Skip to comments.Fact Check: Was Planned Parenthood Started To 'Control' The Black Population? (NPR)
Posted on 08/15/2015 7:56:52 AM PDT by Drango
Ben Carson alleged in an interview with Fox News Wednesday that Planned Parenthood puts most of its clinics in black neighborhoods to "control the population" and that its founder, Margaret Sanger, "was not particularly enamored with black people."
Planned Parenthood has been a target on the campaign trail after a series of sting videos was released alleging the organization illegally profits from selling aborted fetal tissue. Carson, a famed neurosurgeon turned Republican presidential candidate, has been a vocal opponent of the group. He was also in the news this week after reports surfaced that he once used aborted fetal tissue for research.
Here's a closer look at Carson's comments:
What Carson said
On Fox News Wednesday, Carson was asked about Democrats' criticism that Republicans who want to defund Planned Parenthood are waging a "war on women." He responded:
"Maybe I am not objective when it comes to Planned Parenthood, but, you know, I know who Margaret Sanger is, and I know that she believed in eugenics, and that she was not particularly enamored with black people.
"And one of the reasons you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods is so that you can find a way to control that population. I think people should go back and read about Margaret Sanger who founded this place a woman Hillary Clinton by the way says that she admires. Look and see what many people in Nazi Germany thought about her."
It's not the first time Planned Parenthood has faced criticism about its founder and the placement of its clinics former presidential candidate Herman Cain made a similar statement in 2011.
What Planned Parenthood said
In response, Planned Parenthood said Carson was not only "wrong on the facts, he's flat-out insulting." Alencia Johnson, assistant director of constituency communications, told NPR:
"Does he think that black women are somehow less capable of making the deeply personal decision about whether to end a pregnancy than other women? ... It's a shame that a doctor, who should understand the barriers black women face accessing high-quality preventive and reproductive health care services, would pander so clearly to anti-abortion extremists on the right."
Did Margaret Sanger believe in eugenics?
Yes, but not in the way Carson implied.
Eugenics was a discipline, championed by prominent scientists but now widely debunked, that promoted "good" breeding and aimed to prevent "poor" breeding. The idea was that the human race could be bettered through encouraging people with traits like intelligence, hard work, cleanliness (thought to be genetic) to reproduce. Eugenics was taken to its horrifying extreme during the Holocaust, through forced sterilizations and breeding experiments.
In the United States, eugenics intersected with the birth control movement in the 1920s, and Sanger reportedly spoke at eugenics conferences. She also talked about birth control being used to facilitate "the process of weeding out the unfit [and] of preventing the birth of defectives."
Historians seem to disagree on just how involved in the eugenics movement she was. Some contend her involvement was for political reasons to win support for birth control.
In reading her papers, it is clear Sanger had bought into the movement. She once wrote that "consequences of breeding from stock lacking human vitality always will give us social problems and perpetuate institutions of charity and crime."
"That Sanger was enamored and supported some eugenicists' ideas is certainly true," said Susan Reverby, a health care historian and professor at Wellesley College. But, Reverby added, Sanger's main argument was not eugenics it was that "Sanger thought people should have the children they wanted."
It was a radical idea for the time.
Sanger wrote about this mission herself in 1921: "The almost universal demand for practical education in Birth Control is one of the most hopeful signs that the masses themselves today possess the divine spark of regeneration."
Was Sanger "not particularly enamored with black people"?
Sanger's birth control movement did have support in black neighborhoods, beginning in the '20s when there were leagues in Harlem started by African-Americans. Sanger also worked closely with NAACP founder W.E.B. DuBois on a "Negro Project," which she viewed as a way to get safe contraception to African-Americans.
In 1946, Sanger wrote about the importance of giving "Negro" parents a choice in how many children they would have.
"The Negro race has reached a place in its history when every possible effort should be made to have every Negro child count as a valuable contribution to the future of America," she wrote. "Negro parents, like all parents, must create the next generation from strength, not from weakness; from health, not from despair."
Her attitude toward African-Americans can certainly be viewed as paternalistic, but there is no evidence she subscribed to the more racist ideas of the time or that she coerced black women into using birth control. In fact, for her time, as the Washington Post noted, "she would likely be considered to have advanced views on race relations."
Are most of Planned Parenthood's clinics in black neighborhoods?
In 2014, the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research center, surveyed all known abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood clinics, in the U.S. (nearly 2,000) and found that 60 percent are in majority-white neighborhoods.
