A Planned Parenthood internal audit, obtained by Buzzfeed News, reveals the abortion conglomerate is plagued by accusations of internal racism, race-based discrimination, and acts of “anti-blackness.”
“Black employees at Planned Parenthood’s national wing feel that they have been held to a different standard than the organization’s white employees and that they are often expected to work more and given less leeway,” the outlet reported Saturday after obtaining a copy of what was supposed to be an internal-only memo on the subject of racism in Planned Parenthood’s ranks.
The study, commissioned by Planned Parenthood and involving a dozen social justice-oriented organizations, interviewed around 80 current and former black Planned Parenthood employees and concluded that the “the organization’s Black employees feel that Planned Parenthood’s treatment of them internally does not line up with its social justice–driven mission.”
The interviews yielded stories of how black employees were “over-scrutinized,” forced to work “extraordinary hours,” and subjected to “childification,” which the study defines as the “persistent treatment of Black people as children or adolescents who are unable to accomplish work independently, and viewed uniformly, such that they cannot be differentiated from one another.”
Beyond simple discrimination, the employees also reported that Planned Parenthood has no apparatus for reporting or handling claims of discrimination and that the organization’s human resources department could not dole out any “meaningful consequence or accountability for racial harm.”
Buzzfeed reports that the group’s findings dove-tailed with Buzzfeed’s own investigative reporting, which found, “detailed allegations of racism and discrimination at Planned Parenthood’s state affiliate chapters, as well as at NARAL Pro-Choice America, another major reproductive rights group. Twenty-six sources at both organizations told BuzzFeed News at the time that they regularly faced racism at work and were belittled by their bosses, while their non-Black colleagues were not, and felt they often had nowhere to turn for help with these issues.”
Indeed, at least one Planned Parenthood chapter, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, has been embroiled in a public battle over internal racism. Following massive anti-racism protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, black employees of PPGNY issued an open letter to the group’s hierarchy, complaining of open discrimination, and the organization’s history of abject racism, which begins with Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger.
“Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist, white woman,” the letter noted. “That is a part of history that cannot be changed. While efforts have been made to undo some of the harm from institutional racism, many of these issues have worsened.”
PPGNY eventually committed to taking Sanger’s name off the group’s New York headquarters, marking, after decades of criticism, recognition of the abortion conglomerate’s eugenicist roots, as the Daily Wire noted over the summer. The group, though, still openly embraces Sanger in other ways, ignoring the early-20th century eugenicist’s feelings on eliminating inferior races and groups, calling them merely “inartfully written.”
In response to the internal report, Planned Parenthood says it is undergoing some soul-searching and is committed to righting the social justice wrongs within its organization.