Planned Parenthood president praises eugenics-linked North Carolina clinic founder

Image: Sarah Bryant

Planned Parenthood, a corporation founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger, is opening a new abortion facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, a state that has a tragic history with a eugenics program financed by one of Sanger’s directors. At the facility’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen was joined by Sarah Bryant, a woman who founded Planned Parenthood Health Systems of Charlotte in the 1970’s and sat on the national board. But what makes the opening of this abortion facility even more disturbing is that Sarah Bryant previously revealed that two eugenicists — one man engrossed in population control and the other who ran a sterilization program later exposed as coercive — influenced her to open a Planned Parenthood so many years ago.

Image: Charlotte Planned Parenthood ribbon cutting with Sarah Bryant (Image: Twitter)

Charlotte Planned Parenthood ribbon cutting with Sarah Bryant (Image: Twitter)

Wen was thrilled to have Bryant at the ceremony, recounting the event to an audience in June 2019:

[T]here was a woman there named Sarah Bryant who had first started the chapter of Planned Parenthood in Charlotte 50 years ago. And she came to this ribbon cutting and I thought that was kind of amazing. And by the way, they also put in this new health center a red telephone and it was the same red telephone that Sarah had used to call volunteers and donors back in the day, which was really sweet. But that was not the real story….

Wen also tweeted about it.

Image: Planned Parenthood prez tweets Sarah Bryant praise Charlotte NC (Image: Twitter)

Planned Parenthood prez tweets Sarah Bryant praise Charlotte NC (Image: Twitter)

The Charlotte Planned Parenthood story began in 1969, when, according to a cached history published by Planned Parenthood, Bryant recruited “doctors, lawyers, ministers and concerned women to help establish a Planned Parenthood affiliate. The group met regularly at the United Way….” In 1971, Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte was incorporated.

The Planned Parenthood page went on to say, “[T]he Charlotte phonebook had a listing for ‘Planned Parenthood,’ but there was no clinic and no staff.  Instead, calls came to the home of Sarah and Bob Bryant. Sarah had a special red telephone she reserved for Planned Parenthood inquiries, which rang at all hours. She assisted those who called and appeared on her doorstep by referring them to doctors and social service agencies. They came from as far away as Asheville, Knoxville and Wilmington.”

Bryant later called that red telephone “a symbol” — and some within the pro-life movement might agree, given that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the country. Red is perhaps an appropriate color.

Image: Planned Parenthood Charlotte founder Sarah Bryant red telephone

Planned Parenthood Charlotte founder Sarah Bryant red telephone

But who influenced Bryant to open the Planned Parenthood in the first place? In 2011, the Charlotte Observer answered that question, writing, “In the late 1960s, Charlotte welfare director Wallace Kuralt and banker Art Jones approached her to start a Planned Parenthood health center.”

“We were like a Third World country in that area at the time,” Bryant told the paper.

In the video below, Bryant confirms the influence these men had over her decision to open a Planned Parenthood, “[T]hen Mr. Art Jones who was a banker and Mr. Wallace Kuralt who was the chairman, head of the county health commission, urged me to start Planned Parenthood. They had been involved and had known about Margaret Sanger when they were in [Oberlin] college. So, that was the beginning.”


Arthur Jones

Arthur “Art” Jones was an ardent proponent of population control, and, in 1969 predicted, “Unless something is done, the human race is threatened with extinction within 200 years.” He believed, according to media reports, that poverty, crime and ghettos were due to overpopulation. His ultimate solution was abortion, calling it a “very necessary medical tool for population restraint.” Jones was credited for the state’s move to decriminalize abortion in 1967.

Wallace Kuralt

Image: Wallace Kuralt

Wallace Kuralt

Much of the idea for Jones’ abortion bill came from Wallace Kuralt, according to author David Gurrow. Kuralt, like Jones, was focused on population control; it was later revealed that he headed a coercive eugenic sterilization program in the state. In fact, Charlotte Observer exposé about the program described Wallace Kuralt as:

  • “Mecklenburg County’s welfare director from 1945 to 1972.”
  • “[A]rchitect of Mecklenburg’s program of eugenic sterilization.”
  • The man who “helped write one of the most shameful chapters of North Carolina history.”

The paper had obtained records of “403 Mecklenburg residents ordered sterilized by the N.C. Eugenics Board at the behest of Kuralt’s welfare department,” which they noted “dwarfs the total from any other county.” An NPR report says the number was three times more people than any other.

The media has suggested Kurault did not fully understand the coercive nature of the program, but according to the Charlotte Observer, Kuralt and Dr. Elizabeth Corkey “sent dozens of sterilization cases to the Eugenics Board for approval….” 

Although not mentioned by Wen or Bryant, a cached history of Planned Parenthood in North Carolina reveals that Corkey was a “principal founder” of Planned Parenthood’s first Charlotte clinic, and joined Jones in his lawsuit to decriminalize the state’s abortion laws. A 1989 Observer article quoted Corkey as saying, “Promiscuous parents often have children who grow up to be promiscuous. We hope we can break this unfortunate cycle. We think it is far better to have birth control pills than to have children born out of wedlock whom nobody wants.”

In part two, Live Action News will detail further the views of Kuralt.

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