Planned Parenthood billboard draws criticism

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It’s never been on a billboard, but the proof copy of a sign proposed by a Flint, Michigan group is still getting plenty of attention.

It quotes Planned Parenthood’s Founder Margaret Sanger saying, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

The group behind the sign is the Flint Area Right to Life and Black Americans for Life.

They wanted to put it up south of downtown Flint on Saginaw Street near I-475 during Black History Month.

“That’s a direct quote of hers,” says Judy Climer, director of Flint Area Right to Life.

She says it’s a historical quote and perfectly acceptable for the public.

“It’s deception by keeping her quote quiet because no one really wants to know that Planned Parenthood is behind this,” says Climer.

Pro-life advocates say the words speak for themselves, however Planned Parenthood says they are taken out of context.

“She did not want the organization to be characterized in that way,” says Desiree Cooper, director of communications and media relations for Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan.

Cooper says Sanger was saying there was misinformation about birth control in that day, that it would wipe out entire races, and that she did not want that information spread.

“It is not black history to put up something that says that people don’t want the black race to be on the planet. It’s the opposite and it’s insulting,” says Cooper.

A spokesperson for CBS Outdoor, the owner of the billboard, issued a statement explaining the rejection:

“We evaluate each billboard on a case by case basis. It’s difficult to explain the nuances and context of a message on such a small space. It is not our goal to offend people where we also work and live.”

Planned Parenthood says Margaret Sanger was a product of her day and that it’s not fair to judge beliefs held then by today’s standards.

The Flint Area Right to Life says it is personally offended by other billboards, especially those advertising adult entertainment.