What Pro-Lifers Can Learn from the Planned Parenthood Apology

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In the fight against dehumanization, both progressives and conservatives miss the mark.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, the current head of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson, lays bare their founder’s involvement with white supremacist groups, eugenics, and the medical exploitation of Puerto Rican women. She calls for a “reckoning” with Margaret Sanger’s sins, admitting that Sanger “devalued and dehumanized people of color” as well as people with disabilities. McGill Johnson then pledges on behalf of Planned Parenthood “to fight the many types of dehumanization we are seeing right now.”

McGill Johnson wants you to know that her claims aren’t just “virtue signaling.” She outlines how Planned Parenthood has invested in anti-racist training and developed “equity and inclusion” standards. She also points out that their senior leadership team is diverse. What she fails to note is that, for all the diversity in their boardroom, each person there shares a key privilege: They were allowed to be born.

It’s easy to decry the hypocrisy of McGill Johnson—and it’s worth doing. The reassurance of racial equity is no real victory for aborted fetuses of color. As Alexander DeSanctis points out in National Review, the Planned Parenthood “reckoning” shows a breathtaking lack of self-awareness. They miss how eugenic assumptions—that some lucky human beings merit more protection than others—are still alive and well in their organization today.
However, it’s equally important to point out what’s right about McGill Johnson’s argument. She assumes that dehumanization is wrong and makes clear that systems of white supremacy rob people of not only their rights but of their God-given dignity. …

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