Martin Luther King Supported Planned Parenthood


There’s a lot of unknown history floating around. Some of it is uncomfortable to read. Every political side has any number of skeletons that they want kept buried.


Few people know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a public supporter of Planned Parenthood. He received the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award on May 5, 1966, the first year the award was given.

The following is excerpted from Dr. King’s acceptance speech. The entire speech and other information about the award can be found here.

There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts. She, like we, saw the horrifying conditions of ghetto life. Like we, she knew that all of society is poisoned by cancerous slums. Like we, she was a direct actionist — a nonviolent resister. She was willing to accept scorn and abuse until the truth she saw was revealed to the millions. At the turn of the century she went into the slums and set up a birth control clinic, and for this deed she went to jail because she was violating an unjust law. Yet the years have justified her actions. She launched a movement which is obeying a higher law to preserve human life under humane conditions. Margaret Sanger had to commit what was then called a crime in order to enrich humanity, and today we honor her courage and vision; for without them there would have been no beginning.

Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by nonviolent direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her. Negroes have no mere academic nor ordinary interest in family planning. They have a special and urgent concern…
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