WASHINGTON, D.C., November 4, 2011 ( – Several mainstream media “fact checkers” piled on to GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain after the latter reaffirmed his statements condemning Planned Parenthood’s eugenic roots. They downplayed founder Margaret Sanger’s eugenicist philosophy and accused Cain of a “pants on fire” lie.


In what became one of the highest-profile attacks on the group’s eugenic history in recent memory, Cain, who now leads the pack of GOP candidates in several polls, stood by his comments calling the birth control and abortion giant “Planned Genocide” for targeting the black community.

“When Margaret Sanger – check my history – started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world,” Cain said during a talk in Washington, D.C., at the Heritage Foundation this Spring. More recently, Cain clarified on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Oct 30 that, “[in] Margaret Sanger’s own words, she didn’t use the word “genocide,” but she did talk about preventing the increasing number of poor blacks in this country by preventing black babies from being born.” (See incredible interview of Sanger by Mike Wallace on 1957 60 minutes program – link at bottom of article)

Because Sanger herself opposed abortion as a form of birth control, the assertion that her early organization promoted abortions in African-American communities is incorrect. However, the Planned Parenthood matriarch was a prominent eugenicist, a philosophy hinging upon the belief that inferior bloodlines – such as those belonging to blacks or indigent communities – must be cleansed from humanity to create a superior race. It was according to the goal of population cleansing – one shared by contemporary Adolf Hitler – that Sanger overtly advocated birth control, including the “Negro project,” which concentrated birth control availability in African-American communities. (Click here for more information on the racist history of population control.)

In criticizing Cain’s comments, the Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler correctly notes that Sanger’s famous comment about “exterminating” the black population is often taken out of context. However, he goes on to note that Sanger advocated birth control to produce a race of “thoroughbreds” – while excusing her role in the movement by noting that eugenics “enjoyed wide acceptance in the early 20th century” by other leaders and was “less controversial” at the time.

Another fact checker, Lori Robertson of, claimed to have found “no support” for the notion that Sanger “wanted to prevent ‘black babies from being born’” or “tried to reduce the black population.” Lower on the same page, Robertson notes that Sanger was “tied” to the eugenics movement with a goal “to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.”


A Politifact article similarly conceded that “Sanger welcomed some of the [eugenics] movement’s more notorious leaders onto the board of a predecessor to Planned Parenthood,” but held there was “no evidence” that Sanger considered blacks genetically inferior, and dismissed the “Negro project” to bring birth control to blacks as “a public health project.”

Today, Planned Parenthood concedes that “Margaret Sanger made statements some 80 years ago that were wrong then and are wrong now,” but claims no longer to follow a racist agenda. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a former research arm of Planned Parenthood with major financial ties to the group, claimed in a recent report to debunk the claim that abortion clinics are concentrated in black communities, claiming only 9 percent are located in minority areas. 

But critics of Planned Parenthood have pointed out that the Guttmacher report arbitrarily excluded abortion clinics that committed fewer than 400 abortions per year: numbers that, when included, show a different story. A survey based on Census data published by Life Dynamics president Mark Crutcher in September found a majority of Planned Parenthood clinics located in disproportionately minority neighborhoods. In addition, Crutcher noted that of the 116 ZIP codes found to have more than one population control facility, 84 were disproportionately black and/or Hispanic.

Michael New, a political scientist and assistant professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, said that excluding the smaller abortion clinics was a simple way to cover up a trend. “If you draw the circle somewhat narrowly, sometimes it looks as if it’s not a high minority area. If you draw that circle a little more broadly you do find a concentration of minorities,” New told

See incredible interview with Sanger by Mike Wallace on 1957 60 minutes program (link at bottom of linked LSN article)