Despite its history of pioneering widespread abortions in black communities, Planned Parenthood joined the #BlackLivesMatter Twitter protest Monday afternoon, tweeting, “We are joining #Ferguson organizers and protesters in DC today — standing in solidarity with you! #HandsUpWalkOut #BlackLivesMatter”
The movement is part of the ongoing response to a grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American who was shot and killed by the police officer in August. Some have said that the failure to indict is evidence that black people in the United States don’t merit the same legal protections that white people do, and have taken to Twitter to express their outrage.
Now Planned Parenthood has joined the fray with this cruelly ironic tweet. In New York City in 2012, more abortions were performed on black women than black children were born.
Planned Parenthood has a long history of reaching out to the black community to “increase coverage,” stretching back to the days of its founder, eugenicist Margaret Sanger.
“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities,” she wrote in 1922. “The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
In addition to outreach initiatives for blacks and Latinos, Planned Parenthood also maintains a “clergy advocacy board” to this day.
According to a 2008 study from the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, only 36% of abortions are performed on non-Hispanic white women. “While no group made up the majority of abortion patients,” it said, “black and Hispanic women were overrepresented.”
According to pro-life group Protecting Black Life, 79% of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are “within walking distance of African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.”
Live Action, a pro-life investigative group, documented Planned Parenthood accepting donations with the specific intent of targeting minority populations multiple times in 2010, getting staffers on tape saying it was “understandable” that a donor thought “the less black kids out there, the better.”
Civil rights activist and Christian pastor Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr’s niece, has called Planned Parenthood “the most obvious practitioner of racism in the United States.”