More billboard controversy: Michigan pro-life group, Flint Area Right to Life, was denied by billboard owner CBS Outdoor in their attempt to put up a billboard with an alleged quote from Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger reading: "We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population." Flint Area Right to Life Director and pseudo-historian, Judy Climer, explained:

"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. 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. Those are her words. It's an accurate historic quote."

For the record, she also didn't care for puppies and rainbows.

Planned Parenthood shot back saying that the charges leveled against Ms. Sanger by these anti-choice groups are based on taking words out of context, though they admitted she had subscribed to some ideas that are considered unsavory today.

Sanger was a nurse known for her promotion of birth control, and actually set up the first birth-control clinic in the U.S. in 1916, for which she ended up serving thirty days in prison. She also opened a family-planning clinic in Harlem in 1930, and was supported by the African-American community. Planned Parenthood was set up in 1942.

The point here is, whether their accusations are libelous or not, these kinds of organizations will employ a scary range of tactics to advance their agenda. And they lose more credibility by using an apocryphal quote to inflame emotion. Kudos to CBS Outdoor for not dealing with that noxious garbage.

Commentarium (22 Comments)

Mar 09 11 - 12:23pm

Whatever the founder believed, planned parenthood is doing important work now, and that's what matters.

Mar 09 11 - 1:10pm

For real.

Mar 09 11 - 12:55pm

The founders of the United States owned slaves. Does this mean that, to be an American today, you must support slavery?

Sanger believed a lot of things, some of them stupid. But it is true that, generally, people are better parents when they enter parenthood intentionally, as an active decision rather than just "I'm straight and horny, so..."

Mar 10 11 - 12:49am

No, Judah, I believe that they were flawed sinful men. Your point?

Mar 09 11 - 12:55pm

Sanger is getting pretty much what she wanted - the percentage of minority babies aborted far outweighs their proportional representation in the population. It's a holocaust that isn't yet recognized.

And I'm laughing that the author repeats PP contention that the pro-life group's campaign is "based on a twisting of words, and taking them out of context." I'm willing to cut her slack for the use of "negro," that being the lexicon of the time but racism is racism.

Or how about:
"As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the "unfit" and the "fit", admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective."

Any guess who she thought were the "inferior classes?"

Smarten up, nerve readers. Murder is murder.

Mar 09 11 - 1:44pm

If you don't like abortion, don't have one.

Mar 10 11 - 12:48am

Do you feel the same way about murder?

Mar 09 11 - 1:35pm


Mar 09 11 - 2:47pm

i don't think we as a nation are not having enough abortions. America is getting over run with dumb people having dumb babies. Why do stupid people feel the need to have kids. Christians love the whole abortion is murder, but the death penalty is justice.

Mar 10 11 - 12:53am

I can explain the "Christian" reasoning for you: The death penalty isn't handed out to innocent people. Abortion is, by definition, killing a being who is quintessentially innocent.
Liberals have no sense of logic.

Mar 10 11 - 11:02am

I've never understood how staunch Republicans defend gun use but condemn abortions. Hypocrosy is everywhere. Maybe hand guns are necessary, but explain to me how AK-47s kill children and other innocents daily in Mexico, and don't deny the guns don't come from America in the very lax and greedy business of selling weapons. Theres no reason for the incredible amount of heavy artillery to be produced, much less let it be easily accesible.

Maybe there could be more (sensible) restrictions to abortion, but women need to have another method other than wire hangers, herbal teas and pills for ulcers to terminate something they cannot go through.

Sadly, racism was, is, and will be part of American history. Rascists would get to have children but not minorities? Pure ignorance.

Aug 08 11 - 12:22am
The Voice of Reason

I thought the Christian Right's stance/Republican stance on the issue was being "pro-life" if you want to be consistent in your reasoning then you as a Christian/Republican would be "pro-life" all the way down the line; which would include the stances of Anti-war, anti-abortion, anti-death penalty... or any stance that promotes life. But then again Republicans don't care about being consistent in their arguments, so its you SheIsAwesome that has "no sense of logic" or consistency with your Pro-life stance.

Mar 09 11 - 5:43pm

She was racist. Abortion in America has some really uncomfortable ties to eliminating minorities. You can still support legal abortion and admit this.

Mar 09 11 - 10:17pm

This is hardly a "scary" tactic.

Mar 10 11 - 1:03am

Since when do anti-choice protesters give a crap about minorities...

Aug 10 11 - 8:06pm

Since when to people protest the making of decisions? Has there ever been a group that gathered in front of the White House, demanding an end to choosing things?

Mar 10 11 - 1:37pm
Blah Blah

Only the left gets to use post-modern tactics.

Apr 13 11 - 7:40am

Wow! Great tihknnig! JK

Apr 13 11 - 12:42pm

That's way more clever than I was epxctieng. Thanks!

Jul 15 11 - 1:53pm

A quote is not libelous. And the fact is the quote exposes the "scary" agenda behind PP's founder. RTL "agenda" is to educate women of fetal development and expose PP of it's roots in racism and
eugenics . It's a shame they have people like yourself hoodwinked. You've bought their lies hook, line and sinker. You're defending an organization with its roots deeply entrenched in hate and deceit. It's an industry built on blood money, the murder of millions of children, and the broken lives of women.

Aug 08 11 - 12:33pm

Is that what Sanger really meant, or was she merely saying that she didn't want to give people that IMPRESSION?

Aug 10 11 - 8:09pm

Really? They have to bring up Sanger's racism? I mean, true, that was really messed up, but isn't it enough that abortion kills humans? You shouldn't need to tie it to racism to make it sound worse. What the Hell does it say about our commitment to human rights as a society when we can't get behind something on the basis that it is protecting the most underprivileged from death?