Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Exhibit Celebrates Abortion Advocates

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 9, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Exhibit Celebrates Abortion Advocates

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 9
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery celebrates women’s contributions to America but honors a handful of abortion advocates. The exhibit touts Margaret Sanger, the founder of the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, and others.

The federally-funded photography exhibit, “Women of our Time: Twentieth-Century Photography,” features 90 women who are “significant to 20th century America.”

Exhibit curator Ann Shumard responded to questions from CNS News about why the exhibit honors Sanger, who has been criticized over the years for racist and eugenic views.

“We are looking to represent individuals who have had a significant impact on the nation as a whole" and have been “significant figures in their chosen fields," she told the conservative news web site.

CNS News says a book that accompanies the exhibit describes Sanger as helping women “whose health had been devastated by excessive child-bearing."

Shumard defended the inclusion of Sanger in the exhibit.

“I am not a biographer of Margaret Sanger, and cannot speak to those ideas,” she told CNS News. “Her inclusion is important because, prior to the movement that she led, information on birth control was not available and it was criminalized in many areas."

Angela Franks, the author of Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy: The Control of Female Fertility, and an expert on the Planned Parenthood founder, says Sanger is a eugenicist, which would make her inclusion offensive not only to pro-life Americans but African-Americans as well.

"Sanger did more than any other person to expand the reach of eugenics, an ideology that has done irreparable damage to countless women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and the poor," she says on her web site.

Franks says Sanger’s book The Pivot of Civilization shows her whole-heartedly supporting a view which discouraged the "unfit" from reproducing, by force, if necessary.

"We should not minimize the great outstanding service of Eugenics for critical and diagnostic investigations. It demonstrates…that uncontrolled fertility is universally correlated with disease, poverty, overcrowding and the transmission of hereditable traits," Sanger wrote.

The Smithsonian exhibit also features other abortion advocates — including Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinem.

Steinem is a long-time pro-abortion activist who, most recently, claimed pro-life Alaska governor and John McCain running mate Sarah Palin "shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton."

In 2004, she came under fire for comparing President Bush’s pro-life record to terrorism. At a NARAL New Mexico fundraising breakfast the Ms. Magazine founder called President Bush, because of his pro-life record on abortion, "more dangerous to this country’s citizens than terrorists."

Abzug was a pro-abortion member of Congress who lost later bids for the Senate and mayor of New York City.

ACTION: Send your complaints about the exhibit to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, P.O. Box 37012, Victor Building–Suite 4100 MRC 973, Washington, DC 20013-7012. You can call (202) 633-8300 or phone the director at (202) 633-8276. You can fax the gallery at (202) 633-8243.

Related web sites:
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery –

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