Michael King, Jr., commonly known to the world as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. omitted several truths in his lifetime, from plagiarizing his doctoral dissertation, to upholding the core family value of fidelity. His early pacifist approach to the Civil Rights Movement and willingness to place assimilation as the foremost goal of that righteous cause dampened my trust in the stability of the pedestal the Black community placed him on long ago; but, in his dedicated support to Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, he exemplified a bold courage that I appreciate immensely.

We’ve all heard the stories; more accurately, we’ve all been force fed the myth that Margaret Sanger was a racist villain on a one-woman crusade to staunch the births of Black and Brown babies in the United States. Yes, it is true that she was a devout eugenicist, determined through such means as segregation and sterilization to weed out “inferior” people in society. Sanger also allegedly believed that organized charities implemented to prolong and enhance the lives of impoverished members of society were counter-productive to population control. With these salient facts in mind, I find it ironic that Planned Parenthood’s most vocal detractors, the Grand Ole’ Party, share those beliefs, illuminating them in stark relief in every single discriminatory legislation they attempt to filibuster into existence.

In an attempt to play on the instinctive racial solidarity of the Black community, conservatives continue to tokenize the legacy of Marcus Garvey and his antagonistic view of birth control as proof of their sincere wish to do what is most beneficial for the African-American community. They continue to prop Sanger’s Negro Project up as the singular example of her nefarious intent, while ignoring the life-saving contributions of Planned Parenthood. In a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble in 1939, after Garvey voiced his opposition to birth control, Sanger revealed a strategy that has haunted her organization to this day:

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

It reads horribly, doesn’t it?

The words written by Sanger makes it easy for accusations of racism, bigotry and prejudice to escape unabated. It makes it even easier for the truth to be buried beneath instinctive defense mechanisms that we have desperately sharpened and honed since the days of Jim and Jane Crow.

But let’s pull back the covers, shall we?

There are two equally powerful Sanger quotes that appear in Earl Conrad’s, “American Viewpoint on U.S Birth and Bias Control,” which was published in The Chicago Defender on September 22, 1945. Not surprisingly, they never quite seem to make the soundbite reel:

“What hangs over the South is that the Negro has been in servitude. The white southerner is slow to forget this. His attitude is the archaic of this age. Supremacist thinking belongs in a museum.”

“The big answer, as I see it, is the education of the white man. The white man is the problem. It is the same as with the Nazis. We must change the white attitudes. That is where it lies.”

In her memoir, Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography, on pages 366-367, Sanger details her harrowing experience meeting with the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey. When Sanger’s life’s work, with all of its contradictions, is viewed in context, what swiftly becomes evident is that her message of reproductive freedom and women’s absolute authority over their bodies extended well beyond the confines of the African-American community. According to her writings, Sanger was an avowed elitist who advocated for contraception, not abortion, and her eugenics philosophy encompassed the poor, mentally ill and disabled — regardless of color. But for conservatives to admit that, they would need to find a new boogey-man to spook Black women into voting against their own self-interests.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), said it best: “The conservatives want small government-small enough to fit in your uterus.” The Republican Party is attempting to eliminate every single public policy that financially assists those historically marginalized in this country, yet pretend to care about life. Their agenda appears to be to preserve a menial workforce for capital gain, yet on reproductive issues, the Black community at-large unwittingly supports that ideology, while decrying the discriminatory practices that are murdering our communities in large numbers.

  • S.

    … Dr. King also cheated on his wife

  • YB

    Margaret Sanger was also a racist who said, “we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    So……..

  • lb*rollingstone

    Planned Parenthood is racist. Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger and the founders were eugenicists who want to regulate the population of Black people. PLEASE stop thinking these people give a sh*t about you. Life is about money and survival. White society is going to work against you if it means they can eat MORE.

  • Please Excuse ME

    Watch this video about the history of Planned parenthood.

  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    Ok. I got a REAL ambivalent tone while reading this. Not sure if supporting PP was the only question for us..

  • Kirsten West Savali

    I assure you, my tone was not meant to be ambivalent. Supporting Planned Parenthood is, indeed, my only question. What other question could there be?

  • befree

    Dr. King Supported Margaret Sanger & Planned Parenthood, Why Won’t You?
    When did Martin Luther King become the barometer by which we should judge historical figures? As much I as respect Dr. King, it doesn’t mean he was always right. Dr. King often talked about his reverence of Mahatma Gandhi, but never mentioned Mahatma Gandhi was a racist and often referred to Africans as kaffirs. Are we supposed to ignore this because Dr. King followed his teachings? I simply do not see the connection between disagreeing with republican antics and restoring Margaret Sanger’s reputation as non-racist. Within a historical perspective, black folks have plenty reasons to distrust the medical community. From Thomas Jefferson exposing hundreds of enslaved Africans to an untried smallpox vaccine, to J. Marion Sims, a leading 19th-century physician and former president of the American Medical Association, developing many of his gynecological treatments through experiments on enslaved women who were not granted the comfort of anesthesia is the real issue. The long and horrific exploitation Black women’s health is the root of mistrust, not something a republicans have or have not done. The fact is you can be liberal leaning and racist as much as you can be conservative and racist. It is Margret’s Sanger’s words and association with eugenics that breeds mistrust and that cannot be explained away because MLK said some nice things about her when he got an award.
    We should always seriously examined whites who come into our communities regardless of their political affiliation because sometimes they have been a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  • damidwif

    the author noted that in like, the first sentence

  • Trilha

    Sanger wanted the Negro Project to include black ministers in leadership roles, but other supervisors did not. To emphasize the benefits of involving black community leaders, she wrote to Gamble “we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    JUST SAYING…

  • isolde

    There’s a lot going on in this piece, and I didn’t think it necessary to invoke Dr. King to get the point across. IMO, people using the Sanger/race caveat as an excuse for blacks to admonish PP have a problem with reproductive choice in general. PP is just a convenient target used to vent that frustration, especially since PP is often one of the only outlets available for low income black women to seek abortion services. Whatever racist/eugenicist views Sanger may have had, Planned Parenthood continues to provide family planning and reproductive health services for those who would otherwise have an even harder time accessing those services. Saying that blacks shouldn’t utilize PP today because of what Sanger said 50 years ago is like saying that a black person shouldn’t work for xyz company or attend xyz university with a current track record of minority recruitment and advancement because 50 years ago xyz university/company didn’t admit/hire/promote blacks.

