Racism and Planned Parenthood



What do Planned Parenthood (PP) and racism have in common? Well the answer to that question, once we move past the emotional response to abortion, depends on how the facts are perceived. It is not the intention of this article to tell people what to think, but rather to weigh the presented evidence, and to form a sound judgment.

The purpose of Planned Parenthood is simple; to provide accessible and affordable health care to women. Founded on the premise that women need access to medical care and necessary information to fulfill their dreams.

Nurse and educator, Margaret Sanger changed the world with a radical birth control idea,  she believed that women should have the right to control their destinies by having control over their bodies. The objections and controversy synonymous with PP began as early as 1916, when Sanger and two other women were arrested for opening the country’s first birth control clinic, just nine days earlier in Brownsville, Brooklyn, according to the Planned Parenthood website.

In subsequent years Sanger pioneered several efforts to pave the road to legalized birth control, starting with a cross-country tour to share her vision, which led to the Planned Parenthood movement. Perhaps a personal crusade to spread racism.

The connection between racism and planned parenthood is hidden in obscurity. However, a brief look into the life, attitude, and beliefs of Sanger reveal an uncanny resemblance to the atrocities carried out during the Holocaust. Sanger spoke to several groups during her nation-wide crusade to spread the birth control message. However, the fact that she was a featured speaker to the women of the KKK raises a few eyebrows.

Particularly in a time when even the slightest hint of support for the white supremacist hate group, flares racial tensions, fueled by immediate media coverage.

Sanger speaks to the women of the KKK

racismAccording to Save the Storks, Sanger is described as the “birth control pioneer.” Sanger not only founded PP, she also advocated eugenics and supported sterilization to rid the world of the “unfit.” In her autobiography, Sanger wrote about her meeting with the Klan, yet it has seemingly been glossed over or taken lightly by mainstream media.

The eugenics advocate also includes details about receiving offers to speak to similar groups, when she wrote about the encounter:

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.

The term eugenics was coined during the mid-1800’s by Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton. The eugenics movement spread quickly. The idea stems from creating a superior society by advocating that “inferior” people do not reproduce. Sanger’s own words in an article published October 1921 in the Birth Control Review, is equivalent to promoting racism.

Birth Control used as a front to racism

In the article, “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda” Sanger writes, “Birth Control propaganda is thus the entering wedge for the Eugenic educator.” There is no absence of passion and total belief in her agenda, so therefore, it may be reasonable to understand why so many people were drawn to her radical ideas. Sanger also uses the article to boldly proclaim the increasing acceptance of the birth control message. Consequently, the steadfast supporter of reproducing only “fit people” also took the liberty to imply that only ignorant people are against eugenics. However, Sanger is also known for motivating would-be parents to completely understand the enormous responsibility of parenthood and contributing to the population. A sound, yet acidic message.

Today Eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems. The most intransigent and daring teachers and scientists have lent thier support to this great biological interpretation of the human race.

Not until the parents of the world are thus given control over their reproductive faculties will it ever be possible not alone to improve the quality of generations of the future, but even to maintain civilization at its present level. Only by self-control of this type, only by intelleigent mastery of the procreative powers can the great mass of humanity be awakened to the great responsiblity of parenthood.

racismThe road to healing from a history of racism in the US is paved with many challenges, however, none can be more insurmountable than the message of women’s rights, and the choice to abort an unborn child. Although few people are adamantly opposed to women retaining the right to make their own choices, the concern is at what cost.

The practice of eugenics or forced sterilization is clearly a violation of that very premise.

By definition, racism is a choice based on a personal belief system. According to the dictionary, racism is discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. Therefore, would it be fair to surmise that racism, as it is understood in America, is simply a choice?

Planned Parenthood and racism have a common thread in Margaret Sanger. She is credited for starting the number one abortion clinic in the United States. Furthermore, Sanger stated in a letter to Katherine McCormick in 1950 that cheap, simple and a safe contraceptive should be “used in poverty stricken slums, jungles and among the most ignorant people.”  She admittedly used the message of birth control as a “wedge” to spread the practice of eugenics, a method of forced sterilization.

Opinion by Jireh Gibson


The Pill: Birth of a New Woman: Correspondance Between Margaret Sanger and Katherine McCormick
SAVE THE STORKS: Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger Spoke to the Ku Klux Klan and Supported Eugenics. So Why Does the Organization Still Honor Her?
Birth Control Review: The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda
Planned Parenthood: Our History

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