Planned Parenthood Retweets Article: Founder Margaret Sanger Just Another Racist American

By Penny Starr | October 17, 2016 | 12:49pm EDT
In this March 1, 1934 file photo, Margaret Sanger, who founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, speaks before a Senate committee to advocate for federal birth-control legislation in Washington. (AP Photo)

On the 100th anniversary of eugenicist Margaret Sanger’s first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y., Sunday, Planned Parenthood retweeted a commentary published on the Rewire website that states that the United States is founded on racism and that attempts by the pro-life movement to paint Sanger with that same broad brush are only meant to “shame” black women.

Planned Parenthood tweeted: “How False Narratives of Margaret Sanger Are Being Used To Shame Black Women.” It also linked to the commentary, with a hashtag #100YearsStrong.

“Anti-choicers wield misattributed and often outright false quotes about Sanger as weapons to shame Black women for exercising their right to choose, and even more nonsensically, to shame them for supporting Planned Parenthood,” the August 2015 commentary stated.

“At the outset, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that whether or not Planned Parenthood had its roots in anti-Blackness is irrelevant in a discussion of the services that Planned Parenthood provides in 2015, ranging from abortion care to prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, to Pap smears and other forms of cancer screening,” the commentary stated. “The United States is rooted in anti-Blackness. Anti-Blackness was built into the U.S. Constitution by this country’s Founding Fathers.

“Nearly every major corporation that exists today was either founded by racists, employed racists, built their business on anti-Blackness and slavery, or all of the above,” the commentary stated. “Any argument that Black women in America should disavow Planned Parenthood because of some history of anti-Blackness would necessarily require that Black women disavow the very country in which we live.”

The writer admitted Sanger was a eugenicist, but denied she wanted to “eliminate” the black population.

“This is a flat-out lie,” the commentary stated. “Yet it is one that is repeated ad nauseum, both by anti-choice activists and the politicians who support them.”

The commentary dismissed Sanger’s remarks over the years about “reckless breeding,” “feebleminded” and the like as the impetus for population control as being a “product of her time” and that eugenics was widely accepted back then, making her almost mainstream.

“It may seem bizarre and Orwellian to us now, but that was the United States in which Sanger lived,” the commentary stated. “And given the enthusiasm with which ordinary Americans embraced eugenics, it is no surprise that Sanger eventually joined up with them.”

The article concluded that while one must reckon with Sanger’s “repugnant” ideas, that should not stop support for Planned Parenthood.

As previously reported, between 1978 and 2014, Planned Parenthood clinics have aborted some 6,803,782 babies.

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