  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    befree’s answers sums up my response to your reply Kirsten. Another question would be, “How does this affect your current stance on planned parenthood and abortion in the black community?”

    Thank you for following up!

  • SAA

    even though I’m sitting in my toasty office I’m going to put my jacket back on because I’m getting chills from that burst of cool fresh air your comment washed all over me!!! You took the words EXACTLY out of my mouth.

  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    +1

  • lynette

    …When I was growing up in the hood there was a Planned Parenthood on every corner….now that I live in the “well-to-do” suburbs….you can’t find one…coincidence…nope!…

  • NOno

    +2

  • damidwif

    when i was growing up in suburbia, there were no planned parenthoods and i had to go to the city to find one. black city, white city, really didn’t matter.

    do you know that people who don’t live in hoods to get their abortions at places other than planned parenthood, right? so if there is no local need for a PP, then there won’t be one. abortion places aren’t exactly in competition .

    there is no PP in the 90% black neighborhood in which i work. abortion services take place at the hospital and another clinic in the area

  • NOno

    SIGH!

    IF BLACK WOMEN WOULD JUST PRACTICE SAFE SEX THIS WOULDN’T BE AN ISSUE, HOW COME WE DON’T TALK ABOUT THAT?, STOP BLAIMING PP.

  • LemonNLime

    I don’t like the argument behind this article. So one is supposed to ignore the very racist history and past remarks of the Plan Parenthood founder/organization just because MLK likes them? Based on that theory plagiarism and infidelity are OK too bc MLK did it.

    Regardless of how I feel about PP, I think it is stupid to support something or not support something just because someone else does or doesn’t. God gave you a brain so use it, do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

  • http://@clnmike Clnmike

    The problem with Planned Parenthood is image, as long as they are seen as the place to go to get an elective abortion they will always be the villain. In order to stay active PP needs to move completely out of the abortion business and let everyone no it’s out of it.
    Attaching Dr. King’s name to it is not going to make people forget abortion, (while knowing he was against it), it’s a PR war and they are losing at it.

  • Alexandra

    In a couple discussions like these, sometimes it’s implied that Black women are somehow incapable of being responsible or taking accountability. Despite the history behind Planned parenthood or other orgs, seeking their services is a choice. What organization today is directly forcing Black women to abort/sterilize? I would assume majority of the time it is a choice on behalf of the woman. It annoys me when so much blame is deflected. I’m not against planned parenthood.

  • O’Phylia

    “According to records of her writings, Sanger was actually an elitist who advocated for contraception, not abortion, and her eugenic philosophy encompassed the poor, mentally ill, and disabled – regardless of color.”

    The fact that she didn’t “figure in color directly,” does NOT make this better. If one says “Well, she wanted to practice eugenics for the poor and mentally ill, but I’m none of those things so it’s okay,” it is beyond disgusting.
    It’s wrong.

  • Natalie

    “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    Hmm… the same tactic the GOP uses during election time to distract Black voters with social issues; let’s parade “Pastor” out there to remind them that they should vote against social programs like financial aid, Medicaid, and other assistance programs vital to the survival of many in our community. Works like a charm. Sanger’s estate should sue…

    The fact is PP provides preventative care services to low-income women and women of color that do not have the luxuary of accessiblity to private phycians–period. That is main goal of the GOP–to keep us poor, powerless, and distracted by keeping us unable to attain reproductive freedom; we’ll be too busy trying to feed, clothe and house children that we couldn’t afford to have to vote. So to those that oppose PP because of its roots, I implore you start funding alternative means by which low-income women and women of color can receive preventative care services through private physicians, comprehensive sex education and contraception. Offer an alternative to the big, bad, racist PP that wants wipe us off the face of the Earth!

    *crickets*

    I thought so.

    Why are we so easily distracted?

  • Timcampi

    She was a known racist and Nazi sympathizer, but did not propose elimination of those she found cognitively inferior– simply management. I have problems with this sort of thinking because it interferes with moral and basic rights. But on the other hand, I could see how Eugenics is great for biology. However, it has never been implemented correctly or without controversy.

    Despite that, I can’t take hormonal birth control because my body blatantly rejects it. So yeah…

  • Rapnsum

    That question is as asinine as this: MARGARET SANGER – Founder of Planned Parenthood SUPPORTED THE KLU KLUX KLAN – Why won’t you??????????

    Get a clue and see the true story of Sanger’s racism- watch the Documentary film: Maafa21 Black Genocide in 21st Century America- http://www.maafa21.com

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    more accurately, we’ve all been force fed the myth that Margaret Sanger was a racist villain on a one-woman crusade to staunch the births of Black and Brown babies in the United States.

    It is not a myth and if you want to have an intelligent discussion on supporting Planned Parenthood despite its founders initial goals, you shouldn’t shy from the truth. I am avidly pro-choice, but will never donate 10 cents to this organization until they stop trying to dismiss the truth.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Wow this article is refreshignly sophistocated. Kirsten you write in a very truthful manner that is not obstructed by any sensivity or bias towards black norms of acceptance. I have so much more to say regarding the article but I hate typing on my phone!

