By John Jalsevac
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to receive the highest award given by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America - the Margaret Sanger Award, named for the organization's founder, a noted eugenicist.
"The 2009 Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Margaret Sanger Award, the organization's highest honor, will be presented to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been a champion of women's health and rights throughout her public service career," says a Planned Parenthood press release about the event.
The award will be presented at a gala event in Houston, Texas this evening.
Texas Right to Life is planning a peaceful vigil outside of the George R. Brown Convention Center, where the award ceremony will take place, this evening.
The pro-life group said that by standing in vigil, "Our voices will be united in telling Planned Parenthood that women across the globe deserve better than abortion."
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, responded to the news of the award by pointing out Margaret Sanger's status as one of America's most prominent eugenicists.
Dannenfelser said today that, "If Secretary Clinton were fully aware of the eugenicist past of Margaret Sanger, I cannot believe that she would be accepting an award in her name. It is in fact shocking that the award still bear's Sanger's name."
Sanger's was one of the most influential eugenicists of her day in the United States. Amongst other eugenicists positions, Sanger advocated segregating millions of the "unfit" on farms set aside for that purpose, where they would not be permitted to reproduce. As she wrote in the journal she founded, the Birth Control Review, "With the future citizen safeguarded from hereditary taints, with five million mental and moral degenerates segregated, with ten million women and ten million children receiving adequate care, we could then turn our attention to the basic needs for international peace."
Dannensfelser concluded, "Sanger broadly supported the Eugenics movement, advocating for a superior race that was free of poor, immigrant, and minority citizens. She even spoke at a rally of the Ku Klux Klan. Despite this evidence, Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading abortion provider, has done little to distance itself from Sanger's legacy.
"Planned Parenthood Federation of America needs to be very careful to steer clear of any appearance of adhering to Sanger's pro-eugenics philosophy. And this ought to begin by renaming their highest award."