Rick Santorum: 'Take Down Planned Parenthood' To 'Scrub All Racism From America'

Yesterday on “The Simon Conway Show,” Rick Santorum fielded a question about the heavily edited video purporting to show a Planned Parenthood official trying to sell fetal tissue. The unedited video makes clear that she was actually “discussing the reimbursement cost for consensual, legal tissue donations.”

Santorum, ignoring the fact that the video’s claims were quickly debunked, called for a full-scale government investigation into Planned Parenthood and criminal prosecution. He also linked his war against Planned Parenthood to the recent debate over the Confederate flag in wake of the Charleston church shooting.

“If you want to scrub all racism from America, let’s start with Planned Parenthood because it was started by a racist named Margaret Sanger,” he said, alleging that Sanger was bent on “culling out the ‘undesirables,’ including blacks, in America, so if you want to go back and take down the Confederate flag, let’s take down Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood has continued to do disgusting things.”

Santorum also criticized Hillary Clinton for receiving the Margaret Sanger Award — whose other honorees include Martin Luther King, Jr., who praised Sanger — claiming that it is “remarkable that she is able to get away with that.” Santorum vowed that if he were to be elected president he would use the bully pulpit to go after Planned Parenthood.

While Santorum is correct that Sanger was a supporter of the eugenics movement, as PolitiFact noted, the movement “had been widely accepted” at the time among political leaders including Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover: “In other words, supporting eugenics did not automatically equal racism.” Biographers have also found that Sanger strongly opposed racial segregation. Instead, her critics have relied on a single quote that they have badly distorted.

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