  • B

    I was reading these dismissive comments and was about to say the same thing until I saw your comment. I couldn’t have said it better, especially THIS:

    “people using the Sanger/race caveat as an excuse for blacks to admonish PP have a problem with reproductive choice in general”

    and THIS: “Saying that blacks shouldn’t utilize PP today because of what Sanger said 50 years ago is like saying that a black person shouldn’t work for xyz company or attend xyz university with a current track record of minority recruitment and advancement because 50 years ago xyz university/company didn’t admit/hire/promote blacks.”

    Thank you! People are just immature and lacking in common sense, if the internet is any indication of widespread mindsets. Smh.

  • joeclyde

    I personally don’t believe the Federal government should fund irresponsible people. I understand that 16 and under girls might have had inadequate guidance. So I can understand cases where they may need to seek guidance. But even still. There are many in school programs that preach safe sex, and you have to be purposefully ignorant. Not to know about AIDS, and teenage pregnancy rates in 2011. Abortion is not a contraceptive.

    The GOP has always had the hypocritical stance on abortion, death penalty, and programs for the poor. But lately. This “Party of Lincoln” mantra they are trying to purport themselves to be is clearly in an attempt to be divisive. From Hannity constantly talking about KKK Bird, to them agreeing 100% with Lincoln freeing the slaves. To as recently as Newt and Bacham saying they will do more for Blacks. Than Obama would. Still waiting for an explanation on that one.

    What Sanger was similar to what Pepsi did during that era. They would send Black Charismatic men into Black Churches. To sell their products to the Black community. This just laid the foundation for the Black Churches to be the main bully pulpit to the Black Community. Martin is very flawed. Being that. He fits right in will all of the other American Heroes.

  • Trini

    @isolde

    No more than about 3 comments down I was ready to close my web browser and find bliss in counting the paperclips on my desk or perhaps sniffing some handsanitizer. But then I read your comment. Thank you for the much needed piece of rational thinking. Its truly appreciated!

  • indigo

    she addressed that in the article, so…..

  • damidwif

    yes.

  • damidwif

    “Abortion is not a contraceptive.”

    right because it doesnt prevent conception, like several other forms of BIRTH CONTROL, of which, abortion fits into the latter category.

  • Ketta

    Fact: Sanger is dead and regardless of your beliefs it is safe to assume she cannot benefit from whatever profit, financial or moral, the PP accumulates. AGAIN, SHE IS DEAD. Even if she was mummified with her riches, her money is no good where ever you believe she is.

    Fact: Black women are dying at an alarming rate from HIV/AIDS related illnesses and the rate of children birthed into single parent homes has skyrocketed.

    IMO:we should not continue to ignore the sexual health woes of the living because of some one individual who is dead. This is a case of the lesser of two evils. Life is not always Black and White (no pun intended) there will always be shades of gray and life is too short to sit on the sidelines based on your attitude toward the dead. Use what you can because when it’s gone it’s gone.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    the greatest problem in the world today is over population……..

  • indigo

    your view definitely made me stop and think a bit. b/c while i agree w/ some of the points in the article, your statements gave a dissenting position that wasn’t just a kneejerk reaction in opposition. kudos for making me want to read more about both sides of the issue!

  • S.

    You missed my point by a longshot

    What was the point of using Dr. King’s name as if he’s the moral fabric of the modern day Black community?

    All of us who are informed know that he was a “good” man but a MAN nonetheless

    I’m so sick of people using Dr King’s views as a talking point to get Black people to believe in their cause as if Blacks don’t have minds/moral codes/opinions of our own

  • BeautyIAM

    I always find it funny when people comment before they READ an article.

  • Mercedes

    80% of Black pregnancies in NYC were aborted. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
    I am Black and Pro-Life.
    Resources: http://www.maafa21.com and http://www.nationalblackprolifeunion.com/

  • http://homespunwisdom.wordpress.com/ Jamila

    Dr. King supported Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood; why won’t you?

    I think most black women do support PP, just not openly. Half of all black women have had at least one abortion and about 24% of black women have had multiple abortions so clearly black women support having access to abortion providers.

  • E.M.S.

    “IF BLACK WOMEN WOULD JUST PRACTICE SAFE SEX THIS WOULDN’T BE AN ISSUE, HOW COME WE DON’T TALK ABOUT THAT?, STOP BLAIMING PP.”

    A few things to consider regarding your outburst:

    1) Black women are not the only women who are affected by this issue. It’s also Latina women, and increasingly, white teenage girls from suburbia.

    2) Failure to perform safe sex is not the only contributor to unplanned pregnancies. What about failure of contraceptives (condoms breaks, pills don’t always work)? What about women who have been raped? What about women who do not have access to contraceptives or terminations?

    I feel you didn’t really consider these things before you made that comment. You say don’t blame PP, and now I say don’t blame black women so blindly.

  • SAA

    Jesus Christ someone please tell me those statistics aren’t true! If so that is crazy and very scary…

  • TeeBee

    Agreed! While PP might have been founded on racist tenets, the service is vital to the community.

  • http://mynameismisswhite.blogspot.com Miss White

    Interesting article that I could not finish. It was just too upsetting to see a sister defend Margaret Sanger. Why won’t I support her? Well, first because she’s dead and irrelevant to me. Second, she was not FOR my people. Anyway you slice it. I don’t care if one quote seemingly contradicts another. Imo, she was a racist and she was interested in the progression of her race and the digression of mine. She was equivalent to a racist saying “but I have black friends” or “I’ve sent money to Africa”. Really?

    As far as her beliefs on birth control, she was a pioneer…I’ll give her that. And believe it or not, I’m grateful for the strides she made but other than that, I don’t support those who don’t support me. I’m pro-choice and I do think that Planned Parenthood does some good for the community, but let’s not treat them as martyrs as if they haven’t made mistakes and/or pushed impressionable minds to make decisions that they weren’t too sure of. To be pro-choice doesn’t meant you have to be blind to the bullsh*t either.

  • http://mynameismisswhite.blogspot.com Miss White

    Word!

