Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, responded to the announcement this week that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will receive an award from Planned Parenthood, saying "almost no one has done more to promote the killing of innocent babies in the womb" than the 73-year-old Democrat.
"If Mrs. Pelosi wants finally to take her role as a public servant seriously, though, she will reject the award named after a racist woman who had no problem speaking to a Ku Klux Klan meeting," King said, referring to Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood in 1921 and once delivered a speech on birth control at a Ku Klux Klan meeting.
Planned Parenthood announced that it will honor Pelosi with the Sanger Award at their Annual Gala in Washington, D.C., on March 27, noting that the House Minority leader has shown "leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement over the course of her career." Pelosi is scheduled to deliver remarks at the gala.
"No one is more deserving of this honor than Leader Pelosi, who has fought tirelessly throughout her career to protect and expand women's access to health care. As the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, Leader Pelosi recognized that women's health is a mainstream issue impacting women and families," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
"Her leadership in passing the Affordable Care Act and her ongoing commitment ensures that the promise of the law is realized for millions of women as the greatest advancement for women's health in a generation."
Pelosi has often identified herself as pro-choice, and on the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, she called on pro-choice advocates to rededicate themselves to protecting women's rights.
"Today, we pledge to stand up for the right of women to make their own decisions, and to fight back any and all efforts to chip away at these hard-won freedoms. As I have since my earliest days in Congress, I will defend reproductive freedoms and a comprehensive approach to women's health care, reducing the number of unintended pregnancies at home and around the world," Pelosi said in a statement on Jan. 22.
King noted that her famous uncle was also named as a recipient of the award back in 1966, though he did not personally accept it.
"It's ironic that Planned Parenthood would extend to my uncle, Martin Luther King, Jr., an award for his human rights work," Dr. King said. "I can't think of an organization that has done more to trample upon human rights than Planned Parenthood."
"Of course, in 1966, Planned Parenthood did not advocate for abortion and its racist roots were not well known," The African American Outreach for Priests for Life director noted. "Knowing what we know now and 56 million dead children later, I'm confident that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who gave his life defending others' rights to life and liberty, would reject any association with Planned Parenthood."