Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger & Racism

Was Margaret Sanger’s true intention of founding this organization to empower all women?

Nearly 79 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics are in minority communities. In 2013, 29,007 black babies were aborted in New York City. In the same year 24,108 black babies were born. As many have noted, this means that 4,899 more black babies were aborted than born in New York City. Statewide, only 1,170 more babies were born than aborted. Three to four percent of the population is made up of non-Hispanic black women of childbearing age, yet they are responsible for one-third of all abortions.


“The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” –Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood Founder [1]

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a Texas law calling for improved health and safety standards in abortion clinics (Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt), it is clearer the majority of our current justices have no intention of regulating abortions. The implications of the Court’s decision calls to mind the disturbing history of Planned Parenthood and is a reminder of why abortion matters to the Church.

We’ve all heard of Planned Parenthood and have heard numerous people, from celebrities to politicians, tell us how it is a women’s rights organization. They say we need it because it empowers women and gives us a choice. But is this really the truth?

Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which later became known as Planned Parenthood, in 1921. Was Margaret Sanger’s true intention of founding this organization, what has become America’s number one abortion provider, to empower all women? The facts seem to show that Sanger’s intentions weren’t as pure as pro-choice advocates make it seem.

Sanger was a well-known eugenicist. Eugenics is a social movement and a belief that through selective breeding and sterilization you can improve the genetic features of the population. In a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble in 1939, Sanger wrote:

We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

Sanger wrote this eighteen years after creating the American Birth Control League. It is pretty clear that Sanger held some strong beliefs, but did those beliefs trickle down into Planned Parenthoods?

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