Planned Parenthood cancels founder Margaret Sanger for eugenics and white supremacist ties

"We must fully take responsibility for the harm that Sanger caused," Planned Parenthood President Alexis Johnson said.

Updated: April 19, 2021 - 4:26pm

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Planned Parenthood says it is distancing itself from founder Margaret Sanger over what it considers her beliefs in eugenics and past associations with white supremacist groups.

In an opinion article for The New York Times, Planned Parenthood President and Chief Executive Officer Alexis McGill Johnson wrote that the the group must "reckon" with Sanger's beliefs and make her "less prominent" in the organization.

McGill said the group would do this by renaming awards and renaming the Planned Parenthood center in New York City.

"Sanger remains an influential part of our history and will not be erased," McGill wrote. "But as we tell the history of Planned Parenthood’s founding, we must fully take responsibility for the harm that Sanger caused to generations of people with disabilities and Black, Latino, Asian-American and Indigenous people."

McGill argues Sanger associated with white supremacist groups, such as when she spoke to the Ku Klux Klan in 1926, and her support for eugenics programs.

Eugenics is defines as the study of how to manipulate reproduction within a population to increase the occurrence of desirable characteristics. 

"Apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring[;] to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization," Sanger once wrote, according to The Daily Wire.

McGill said the organization must also reconcile its past and un-do the mistakes Sanger made and focus on helping trans and nonbinary people, and people of color.