The Rising Tide of Color against White-World Supremacy”) to be on her board of directors.

These are the facts. They are just as easily found by a reporter with National Public Radio as they are for us. All you need is a desire to not only find the truth, but to tell and teach the truth as well. ALL’s Culture of Life Studies Program has made this easy with a new unit study for high schoolers entitled Who Was the Real Margaret Sanger? We must teach our children the truth, not only about Margaret Sanger, but about PP as well. Education is key if we are to change hearts and minds.


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