Planned Parenthood: Right to Life – LIFESPAN Policy Statement

Adopted August 20, 1991; Amended March 9, 1994; Amended March 18, 2002

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is the leading abortion provider in the United States. In its 2013-2014 Annual Report, PPFA reports performing 327,653 abortions. Over the past three reported years (2011-2013), Planned Parenthood has performed nearly one million abortions (988,783). The money it received in taxpayer funds (during the fiscal year 2013-2014) was $528 million, or nearly $1.4 million per day. [1]

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortionist who has since become pro-life, has dubbed this organization as “The Empire” and the point is well taken. It has cooly cast aside its declaration of 1963 which said in its own pamphlet, “Abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun; it is dangerous to your life and your health; it may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it.” From this boldly truthful assertion, it has reversed itself to become the number one political force to make abortion legal and permissible for any reason and at any time in gestation, and no other organization has been nearly so relentless in court challenges to state and local attempts to regulate abortion. [2]

Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, began her crusade for birth control in the early 1900s because of her compassion for the overburdened poor. Having been influenced by the British eugenicist, Havelock Ellis, Sanger returned to the United States, abandoned her initial sympathy for the poor and advocated selective breeding. Her rallying cry then became, “More children from the fit, fewer children from the unfit.”[3] Her unfit were the progeny of the Jews, people of color and the poor and uneducated whom she referred to as “human weeds.” [4]

Her concept of selective breeding found a natural embrace in the Third Reich philosophy but lost favor in America in the mid-1940s when the results of Hitler’s genocidal holocaust stunned the world. Previously called the American Birth Control League, the new name became a miracle of semantic creation—Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

Always adaptable to an about-face, The Empire in the 1950s sought a respectable image, dispensing birth control information to married couples only. It had nothing to do with abortion then, and won such respect in this country that President Truman, upon his retirement, became honorary President. Subsequently, President Eisenhower, when he retired, did the same.

The sexual revolution began to surface in the 1960s when the contraceptive “pill” became widely available. The same decade saw sweeping legislation resulting from the Civil Rights Movement. A fear of the growing power of the black people, which coin­cided with Mrs. Sanger’s early prejudice against them, expressed itself in many legislative actions to bring PPFA information to welfare recipients at government expense. During the same turbulent 1960s, Paul Erlich’s book, Population Bomb, emotionally charged the reading public and raised shrill voices of population alarmists to hysterical pitch. But PPFA was working quietly, with new allies in key government positions, to get abortion legalized. By the end of the 1960s it had already become a semi-public agency. In 1969 Harriet Pilpel, PPFA’s General Counsel, and Vice President of ACLU, along with Dr. Alan Guttmacher, President of PPFA, pushed through the organization’s first overt pro-abortion policy at its annual meeting in New York City. [5]

Meanwhile, PPFA was doing abortions and referring thousands to states that had already legalized abortion. Although several states did legalize between 1967 and 1970, pro-abortion referenda in North Dakota and Michigan in 1972 were soundly defeated. Nevertheless, on January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade struck down all existing statutes and criminal laws regarding abortion, which was identical to the PPFA policy of 1969 in New York City. The PPFA Empire was clearly in charge nationally.

Using the “epidemic of teen-age pregnancy” as its prime vocal target, it lobbied successfully for the Title X government program which provided contraceptives to teenagers without respect to marital status or the physical and mental health of these young people. Throughout the 1970s, PPFA reached the young with such publications as, “The Heavy Facts About Sex” and “The Per­ils of Puberty” which titillated and encouraged unbridled sex, advising the unitiated to ignore their parents’ advice and come to PPFA instead. [6]

In 1970, when Title X was enacted, 300,000 unmarried teens became pregnant, of whom 190,000 gave birth, and the remainder aborted their babies. Ten years after Title X started, 1980, 750,000 unmarried teens became pregnant, 250,000 gave birth and half a million aborted their babies. [7] Informed personnel in the contraceptive field generally agree that the younger a woman is, the more likely she is to become pregnant while using contraceptives, and 30% of all unmarried teens became pregnant while using them. [8]

PPFA pursues its sex policy worldwide through its international division, “Family Planning International Assistance” (FPIA) and PPFA is a founding member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) which is comprised of family planning associations in 120 countries. [9]

A cooperative agreement with the U. S. Agency for International Development (AID) is the primary source of support for FPIA. But in 1985 the Reagan Administration instituted the “Mexico City Policy” which refused the use of U. S. government funds for overseas abortions. Planned Parenthood immediately sued the government. This case was resolved on June 3, 1991 when the Supreme Court upheld the government ban against overseas abortion funding.

On January 22, 1993, President Clinton, by Executive order, restored the funding cut of the Mexico City Policy. In October 1993, $14.5 million was allocated to the U.N. Family Population Activities (UNFPA) and in 1994, $40 million more was allocated to the same organization. This policy lasted for the eight years of the Clinton Presidency.

In January 2001, President George W. Bush, by his own Executive order, restored the Mexico City Policy, refusing again the use of American dollars to fund overseas abortion.

Since the pro-life movement began in this country, it has opposed the philosophy and actions of Planned Parenthood. Some individuals and groups have attempted to boycott the businesses who fund PPFA as part of their charitable donations. Many have met with absolute failure as the companies adhere stubbornly to the image of PPFA as compassionate big sister. Companies that have discontinued funding Planned Parenthood include General Mills, the Target Corporation, which owns the Dayton-Hudson, Marshall Field’s stores and others, Home Depot, Mrs. Fields, Hewlett Packard and Pampered Chef.

This, upon the heels of President George W. Bush’s return to the Mexico City Policy, gave the pro-life movement nationally a hope that respect might one day rise again for the incomparable gift of Human Life.

However, one of the first official actions Mr. Obama took after being inaugurated president was to rescind the Mexico City Policy on January 23, 2009. In so doing, he fulfilled a campaign promise and allowed organizations that provide and promote abortion in foreign countries (including countries which, as a matter of law, prohibit abortion) to use United States tax dollars to carry out these activities.

     [1] Planned Parenthood Federation Annual Report, 2013-2014.

     [2] Daniel S. Light, The Empire Strikes Out, Rutherford Institute.

     [3] Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, (N.Y.N.Y. Brenta­nos, p. 177).

     [4] Ibid.

     [5] Richard D. Glasow, National Right to Life News, 12:2, (Jan. 31, 1985).

     [6] Heritage House ’76 Inc. Box 730, Taylor, AZ 85939.

     [7] Light, op cit.

     [8] Ibid.

     [9] PPFA Annual Report, 1988, p. 14.