Planned Parenthood is under scrutiny for allegedly bilking taxpayers out of $180 billion by overcharging the federal government. Looking at the organization’s history and inception, it is questionable at best that this group has been given access to federal funds in the first place. Planned Parenthood is a behemoth organization with widespread tentacles and has garnered criticism from many segments of society with regard to their practices, which seem aimed at minorities and the disadvantaged. This is not surprising once the history of the outfit is explored.
Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She believed women should have control of their bodies with regard to procreation. This was a visionary stance and one that can hardly be disputed today. However, she also believed that only “fit” people should reproduce and held a strong bias against persons who were “weeds” that should be pulled from the garden of humanity. These persons included the poor, “morons”, the “unfit”, epileptics, immigrants with “tainted” blood, etc. The high incidence of Planned Parenthood Clinics in minority neighborhoods begs the question of whether these strategic locations are because the need resides there, or because the bulk of the “undesirables” resides there.
If Margaret Sanger or many of her eugenicist cohorts were held to the same standard of fitness, it is doubtful they would have passed muster. Sanger was born into a poor family of 11 children. That is the first strike against her on the eugenics scale of “fitness”. She was indicted for postal violations, which made her a criminal, yet another strike against her. The purpose of this article is not to analyze her brushes with the law, but instead to show that Ms. Sanger herself would have been one considered for “involuntary sterilization” had the same test of fitness been applied to her as was applied to the helpless victims of eugenics at that time. She opposed allowing immigrants into the country if they were paid prostitutes, yet she herself was promiscuous. It was hypocritical at best that she condemned “social degenerates” and felt they should be segregated from the rest of the population along with “illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, and dope-fiends”. A double standard applied to supporters of eugenics. Proponents of eugenics liked to choose for others and exempt themselves, something still prevalent today in some movements. Sanger’s professed goal of reproductive autonomy is not the full picture of what she hoped to accomplish. She was not shy about her hopes of weeding out “defectives” from human society. She opposed charities because she felt it would be better to allow the weak and defective to die. History has been revised to sanitize this woman’s true beliefs and the organization she founded.
According to the website, Klan Parenthood, almost 80% of Planned Parenthood clinics are located in minority neighborhoods. Whether this is a signal of racial genocide or merely a campaign against the impoverished is not clear. But there is no doubt that Margaret Sanger believed there were just too many poor people of “dysgenic races” in the world. She opined that the kindest thing you could do for a child born into a large family is to kill it.
Bringing children into an impoverished environment is never ideal, something on which most people can agree. But, the targeting of minorities and the poor by Planned Parenthood has frightening implications. Between 1970 and 2004, Planned Parenthood performed more than 3.5 million abortions, according to their 2003-4 report. The Black community is 12% percent of America’s population, yet over 30% of all abortions are performed on Black women. Although the rhetoric has grown gentler over the decades, the mission of Planned Parenthood appears not to have changed all that much.
It could be argued that Planned Parenthood is not very efficient in providing birth control or they wouldn’t find it necessary to perform so many abortions. The fact that the poor are disproportionately represented in abortion statistics reflects badly on Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Are we to assume rich women have better birth control? If so, why? Aren’t they using the same products that are being dispensed by Planned Parenthood to the poor? In light of the massive amounts of money Planned Parenthood has at its disposal, this seems unexplainable. Or do the rich simply choose, more often than do poor women, to deliver their unplanned pregnancies rather than abort them? I could find no statistics on the question.
Nonetheless, Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy prevention seems inept and ineffective to a large degree, while their pregnancy termination apparatus is in full swing. So why are they getting so many of our tax dollars? That Planned Parenthood rakes in millions of tax dollars with apparent lack of accountability is appalling. If Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit, then where are the profits going? Because they are making a profit. Yet, despite a profit of $85 billion according to their 2007-8 annual report, they still received almost $350 million in taxpayer dollars that year! The figures are astounding.
Planned Parenthood is a group that desperately needs oversight and accountability. An in-depth investigation into their practices is called for, not only because of their alleged misappropriation of federal monies, but also because of their inclination to target specific populations. Putting aside for a moment the legal right of women to abort their babies, an important question looms: Exactly who is being exterminated and why?
Edwin Black, War Against the Weak, New York, Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003
Harry Bruinius, Better for All the World, The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America’s Quest for Racial Purity, New York, Albert A. Knopf, 2006
George Grant, Killer Angel, Nashville, TN, Cumberland House, rev. 2001
Photo “Mother and Baby” by Anna Cervovahttp://www.publicdomainpictures.net/