FLINT, Michigan, March 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A billboard company has refused to erect an advertisement funded by a local right to life group that would have showcased the eugenicist beliefs of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.
According to a report by local news service NBC25, the advertisement featured a photograph of Margaret Sanger next to the quotation, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” and directs viewers to blackgenocide.org. However, while declining to give a specific reason, the owners of the billboard indicated that the message was too offensive to advertise.
“We evaluate each billboard on a case by case basis. It’s difficult to explain the nuances and context of a message on such a small space. It is not our goal to offend people where we also work and live,” CBS Outdoor told the news service.
Judy Climer of Flint Area Right to Life argued there was nothing offensive about the historically accurate quotation, taken from Sanger’s December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble.
“If you read her biography, she was very much tied to the Ku Klux Klan, to the Nazis, to Hitler. She very much wanted thoroughbreds,” Climer told NBC25. That’s the word she used, thoroughbreds, and the way to make that happen was to eliminate minorities. She called them weeds in the garden of life.”
The local Planned Parenthood affiliate responded that Sanger was, in the words of NBC25 reporter Dan Armstrong, “a product of her time and embraced some ideas that are not considered popular today,” but nonetheless attacked the quotation as misleading.
Desiree Cooper, director of communications and media relations for Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan, called the ad “insulting” and said that in the quotation Sanger meant that she didn’t want the idea to spread that birth control was being used to wiped out entire races. “Margaret Sanger was totally in favor of individuals, women, having the information and the access to family planning in order to decide what is best for their families,” she said.
A Planned Parenthood biography of Sanger accused pro-life advocates of “intentionally confusing [Sanger’s] views on ‘fitness’ with eugenics.” Sanger was an advocate of preventing “unfit” persons from breeding as a means of improving the quality of the human race.
Last month, a large billboard in the Bronx stating that “the most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb” was taken down within two days after causing an uproar.