TikToker and YouTuber Karim Jovian typically does man-on-the-street interviews about a variety of open-ended topics as well as pranks and “social experiments.” In one recent TikTok, which now has more than 11 million views, he asks New Yorkers their “thoughts on abortion.”
The highlighted response just happens to be from Alexander Sanger, grandson of Margaret Sanger, birth control advocate and founder of Planned Parenthood. He’s also the former president of Planned Parenthood New York City.
@karimjovian Was doing an Abortion interview and ran into the founder of Planned Parenthood by chance! Where do you stand on abortion? #plannedparenthood #abortion #abortionrights #abortionban ♬ original sound – Karim Jovian
“You cannot make abortion go away by criminalizing it,” Sanger tells Jovian, who has a little over 54,000 followers. “All you do is you make it unsafe. You put women at risk.”
This interview took place before the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday, ending nearly 50 years of legalized abortion. The thousands of comments are typical of TikTok (“KING,” “A LEGEND”). A more recent comment is a better barometer: “Feeling so devastated today.”
On Twitter, where the TikTok was posted with the caption “this is honestly the best ‘do you know who I am'” and got more than 1 million views, Sanger’s views on race and eugenics were brought up. In 2021, Planned Parenthood officially denounced Sanger regarding her views, and in 2020 a clinic in Manhattan removed her name.
Jovian tells the Daily Dot via email that the Sanger interview was “very important” because his own mother had to have a life-saving abortion, and he “grew to learn how important abortion rights are.”
He says the interview was random—he was about to wrap but saw a “cute old couple” and went up to them. Jovian hopes it starts more “dialogue” about abortion, in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned: “I think we shouldn’t stop fighting for women’s rights, because if it’s this, then what’s next??”