The controversy around the removal of statues that portray racist historical figures fail to spotlight Margaret Sanger, whose bust is in the Smithsonian and whose name is displayed on a Planned Parenthood building. Sanger was a proponent of eugenics who spoke to the women’s branch of Klan in 1926. She also created the “Negro Project” in which she schemed to use Black ministers in her work because she did not, “[…] want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”
Despite acknowledgment that their founder had “flaws,” Planned Parenthood continues to honor her as a “trailblazer.” But, as society learns of Sanger’s eugenic ideology which led to the forced sterilization of minorities, as well as her speech before the Klan, they have become increasingly critical. This has prompted the abortion corporation, whose history also includes associations with the racist eugenics movement, to allegedly “disavow” Sanger’s racist beliefs.
But, as Live Action News has documented, those words have little meaning when you see that Sanger’s name is prominently displayed on one of their facilities. And worse yet is the fact that the Finger Lake facility is listed as Title X-funded in New York’s 2016 directory. This means that this Planned Parenthood facility receives tax dollars, despite displaying the name of a racist on their building.
Margaret Sanger’s name on Planned Parenthood building
Just as outrageous is the fact that when a local media outlet highlighted this Planned Parenthood they failed to mention Sanger’s past. Instead, the news outlet touted Planned Parenthood’s “services” even though nationally Planned Parenthood is losing patients and decreasing legitimate health services while increasing the number of abortions. By using half a billion in tax dollars every year, Planned Parenthood has managed to garner over 34 percent of the nation’s abortion market share while skating criticism of their racist history.
In addition to placing her name outside the facility, Planned Parenthood’s centers in two states are named after Sanger:
As a result, the city of New York’s website shows the street in front of Planned Parenthood’s New York facility has been designated “Margaret Sanger Square”.
Margaret Sanger Center street
In addition, NYC’s Margaret Sanger Clinic has been designated a National Historic Landmark even though it is not open to the public. But, Margaret Sanger buildings and landmarks are just the tip of the iceberg.
Statues of the Klan speaker also exist and surprisingly have been allowed to remain. According to Halpern Blog, the Old South Meeting House in Boston has a statue of Sanger on display as seen below:
Margaret Sanger Statue Old South Meeting House (image credit Halperns blog)
And the Brooklyn Museum celebrates the eugenicist with a display called, “Margaret Sanger’s plate at The Dinner Party.” They describe the table setting as “painted with bright red glazes that evoke the female reproductive organs and the blood that is involved in the reproductive process, as well as the battle for reproductive freedom.”
Margaret Sanger bust national portrait gallery of Smithsonian
Just as disturbing is the fact that Sanger’s bust is displayed at the Smithsonian Institute next to those of legitimate civil rights heroes. The bronze sculpture is owned by the National Portrait Gallery and is located in the “Struggle for Justice” exhibit. The Gallery’s description of Sanger reads in part:
Adding to her life of controversy is her association with the eugenics movement-which included promotion of forced sterilization for those deemed mentally unfit-a movement that for a time was endorsed by many of the era’s prominent thinkers.
The bust was the gift of Mrs. Cordelia Scaife May an anti-immigration zealot who was a key backer of John Tanton, a former Michigan Planned Parenthood Director who founded anti-immigration groups, such as FAIR. May was also instrumental in a failed bid to pressure the US Postmaster in 1966 to produce a commemorative stamp in honor of Sanger.
According to a report by the LA Times May was, “a generous supporter of Planned Parenthood, which in its early days supported population control.”
READ: 5 Myths Planned Parenthood Tells about its Founder Margaret Sanger
A letter of outrage, written and signed by several prominent Black leaders, called for the removal of the bust. The group asked if the Smithsonian Institute was aware that Sanger supported eugenics, held an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as “the feeble minded,” spoke to Ku Klux Klan supporters, and communicated with Hitler sympathizers:
How can a person like Sanger, who found common cause with the racial agenda of the Ku Klux Klan (“KKK”), be ranked among true champions of ‘justice?’ She was a purveyor of grave injustice against the most vulnerable.
Ironically, Sanger’s bust is featured in the NPG’s ‘Struggle for Justice’ exhibit, alongside two of America’s most celebrated and authentic champions of equal rights – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks. If Sanger had her way, MLK and Rosa Parks would not have been born.
At a press conference denouncing Sanger’s bust two years ago, the Rev. Dr. Johnny Hunter, spokesperson for BlackGenocide.org, commented that “Putting that mess up there is not going to help. The last thing we need is a White Supremacist sitting between the bust of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. That’s just a slap in the face to Black folks.”
Star Parker, a Black pro-life advocate, also responded, “Margaret Sanger is a racist who wanted to end the black population through birth control and abortion. She founded Planned Parenthood. But the Smithsonian, funded by our tax dollars, celebrates this woman, even mentioning her advocacy of eugenics! They don’t even hide it! It is breathtaking in its idiocy.”
In Fiscal Year 2016, the Smithsonian’s federal appropriation was $840 million and by 2017 it grew to $922 million. Tax dollars make up about 60 percent of their budget (a combination of the congressional appropriation and federal grants and contracts).
Instead of removing Sanger’s bust, the National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet’s response was to diminish Sanger’s racism, by writing, “Her association with the eugenics movement shadowed her achievements in sex education and contraception, making her a figure of controversy, one whose complexities and contradictions mirror her times.” She told the Black leaders, “I […] respectfully decline to remove her portrait [sic] from the museum.”
Apparently, the excuse that a racist was just a product of their time and therefore deserves to be honored holds true only if you are the founder of the largest abortion corporation in the United States.