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Planned Parenthood to remove Margaret Sanger’s name from center over ‘racist legacy’

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Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) announced Tuesday that it will remove the name of Margaret Sanger, who founded the national organization, because of her racist legacy and her connections to the eugenics movement. 

Planned Parenthood’s Manhattan Margaret Sanger Health Center will be renamed, and city officials are working to rename the nearby Margaret Sanger Square. The organization said the new name would be announced soon.

Sanger, who was a nurse, established the first birth control clinic in the U.S., which would eventually become the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. 

PPGNY said the decision came out of “a public commitment to reckon with its founder’s harmful connections to the eugenics movement.”

Eugenics is a discredited, racist theory that states the human race can be “improved” through selective breeding of those with “desirable” traits. The theory often targeted poor people, people of color, those with disabilities and other marginalized groups. 

The organization said in a statement that the renaming of the building was an “overdue step” to acknowledge the legacy of Planned Parenthood’s harm to communities of color. 

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