Margaret Sanger’s fall from grace
Margaret Sanger is a feminist icon and founder of Planned Parenthood. Upon accepting Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award, Hillary Clinton waxed eloquent on Ms. Sanger:
“Now, I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award. I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision … And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her.”
Former president, Barack Obama, was even more magniloquent when he accepted the prestigious award:
“In 1966, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America gave its first Margaret Sanger Award to Martin Luther King, Jr. And in his acceptance speech, which was delivered by his strong and wonderful wife, Coretta, Dr. King wrote, “Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by non-violent, direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her.
That struggle for equality is not over and now we are at one of those rare moments where we can actually transform our politics in a fundamental way. But it’s going to take people as resolute as Mrs. Sanger and Dr. King—people like your own Cecile Richards—it’s going to take young people like Ariana. It’s going to take millions of voices coming together to insist that it’s not enough just to stand still. That it’s not enough to safeguard the gains of the past—that it is time to be resolute and time to march forward.”
Sanger’s racist underpinnings
And indeed, Planned Parenthood is marching forward in reaction to the volatile racial climate that defines our age. In an April 17th New York Times op-ed, current Planned Parenthood president, Alexis McGill Johnson, finally acknowledged the racist underpinnings of Sanger’s creed, something the pro-life community has known for a long time. Ms. Johnson wrote:
“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.”
An influential American
Indeed they are complicated if you’re an abortion behemoth, and your founder has enjoyed fawning cultural adoration since she burst onto the scene a century ago. Time Magazine named her one of the 20 most influential Americans of all-time, as but one example of her lofty status among the elite.
But with the public repudiation by the current Planned Parenthood CEO, Margaret Sanger’s fall from grace is complete.
What is particularly complicating for Planned Parenthood, though, is Sanger’s rejection of abortion as the cornerstone of women’s liberation, a procedure she unequivocally denounced:
“… while there are cases where even the law recognizes an abortion as justifiable if recommended by a physician, I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization.”
What is even more complicating for Planned Parenthood is the disproportionate impact human abortion has had on the African-American community.
In the city where she founded Planned Parenthood, New York, black women are more likely to have an abortion than give birth. Nationally, Blacks represent 12% of the population but 36% of all abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research arm, three out of four abortions are performed on women who are poor.
Planned Parenthood is unperturbed by these outcomes.
They cherry-pick Sanger’s legacy to suit their bottom line.
A Clash of Creeds
Iowans for LIFE produced a theater piece called “A Clash of Creeds” which dramatized the philosophical underpinnings of three diverse women of the 20th century: Margaret Sanger, Ayn Rand, and St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta. The piece used their own words. You can watch it in its entirety here.
In the exchange above with the G.K Chesterton character, you get a good sense of just how repugnant Sanger’s embrace of eugenics really was. It’s about time Planned Parenthood acknowledged it.
The next step? It is time for the abortion giant to acknowledge that the 7.6 million abortions that they’ve performed since the Roe v Wade decision “are a disgrace to civilization.”
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