  • B

    Agreed!

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Sorry you couldn’t finish the article. You and I share similar philosophy. I think I showed that I don’t believe Sanger to be a martyr, but that I feel her elitism trumped her racism. She was a bigot who didn’t like poor, ignorant or disabled people. She also was for women empowerment and for us to have control over our bodies. As one of my friends hypothesized, if she were alive today, she’d most likely adore Michelle Obama and abhor the Octo-Mom.

    I had an extremely difficult time sifting through the nuances of Sanger. Did you realize that she was staunchly anti-abortion? There was a point when my position was that I wouldn’t even go to Planned Parenthood for a papsmear; but, I’ve come to realize that while I personally find her distasteful, her legacy of STD treatments and preventative care, of providing quality healthcare services for my sisters who otherwise wouldn’t receive it, is infinitely worth supporting.

    Appreciate your feedback and thanks for (halfway) reading.

    K

  • Lis

    Are you SERIOUS right now?

  • Lis

    Links, please! As one of 4 daughters in my mom’s single parent household, NONE of my sisters nor I have had an abortion. But again, we probably just weren’t selected amongst the scores of limited education, single and hating it!, multiple baby dady having, +, black women the media portrays us all out to be. SMH

  • Kirsten West Savali

    See, that’s the thing I hoped came across. And I have no problem with my sisters telling me if I failed in that mission. I am not, by a longshot, a fan of Michael King, Jr. I don’t agree with his pacifism, I don’t agree with his hypocrisy, I don’t adhere to his faith.

    The crux of the matter is that most conservative Black men and women hold Dr. King as a paragon of virtue and morality; yet, they judge Sanger and find her lacking. They believe King had the Black community’s best interest at heart; yet, they ignore his affiliation with Planned Parenthood.

    My question is directed to those people guilty of groupthink, or monolithic thought, who may not have realized that Dr. King was an ardent supporter of Planned Parenthood. I’m posing the question to incite thought, to possibly bring forth a facet to this story that some don’t know, and hopefully make people do some research on their own.

    Thanks for reading. I appreciate your feedback.

    K

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Thank you very much, Bk Chick. I really appreciate that. :-)

  • Nikki

    E-U-G-E-N-I-C-S

  • apple

    there is a video on why planned parenthood was started and how they got it pushed hard in the black community by black preachers… and that if you want black people to go along with something you just have to supply them with someone who looks/like them

    i dont know how true it is but it is interesting to hear:

    Don’t Let The Black Face Fool You! by uheardme1sttime

  • http://TheFeministGriote.com TheFeministGriote

    This is by far the most critically conscious article I have read on this site. Simply superb!

  • http://homespunwisdom.wordpress.com/ Jamila

    “The abortion rate for black women is 5 times that of white women.”
    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/11/3/gpr110302.html

    “In a report on the incidence of abortion in 1988, the United States National Center for Health Statistics reported on 297,251 women who had induced abortions in 14 states. Among these women 39.6% of the white women and 53.0% of the black women were repeating abortion. For all groups, 44.1% were repeating abortion with 27.0% having a second abortion, 10.7% having a third abortion and 6.4% having a fourth abortion or more. Two out of three of the black women aged 25 years or older had repeated abortion and about one out of two of the white women had repeated abortion. Teenagers also had high repeat abortion rates as 22.5% of white teenagers aged 18-19 were repeating abortion while 35.5% of black teenagers aged 18-19 were repeating abortion.”
    http://www.fnsa.org/v1n3/strahan1.html

    Don’t be fooled, black women are VERY abortion friendly. If you are a black women who can’t name any other black women who had have abortions (or repeat abortions) it’s only because no one has admitted their abortions to you.

  • damidwif

    “If you are a black women who can’t name any other black women who had have abortions (or repeat abortions) it’s only because no one has admitted their abortions to you.”

    right there

  • Afroartemis

    Thank you for such a refreshingly intelligent approach to the relationship between Planned Parenthood and the Black community. It takes a long time and a strong desire for change before people who are brainwashed by the status quo can engage in productive conversation around reproductive rights for women, community building, and movement leadership. My first response to your question was a cynical one, “Why won’t [black people] support planned parenthood?” Because we have yet to remove the shackles centuries of servitude placed in our hears and minds; because we have more practice adopting white america’s perceptions of us that we have approaching our problems from our own perspective, and because Black male patriarchy makes it nearly impossible for Black women to fight oppression from Black men and white america. I hope those who are interested in learning more about reproductive rights and its benefit to the Black community will use your article as a stepping stone to more information they can share with their friends and loved ones. Can you follow up your article with links to reliable statistics on reproductive issues in the Black community? Knowledge is Power!

  • Deech

    thanks, Malthus….

  • Afroartemis

    @SAA, according to the information in the CDC report, it looks like Black women have a higher ratio of abortions than white women although we comprise of a smaller percent of all abortions. When I looked at marital status and age in the CDC report, then thought about socio-economic realities Black women face, I am not surprised so many of us induce abortion. It tells me that Black women would have lower abortion rates if there were reliable reproductive methods, family and community support to raise children. Anyway, here is the link, see for yourself

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6001a1.htm

  • Afroartemis

    I forgot to mention it, but those are 2007 numbers.

  • new moon

    Kirsten West Savali, this was a very intellignt, informing, honest and powerful piece. I think a lot of women needed to read this.
    Personally, Planned Parenthood allowed me to seek gynological care and birth control pills when I was a teenager, so my mother and father wouldn’t hate me. Without them…well who knows. So for our gov. to pretend that they really give a s*it about our wombs and unborn babies…and for some black women to fall for it, is laughable but messed up. Funny, the gov. looses much interest in what happens to the black babies once their born. The fact remains that disavantaged people need access to decent health care, especially when we’ree tryna do the right thing in the mist of doing the wrong thing (if that makes sense)

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    Jamila: Unless I am reading it wrong, but the stats you cite do not match the numbers you quoted originally. It seems half of the black women included in the study had repeated abortions, not half of all black women. Please cite stats correctly!

