A U.S. Congressman joined pro-life advocates this week in calling on the Smithsonian to remove Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s statue from a place of honor in the National Portrait Gallery.
In a letter to the head of the Smithsonian Institute, U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher, of Idaho, expressed his concern that “an avowed racist and eugenicist is featured so prominently” in the museum.
“In recent weeks, our nation has confronted the issue of racial injustice with the killing of George Floyd. Seeing a police officer kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while he screamed, ‘I can’t breathe,’ sent shock waves through America, re-igniting a national conversation on race and inequity in our society,” Fulcher wrote.
“Ms. Sanger’s writings and teachings stand in sharp contrast to America’s founding principles which embrace equality, justice and human rights for all,” he continued.
The letter is part of a national campaign organized by Stanton Public Policy Center calling for Sanger’s statue to be removed. Stanton Public Policy Center is a pro-life woman’s advocacy and educational group that works on issues of human rights and justice that empower and inspire women.
“During these challenging times, it is critical the National Portrait Gallery provide us with examples of heroes who offer hope and courage which inspire each of us to work for a nation where all are treated with dignity and equality,” said Brandi Swindell, founder and CEO of the organization. “Sadly, Margaret Sanger’s racist views and actions stand in stark contrast to these lofty ideals.”
Swindell said they recently reached out to rap star Kanye West for his help after he linked Planned Parenthood to white supremacists.
A well-known eugenicist, Sanger wrote and spoke frequently about how certain groups of human beings were less valuable than others. She described them as “human weeds,” “reckless breeders” and “spawning … human beings who never should have been born” in her book “Pivot of Civilization.”
She also wrote about getting rid of people with diseases and disabilities through sterilization and segregation, describing them as “morons” and “a dead weight of human waste.”
“The main objects of the Population Congress would be to 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 wrote.
And in a 1939 letter to a friend, she wrote, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” She also spoke to a KKK gathering in 1926.
Sanger founded Planned Parenthood 100 years ago, and since abortion became legal nation-wide in 1973, an estimated 20 million unborn black babies have been aborted in America.
But for years, The Smithsonian has ignored Sanger’s discriminatory views and kept a bust of her in a place of honor in its “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, which honors people who were “champions of justice.”
The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, chief strategy officer for Stanton Public Policy Center, said it’s time for the national museum to stop honoring a racist.
“The national campaign to remove the bust of a racist like Margaret Sanger from the National Portrait Gallery is not an attempt to rewrite or change history. Rather, it is a way to ensure we celebrate individuals whose lives reflect and embody the very best of who we are as a nation and honor the values we cherish,” Mahoney said.