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Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, African Americans have taken a disproportionate blow to their population growth. Although today there are 34 million African Americans in the US, fourteen million unborn black American babies have been aborted since 1973, representing over one fourth of their potential population.1 Today, blacks account for 12.3% of the American population, but African American women receive 36% of the abortions and are three times more likely than white women to have an abortion.2 The sad fact is, more African American babies have been killed by abortion since 1973 than the total number of African American deaths from AIDS, violent crimes, accidents, cancer and heart disease combined.3
One key factor that has contributed to this tragedy is the lasting influence of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Sanger began the Negro Project in 1939 to promote birth control as a solution to the poverty and degradation experienced, at that time, by blacks in general. Sanger was a strong proponent of birth control for the unfit in society, who she believed should be discouraged from reproducing.4 Sanger sought to prevent the growth of certain segments of society, including blacks, through legislation or easy availability of sterilization and birth control. She recognized that these efforts might be seen as an attempt at racial genocide, and that the best approach must include recruiting and training African American doctors and ministers to help with the project. Margaret wrote in a letter to Clarence Gamble dated October 19, 1939:
The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want 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.5
She convinced black leaders that birth control and sterilization would improve the welfare of the Negro population, and she enlisted their help in a mission to reduce maternal and infant mortality through birth control (as opposed to better pre-natal and medical care).6 Thus began an undeniable effort to limit the growth of the African American population, irrespective of the intent.
Margaret Sanger’s legacy to society is represented and promoted today by Planned Parenthood. For years, pro-life leaders have insisted that Planned Parenthood has targeted African Americans for abortion by placing their abortion facilities in black communities. Two separate studies relying on Census 2000 statistics verify that this claim is indeed supported by the data. Randy Hall of CNSNews published results of the first study in a Feb. 7, 2005 article, Abortion Causing Black Genocide, Activists Say.7 Although Planned Parenthood does not provide a comprehensive list of its abortion facilities, Hall obtained the locations of 160 US Planned Parenthood abortion outlets from the website of Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP) International. Hall compared the percentage of African Americans in the cities where these facilities were located to the percentage of African Americans living in that particular state. The results showed that 62.5% of these Planned Parenthood facilities were located in cities having a higher black percentage than the state.
In a separate study, initiated by Life Issues Institute, a similar set of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities that existed in 2002-2003 was obtained from Life Dynamics, Inc., an investigative pro-life organization. This set included 151 Planned Parenthood abortion outlets and their locations in the United States. Using Census 2000 Summary File 1, each facility location was analyzed for the percentage of African American residents within one-, three- and five-mile radiuses of the facility, respectively. The percentages within the appropriate abortion facility radiuses were compared to the African American percentage of the city where the facility was located. This would determine if there was any indication that the facility was placed in a more predominantly black neighborhood. In addition, the radius and city percentages were compared to the state percentage to see if either of these was higher than the state overall. Using this set of criteria, 60% of the abortion facilities had surrounding black populations that were measurably higher than either the city or the state average. Significantly, 34% of the facilities had a black population more than 5 percentage points higher than the surrounding city or state. Considering that African Americans comprise only 12.3% of the national population, this is a notable variance.
One representative example is Des Moines, Iowa, where the overall state percentage of African Americans is 2.1%. Des Moines itself is 8.1% black. Within a one-mile radius of the abortion facility, the percentage of African Americans is 26.5%. Another case in point would be West Hartford, Connecticut, where the state percentage is 9.5%. West Hartford itself is lower, at 4.8%. Yet, within a five-mile radius of the abortion facility, the percentage of African American residents is 19.6%. A final example would be the city of Syracuse, New York, where the abortion facility’s three-mile radius shows a percentage of 25.8%, which is similar to the city percentage of 25.3%, but significantly higher than the state average of 15.9%.
These studies suggest a strategic intent behind Planned Parenthood’s placement of its abortion facilities. Not surprisingly, many of the facilities are placed in large metropolitan areas, where the percentage of African Americans tends to be higher. However, large city abortion outlets account for only about 25% of the 151 facilities in the second study. In California, for instance, there were a total of 40 Planned Parenthood abortion facilities listed. Of the 28 that were not located in large cities, 50% still showed appreciably higher percentages of African Americans surrounding the facilities than either the city or state average. This was also true in Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Washington and Utah, all of which had a larger number of their abortion facilities in smaller cities.
Planned Parenthood has made a concerted effort to distance itself from Margaret Sanger and her eugenics-motivated international birth control movement. Her slogans included, More children from the fit, less from the unfit – that is the chief aim of birth control,8 and Birth Control: to create a race of thoroughbreds.9 From its inception, the birth control movement was a mechanism used by the social elitists to control the population growth of the lower echelons of society.10 Although birth control today is used as a lifestyle choice rather than primarily a eugenics tool, Planned Parenthood still follows the legacy of Margaret Sanger in the changing of societal views about birth control and abortion. Sanger successfully promoted the idea that it was desirable to prevent the births of those unwanted by society, a scheme with ramifications that have expanded into the acceptance of abortion. Planned Parenthoods financial benefit from this societal shift amounted to $273,000,000 in net profits for the last five fiscal years. During the same time period, they received $1.06 billion in government grants and contracts.11 It’s clear that the strategic placement of their abortion facilities matches their financial incentive to make abortions highly accessible to the women in this targeted population.
This deadly trend begun by Margaret Sanger, and advanced by the abortion industry, must be reversed. We can begin the process by educating the African American community about the devastation this path continues to wreak upon the black population. As of the 2000 Census, African Americans are no longer the largest minority in the US.12 Without a concerted effort, this course is not likely to change anytime soon. The time has come to change hearts and minds so that African American women and their unborn babies will be spared the tragedy of abortion. Our nations future depends upon it.
1 US Census Bureau; 2000 Census
2 US Center for Disease Control Abortion Surveillance Report 11/26/04 Accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
3 Based on cumulative statistics provided by the US Center for Disease Control; Accessed at: http://blackgenocide.org/
4 Tanya L. Green, The Negro Project: Margaret Sangers EUGENIC Plan for Black Americans, Life Education And Resource Network (LEARN); p. 2. Accessed at: http://
5 Linda Gordon, Womans Body, Womans Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, (New York, Grossman Publishers) 1976; p. 333.
6 Tanya L. Green, The Negro Project: Margaret Sangers EUGENIC Plan for Black Americans, Life Education And Resource Network (LEARN); pp 3-5. Accessed at: http://
7 Randy Hall, Abortion Causing Black Genocide, Activists Say, CNSNews, Feb. 7, 2005. Accessed at: http://www.cns
8 Margaret Sanger, Birth Control Review, May 1919 (Vol. III, no. 5); p. 12.
9 Ibid., November 1921 (Vol. V, no. 11); p. 2.
10 Elasah Drogin, Margaret Sanger, Father of Modern Society, (CUL Publications) 1989; pp. 12-13.
11 PPFA Annual Reports 1998/99 – 2002/2003. Accessed at: http://www.all.org/stopp/04tbacpa.htm
12 US Census Bureau; 2000 Census
Susan W. Enouen, P.E., is currently a homemaker and volunteer with a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Ohio State University. Her professional experience includes work in data analysis and research for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dupont, and Battelle Memorial Institute. She and her husband, Robert, live in Cincinnati, Ohio, with their three children.