Planned Parenthood of Greater New York renounced racist and eugenicist founder Margaret Sanger on Tuesday for her “harmful connection to the eugenics movement.”
“The removal of Margaret Sanger’s name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color,” said chair of the New York affiliate’s board Karen Seltzer in a statement, according to the New York Times. A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood said the organization’s national leadership also approved of the decision.
The decision marks a historic about-face by the organization, which has routinely defended Sanger’s legacy. As recently as 2016, Planned Parenthood published a fact sheet that said her racist statements should be overshadowed by her “worldwide renown, respect, and admiration for founding the American birth control movement.” Planned Parenthood acknowledged that she touted her efforts to reduce the “negro population” at a Ku Klux Klan meeting, but maintained that she was motivated by “passion,” rather than racism. The abortion provider also criticized its founder for endorsing mass sterilization for the disabled—a view it defended in 2016 because “she agreed with the ‘progressives’ of her day.”
“Planned Parenthood acknowledges these major flaws in Sanger’s views—and we believe that they are wrong. Furthermore, we hope that this acknowledgment fosters an open conversation on racism and ableism—both inside and out of our organization,” they said at the time. – READ MORE
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --