Presidential aspirant and former pizza tycoon Herman Cain did not mince words when criticizing Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, saying the organization would be more aptly described as ‘planned genocide.’
Speaking to a group of reporters at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Cain said he supported fully defunding Planned Parenthood — as House Republicans have sought to do with their budget bill — because, he claimed, the organization was founded with the goal of killing black babies before they were born.
“Here’s why I support de-funding Planned Parenthood, because you don’t hear a lot of people talking about this, when Margaret Sanger - check my history - started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world,” Cain, who is African American, was quoted as saying to CNSNews.com.
“You don’t see that talked that much about,” he was also quoted as saying. “It’s not Planned Parenthood. No, it’s planned genocide. You can quote me on that.”
Cain then went on to say that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do any planning, “other than to abort the baby.”
Cain, a talk radio host who has never held elected office, is one of only two Republicans who have announced presidential exploratory committees. He’s been making the rounds lately, speaking at conservative gatherings across the country and seeking to elevate his profile nationwide.
In a statement released to TPM, Planned Parenthood strongly condemned Cain’s remarks, and noted that they offer far more services than simply abortion procedures.
“It is simply unacceptable for those who oppose legal abortion to use inflammatory and divisive language based on race to achieve extreme political goals,” Director of African-American Media Veronica Byrd wrote in the statement.
“Hermain Cain is clearly out of the mainstream by supporting an extreme proposal that would bar Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving federal funds for any purpose, including for preventive health care, lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, HIV testing and STD testing and treatment,” she added. “The care that Planned Parenthood provides benefits all women, especially African American women who experience higher rates of illness.”