Social media users are sharing an altered image of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger with Ku Klux Klan members. Sanger was edited into this photograph but was recorded as once having given a speech at a women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey.
The text in the image reads: “The woman in this photograph is Margaret Sanger Founder of Planned Parenthood, meeting with the Ku Klux Klan in 1926, Silver Lake, New Jersey. A strong advocate of Eugenics, Sanger preached mass extinction of ‘inferior races’ by ‘mass abortions’”.
A reverse Google Images search of the photograph reveals the original available on Getty Images (here ) with the caption: “UNITED STATES - JULY 03: Ceremony Of Initiation Of The Ku Klux Klan In 1946. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)”.
The original image shows a large cross on the platform, not Sanger.
The feminist and reproductive rights activist opened the first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in 1916, giving access to low-income and minority women (here).
However, Sander was also vocal about her support for eugenics, a now-discredited practice of selective breeding with specific characteristics, historically used to further racist ideologies.
In July 2020, a New York clinic moved to remove Sanger’s name from a health center over her views on eugenics, as seen in a statement by Planned Parenthood (here).
“Margaret Sanger’s concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy,” said Karen Seltzer, Board Chair at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York in the statement.
While there is no evidence that Sanger was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, she did speak at a women’s branch of the group at Silver Lake, New Jersey (date unclear), as documented in books describing her 1938 autobiography (here), (here).
Sanger wrote: “Always to me any aroused group was a good group, and therefore I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey, one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.”
Altered. The photograph has been edited to include Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. However, she did give a speech at a women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey.
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