Planned Parenthood CEO calls out founder for her ‘association with white supremacist groups and eugenics’

Planned parenthood 2017
Los Angeles Councilwoman, Nury Martinez, speaks during a Planned Parenthood rally in Los Angeles, California on June 21, 2017.

  • The CEO of Planned Parenthood on Saturday called out the organization’s founder for her racist past.
  • Founder Margaret Sanger has a history steeped in the advancement of the eugenics movement.
  • She has, for example, publicly supported forced sterilizations on unconsenting adults to rid “unfit” characteristics.
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Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson called out the organization’s founder in a New York Times op-ed, saying she had ties to “white supremacist groups and eugenics.”

Margaret Sanger, founder of the reproductive healthcare nonprofit organization, is known for having devoted her entire life to expanding access to birth control. Since her death, some historians and biographers have been characterizing her as a proponent of the eugenics movement, meant to control populations for “desirable” characteristics while weeding out so-called undesirable ones.

“Up until now, Planned Parenthood has failed to own the impact of our founder’s actions. We have defended Sanger as a protector of bodily autonomy and self-determination, while excusing her association with white supremacist groups and eugenics as an unfortunate ‘product of her time,'” Johnson wrote in the op-ed.

“Until recently, we have hidden behind the assertion that her beliefs were the norm for people of her class and era, always being sure to name her work alongside that of W.E.B. Dubois and other Black freedom fighters. But the facts are complicated,” she continued.

Sanger once spoke to the Ku Klux Klan in New Jersey to hype up birth control, noted Johnson while pointing out examples of her shamed history. She also “endorsed” a Supreme Court decision that led to state-controlled sterilization attempts, Johnson said. This decision allowed the government to sterilize people it deemed “unfit” to have kids, usually without their consent or knowledge.

Germany also established a forced sterilization program in the 1930s, which Sanger supported.

“I admire the courage of a government that takes a stand on sterilization of the unfit and second, my admiration is subject to the interpretation of the word ‘unfit,'” Sanger said in praise of the program. “If by ‘unfit’ is meant the physical or mental defects of a human being, that is an admirable gesture, but if ‘unfit’ refers to races or religions, then that is another matter, which I frankly deplore.”

Johnson’s comments mark the latest in a broad push to distance Planned Parenthood from Sanger’s legacy.

Last year, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, located in Manhattan, announced it would drop Sanger’s name from its building “as a public commitment to reckon with its founder’s harmful connections to the eugenics movement.”

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Police in multiple US cities are reportedly preparing for and anticipating white supremacist rallies this weekend

Police officers on October 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.

  • Police forces are aware of and preparing for white supremacist rallies happening this weekend.
  • Organizers have largely kept secret rally locations, but New York and Chicago are among the cities expected to see them.
  • Several counterprotests have been planned to mobilize against the message of the white pride rally attendees.
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Police forces across the country are reportedly preparing for white supremacist rallies planned for this weekend.

White supremacist groups are organizing the rallies over encrypted messaging app Telegram, Newsweek first reported. There are also public event pages on Facebook suggesting there will be several rallies on Sunday, April 11.

“Patriots all over this nation are peacefully marching to raise awareness for whites being victims of massive interracial crime and also persecution by the government,” one Facebook event page reads.

“This is happening in every majority white nation on earth. Time to make a stand. Please join your brothers and sisters in this amazing event,” the event description continues.

Organizers have, for the most part, not disclosed the locations planned for these rallies. But Newsweek and local news outlets reported that police have identified numerous cities where the white supremacist rallies are expected. Among them are New York, Fort Worth, and Chicago.

The Facebook event page encourages people to organize a rally in their own city.

It’s unclear how many people these planned rallies will attract.

But officials who are aware of planned rallies this weekend in their cities are taking steps to prepare, news outlets reported.

Huntington Beach police in California, for example, are aware of an event to “unify White people against white hate” circulating on social media and planned for this Sunday.

Interim Police Chief Julian Harvey told the San Bernardino Sun that the police are preparing for large crowds in case the rally attracts a lot of people.

“Like any demonstration in the city, we are preparing and will continue to prepare until the day,” he said. “We do have a plan to ensure public safety – not just the safety of the participants and the attendees, but also residents, businesses and motorists.”

The Asheville Police Department in North Carolina told Newsweek its officers have been briefed on the “call for action around the country” coming from white supremacists. The department is tracking any action, Newsweek reported.

In response to the planned rallies, counterprotesters have also begun to organize.

The local Black Lives Matter chapter in Huntington Beach, for example, is assembling for a counterprotest a few hours ahead of the planned white supremacist rally, the San Bernardino Sun reported.

And in Albuquerque, New Mexico, counterprotesters are encouraging residents to “rally against white supremacy in all its forms.”

“On Sunday, April 11th – local Proud Boys and White Supremacists are planning on hosting a ‘White Lives Matter’ Event on the Albuquerque Civic Plaza alongside a national day of actions by far-right extremists across the United States – we refuse to let them bring their violence to our beautifully diverse city because white supremacy has no place here,” a Facebook event page for the counterprotest reads.

“Please wear your masks, bring creative signs, water, plan on being loud, and bring your friends – we have safety in numbers,” the page says.

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