U.S.

Planned Parenthood Affiliate Denounces Women’s March Leader over Ties to Farrakhan

Tamika Mallory, national co-chair of the Women’s March, speaks at the Pride and Prejudice conference sponsored by The Economist in New York City, March 23, 2017. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The affiliate has ended its association with Tamika Mallory, and will replace her as the keynote speaker at an April 5 luncheon.

A regional chapter of Planned Parenthood’s advocacy arm has severed ties with Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory in response to the progressive coalition-builder’s tacit support for reputed anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, an affiliate that operates in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Washington, informed supporters that it had “decided to part ways” with Mallory in a Wednesday email. The email notes that Mallory will be replaced as the keynote speaker for an April 5 luncheon hosted by the group in the interest of representing “people of ALL backgrounds, identities, and ideologies.”

“When leaders of the Women’s March — or any allied group — stray from these aspirations, we will do everything we can to help them return to our shared mission,” the group said after detailing its commitment to equality.

While the group did not explicitly mention Mallory’s ties to Farrakhan, the announcement comes amid widespread outrage over her attendance at a Saviours’ Day event in Chicago last month, where the Nation of Islam leader described Jewish people as “satanic” and dubbed them his “enemy.”

Ten days after publishing a gleeful video of the Saviours’ Day event on social media, Mallory issued a statement, in which she refused to condemn Farrakhan, instead insisting that her long history of progressive activism should speak for itself.

“I didn’t expect my presence at Saviour’s Day to lead anyone to question my beliefs, especially considering that I have been going to this event regularly for over 30 years,” she wrote.

“I first went with my parents when I was just a little girl, and would begin attending on my own after my son’s father was murdered nearly 17 years ago. In that most difficult period of my life, it was the women of the Nation of Islam who supported me and I have always held them close to my heart for that reason.”

The Women’s March issued a statement Wednesday, condemning bigotry generally but not Farrakhan specifically.