Canceling Margaret Sanger

It took nearly one hundred years, but Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, has finally been “canceled” – falling victim to “woke” moment. Yet her malignant and deadly legacy, and that of Planned Parenthood’s, can never be finally erased or separated.

For decades, Planned Parenthood sought to deny Mrs. Sanger’s eugenics background, her writings about creating “a new breed of thoroughbreds” while advocating for “birth control” bureaus that would engage in what she called “the science of breeding.” When pro-lifers would bring up these notorious statements, they were mocked or told that Mrs. Sanger was simply “misunderstood.” Evidently, she is misunderstood no more.

It is actually pretty amazing that Planned Parenthood’s cover-up and deceit lasted this long. Planned Parenthood decided that Mrs. Sanger’s writings were going to be a PR nightmare if commentators, besides the ones in the pro-life community who have been sharing them for decades, latched on to her words. It was time to engage in some serious damage control.

Here is the truth about Mrs. Sanger that Planned Parenthood is finally admitting to.  In our book, American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation, my co-author Craig Osten and I wrote that Sanger admitted she founded Planned Parenthood, then known as the American Birth Control League, “to stop the multiplication of the unfit.” She said she believed this was “the most important step and greatest step towards race betterment.”  She also spoke to the Ku Klux Klan in 1926 to spread her message about birth control. Those are items that will not endear her to those concerned about race relations in America.

So, Planned Parenthood is finally acknowledging Mrs. Sanger’s eugenics and racist past, which pro-life commentators have been talking about for years but has been conveniently ignored by the mainstream media, and “cancelling” her before the media and activists, if they became aware, started to turn up the heat. As of this week, Mrs. Sanger’s name came off Planned Parenthood’s main New York City abortion facility. Discussions also underway to remove her name off a street sign near the facility.

“The removal of Margaret Sanger’s name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color,” Karen Seltzer, the chair of the New York affiliate’s board, said in a statement.

Of course, Planned Parenthood is putting out this PR spin about how they could no longer ignore her writings and that this is the “right thing to do.”  But the truth is that Planned Parenthood has known full well about her eugenics and racist past, lied or covered-up about it in interviews (just like they lied about doing mammograms), and is only finally admitting to it when it they realized the potential PR nightmare on their hands.

So, Mrs. Sanger was cancelled. But if Planned Parenthood truly believes that it contributed to “historical reproductive harm within communities of color” does this mean that it will quit targeting the poor and minorities with their deadly business? No. Planned Parenthood likely made a calculated business decision that Mrs. Sanger’s past could hurt their financial bottom line. I doubt their decision was principled. If they were truly being principled, they would start closing their clinics that specifically target poor

communities, those that Mrs. Sanger saw as “human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”

I am not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen. Despite its sudden “wokeness,” Planned Parenthood will continue to do all it can to sweep Mrs. Sanger’s legacy under the rug while attacking those who believe that all people are created Imago Dei – in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and respect. That is a concept that was foreign to Mrs. Sanger, who deemed certain populations to be “unfit,” and whose tragic legacy, even if scrubbed off of the side of a building, will continue on until we have a day when every life is seen as “fit” and worthy of life. The current leadership of Planned Parenthood will make sure that legacy continues.

Mrs. Sanger may be cancelled, but Planned Parenthood’s deadly agenda is not, at least not yet. Let us all pray for a day when not only her name will be taken off of that abortion facility in New York City but also a day when every person will be welcomed into the world and protected by the law and when a culture of life and not a culture of death will raise us to our highest and best selves as a genuinely pro-life nation.

Photo from Harris & Ewing via The Library of Congress


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