Is Margaret Sanger’s legacy about to go down in flames? It seems so as Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY), one of the abortion business’ largest affiliates, officially removed Sanger’s name from its Manhattan clinic. This development was stunning since the organization has spent years defending Sanger and her work.
Margaret Sanger was a believer in the eugenic philosophy that only certain people are worthy of having children. Those considered unworthy of life or producing life included individuals with disabilities, criminal records, and other hereditary health problems.
Over the years, Planned Parenthood has worked hard to minimize this reality of Sanger’s philosophy, but finally the organization has seemingly come to terms with its despicable founder.
“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. “Margaret Sanger’s concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy.”
This was likely a response to a recent open letter to the PPGNY written by current and former employees, which stated that Sanger was a “racist, white woman.”
After so many years, it seems like Planned Parenthood is now in the process of abandoning its founder despite years of defending her legacy as someone who fought for the “rights of women.”
However, others can’t quite give up the ghost.
A New York Times article, cites Ellen Chesler, who authored a biography about Sanger, stating that, “Ms. Sanger believed in that the quality of all children’s lives could be improved if their parents had smaller families, adding Ms. Sanger believed Black people and immigrants had a right to that better life.”
That isn’t the case at all. In fact, there are two distinct problems with the statement.
First, Sanger didn’t care about the quality of children’s lives, she cared about women’s lives. This was reflected in her own life as she was described by her grandson, Alexander Sanger in a New York Times article, as an absent mother who sent his father and uncle to boarding school and would never visit them. He described reading his father’s childhood letters begging her to come home or have her visit him as “pathetic.”
Alexander also stated that his father, who was a successful surgeon, and mother were so concerned about Margaret’s reaction to their fourth pregnancy that they flipped a coin to see who would tell her. She told them that they’d “disgraced” her. They eventually had six children.
The second problem is that she likely didn’t really care about the African American population or immigrants. Her first birth control center was located in an immigrant area of Brooklyn, New York populated with people from Eastern European countries, and her second was in the African American neighborhood of Harlem. It’s telling that she didn’t immediately target low-income white Americans in New York City for birth control, but other minority and more vulnerable communities. She also spoke at a Ku Klux Klan meeting.
It seems like Planned Parenthood is finally dealing with the realities of Margaret Sanger’s life and beliefs, but it’s likely that the abortion business will try to hold onto their founder for as long as possible. A lot of the abortion business’ influence comes from portraying Sanger as a saint-like figure who would care for all, not the humanity hating woman she really was.
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