WINDSOR TERRACE — A coalition of Black leaders across the U.S. say Planned Parenthood contradicts itself by voicing support for the Black Lives Matter movement while making abortions widely available in African American communities.
Human Coalition, based in Frisco, Texas, recently wrote to Planned Parenthood, challenging it to disown its founder, Margaret Sanger. The coalition accused Sanger of racism by promoting eugenics to control African American populations in the early-to-mid 1900s. Eugenics is a practice of promoting the genetic quality of a population by excluding people or groups considered inferior.
Alecia Jones, chief executive director of New Beginnings Center of Hope in Jamaica, Queens, did not sign the letter, but she applauded the effort.
“I can understand why a letter like this needed to be presented to Planned Parenthood when you consider they have offices in all the five boroughs,” Jones said. “It is very clear that I hold life precious, and I would make a statement that all life needs to be valued by everyone.
“Unfortunately, in New York City, it seems like we’re just having an uphill battle with that.”
The Human Coalition’s letter was sent Sept. 1 to Alexis McGill-Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s acting president. She wrote a statement on May 29 supporting Black Lives Matter after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. In it, she stated, “We must demand an end to the inequity that continues to define every moment of life for Black America.”
“But, Ms. Johnson,” the coalition responded in its letter, “will you confront the iniquity that your abortion practices perpetrate against Black lives? Will you fight the racism that targets Black lives in the womb?”
The coalition claimed that “the impact of abortion on Black communities is unequal and disproportionate. Despite constituting only 13 percent of the female population, Black women represent 36 percent of all abortions, and Black women are five times more likely than white women to receive an abortion.” Data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute back that statement.
Sanger’s legacy with Planned Parenthood is not unnoticed within the organization. In June, employees at its New York affiliate rallied for the ouster of then CEO Laura McQuade. They said she ignored “systemic racism” complaints against the organization.
“Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist, white woman,” the upset employees wrote. The affiliate fired McQuade in late June.
According to the coalition’s letter, “Margaret Sanger wanted to use abortion and contraception to cull minority populations. When Black employees of Planned Parenthood of New York called for the removal of Laura McQuade as president and CEO, they raised awareness about the toxic culture and systemic racism within the organization, including pay inequity and racial inequities among patients.
“This is no surprise considering the organization’s founding beliefs about minority and vulnerable populations.”
The Human Coalition’s letter had signatures from clergy, politicians, and pro-life activists, including Alveda King, a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives, and niece to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
All signing were Curtis Hill, the Indiana attorney general, and former NFL tight end Benjamin Watson. This outspoken pro-life activist played for several teams, including the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots.
Jones said that while she applauds the coalition’s letter, she prefers not to engage in public abortion debates.
She said she focuses on helping the women and girls who come to New Beginnings Center of Hope for information. The organization provides services that are alternatives to abortions.
“My center is a safe place for women,” Jones said. “I try not to be an activist so that women won’t feel intimidated to come to my center. My primary mission is to reach women.”
“There are many reasons why women choose abortion, and it’s not primarily ‘Oh, I have a right to do this, and I’m just going to do it.’”
“If you sit with these women, you see it’s an agonizing process,” Jones added. “But Jesus never condemned people who were hurting. And that’s why I have to make a safe place for women. I don’t want to shame them or judge them. I want to love them like the Lord loves me.”