Pro-Life students are celebrating after the University of Missouri library removed a poster of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. The Pro-Life student group, Mizzou Students for Life, petitioned the library to remove the poster, which featured a picture of Sanger, who founded the American Birth Control League that later became Planned Parenthood. The image hung between posters of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Macolm X near the library check-out counter.
Sanger was a well-documented eugenicist who viewed birth control as a means of eliminating “human weeds.” Her ideology aligned her with Nazis and the KKK. In her autobiography, Sanger recalled speaking at a KKK meeting, writing, “In the end, through simple illustrations (explaining the problems with inferior races), I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered.” In an essay defending her birth control clinics, Sanger wrote that the purpose was to “breed out of the race the scourges of transmissible disease, mental defect, poverty, lawlessness, and crime since these classes (e.g. blacks) would be decreasing in number instead of breeding like weeds.” Sanger’s views are so objectionable and well-documented that even Planned Parenthood, which continues to champion her cause, recently held an event discussing her racism.
Based on the blatant examples of Sanger’s racist and eugenicist views, Mizzou Students for Life sent a letter to the library on February 27 requesting the removal of Sanger’s image. The library responded that the poster would be removed at the “next review,” most likely at the end of the semester, but days later the poster was taken down.
Following the removal of the poster, Mizzou Students for Life President Kristen Wood issued a statement:
We applaud the library for removing the poster and no longer celebrating Margaret Sanger and her eugenicist views. At the same time, we have told the library we expect they will never put the poster back up again, and if they do we will continue with our petitions and public pressure. The university should never be celebrating and promoting someone who publicly opposed people in poverty and racial minorities from having children, and someone who supported putting people on birth control to prevent them from having children.
As public attention grew, the library backtracked and tried to claim that the poster was removed not because of the Pro-Life student group’s complaint but simply because the poster was old. Shannon Cary, a spokeswoman for the library, told the Columbia Tribune, “They [the posters]had been there forever, they are old, and it was just to change things up.”
“I think they are saying that to save face,” Wood said about the explanation. “Just coincidentally they happened to take it down a day or two after we said that we would start the petition.” Whatever the reason for the library’s removal of the image of Planned Parenthood’s founder, the media attention is an opportunity to educate. As Ceci Haberdash of Mizzou Students for Life stated:
While we wanted the picture off the library walls, the real end goal for us was education. If the picture comes down then it opens a conversation about her racist, eugenic views and if we would’ve had to educate the entire student body before the picture came down then we were fully prepared to do so. People deserve to know the truth.
Many Pro-Life groups have led similar efforts to remove Sanger’s image from public places of honor. Last fall, Texas Right to Life petitioned the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to remove Sanger’s portrait. As we wrote at the time:
Amid the movement to remove Confederate monuments from public display, we must not overlook any memorials of Margaret Sanger who began an organization and movement that has decimated the African American community. Planned Parenthood has killed more black lives than any other organization in our nation’s history.
Texas Right to Life applauds Mizzou Students for Life for their efforts to bring public awareness to the ugly truth about Planned Parenthood’s founder. The racist past of America’s largest abortion business continues in the present day. Planned Parenthood is a tax-payer funded organization that ends the lives of more than 320,000 preborn babies every year, and the majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are in minority communities. Every American deserves to know the truth.