National Right to Life Comments on Planned Parenthood New York and Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood of New York announced that it was removing the name of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger from its facility’s name because of its founder’s “harmful connections to the eugenics movement.” 

Planned Parenthood has long minimized Sanger’s eugenic statements, although it said in a 2016 “Factsheet” that it “strongly disagrees” with Sanger’s decision to speak before the women’s auxiliary branch of the Ku Klux Klan in New Jersey in 1926. 

“Planned Parenthood has consistently followed in the footsteps of its founder Margaret Sanger. As evidence, approximately one-third of all abortions are performed on Black Americans yet Black Americans make up less than 15% of the population,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “In comparison, the pro-life movement has worked to protect all human life regardless of race, origin, creed, gender, orientation, ability or disability.” 

In the 2016 factsheet, PPFA also said it “recognizes” what it admitted were “major flaws” in Margaret Sanger’s views. They included:

  • incentives for the voluntary hospitalization and/or sterilization of people with untreatable, disabling, hereditary conditions 
  • the adoption and enforcement of stringent regulations to prevent the immigration of the diseased and “feebleminded” into the U.S. 
  • placing so-called illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, and dope fiends on farms and in open spaces as long as necessary for the strengthening and development of moral conduct.

In keeping with her deep involvement with the eugenics movement of her day, Margaret Sanger also endorsed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Buck v. Bell (1927) that found that compulsory sterilization of the “unfit” did not violate the Constitution. Often, sterilization occurred without the knowledge or consent of the victims.

“If Planned Parenthood is truly wanting to reform, they should support legislation to prevent abortions based on the race, sex, or disability of the child,” said Tobias.