I read Mr. Gaines’s letter to you with a sense of incredulity. I am a former board chair and current board treasurer of Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, the local affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation.
While I am not going to defend Margaret Sanger’s early writings, in her later life she worked with, for example, W.E.B. DuBois in an effort to bring birth control methods to African Americans living in the south. Also working on this project were Mary McLeod Bethune and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
In 1966, Planned Parenthood Federation gave Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. its highest award, the Margaret Sanger Award. In accepting this award on behalf of her husband, Coretta Scott King stated “There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts…Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by non-violent action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her.”