  • chanela

    i am so damn confused! which one is it? are black women having too many babies or are we having too many abortions? if they say that 70% of black women are single mothers then that must mean that that ONE parent doesnt make much money right??? so how is it possible for black women’s abortions to be 80% (supposedly) when abortions cost like $400??? especially since someone said MULTIPLE abortions. don’t these women have kids to feed and bills to pay? then they say that we spend thousands on weaves…. WOW my head is spinning

    these statistics sound very suspicious.

  • QON

    @Ketta

    “Black women are dying at an alarming rate from HIV/AIDS related illnesses and the rate of children birthed into single parent homes has skyrocketed.”

    Thats false. The kinds of medicines they have are keeping people alive for decades. Ironically that is what is contributing to its spread. Because people are liviving with the disease longer and healthier, they are just going about their business infecting others. This isnt the case with most people. Now you should also know that the same way black women are infected with HIV is the same way she gets pregnant: unsafe sex. So black women can kill two births with one stone. Practice safe sex, you will not get pregnant, practice safe sex, you will not contract life threatening disease. Its so simple its stupid.

  • QON

    @JamesfromPhilly

    What abot over consumption? How many pair of shoes do you have and need? WHy do you need to eat meat with EVERY meal of the day. Do you really need two cars? Why do you have to drive everywhere, spending money on gas and polluting the environment? Cant you walk, take a bike, roller skate, take a bus? You have some nerve.

  • QON

    @E.M.S

    “Black women are not the only women who are affected by this issue. It’s also Latina women, and increasingly, white teenage girls from suburbia.

    2) Failure to perform safe sex is not the only contributor to unplanned pregnancies. What about failure of contraceptives (condoms breaks, pills don’t always work)? What about women who have been raped? What about women who do not have access to contraceptives or terminations?”

    This is a site about black women isnt it? About Dr. King who was a black Civil Rights activist and this is about Planned Parenthood and their role in the black community. No use bringing up Latinas and white women in the burds.

    Condoms do break but hormonal birth control are incredibly effective. Do you know the number of black women on hormonal birth control? NONE of the aforementioned methods work if you dont use at and that IS the main contributor to pregnancies and STDs infection. Not the failure of birth control.

  • damidwif

    “The kinds of medicines they have are keeping people alive for decades.”

    Actually, the medicine they were originally giving HIV/AIDS patients was killing them. So now that they’ve changed it they seem to be living longer– not to mention everyone with HIV/AIDS doesn’t die anyway, even those not on medication. Plus, they continue to market testing very heavily in the black community. All of this creates the illusion of an ever expanding disease.

  • damidwif

    “the same way black women are infected with HIV is the same way she gets pregnant: unsafe sex. So black women can kill two births with one stone. Practice safe sex, you will not get pregnant, practice safe sex, you will not contract life threatening disease. Its so simple its stupid.”

    so basically, black women who are married need to practice “safe sex”– because someone has posted on this site repeatedly that black women are at the most risk from their committed partners. i don’t think that is all that simple.

  • damidwif

    “Condoms do break but hormonal birth control are incredibly effective. Do you know the number of black women on hormonal birth control? ”

    everyone can’t utilize hormonal methods. and there are very good reasons why women shouldnt use them anyway. as a side note, women on hormonal contraceptives appear to be an an increased risk of contracting HIV. sooooo, condoms appear to be the best weapon against pregnancies and HIV but again, they have a failure rate. now what to do about that damn pregnancy?

  • QON

    @damidwif,

    “so basically, black women who are married need to practice “safe sex”– because someone has posted on this site repeatedly that black women are at the most risk from their committed partners. i don’t think that is all that simple.”

    Here you come with the red herrings. Monogamous sex is safe sex. Stop fronting like every black woman with an STD got it from her triflin’ like a dog husband. You go from talking about married black women to black women with “committed” partners. What the hell is a “committed” partner? Does the CDC or the government or the IRS have a definition of a “committed” partner? Stop the excuses. Its hurting people.

  • QON

    @damidwif

    Ok you are really…

    “everyone can’t utilize hormonal methods.”

    Everyone cant but most can. There are many different kinds and a candid conversation with your OBGYN can help you find one that works. No excuses.

    “…and there are very good reasons why women shouldnt use them anyway.”

    Like what? Everything has its risk but you weight the risk against the benefits. Why is this lost on people?

    “as a side note, women on hormonal contraceptives appear to be an an increased risk of contracting HIV.”

    This is a non sequiter. You implying that hormonal contraceptives lead to an increased risk of contracting HIV? Only if you were using it as a protection against it. But since we are ALWAYS told that it doesnt protect against HIV or other STDs it cant be the reason why women who are on BC are at an increased risk.

    “…sooooo, condoms appear to be the best weapon against pregnancies and HIV but again, they have a failure rate.”

    They cant fail if you arent using them. D’oh!

  • QON

    Very true. I know better but when I hear “Planned Parenthood” I only think of abortions so the anti abortion campaign has worked to stigmatize PP. They offer other services but you would never know that and even if you did, like I do, they just cant shake the image.

  • damidwif

    @QON

    you really don’t get it. you just don’t. and the info didn’t even come from me. keep on keeping on.

  • damidwif

    @QON, i don’t post this info for you in particular, because you don’t get. you don’t even try. i post what i do to offer a rebuttal to the info you think you know, which is regurgitated by mainstream media. you have many of the pieces but you don’t connect them well on your own. but if you took the time to look it up, if you and others would just read, critically, and then make conscious decisions, then things might change. so know that i’m not trying to engage you or make you bang your head against the wall. you are dangerous to women and it makes me very sad. i stand by what i have presented.

