In an effort to distinguish himself in the crowded Republican field of 16 presidential candidates, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson blasted Planned Parenthood with old recriminations in the aftermath of deceptively edited videos that accuse the group of selling fetal body parts.
During a recent phone interview with radio host Jan Mickelson on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, Carson said that the sole “purpose” behind Margaret Sanger‘s founding of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood was to “eliminate Black people,” an allegation that has dogged the group since it was founded in 1916 by Sanger, a White birth control activist and nurse.
Carson, 63, also criticized Democratic President Barack Obama and 2016 presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton for their support of the group. When Clinton was awarded the Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award in 2009, she expressed high praise for Sanger, saying, “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision,” Clinton stated. “I am really in awe of her.”
Mickelson pointed out that it was hypocritical of people to continue to honor Sanger while destroying Confederate flags and Confederate tombstones. Carson said Clinton’s words will certainly come back to haunt her.
“I am delighted to have her saying that on tape because if I am a nominee and we are in the race, believe me that quotation that she just said will come back and it will be in a context that people can understand,” Carson told Mickelson. “She has done us a great favor right there. That is a ticking time bomb…”
Planned Parenthood has been dogged by accusations of racism in recent years, as the “Black genocide” movement began gaining media attention. About four years ago, billboards showing Black children emblazoned with the words: The most dangerous place for African-Americans is in the womb” began to emerge.
The Radiance Foundation, the group behind the billboards, accused Planned Parenthood of targeting minority communities for genocide. While Black women account for 13 percent of the female population, they account for 30 percent of all abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit group that supports reproductive health through birth control, including abortion.
The accusations are not new to Planned Parenthood, which has been ensnared in racial and class politics since its inception, and is a favorite political football at presidential election-time for conservative pro-life candidates and their supporters. It didn’t help that Sanger spoke before organizations like the Ku Klux Klan, feeding concerns about the organization’s true early motives, specifically with respect for minorities.
Although Sanger said that birth control and family planning benefit all families, some of her early connections continue to dog Planned Parenthood and the reproductive rights movement, specifically among Black Americans. Those sentiments are what Carson is trying to tap into in an effort to separate himself from the pack.
Carson’s comments come at a time when Planned Parenthood warned of more sting videos to come that would give the impression it engaged in racist practices because of Sanger’s history. The group preemptively pointed to a statement by a Black organization and a column in Ebony by a Black NARAL member, all writing in defense of Planned Parenthood’s value to women of color.
To be sure, Carson needs the lift. He takes six percent of the vote of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Donald Trump leads the pack, winning 24 percent of the support.
In an effort to ride the wave of Trump’s poll success, Carson defended the real estate mogul who has come under fire for saying that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is not a war hero.
“I’m not sure from listening to what he said that he thinks that Mr. McCain is not a hero,” Carson said. “He has repeatedly said yes, he is a hero, so I don’t know where that comes from that he’s disqualified.”
Really, Ben Carson?
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PHOTO CREDIT: Getty