By Dave Andrusko
Readers of NRL News Today will vividly recall the stunning decision by Planned Parenthood of New York back in July to remove Margaret Sanger’s name from its Manhattan health clinic. We wrote a number of posts which probed the background.
For our purposes here, the decision by PPFA’s largest affiliate to disavow PPFA’s founder was a product of numerous intramural battles over the organization’s cavalier treatment of women of color and was foreshadowed by an open letter from staff at Planned Parenthood’s Kansas City-area office that read, “Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist, white woman.” Even as her defenders battled charges of racism, they conceded Sanger was a eugenicist.
Lo and behold, Marie Stopes International, the equivalent of Planned Parenthood/International Planned Parenthood, has bestirred itself, going so far as to change its name.
Here’s how the BBC titled its story today: “Abortion provider changes name over Marie Stopes eugenics link: A leading abortion provider has changed its name to break ties with Marie Stopes, the controversial birth control pioneer who believed in the creation of a super race.”
Marie Stopes International is a major abortion provider, proving “abortions to women and girls in 37 countries.” So why did it switch its name to “MSI Reproductive Choices”?
There is some vague talk about how “the events of 2020 have reaffirmed that changing our name is the right decision.” What that means specifically (although we could probably guess) would be interesting to know.
The BBC story goes on to say, “MSI Reproductive Choices said Stopes’ legacy has become ‘deeply entangled’ with her views on eugenics and wanted to address the ‘understandable misapprehensions’ that the charity had a meaningful connection to her.”
The BBC was brutally honest in describing the core “views” of the movement to which Marie Stopes subscribed:
Eugenics is the study of the selective breeding of humans to increase heritable characteristics, which are considered desirable.
Stopes was a member of the Eugenics Society and advocated for the sterilisation of people considered unfit for parenthood.
More than that—“On a darker note”—
she also corresponded with Adolf Hitler and believed in the creation of a super race.
I can’t imagine any of this was news to the BBC or supporters of Marie Stopes International. It took “the events of 2020” to move them to change their name and for media champions of abortion to acknowledge them.
We needn’t rehash the countless pro-life posts that documented Sanger’s passion to “improve the race.” What matters is that PPFA fought recognition of Sanger’s embrace of eugenics for decades.
In the wake of “Planned Parenthood in N.Y. Disavows Margaret Sanger Over Eugenics,” the New York Times story that broke the news that Planned Parenthood of New York was removing Margaret Sanger’s name from its Manhattan health clinic, we wrote
Sanger’s baggage is on display for all to see. You can understand why Planned Parenthood has attempted to keep the halo it placed over Sanger’s head in place.
Once that halo is dislodged, it raises the specter of the fruit of the poisonous tree—an organization that began steeped in eugenics and questionably racial attitudes would find itself with a disproportionate number of its abortion clinics in or near areas where minority women are concentrated and a staff rebellion at Planned Parenthood’s Kansas City-area office over allegations of abusive behavior and racism from current and former staff.