In a video shared Monday by pro-life activist Lila Rose, a pastor from North Carolina rebuked those who call themselves “woke” for supporting abortion.
In the clip, which is undated, Bishop Patrick Wooden of Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh pointed out a questionable quote from Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, which is today the largest abortion provider in the U.S.
Wooden referenced part of a sentence written by Sanger in a 1939 letter to Clarence Gamble, heir of the Procter and Gamble soap company fortune and an advocate for birth control, abortion, and eugenics.
The pastor read the following quotation: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”
“Everybody’s talking about being woke,” Wooden said. “[T]his was written in 1939. So how are you gonna be ‘woke’ — how are you gonna be a ‘woke’ church — and don’t know this? This is old. … You bishops and pastors and leaders out there, if you haven’t told your congregations about the No. 1 killer of African-Americans, an organization that kills more African-Americans every two weeks than the [Ku Klux] Klan did in its entire history, you are not qualified to use the word ‘woke.’”
Wooden is correct: black women have abortions at disproportionately higher rates than their white counterparts.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, even though the abortion rate across all demographics has declined, black women continue to have the highest abortion rate at 27.1 per 1,000 women. By comparison, the abortion rate among white women is 10 per 1,000 women.
And there is no doubt Sanger had some questionable if not gravely problematic views about the inherent value of human life. For example, in a 1921 article, she wrote, “The most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.”
Her views about race are a little murkier, though still concerning.
The full context of Sanger’s words written in the previously mentioned letter are somewhat difficult to discern some 80 years later.
In its totality, Sanger wrote to Gamble: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
While even The Washington Post called the letter “inartfully written,” it doesn’t seem to prove — at least on its own — that Sanger harbored racist motives. The infamous activist went on to note in her message to Gamble that she wanted to recruit black leaders, including medical professionals, to run and support the clinics in areas serving predominantly minority populations.
On the other hand, much has been said about Sanger’s apparent targeting of minority people, given her clinics seem to have been strategically placed in areas where poor, immigrant and black women lived.
There is clearly enough concern about Sanger’s support for eugenics and potential racism that, in 2011, Planned Parenthood issued a statement distancing itself from some of the late founder’s words.
“For all her positive work, Margaret Sanger made statements some 80 years ago that were wrong then and are wrong now,” said Veronica Byrd, who was serving as Planned Parenthood’s director of African-American media at the time. “Those statements have no bearing on the high-quality health care Planned Parenthood provides today.”