Planned Parenthood has not released numbers on the neighborhoods of its specific clinics, but responding to a request for demographic information, the organization said that in 2013, 14 percent of its patients nationwide were black. That's nearly equal to the proportion of the African-American population in the U.S.
However, Carson is tapping into a more subtle sentiment the targeting of African-Americans in health care systems. There have been documented cases of that happening, including the now-infamous Tuskegee study. Starting in the 1930s, the Tuskegee Institute enrolled black sharecroppers in experiments and allowed them to suffer from syphilis untreated, though they were told they were getting treatment.
And, Wellesley's Reverby said, that was sometimes the case for birth control clinics historically, too. They may have been available in communities where more general health care was not, raising some ethical questions.
"One of the issues is ... what happens when you can find birth control clinics but you can't find primary care? It's just a question of what the state's willing to provide for," Reverby said. "Was there overuse of birth control and sterilization in poor communities in some states? Absolutely. It's a complicated story."
Did Sanger have a connection to Nazi Germany?
Not that NPR found. Sanger herself wrote in 1939 that she had joined the Anti-Nazi Committee "and gave money, my name and any influence I had with writers and others, to combat Hitler's rise to power in Germany."
She also said books of hers had been destroyed and that she had intellectual friends who were sent to concentration camps or put to death. Sanger did not have a connection to the Nazis, but a loose association comes through her involvement in the eugenics movement.
American and German eugenicists closely collaborated, and the Nazis reportedly borrowed much of their 1933 so-called sterilization law from American models. That law allowed the government to forcibly sterilize people with alleged genetic disorders.
But in their so called "Fact Check" they left out several quotes that would have informed the debate. This is a deliberate attempt by NPR to "frame" the issue and it's a breech of journalistic ethics to not report these quotes. Wouldn't want the audience to see the real Margaret Sanger.
"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," she said, Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon
"I accepted an invitation to talk to the women's branch of the Ku Klux Klan...I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses...I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak...In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered." (Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, P.366)
NPR providing cover for the hive.
The government should not be in the news business. Defund NPR.
NPR Ethics Handbook
We do our best to report thoroughly and tell stories comprehensively. We wont always have enough time or space in one story to say everything we would like or quote everyone we would wish to include. But errors of omission and partial truths can inflict great damage on our credibility, and stories delivered without the context to fully understand them are incomplete...
If Carson is right, who gets sued out of existence, Planned Parenthood? The United States?? Both???
Reparations? What happens here?
But, Reverby added, Sanger’s main argument was not eugenics it was that “Sanger thought people should have the children they wanted.”
NPR trying to obfuscate for the eugenist Margaret Sanger and their practice. Too easy to look up to see otherwise.
More journalistic misdirection/malpractice/lies. Carson is already on the record saying these allegations are false. The left sure is comfortable speaking in the devil's tongue.
NPR has provided a significant opportunity to Carson...blow it up, Dr. C.
Of course....they won’t apologize for doing “good journalism”, will they?
I'm almost tempted to enter the arena on this myself; but will hold back for now.
Sanger wrote about wanting to get rid of the negro, so I don’t know how NPR tries to cover this up.
Granted NPR is government and they love abortions and that could be it.
I hope Ben Carson keeps mentioning this because this is making some of those liberal cockroaches nervous.
I think NPR attacks Dr. Carson at their own risk, he is not the first black person I’ve ever heard make this charge.
The very fact that NPR is addressing (lying) this issue is proof enough that the facts of PP and black genocide are too big to ignore.
NPR can spin this all they want. But PP is a racist organization.
60% of PP are located in White neighborhood?
So why are there a disproportionate number, 40%, located in black neiborhoods?
OMG!!! Next, NPR will defend Hitler!
“IF” Carson is right?
Do some homework. I’d start here:
Sanger made it CLEAR she considered the black race to be inferior, like weeds, laid out a plan to co-opt black pastors to give cover to her organization, and to kill as many unborn black babies as possible.
NPR is simply doing what Mooch-hell Obeyme said about “we’re going to have to change our history” just a few years back. It’s called “revisionism” and it’s what the left does best with history.
We are NPR, you will be BORED!
Margaret Sanger is to blacks what Hitler was to Jews. It’s taken several decades LONGER but her methods have been nearly ten times as effective.
Hitler credited Sanger as the inspiration for his Eugenics program.
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