Republicans Send Letter Demanding National Portrait Gallery Remove Margaret Sanger Bust

Penny Starr | October 15, 2015 | 10:57am EDT
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The bust of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger sits in the National Portrait Gallery. ( Starr)

( – Led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), conservative members of Congress have sent a letter to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery demanding that a bust of Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger be removed from its “Struggle for Justice” permanent exhibit.

“Last week, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), along with 24 House Republicans, sent a letter to the Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Kim Sajet, calling for the immediate removal of Margaret Sanger’s bust from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery,” a press release posted on Cruz and Gohmert’s website stated Tuesday.

“There is no ambiguity in what Margaret Sanger’s bust represents: hatred, racism, and the destruction of unborn life,” Cruz said. “Not only should we continue efforts to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by Sanger that is currently under criminal investigation, we must also work to ensure that her inhumane life’s work is in no way promoted.”

“It is a complete and utter outrage to display a bust of Margaret Sanger in the National Portrait Gallery. In addition to this, it is appalling to honor her as part of the ‘Struggle for Justice’ collection,” Gohmert said. “One of the founders of Planned Parenthood, Mrs. Sanger portrayed deep-rooted racism by advocating birth control as a method for controlling the population of minorities.

“This prejudice must not be celebrated or exalted,” Gohmert added. “Her bust should be removed not only from the exhibit but from the National Portrait Gallery altogether, since her legacy is one of prejudice against minorities and widespread destruction of their unborn human lives.”

In the letter, members state that they sent it to support a group of black pastors who also sent a letter and petition signed by more than 15,000 people to Sajet to protest Sanger’s inclusion in the civil rights exhibit.

“We echo the recent petition of pastors and supporters affiliated with STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny) who similarly demanded that Ms. Sanger’s bust be removed,” the letter stated. “As they rightfully state in their letter, Ms. Sanger was no hero. Her racist views have had a very real and devastating impact on the widespread destruction of unborn human life – especially in minority communities.”

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