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“Framing access to reproductive health care and bodily autonomy as eugenics exposes a fundamental misunderstanding of the racialized gender oppression on which antiabortionists stand. The truth is, the anti-abortion movement was born out of racist and xenophobic concerns about the falling white birth rate—echoes of which you will hear in today’s white supremacist rhetoric.”
— Alexis McGill Johnson, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
This quotation came from the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. Someone had written a piece criticizing Planned Parenthood. Not surprisingly, the president of the organization decided to respond by attacking the pro-life community with an outrageous accusation. Not only are her comments about the pro-life movement untrue, but she completely mischaracterizes the common understanding of eugenics.
To help clarify the record, here are some descriptions of Margaret Sanger’s eugenics work:
Sanger shaped the eugenics movement in America and beyond in the 1930s and 1940s. Her views and those of her peers in the movement contributed to compulsory sterilization laws in 30 U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including people she considered ‘feeble-minded,’ ‘idiots’ and ‘morons.’
Or, from her writings:
The main objects of the Population Congress would be to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring[;] to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.
Clearly, Ms. Johnson is “misinformed” about the pro-life movement.