Denial. It’s a multi-billion-dollar business. And Planned Parenthood’s newest President—Alexis McGill Johnson—knows it. She oversees the $2 billion leading killer of unborn black lives (an estimated 247 per day) but wants to conjure up some fake history about the pro-life movement being founded in racism. Her recent OpEd in the Wall Street Journal, “In Defense of Margaret Sanger on Eugenics”, is as honest as Rachel Dolezal is black.
Johnson denies that Sanger promoted eugenics. Sanger didn’t merely promote it; she embodied it as a member of the virulently racist American Eugenics Society and one of its ringleaders. The Negro Project, which Johnson was referring to but did not name, was not an altruistic effort despite the official Margaret Sanger Papers Project’s laughable denial of Sanger’s own documented racism (opposition to legal immigration, anti-semitism, and speaking to KKK and other like-minded gatherings in her autobiography). Its objective was to severely reduce or eliminate the birth rate of poorer blacks. The ever duplicitous Sanger proudly proclaimed, in her article entitled The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda: “…the campaign for Birth Control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal, with the final aims of Eugenics.” She continued: “Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupidly cruel sentimentalism.”
The Negro Project failed. Racially targeted birth control still fails today. It’s why famed voting rights and anti-poverty activist, Fannie Lou Hamer (who was a victim of eugenic forced sterilization), denounced birth control and abortion saying: “I’ll tell you the next thing that I don’t buy. I don’t buy distributing birth control pill[s] and legalizing abortion, because they’re talking about us! If you want to abortionize somebody, do it to yourself because I’m going to try to keep the children.”
Pro-life Hamer was under no illusion which movement was racist. Ethyl Payne, a journalist for the Afro American, described the freedom fighter as a “passionate believer in the right to life” and that she “spoke out strongly against abortion as a means of genocide.” Many other black women feel the same way: Dr. Alveda King, Catherine Davis, Day Gardner, Star Parker, Dr. Freda Bush, Connie Eller, Zina Hackworth, Kay Coles James or the late Dr. Mildred Jefferson (who was the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and the co-founder of the National Right to Life Committee) just to name a few.
I’m not fooled either. As the founder of The Radiance Foundation—an organization that launched the first public ad campaign to illuminate the hugely disproportionate impact of abortion in the black community—we’ve seen how mainstream media continues to cover for one of the world’s most eugenic organizations. In NYC, where Planned Parenthood was spawned, more black babies—for years—have been aborted than born alive. In 2014, when Johnson was Planned Parenthood’s Board Chair, there were 1,101 black babies aborted for every 1,000 born alive. Johnson conveniently never talks about that grim reality. Nor does she ever talk about fathers and the massive epidemic of fatherlessness which leads to abortion rates up to five times higher in the black community. I’m a black adoptive father with beautifully brown children. I was conceived in rape yet adopted and loved into a racially diverse family of fifteen. My white pro-life parents weren’t concerned about a “falling white birth rate.” They wanted to love those who escaped the violence of abortion and were wrongly written off as “unwanted” and “unloved.” They adopted nine non-white children (black and biracial, Native American, and Vietnamese) and one Caucasian child.
There’s no escaping the truth about Sanger’s brokenness and the vile anti-human ideology she maintained throughout her life. Planned Parenthood regularly celebrates their eugenicist founder. “Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives.” These words from chapter 18 in Sanger’s book, Women and the New Race, define her motivations for “reproductive health.”
Sanger led the effort to join the American Birth Control (which would later be renamed Planned Parenthood) and the American Eugenics Society (AES) to produce a combined journal. One couldn’t get enough racist and elitist pseudoscience back then. On March 30, 1928 Sanger met with AES secretary Leon Whitney and other members of both organizations to discuss forging ahead together. (Leon Whitney, by the way, would later be praised by Hitler for his 1934 pro-forced-sterilization manifesto: “The Case For Sterilization”.) At the time of this hopeful venture, AES was led by Madison Grant, the author of the deeply racist and anti-Semitic book, The Passing of the Great Race. According to the New York Times, “Hitler’s most valued book on America was The Passing of the Great Race and that Hitler quoted liberally from Grant in his speeches and is said to have sent him a letter describing The Passing of the Great Race as ‘my bible’ ”. The AES rejected Sanger’s offer to merge.
Abortion activists can keep trying to defend Margaret Sanger and the unsevered DNA of Planned Parenthood. Pro-life factivists will keep repeating the truth.
Johnson’s denial of basic historical facts is a pathetic and desperate attempt to rewrite history and project Planned Parenthood’s own inherent racism. An industry that was inarguably birthed in eugenic racism and elitism somehow wants people to believe that the leading killer of black lives isn’t practicing systemic racism but “reproductive justice.” Planned Parenthood exemplifies the narrative in The Emperor’s New Clothes. We can see right through your propaganda, though. When you falsely tweet that black women are “safer to have an abortion than to carry a pregnancy to full term”, you do the dirty job of white supremacists, while you wrap it up in a deceptive pink bow.