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Cruz, Gohmert Want Bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Removed

Cruz, right, speaks as Reps. Louie Gohmert, left, and Michele Bachmann look on during a tea party rally last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Texas lawmakers are leading a call for a bust of a Planned Parenthood founder to be removed from the National Portrait Gallery.  

"We the undersigned Members of Congress demand that the bust of Margaret Sanger be immediately removed from the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and not be displayed in or on any Smithsonian-operated property. The fact that her bust has been included as a part of the Gallery's 'Struggle for Justice' exhibit is an affront both to basic human decency and the very meaning of justice," wrote 26 GOP lawmakers led by Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Louie Gohmert. "Ms. Sanger was an avowed advocate of eugenics and the extermination of groups of people she deemed as 'undesirables.'"  

The signatories, other than Cruz all socially conservative House Republicans, seek an immediate response from Kim Sajet, the director of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. The lawmakers clearly state that their letter comes as part of the current debate about Planned Parenthood's practices.  

"Renewed concern and scrutiny of Ms. Sanger’s background stems from the recent ongoing revelations of Planned Parenthood’s potential activities in the trafficking of fetal tissue and baby body parts from abortions. Ms. Sanger was a founder of Planned Parenthood and famously espoused birth control as a method for controlling the population of minorities," the 26 lawmakers wrote.  

Cruz, a 2016 presidential hopeful, also renewed his call for blocking funding to Planned Parenthood in a statement.  

"Not only should we continue efforts to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by Sanger that is currently under criminal investigation, we must also work to ensure that her inhumane life's work is in no way promoted," Cruz said.  

The letter was dated Oct. 9 and circulated Tuesday.  

"Honoring Ms. Sanger is an outrage," the letter said.

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