Following the overturn of Roe v Wade ruling on abortion, the Planned Parenthood organization and its founder Margaret Sanger have received a lot of hate online. The majority of the criticism appears to focus on Sanger’s history of racist practices and past allegations about the organization.
These reactions seem to have been fuelled by recent referrals to the organization from celebrities like Michelle Obama and singer-songwriter Lizzo after the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court about abortions.
Some individuals who supported the pro-life movement and the recent US Supreme Court’s overturn of the Roe v Wade decision from 1973, also targeted these celebrities and reminded them of Sanger’s history.
What is known about Margaret Sanger? Exploring accusations of her being racist
Margaret Sanger (née Margaret Louise Higgins) was a nurse, s*x educator, and an advocate for reproductive welfare. Sanger is credited as the founder of the birth control movement, which was reportedly started by her around 1914.
The activist is further credited with having popularized the usage of the term “birth control” in the US. Sanger’s motivation for advocating the cause came from her mother, Anne Higgins, who passed away from tuberculosis at the age of 49. Higgins’ health deteriorated as she had conceived 18 times, which included 11 births and 7 miscarriages.
In 1916, Margaret Sanger, along with her sister Ethel Byrne and activist Fania Mindell, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. After the clinic was shut down, Sanger found legal ambiguity and started the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau and the American Birth Control League, which would later become the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (PPFA).
The New York native also initiated the research for the first birth control pill, which would ultimately be a popular choice for contraceptives at the time. According to the South Avenue Women’s Services,
“Thanks to Margaret Sanger, and the effort of many other men and women who fought for the legalization of birth control and a woman’s right to contraception, most of today’s contraceptives are safe, reliable, and easy to use.”
The birth control advocate passed away on September 6, 1966, at the age of 86.
Netizens react to Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger’s racist history
With the allegations amid reactions to the overturning of the historic abortion ruling of Roe v Wade, past rumors about Planned Parenthood have resurfaced online. In particular, allegations of a racist quote from Sanger were shared by many netizens who pointed out other claims about the birth control activist.