STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Dr. Alveda King, director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, based in New Dorp, blasted pro-choice House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is slated to receive the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood.
Ironically, the first recipient of the award, named after a founder of Planned Parenthood, was none other than Dr. King's uncle, the civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"It's true that Congresswoman Pelosi deserves Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger Award - almost no one has done more to promote the killing of innocent babies in the womb than she has," said Dr. King.
Dr. King labelled Ms. Sanger "a racist" and a source of "racist roots" for Planned Parenthood and that Ms. Pelosi should decline the award on that basis.
When asked to explain what she considers racist about Planned Parenthood, Dr. King said that the organization is the largest abortion provider in America, and three-quarters of their abortion facilities are located in minority neighborhoods. African-Americans make up 12 percent of the population but account for 35 percent of the abortions. The black population in America is actually declining, and that is because of abortion, Dr. King claimed.
The Sanger Award has been given annually by Planned Parenthood since 1966, when the Rev. Dr. King was named, but, his niece said, did not personally accept.
"It's ironic that Planned Parenthood would extend to my uncle an award for his human rights work," Dr. King continued. "I can't think of an organization that has done more to trample upon human rights than Planned Parenthood."
Dr. King said that at the time her uncle was given the award, Planned Parenthood's "racist roots were not well known."
"Knowing what we know now and 56 million dead children later, I'm confident that the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who gave his life defending others' rights to life and liberty, would reject any association with Planned Parenthood."
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, wrote an open letter last year to Mrs. Pelosi, challenging her claim to being a faithful and practicing Catholic while being pro-choice.
When Ms. Pelosi accepts the award at Planned Parenthood's Annual Gala on March 27 in Washington, D.C., she will join a list of famous recipients that includes another star in the national political arena, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Planned Parenthood dates its beginnings to 1916 when Ms. Sanger and two other people opened America's first birth control clinic in Brooklyn. Women at the time couldn't obtain information about birth control, because in the 1870s the Comstock laws made contraception illegal and declared information about family planning and contraception "obscene," according to the Planned Parenthood web site.
Working as a nurse with immigrant families on New York's Lower East Side, Ms. Sanger witnessed the emotional and physical toll of unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions. The clinic she opened provided contraceptive advice to poor, immigrant women. Police raided the clinic and Ms. Sanger was among those convicted of disseminating birth control information. She appealed her conviction, which lead to a new, liberalized interpretation of New York's anti-contraception statute.
In 1923, Ms. Sanger opened the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau in Manhattan to provide contraceptive devices to women and formally established the American Birth Control League advocacy group. The two organizations subsequently merged and later become Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Ms. Pelosi and Planned Parenthood did not immediately comment.