  • damidwif

    there isn’t really any safe sex, hence the term safer sex. but it is really about having sex responsibly

    also, regarding condoms, multiparous women are more likely to become pregnant WITH condom usage. things are very different if you are a woman who has not had any children (nuliparous). many women who already have children use barrier methods and they should understand this, especially given the fact that a lot (61%) of women who have abortions are already mothers.

    i sit in the clinic and watch practitioners force hormonal methods on women of color. they don’t explain the “side effects” they don’t explain all the options. More than that, women in general are not knowledgeable about their menstrual cycles and there is no attempt to explain it in absence of hormonal methods. We must read. teach. learn.

  • Joyful1

    Faye Wattleton was the first woman named president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1978 and served till 1992. She was the first African-American to serve as president, and the youngest president in Planned Parenthood’s history. During her term, Planned Parenthood grew to become the seventh largest charity in the country, providing services to four million clients each year through its 170 affiliates whose activities were spread across 50 states.

    That aside, during my unemployment some years ago, I was diagnosed with early stages of treatable breast cancer. All because of a mammogram screening at PP. So for the record, I could care less about Sanger and/or eugenics past history. PP saved my life. I am forever indebted to PP & those who work tirelessly to provide health care to women & children.

  • Ketta

    @QON
    Yes, people are living longer due to improve meds but most women don’t even know they have the disease because they do not get tested, a service which the PP also provides.
    Safe sex is also taught by the PP for those who live/have lived in uber religious households and were not informed on safe sex practices.

    Also, your comment on people taking the meds are living to spread it to others is inaccurate (I would quote verbatim but my phone is not allowing me to copy paste on this pg). Taking HIV/AIDS meds drastically reduces the spread of the virus to others. There are plenty of articles but here is one link: http://healthland.time.com/2010/11/23/hiv-drugs-may-prevent-infection-in-healthy-individuals/

  • Nef

    Prior to learning about Margaret Sanger and the history of Planned Parenthood, I too sought their services. However, I now look at the organization with an eyebrow up wondering why are the majority of PP clinics in low-income i.e. black/latino communities? Are they really concerned about our health and that of our offspring or is the true agenda to decrease our numbers? They-our lighter brothers/sisters have history of being paranoid about being outnumbered by those they consider inferior. And let’s not forget that enforced sterilization i.e. did not obtain permission is part of the eugenics movement’s history. I’m willing to safely bet that more black women were unknowingly sterilized than white women. The “system” has never had good/noble intentions for people of African descent…NEVER, so why now?

  • http://@clnmike Clnmike

    Yup, but here is the other problem with that image, the more I read comments with these stats about black women and the amount of abortions they are having, (two out of three? That can not be true), the more I wonder why would anyone support PP? Lets say these stats are true, and I am not a fan of stats mind you, well to me that is damning evidence that PP has failed miserably in it’s other duties if that many women are getting abortions and multiple abortions like their getting their nails done or something. Of course the HIV rate will be high among black women if they are having that many abortions, you get pregnant also means your at risk for HIV. Abortions means PP has failed.

  • http://homespunwisdom.wordpress.com/ Jamila

    @TheBestAnonEver

    I did cite the stats correctly. The first comment I made the stats were in a book I read–that’s why I didn’t link to them and I can’t easily find then on the internet. So I liked to other stats which state pretty much the same thing: a very large proportion of black women have not only had abortions, but multiple abortions.

    @chanela

    Black women have a slightly higher birth rate than black woman and they also have higher abortion rates. This all just means that there are many black women who have multiple unplanned pregnancies, some of which end in abortions, some of which end in births.

    It’s not that 70 percent of black women are single mothers, but about 72% of black children are born out of wedlock.

    Last I checked, black women get about 36% of all abortions but are only 13% of the US female population.

    “…when abortions cost like $400???”

    In some states medicaid pays for abortions. PP operates on a sliding fee scale. But more importantly, why is it surprising that poor women can come up with $400 for an abortion when there are many poor people with $300 video game consoles and another $200 to $300 worth of games to go with it? People sell food stamps. People ask relatives for money; they ask the guy who knocked the up for money.

    If a woman REALLY doesn’t want to be pregnant, she will try every hustle in her catalog to get the money she needs for an abortion.

  • SAA

    @Afroartemis- thank you for that link, I’ll have to check it out over lunch granted today doesn’t get crazy!

    @Jamila- If you are a black women who can’t name any other black women who had have abortions (or repeat abortions) it’s only because no one has admitted their abortions to you.”

    I can’t name any other black women because none of my girlfriends are black. I have about 5 friends I can count on one hand, 2 of them being my sisters and one is half-black but I digress. The only person I know whose had an abortion is an acquaintance I went to college with who got pregnant our sophomore year and her mother gave her the ultimatum to either get an abortion or be disowned from the family.

  • Shauna

    Stupid question that keeps getting repeated in the comments, rephrased to show how stupid it is:

    “Why is a clinic that provides low-cost healthcare primarily located in areas where poor people who need low-cost healthcare live??”

  • http://cec4life.org Mary Grace

    I don’t support Margaret Sanger because she was a self proclaimed eugenicist. Her purpose for creating birth control, as she wrote, was “to create a race of thoroughbreds” (Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 p. 2) and also to solicit “more children from the fit – less from the unfit” (Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12). Sanger also listed in a 1932 issue, steps that were necessary for securing the new race’s future; compulsory sterilization for the “feebleminded,” rewards for those who opted for sterilization, and the choice of segregation or sterilization for those who refused (Birth Control Review April 1932 pg n107). Aside from those things, Sanger also believed killing an unborn child was merciful and justified morally. (- from Women and the New Race)

    http://library.lifedynamics.com/Birth%20Control%20Review/1921-11%20November.pdf

    http://library.lifedynamics.com/Birth%20Control%20Review/1919-05%20May.pdf

    http://library.lifedynamics.com/Birth%20Control%20Review/1932-04%20April.pdf

    I mean no disrespect in ANY WAY. I truly respect your opinion and sought the opportunity to voice my own in a similar factual way. I thank you for your writing as I truly believe we are all entitled to voicing what we believe :)

    God Bless You!

