Sen. Stephen H. Martin, R-Chesterfield, on Wednesday doubled down on remarks he made in an interview last week, alleging that Planned Parenthood has caused more deaths among black Americans than the Ku Klux Klan.
But Martin, who was one of seven Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, also said he regrets “the carelessness and inaccuracy” of his earlier remarks, in which he had said the KKK was a creation of the Democratic Party.
“My integrity is important to me and I always strive to be accurate,” Martin said in a written statement.
In an interview at last week’s fundraiser in Richmond for E.W. Jackson, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, Martin backed controversial comments by Jackson, who had claimed in a video message to black Christians that Planned Parenthood “has been far, far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was,” adding that “the Democrat Party and Planned Parenthood are partners in this genocide.”
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When asked to comment on those remarks, Martin called Jackson’s claims “factually correct.” He also alleged that “both the KKK and Planned Parenthood are creations of the Democratic Party.”
Lauren Harmon, executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said in a response to Martin’s comment that the Republican slate is “so extreme that they are making comparisons between a provider of low-cost birth control and cancer screenings and a violent racist hate group a central tenet of the Virginia Republican Party.”
Martin distanced himself from other Jackson remarks linking homosexuality to pedophilia, calling these claims “factually incorrect.”
On Wednesday, Martin clarified his remarks, stating that he had previously written about the KKK and Planned Parenthood.
“The Democrat Party has created an unholy alliance between certain so-called civil-rights leaders and Planned Parenthood, which has killed unborn black babies by the tens of millions. Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was. And the Democrat Party and the black civil-rights allies are partners in this genocide,” he said.
There is in fact an “alliance that the Democrat Party oversees and assures, between people who refer to themselves as civil-rights leaders and Planned Parenthood,” Martin continued.
“Planned Parenthood was in fact established by Margaret Sanger for the primary purpose of killing black babies,” he said.
Martin said that a “critical analysis on the truth” of Jackson’s “condemned statement” would have to “conclude its accuracy.”
Jackson and Martin are not the first to allege that the Planned Parenthood founder supported the killing of black babies through abortion.
In 2011, Herman Cain, a Republican candidate for president, claimed that Sanger wanted to prevent “black babies from being born.”
FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, rated Cain’s claim as false, stating that he took an often-used quote by Sanger out of context.
“No serious scholar and none of the dozens of black leaders who supported Sanger’s work have ever suggested that she tried to reduce the black population or set up black abortion mills, the implication in much of the extremist anti-choice material,” the project wrote.