October 14, 2015
Last week, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), along with 24 House Republicans, sent a letter to the Director of the National Portrait Gallery Kim Sajet, calling for the immediate removal of Margaret Sanger’s bust from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The bust is on display in the Gallery’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit.
Sanger, a founder of Planned Parenthood, believed in using contraceptives to control the population of minorities, or people she deemed as “undesirables.” Specifically, Sanger advocated for the extermination of African-Americans. The letter, written by Sen. Cruz, Rep. Gohmert, and other conservative members, echoes a recent petition of pastors and supporters affiliated with S.T.A.N.D. who also demanded that Sanger’s bust be removed.
“There is no ambiguity in what Margaret Sanger’s bust represents: hatred, racism, and the destruction of unborn life,” Sen. Cruz said. “Not only should we continue efforts to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by Sanger that is currently under criminal investigation, we must also work to ensure that her inhumane life’s work is in no way promoted.”
“It is a complete and utter outrage to display a bust of Margaret Sanger in the National Portrait Gallery. In addition to this, it is appalling to honor her as part of the ‘Struggle for Justice’ collection,” Rep. Gohmert said. “One of the founders of Planned Parenthood, Mrs. Sanger portrayed deep-rooted racism by advocating birth control as a method for controlling the population of minorities. This prejudice must not be celebrated or exalted. Her bust should be removed not only from the exhibit but from the National Portrait Gallery altogether, since her legacy is one of prejudice against minorities and widespread destruction of their unborn human lives.”
The letter can be read in its entirety below and .
Ms. Kim Sajet, Director
The National Portrait Gallery
PO Box 37012
Victor Building, Suite 4100, MRC 973
Washington D.C. 20013
Dear Ms. Sajet,
We the undersigned Members of Congress demand that the bust of Margaret Sanger be immediately removed from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and not be displayed in or on any Smithsonian-operated property. The fact that her bust has been included as a part of the Gallery’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit is an affront both to basic human decency and the very meaning of justice.
Ms. Sanger was an avowed advocate of eugenics and the extermination of groups of people she deemed as “undesirables.” Specifically, Ms. Sanger singled out African-Americans, among other minority groups, as deserving to be subjected to such horrific and inhumane treatment. Honoring a figure who promoted such hatred and deep-seated racism is not only contrary to the values that the exhibit is purporting to promote, but also deeply antithetical to the very values most Americans hold dear.
Renewed concern and scrutiny of Ms. Sanger’s background stems from the recent ongoing revelations of Planned Parenthood’s potential activities in the trafficking of fetal tissue and baby body parts from abortions. Ms. Sanger was a founder of Planned Parenthood and famously espoused birth control as a method for controlling the population of minorities. In a letter from 1939, Ms. Sanger stated, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”
Honoring Ms. Sanger is an outrage.
We echo the recent petition of pastors and supporters affiliated with S.T.A.N.D. who similarly demanded that Ms. Sanger’s bust be removed. As they rightfully stated in their letter, Ms. Sanger was no hero. Her racist views have had a very real and devastating impact on the widespread destruction of unborn human life—especially in minority communities.
We expect immediate action on this and look forward to your swift response.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.)
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas)
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.)
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.)
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas)
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.)
Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.)
Rep. Trent Kelly (R-Miss.)
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas)
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.)
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas)
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)
Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas)
Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas)