Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is sticking by the Women’s March despite allegations of anti-Semitism in the group’s leadership.
The Women’s March's leadership has ties to anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan and, in addition to their public praise of him, a recent report by the Tablet alleges that Women’s March co-chairs Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory in one of their first meetings “asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people—and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade.”
The Tablet also reported that the Women’s March leaders had deeper ties with Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic Nation of Islam than previously known, including that they knowingly used Nation of Islam members to handle their security.
Mallory and Bland deny ever making such statements but are facing backlash with numerous state chapters breaking away from the national organization. The Women’s March founder Teresa Shook has even called for the group’s leadership to step down over the anti-Semitism problem.
However, Planned Parenthood explained in a statement to Refinery 29 Thursday why they are sticking by the Women’s March.
"Over the last two years, we’ve seen unprecedented attacks on our health and rights from the Trump-Pence administration,” Erica Sackin, senior communications director for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “The Women’s March has become a symbol of our collective resistance to these damaging and discriminatory policies and Planned Parenthood is proud to once again, join our progressive partners for the #WomensWave mobilization to protect and advance the progress we've made as a movement dedicated to equity and justice for all people.”
The abortion giant went on to cite the organization’s condemnation of bigotry.
“As a health care provider, we have a responsibility to stand up for our patients and continue to fight for their rights,” Sackin said. “We must also unequivocally reaffirm, as the Women's March leadership has, that there is no place for anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, or any kind of bigotry in our communities, our progressive movement, and our country. We will continue to work with the Women’s March to hold ourselves and each other accountable to the Unity Principles that are the basis of our partnership.”
Notably, while Planned Parenthood remains a partner for the Women’s March, one of Planned Parenthood’s affiliates, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, cut ties with Tamika Mallory over her anti-Semitic connections earlier this year. They removed her as keynote speaker for their luncheon in Seattle.
“When historic numbers of women took to the streets more than a year ago, it was to stand up and say they stood for women’s rights, equity and justice -- for people of ALL backgrounds, identities, and ideologies. When leaders of the Women’s March -- or any allied group -- stray from these aspirations, we will do everything we can to help them return to our shared mission,” they said in a statement. “After careful review, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii has decided to part ways with Tamika Mallory. We will announce a new keynote speaker for the April 5 luncheon in the coming weeks.”
Mallory faced scrutiny over her attendance at “Saviour’s Day” where Louis Farrakhan said Jews “were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out, turning men into women and women into men."
Linda Sarsour has also maintained ties to Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.