    Mary Grace

  • AariDani

    This is very interesting. I hope that you at least watch the first 5 minutes of this.

  • Cynthia

    Let’s not forget Margaret Sanger’s mother had 18 pregnancies (11 live births) in 22 years, and died at age 45 of tuberculosis and cervical cancer. As a public health nurse in NY, Sanger saw first hand the suffering and death from unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortion. Suggesting that black women can’t see for themselves the choices they face with an unintended pregnancy is insulting. There is no shame in wanting a better life for yourself and the children you already have.

  • http://TooManyAborted.com Ryan Bomberger

    Looks like this blogger is going for that shiny annual Margaret Sanger award! Way to go Kirsten. You’ve just distorted your way into the warm embrace of the number one killer of the black community. Yes, over 363,705 black babies are killed annually by abortion compared to 289,366 African-American deaths from all other causes, combined. Killing is never a solution to any issue facing the black community, yet you support the profit-making genocide that is population control (aka Planned Parenthood).

    Genocide, by the way, as defined by the United Nations Convention on Genocide includes (in whole or in part) “imposing measures intending to prevent births within the group.” That, and the more obvious “killing members of the group” provision clearly establish what is going on in America’s inner-cities. And I’m speaking in actuality, not metaphoric allusions and psychological projections as you’ve done throughout your article.

    And liberal social policies (dating back to institutional slavery and Jim Crow laws, all vehemently passed and defended by Democrats) have done such a world of good in the black community…causing utter dependence on an incompetent and controlling government. That’s what we need more of: subservience.

    Martin Luther King Jr. was not omniscient. And you deliberately FAIL to mention that his advocacy of Planned Parenthood was PRIOR to them killing millions of children via abortion. THIS IS A KEY DISTINCTION. Abortion wasn’t even legal at the time he, as uninformed as he was about Planned Parenthood, accepted the Maggie Award. He also didn’t have over 40 years of US Census Bureau data to show how poverty has only RISEN since Roe v. Wade–it has never lessened. Or, how STDs have skyrocketed SINCE birth control/contraceptives have become widely available, especially in urban areas (thanks to drug stores and thousands of Title X funded medical clinics, which far outnumber Planned Parenthood population control centers). Or, how news media would actually advocate the obscene disproportionate killing of black babies as some sort of reproductive “justice”. His position on abortion would have been akin to Jesse Jackson’s passionate prolife stance…BEFORE he ran for president as a Democrat, shredding his deeply held conviction and writings that abortion was, in his own words, black genocide.

    So go on and play the role of Negro Project advocate. Distort while you “report”. The truth is that, no matter how much you state the horrific views of Sanger and her fellow racist eugenicists while absurdly accusing present-day conservatives of the same (with nothing but vague, baseless accusations and zero substance), you can never reconcile your support of black genocide with historical facts.

    Planned Parenthood is not the black community’s savior. They’ve put up shop, disproportionately, in black communities to abort innocent black babies at 5 times that of the majority population AT THE SAME TIME they’ve watched STDs exponentially soar, HIV skyrocket among black men, and the unintended pregnancy rate increase. You praise an organization, that with a billion-dollar budget, FAILS at its basic tasks.

    So you ask why I don’t support Planned Parenthood? Because I, and many others who are waking up to the truth, can make better informed decisions. Although Martin Luther King Jr. was right about a lot of things, he was dead wrong as a plagiarizer, a womanizer, and a Sanger sympathizer.

    We’ve fought too long and too hard to be considered human. Thanks to the GOP, who introduced and passed every Reconstruction amendment (abolishing slavery, granting citizenship to all blacks, and issuing right to vote among black men), our humanity began to be restored. But we can’t rely upon any single political party to ensure that humanity is respected and revered when we, ourselves, show so little regard for the most disenfranchised among us–the unborn. Killing our future because of personal irresponsibility and profit-driven abortion propaganda will never breathe life into our communities. Family. Educational choice. Liberation from generational welfare. That’s what will set us free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we CAN be free at last.

  • Whatever

    “My question is directed to those people guilty of groupthink, or monolithic thought, who may not have realized that Dr. King was an ardent supporter of Planned Parenthood. I’m posing the question to incite thought, to possibly bring forth a facet to this story that some don’t know, and hopefully make people do some research on their own.”

    This is a great proposition. Many should do the same when it comes to Barack Obama (or any public figure). I truly wish people would do their research and not just jump on the bandwagon.

  • Whatever

    Let us be clear that this is not just a GOP tactic. BOTH parties do this.

  • Whatever
  • Whatever

    “if you want black people to go along with something you just have to supply them with someone who looks/like them”

    Bingo!….Sound familiar?

  • Whatever

    Great Response.

  • AariDani

    I cosign completely! Great response. One thing that you must know though: in American history, there was a switch in the views held by those who were traditionally republican or democat near the turn of the century.

    So the 19th century Republican party had similar views to the modern Democratic Party and vice versa.

    I really hope you are not trying to advocate that the modern republican party of today is the party to rely on when it comes to African Americans, because clearly, it’s not.

    To be honest, I don’t think neither party is for the essential well-being for African Americans completely.

    Oh the good ol’ ‘Merican way!

  • Misty Jean

    Ryan, you’re a man. Sorry.
    Also, please do not bring political parties into this. The Lincoln GOP is not the same as the Reagan/Bush Republican party of today. After the passage of the New Deal and the Civil Rights ACT, there was an ideology switch. Norther Republicans became Democrats, southern Democrats became Republican.

