Nick Cannon has a lot to say about Planned Parenthood. It's evident that Cannon does not understand the mission and function of the organization. And for the past week, he's been confidently spreading misinformation to a Trump-ian degree.
Last week during an interview with New York radio station Power 105, Cannon talked about his strong dislike of both presidential candidates. When one of the hosts mentioned the possibility of Trump appointing Supreme Court judges that would overturn Roe v. Wade, Cannon responded, "Think about all the stuff they did with Planned Parenthood and all that type of stuff. That type of stuff is to take our community — and forget gentrification, it’s real genocide, and it’s been like that for years." He added, "This system is not built for us" — "us" being Black Americans and "this system" being, presumably, society at large.
Then on Friday, when a paparazzo asked Cannon to elaborate on those comments while passing through LAX, Cannon only doubled down on his Planned Parenthood bashing. "It’s modern-day eugenics," he said, referring to the originally benign science of improving the genetics of the human population via controlled reproduction, which was perversely appropriated by the Nazis during World War II. He added, "It’s population control.” He also tweeted about the subject.
Now, before dismantling Cannon's statements, it has to be acknowledged that his views do contain a grain of ugly truth. There is a history of forced sterilization in the U.S., often targeting ethnic and racial minorities. It's also true that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, believed in eugenics as a matter of public health. Yet there is no evidence that she supported any kind of race-based population control. Sanger spent her career advocating for women of all races and classes to have access to birth control, which she believed was a fundamental right.
What Cannon dismally fails to understand is the mission of Planned Parenthood, from its founding in 1916 to today: To care for and empower American women. Planned Parenthood provides women with limited income and means with affordable birth control, family planning, STD screenings, and other types of reproductive health care — including, but not principally, abortion. Planned Parenthood also advocates for policies that ensure access to these services and protect women's rights. These clinics provide Black women in communities throughout the country not only with crucial medical care, but the power of agency and the right to choose.
There is no grand eugenics-based plan to control the U.S. population. Planned Parenthood is not forcing women of color to obtain abortions or to be sterilized. The organization does not perpetrate genocide or anything in that realm, and to suggest so is ignorant and dangerous. Cannon's patently false claims are shocking and disappointing. It's not far-fetched, though, to think that someone in Cannon's life will get through to him — because, frankly, allowing someone to harbor and disseminate such troubling lies is unconscionable.