If the Country Wants to Stop Celebrating Racist Figures, It’s Time to Strike Out Sanger

Brenna Lewis - 21 Jul 2020


Margaret Sanger pioneered the birth control movement and founded Planned Parenthood. There are dedications to her throughout the United States (and even on the planet Venus). She is highlighted as a feminist, humanist, and hero for human equality. Here are the top two (publicly-funded) places she is commemorated:

    • Her bust is on display in the “Struggle for Justice” exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum. Find here.


  • The Old South Meeting House in Boston, MA has a statue of Sanger. Find Here.

Margaret Sanger's statue at the Smithsonian Institute is 'a slap ... 

As these prominent namesakes show, Margaret Sanger is well-known and recognized for her birth control efforts. However, her dark history is largely ignored or overlooked. She was a eugenicist. She deemed a large segment of the world’s population to be inferior and was active with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). You can read about it in her own words in her book “The Pivot of Civilization.” 

Here are some more places she is recognized:

  • Time Magazine retroactively named Sanger 1925 Woman of the Year. Find here. 
  • She was named 1957 Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. Find here. 
  • She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 31 times. Find here. 
  • She was inducted into The National Woman’s Hall of Fame in 1981. Find here. 
  • There is a crater on Venus named after her in 1994 by the International Astronomical Union. Find here. 
  • The Margaret Sanger Clinic in New York was made a New York Historic Landmark in 1976 and then made a National Historic Landmark in 1993. Find here. 
  • There is a study room named after Sanger at Wesley College. Find here. 
  • Rowan University has Margaret Sanger and Susan B. Anthony etched in the “Knowledge is Power Sculpture.” Find Here. 
  • New York University has a project dedicated to preserving Margaret Sanger’s papers. Find Here. 
  • Planned Parenthood has awarded the Margaret Sanger Award from 1966 to 2015. On of the first recipients of this award was Martin Luther King, Jr. Find Here.  

It’s Time to Strike Out Sanger

Join Students for Life of America in our SOS! Strike Out Sanger Campaign in calling 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.”

Click here to take action to Strike Out Sanger. 

About Margaret Sanger

Among many other unsavory accomplishments, Sanger oversaw “The Negro Project,” a calculated strategy to exterminate African Americans using birth control & abortion. The following is a letter she wrote to friend and supporter Dr. C.J. Gamble in 1939: 

In one single typewritten letter, her entire strategy is revealed. Employ African American doctors to manipulate black patients into “choosing” their own population decimation. But, just to be safe, get black church leaders on the payroll as well to take care of anyone who catches on. “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population...” 

Read the full letter here.  

Click here to learn more about Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project.”  

In simpler terms: “birth control” to Margaret Sanger is not just using a condom when you do not want to get pregnant. It was strategically selling birth control to specific groups of people whom Sanger thought should not reproduce“human weeds, in her opinion.  

Things Have Not Changed 

Planned Parenthood is still following their “mission” of serving underserved communities… unfortunately, that means the abortion of their children. They are still following the goal of Margaret Sanger – ridding the world of human beings who never should have been born.

This is evident because abortion has always disproportionately affected minority communities. Almost 80% of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in minority neighborhoods. 88% of its new “mega facilities” are located within walking distance of minority neighborhoods. A few fast facts: 

  • Black women have the highest abortion rate by far (nearly half of pregnancies end in abortion in many places). 
  • The abortion ratio is 401 abortions per 1,000 live births. 
  • In some cities, like New York, more Black babies are aborted than born. 
  • In America today, a Black child is three times more likely to be killed in the womb than a white child. 
  • About 13% of American women are Black, but they submit to over 38% of the abortions. 
  • More African Americans have died from abortion than from AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined. 
  • Since 1973, abortion has reduced the Black population by over 25%. 

Three Important Points

    1. Planned Parenthood is a depraved organization – not because their founder was racist, but because they make their billions violently ending the lives of babies.  They don’t become good (or better, even) by disavowing Sanger.
    2. Planned Parenthood spends millions of dollars every year convincing communities of color that they’re a “friend.” A place to go in times of trouble. Planned Parenthood is no friend. They’re a monster in a pink disguise.
    3. Disavowing old quotes and the people who said them is virtue signaling.  Real change would be for Planned Parenthood to stop targeting minority communities and stop killing preborn babies by the millions.

Sanger’s “Legacy” 

Margaret Sanger’s eugenic efforts have continued to harm minority communities today. Her racist focus has been institutionalized in her organization Planned Parenthood that commits the most abortions in America. Today, groups have been destroying, pulling down, and defaming statues in a misguided effort to rectify past racist actions and current institutions. 

Her legacy is not justice, equality, or feminism; her legacy is hijacking those important principles to eradicate groups she deemed less than human. If destroying the monuments of people deemed to be racist is the “in” thing to do right now… the mob should turn an eye towards Sanger’s memorials.  

What Should We Do? 

The debate about whether or not to remove memorials of “controversial” figures is complex and nuanced. After all, even history’s most influential characters were still human and made mistakes. To erase all memory and knowledge of a historical figure, both the good and the bad, due to a transgression they committed in life doesn’t exactly make for an accurate history textbook. Choosing one’s favorite version of history to cut out the ugly parts more closely resembles the farcical propaganda pushed by tyrants in totalitarian states.  

But here’s what’s different about memorials to Margaret Sanger. She has key, foundational differences between someone like Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson is held in iffy historical regard because of his involvement with slavery, but the rational person’s regard of Thomas Jefferson isn’t Thomas Jefferson: Slaveholder. He’s important because he was the third U.S. President, doubled the size of the United States, and co-wrote the Declaration of Independence. Plaques on Jefferson memorials would do well to point out the good and the bad – and the same goes for everyone else important enough to memorialize.  

Margaret Sanger, however… didn’t do anything besides birth control and abortion. That is all she’s known for; founding Planned Parenthood. And from her writings and letters, we know those goals were motivated by a fervent desire to eradicate “lesser” human beings.  

So removing statues of critical players in history is poor strategy (who was it who said that if we forget history, we’re doomed to repeat it?). But what if the statue’s likeness did nothing to serve humanity and only worked to harm it? We don’t exactly see monuments to Aaron Burr (the man who killed Alexander Hamilton & plotted to seize half of America) or George Wallace (legislator in the 60s who ran on the platform “Segregation now, Segregation tomorrow, Segregation forever”) on the grounds of public parks or schools.  

An example on a smaller scale comes from 2018 when Mizzou Students for Life requested that the university’s library remove a poster honoring Sanger. After making their case and sending the school a letter, it was removed from its place (ironically) right between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. People should know the truth about history’s villains – without enshrining them next to civil rights victors.

Maybe if Sanger had done anything decent for humanity during her time on this earth, the conversation might be different. But knowing about her life’s work and what Planned Parenthood has done to millions of human beings – the call to stop enshrining her is a compelling one.

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.

Click here to help Strike Out Sanger! 

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