House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will receive Planned Parenthood’s highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award, on Thursday night –and pro-lifers are up in arms.
Several pro-life groups contend the name of the award is synonymous with “eugenics.”
“Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, sought the elimination of ‘human weeds’ and those ‘unfit’ to ‘breed,’ including African-Americans and the disabled,” Live Action president Lila Rose said Thursday. “Those who receive Planned Parenthood’s highest award, which bears her name, out themselves as foot soldiers in the same unjust and violent movement.”
“Nancy Pelosi is really receiving the ‘Eugenics Award’ — the Margaret Sanger Award is a euphemism for exactly this,” she added.
Planned Parenthood announced Nancy Pelosi as the recipient of its highest honor, to recognize Pelosi’s contributions to the pro-choice movement, earlier this year.
“On behalf of Planned Parenthood and the millions of patients we serve each year, it gives me great pleasure to announce that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will receive the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Margaret Sanger Award, our highest recognition of leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement,” Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said.
Pro-life groups are pointing out, however, that Sanger was a eugenicist, penning papers with titles like “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” which advocated for birth control as a means to sustain eugenics.
“Eugenics without Birth Control seems to us a house builded upon the sands. It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit. It cannot stand against the furious winds of economic pressure which have buffeted into partial or total helplessness a tremendous proportion of the human race. Only upon a free, self-determining motherhood can rest any unshakable structure of racial betterment,” Sanger wrote.
Past award winners have included Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Alan Guttmacher, MD, Katharine Hepburn, Bella Abzug, Justice Harry Blackmun, Dolores Huerta, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Anthony Romero and Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer
In an op-ed for The Daily Caller Thursday, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List stressed the inappropriateness of the name of the award and the beliefs of the organization’s founder.
“While Planned Parenthood tries to gloss over Sanger’s involvement in the eugenics movement, facts are very stubborn things,” she wrote. “Sanger was an ardent and outspoken advocate of the movement and all that it entailed – including the segregation and forced sterilization of those she deemed ‘unfit.’”
On Thursday afternoon, pro-lifers staged a “Tweet Fest” to highlight Sanger’s beliefs.
— Kristan Hawkins (@KristanHawkins) March 27, 2014
— Students for Life (@Students4LifeHQ) March 27, 2014
— Life Dynamics (@ProlifeAmerica) March 27, 2014
— Rock For Life (@rockforlife) March 27, 2014
— Life Dynamics, Inc. (@LifeDynamicsInc) March 27, 2014
Planned Parenthood has been giving out the award since 1966.