La Shawn Barber

More controversial is Sanger’s “Negro Project,” devised in 1939. The eugenicist set out to implicate black ministers and doctors in her efforts to spread her message of contraception, sterilization, and abortion in the black community. “The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it occurs to any of their more rebellious members,” she wrote.

People in poorer areas, particularly the South, were producing “alarmingly more than their share” of babies. Sanger was able to enlist black men such as W.E.B. Dubois and Dr. Adam Clayton Powell (a minister) to her cause. Even Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a part to play. In 1966, he received an award from Planned Parenthood, writing, “There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts.”

Margaret Sanger’s project worked better than she could have hoped. Not only do black women have abortions at higher rates, a solid 90 percent of black voters shamelessly cast ballots for the Democratic Party, an unabashed supporter of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood targets minority women

Sanger would be very proud of what her modest Birth Control League has become.

The Cybercast News Service compared the location of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics with population figures from the 2000 Census:

“In nearly two-thirds (62.5 percent) of the comparisons, the communities with a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic had a higher percentage of blacks than the state did as a whole.

In Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts and Ohio, the communities containing all of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics had much higher black populations than their respective states, while Idaho, Kentucky, North Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming -- all of which have low black populations -- have none of the organization’s abortion facilities.

Two states with high black populations -- Louisiana (32.5 percent) and Mississippi (36.3 percent) -- also have no Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, due in large part to the strength of pro-life forces in that part of the nation and state laws that restrict access to abortion, according to Jim Sedlak, executive director of STOPP International.”

Even after her death, Sanger’s Negro Project lives on. Black ministers and so-called civil rights organizations that support Planned Parenthood ensure that minority women remain targets. Carlton W. Veazey is a minister, supporter of Planned Parenthood, and president and CEO of an organization once called the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, now disguised as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).

Veazey founded a program called the Black Church Initiative, purportedly in response to the high pregnancy rate among black teens. According to RCRC’s web site, the initiative “encourages and assists African American clergy and laity in addressing teen childbearing, sexuality education, unintended pregnancies, and other reproductive health issues within the context of African American culture and religion.”

For the first time in its 95-year history, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which once fought to protect black lives, took an official position in favor of abortion in 2004.

While black liberals and so-called men of God continue to align themselves with Margaret Sanger’s “offspring,” I intend to campaign for the protection of all unborn babies, no matter what race or genetic inheritance.


La Shawn Barber

Freelance writer La Shawn Barber blogs at the American Civil Rights Institute blog.