Planned Parenthood's president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson authored an op-ed in the New York Times that addressed the racist views of the organization's founder, eugenicist Margaret Sanger. Saying her group was "done making excuses" for Sanger, Johnson acknowledged "her association with white supremacist groups and eugenics."
"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," Johnson wrote. "But the facts are complicated."
Johnson admitted Sanger's participation in Ku Klux Klan rallies and her promotion of forced sterilization procedures performed on people deemed "unfit."
"The first human trials of the birth control pill — a project that was Sanger's passion later in her life — were conducted with her backing in Puerto Rico, where as many as 1,500 women were not told that the drug was experimental or that they might experience dangerous side effects," Johnson acknowledged.
Johnson said that the group "can't simply call her racist," nor pretend she was not the central figure around which the organization was constructed. Instead, she said, the group will "examine how we have perpetuated her harms over the last century."
🔦 The human rights group Protecting Black Life has noted that 79% of Planned Parenthood's surgical abortion facilities are placed within walking distance of black neighborhoods.