Senate Democrats: ‘Country Is Healthier Because of Planned Parenthood’

Bust of Sanger National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery

Senate Democrats have introduced a resolution to recognize the centennial anniversary of Planned Parenthood and to promote its continuance in the country for years to come.

The resolution, led by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, is co-sponsored by 18 other Senate Democrats and “affirms that Planned Parenthood remains an essential thread in the fabric of society, and it will be key in the next century to assisting millions of women, men and young people in accessing the healthcare they need and deserve, no matter who they are or where they live.”

The senators praise eugenicist Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and summarize the organization’s beginnings:

Whereas on October 16, 1916, Margaret Sanger, her sister Ethel Byrne, and their activist friend Fania Mindell opened the first birth control health clinic in the United States in Brooklyn, New York, a groundbreaking and revolutionary act for women at that time;

Whereas their clinic was founded on the idea that women should have the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives and fulfill their dreams;

Whereas Margaret Sanger in 1922 incorporated the American Birth Control League and in 1923 opened the first legal birth control center in the United States, the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, two organizations that would later merge to become Planned Parenthood Federation of America;

Whereas leading up to 1916, the two most common causes of death for women of childbearing age in the United States were tuberculosis and complications from pregnancy and childbirth…

In August of 2015, a national coalition of black pastors and pro-life leaders called for the removal of the bust of Margaret Sanger from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) due to Sanger’s support of black eugenics. In a letter to Kim Sajet, director of the NPG, Ministers Taking a Stand, led by president Bishop E.W. Jackson, wrote:

Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies; an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as “the feeble minded;” speaking at rallies of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers. Also, the notorious “Negro Project” which sought to limit, if not eliminate, black births, was her brainchild. Despite these well-documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice. The obvious incongruity is staggering!

“From Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, this country is healthier because of Planned Parenthood,” Wyden said in a press release. “My Democratic colleagues and I are going to keep working to make sure this bedrock health provider can keep serving people for the next 100 years.”

Planned Parenthood has been under congressional investigation for the past year since an undercover investigation exposed the group’s alleged practices of selling the body parts of aborted babies for profit and altering the position of babies during abortion in order to maximize the harvesting of intact organs.

The press release notes that Planned Parenthood “is also the largest sex education provider in America, offering informational programs to 1.5 million people in schools and community centers across the country.”

The resolution’s cosponsors include: Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA); Richard Blumenthal (D-CT); Sherrod Brown (D-OH); Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); Mazie Hirono (D-HI); Al Franken (D-MN) Michael Bennett (D-CO); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Cory Booker (D-NJ); Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Dick Durbin (D-IL); Maria Cantwell (D-WA); and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).


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