Planned Parenthood Gives Out “Margaret Sanger Awards.” Here’s Why the Recipients Should Give Them Back

Jessica Nardi - 28 Jul 2020


Planned Parenthood may be trying to separate from its founder Margaret Sanger in some ways while whitewashing her eugenics-supporting history in others, yet their website still labels as the “highest honor” their yearly Margaret Sanger Award. 

Read more about Margaret Sanger. 

The award has been given from 1966-2015, and is meant to “recognize leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement.” It’s interesting that they stopped giving the award after 2015; presumably, they already had an ear to the ground and sensed that their days of enshrining their racist founder somewhat under the radar were coming to an end. Slate reported, “A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood did not respond to a question about why the organization stopped issuing the award.”

Some of the latest big-name recipients have been Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both long time abortion supporters. 

Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) has already requested that Pelosi and Clinton “disavow and return their Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger awards immediately,” in response to Planned Parenthood’s removal of Sanger’s name from the Manhatten facility.  SBA’s president Marjorie Dannenfelser said that Planned Parenthood’s move was important because it was “the first time in their 104-year history that they’ve acknowledged their racist roots.”

Students for Life of America echoes this call as part of a unified “Strike Out Sanger” campaign. This campaign calls on various officials to remove Sanger’s tributes, given her life-time emphasis on reducing the number of babies born in minority communities, a truly racist effort. “The American ideal is the respect and incorporate peoples of every race, creed and color,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins. “Sanger’s hatred of minorities disqualifies her from public display, though her harmful legacy and the impact of her abortion and contraceptive advocacy should be studied.”

Pro-life organizations nationwide are working to remove her influence from famous places, namely the Smithsonian. The Stanton Public Policy Center is among those that have started a petition to remove Sanger’s bust from the portrait gallery.

It’s time for the heroic portrayal of Sanger Planned Parenthood has painted for years to finally crumble. While these actions like the name removal are steps in the right direction, Planned Parenthood still hasn’t broken ties with Sanger (nor has it stopped literally carrying out Sanger’s vision for the organization – to reduce minority populations). They still uphold her as “a trailblazer” and “a woman of heroic accomplishments,” while dismissing her relations to racism and eugenics as merely “layered and complex.” 

In the present “cancel culture” where people are leaping at any opportunity to diminish what isn’t woke enough, surely you would expect Sanger’s “legacy” to be a perfect opportunity for disavowal. Yet Planned Parenthood still hasn’t let her go… but why should they? In the same manner that they portray destroying lives as “family planning,” they hide behind a eugenicist under the guise of an advocate for women, and what’s more they claim the greatest honor is receiving an award under Sanger’s name for her organization.  This doesn’t sound like they’re looking to reconsider their strategy anytime soon.  

But history is history and the truth shines strong, even through a pink facade. The recipients of Margaret Sanger Awards should renounce them as tributes to a racist eugenicist. We support American Life League’s efforts to make this happen, as well as the efforts of other selfless pro-life organizations working together to strike out the influence of Margaret Sanger. 

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