    They are not babies, but fetus. A women does not have to have a child if she does not want too. Most black children are born out of wedlock and poor. Ones these babies are born, they need to be taken cared of. Who will take care of them? The government? Black children already make up most of the kids in foster systems and are the least desired when it comes to adoption. Women should be able to have options.

  • isolde

    and I repeat . . .

    “people using the Sanger/race caveat as an excuse for blacks to admonish PP have a problem with reproductive choice in general”

  • http://twitter.com/brothermanifest duron chavis

    is this a joke? Did plan parenthood pay for this “editorial”?

  • http://www.pyramidoftruth.com Neferkare

    Is someone suppose to say that abortion is okay just because Martin Luther King said it is okay ? How ridiculous is that. Also to be quoted is that Black females are much more likely to get an abortion then females of any other ethnic group. Also it is asinine to say to forget the damaging things Margaret Sanger said and just focus on other of her quotes. Conservatives are not the only ones who are against abortions!

    see http://www.pyramidoftruth.com

  • Loquacious

    Dr. King stepped outside of his marriage and slept with women that were not his wife. Seemingly, he supported adultery. Therefore, I should support adultery, since Dr. King supported it. See how that makes no damn sense?

    I agreed with Nikki – E-U-G-E-N-I-C-S.

    Some of you can drink the kool-aid the author of this piece is serving, but I will decline. Moreover, I WILL VOTE FOR REPRESENTATIVES THAT WILL DE-FUND PLAN PARENTHOOD.

    Now, if you don’t like that, then be sure to cast your vote to cancel mine. See you at the polls.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Segdoh-Hareema-Akinak/100000531851239 Segdoh Hareema Akinak

    I support Planned Parenthood (despite its origins) because its one of the few places that provide medical treatment to low-income and uninsured women at a sliding scale fee. Not all people who use PP only go there for abortions- you also can get annual check-ups, treatment for STDs/STIs, pre and post-natal care there as well.

    I know people who fell on hard times and had to use PP and have had pretty positive experiences with the medical staff. With the economy as it is, it would be a disgrace to let Planned Parenthood go.

    Also, I’d like to ask all of you- If it was found that Thomas Edison was a white supremacist that supported eugenics, would you boycott electricity or the light bulb? I hope not. Sometimes beneficial services does not come from the most benevolent of people.

  • http://@clnmike Clnmike

    The problem with this article was how it chose to make it’s case for PP. Invoking Dr. Kings name and bringing up Margaret Sanger is like shooting your self in the foot. Someone was going to be offended for very good reasons. Adding on to that if your job is to help prevent pregnancy and stop the spread of disease but are more known for abortions, well it becomes obvious that PP is not doing it’s job.

  • Loretta Lang

    Dr. King saw the beneficial aspects of family planning associated with this organization ( prenatal care, birth control, sex education etc. I wonder if he would be pleased to know that today over 13 million unborn babies have been murdered since the ebb of Sanger’s movement.

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  • Eric Jahnke

    Amen to that! Holy smokes, I can’t believe what I just read. No wonder … CL Bryant is right about these people. Holding their brothers and sisters down for their own profit.

    Repulsive.

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  • Jeremy

    This article is written by a two dimensional thinker.
    Who believes that Martin Luther King would have endorsed millions of African American abortions? (something that took place after his award)
    Sanger engineered, in her own words, a system which was designed to seek out MLK (admitted in this article)

    How many presidents ( Henry P. Fairchild), vice presidents (Alan F. Guttmacher) and proud members of The American Eugenics society (Margaret Sanger+ William H Gates Sr.) have to take leadership roles in Planned Parenthood before two dimensional thinkers can see it for what it really is?

    So let me get this straight- After over a century of slavery, a long fight for very basic rights, African Americans, through government policies and wit government money, are now targeted by eugenicists, afforded more government assistance if there is “no man in the in the house” (In the1950′s out-of-wedlock pregnancies were more likely in white households than in black households) sold a gangster culture through the entertainment industry, targeted by CIA operated and assisted drug running operations (see Dark Alliance by Gary Webb & Freeway Rickey Ross who was just released from prison) and encouraged into a state of dependency (which became the model now being employed on all of us)

    Ever been to an Indian reservation? Those depressing places are 100% the product of government policies and planning and not very different than what we’ve done to the African American Communities.

    Wouldn’t the mothers of President Obama and Jesse Jackson have been perfect candidates for abortions under the PP guidelines?

    Our youngest generation right now will not react to their every problem with murder the way that we have.

    And to all those women out there who say “you’re a man, you don’t understand” or “it’s not a baby because I say it’s not” Just try stabbing a pregnant mother to death or running over her with your car. You will be (rightfully) prosecuted for a double homicide and not because she wanted to have the baby and has spent her time painting the spare bedroom, changing her diet, and taking classes with her husband after work.

  • SegaMegaDrive

    I would like to know some of these racist remarks Margaret Sanger has supposedly said because I have read Pivot of Civilization, Women and The New Race and Family Limitation and found nothing racist in any of those.

    Provide quotes with source please.

    Didn’t WEB Debois collaborate with Margeret Sanger on the negro project? I’ve heard some black folks quote WEB Debois while at the same time bashing Margaret Sanger. It just sounds inconsistent to me.

  • WhiteRacism

    You say this:

    “we’ve all been force fed the myth that Margaret Sanger was a racist villain on a one-woman crusade to staunch the births of Black and Brown babies in the United States.”

    And then proceed to quote Sanger:

    “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

    And don’t even challenge that it’s an actual quote.

    Cognitive dissonance aside, what exactly is it that you’re trying to prove here?

  • Miss Info

    The person who wrote this article has some serious issues. Margret Sanger made it VERY CLEAR what her agenda was.

    “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we WANT to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    She also Said: “”Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.”

    How much more clear can she make herself?? Ye the writer of this post would have you believe that is not what she really meant. Someone needs to do their homework before putting up foolishness like this.

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