I recently noticed Planned Parenthood’s Twitter bio, proudly claiming they are “America’s most trusted provider of sexual and reproductive health care education, and we think we look pretty good for over 100 years old.” While we’re all aware that Planned Parenthood’s operations are definitively NOT healthcare or education, their boast about a century-long history is particularly audacious. Most of us are familiar with Planned Parenthood’s deeply problematic and racist origins, but their self-assessment glosses over a century filled with morally reprehensible actions. So, let’s take a moment to truly unpack what this 100-year legacy entails.

Planned Parenthood’s origins trace back to 1916, when its founder, Margaret Sanger, opened the first clinic—a venture that was quickly shut down for violating federal law. This didn’t deter Sanger, who went on to establish the American Birth Control League in 1921, which eventually morphed into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942, a rebrand to try and hide their agenda.

However, Sanger’s eugenic philosophy was far from a secret. She associated with figures like Ernst Rudin, Hitler’s director of genetic sterilization, and even spoke to a women’s auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan in 1926. Her infamous 1957 interview revealed her belief that the greatest sin was bringing children into the world, yet she could not denounce infidelity as a sin—a stark display of her warped moral compass.

After decades of taking advantage of women and engaging in the world’s largest genocide of the unborn, in 2015, you may remember that Planned Parenthood was implicated in negotiating prices for fetal tissues from abortions, only stopping their acceptance of payments after intense public backlash—yet the underlying ethical violations remain unaddressed.

Planned Parenthood’s boast of a century that looks “pretty good” is not only misleading but deeply offensive. It’s a whitewashing of a history rife with racism, eugenics, and the commodification of human life. As they reference their own legacy, it’s critical that we counter this narrative with the truth, exposing the real legacy of Planned Parenthood—a legacy that continues to undermine the dignity and worth of human life.

It’s important for us to remember and communicate these truths, especially as Planned Parenthood attempts to repaint its historical narrative. Our commitment remains strong: to challenge these distortions and advocate for the dignity and protection of human life.

paige morris

Paige Morris
Director of Communications, Frontline Policy