Saturday, February 9, 2008

Planned Parenthood's racist roots

The following is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on The Dawn Patrol February 22, 2005.

Planned Parenthood's Web site currently has a feature article "celebrating the leadership of African Americans who led the fight for reproductive freedom."

To those who know Planned Parenthood's history, the organization's flattery of blacks is nothing but a sick joke.

Brian Clowes, PhD, of Human Life International, has compiled a remarkable collection of nearly 1,200 quotes from the Birth Control Review, published between 1917 and 1940 by the American Birth Control League, forerunner of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The sheer breadth of the quotes from magazine, edited by Birth Control League/Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger until 1928 and continuing to represent the views of her organization thereafter, show that Planned Parenthood's philosophy is grounded in disgustingly obvious racism and eugenics.

All of the quotes were taken from the 1970 unabridged collection of the first edition of the Birth Control Review by Da Capo Press (a division of Plenum Publishing Corporation). Clowes precedes each one with a helpful coding system, including:

[ABO]—Pro-abortion quotes
[ADU]—Pro-adultery, pro-fornication and pro-prostitution quotes
[COE]—Quotes advocating forced abortions, sterilization and contraception
[EUG]—Pro-eugenics quotes
[FAM]—Anti-child, anti-marriage and anti-family quotes
[ILL]—Quotes advocating illegal Activities
[INF]—Pro-infanticide quotes
[RAC]—Racist quotes
[REL]—Anti-religious quotes

Following are some typical examples, but I invite you to peruse the archive yourself (read the introduction first). As you read them, keep in mind that Planned Parenthood flat-out denies that Sanger was a eugenicist, though it grudgingly admits that some of her "progressive" ideas—such as placing illiterates in concentration camps—are "objectionable and outmoded."

"We hear a great deal about preserving our institutions of democracy and the traditions of liberty, free speech, free press and all of these ideals for future generations. Rather should we be concerned as to the quality of life that we are passing on today. What type of people are we breeding to form future generations? These institutions and traditions will take care of themselves if the people of future generations will have the intelligence to use and appreciate them. We have got to revalue our own human values...Birth control can be used as a means to raise the level of the intelligence of our population; to lower infant and maternal mortality. It can be used to improve our general health and well-being and it can curb the pressure of population which explodes into war."
Margaret Sanger, "Doors to a New World." Birth Control Review, Volume XXIII, Numbers 5 and 6 (New Series, February-March 1939), page 168.
"If it is necessary, and hence legitimate, for the government to control production and distribution, income and wages, why is it not equally necessary for it to control the number of the beneficiaries of all this? In other words, why is not birth control as necessary to the welfare of the state as any of these others?"
Theodore Dreiser, Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 4 (New Series, January 1934), page 2. [Yes, that Theodore Dreiser. "An American tragedy," indeed.]
"Eugenics without birth control is simply a castle in the air, a beautiful vision in the clouds, no doubt, but not to be brought to earth. Birth control—in the wide sense which includes sterilization and some day perhaps even more radical measures—is the chief instrument vouchsafed to civilized men wherewith from the infinite possibilities of brutal procreation to carve the great future of the race."
Havelock Ellis. Quote from his book More Essays of Love and Virtue, Birth Control Review, Volume XV, Number 12 (December 1931), page 357.
This last quote requires an introduction. It appeared one year before Sanger began her notorious Negro Project, which Planned Parenthood calls a "unique experiment in race-building and humanitarian service to a race subjected to discrimination, hardship, and segregation," and black leaders like the Rev. Johnny M. Hunter call simply "genocide."
"... the low incomes which Negroes receive make bachelorhood and spinsterhood widespread, with the naturally resultant lowering, in some cases, of sex standards. On the other hand, the mass of ignorant Negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among whites, is from that part of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly.

"There comes, therefore, the difficult and insistent problem of spreading among Negroes an intelligent and clearly recognized concept of proper birth control, so that the young people can marry, have companionship and natural health, and yet not have children until they are able to take care of them. This, of course, calls for a more liberal attitude among Negro churches. The churches are open for the most part to intelligent propaganda of any sort, and the American Birth Control League and other agencies ought to get their speakers before church congregations and their arguments in the Negro newspapers. As it is, the mass of Negroes know almost nothing about the birth control movement, and even intelligent colored people have a good many misapprehensions and a good deal of fear at openly learning about it. Like most people with middle-class standards of morality, they think that birth control is inherently immoral.

"Moreover, they ["Negroes"] are quite led away by the fallacy of numbers. They want the black race to survive. They are cheered by a census return of increasing numbers and a high rate of increase. They must learn that among human races and groups, as among vegetables, quality and not mere quantity really counts."
W.E.B. DuBois, Professor of Sociology, Atlanta University. "Black Folk and Birth Control." Birth Control Review, Volume XXII, Number 8 (New Series, May 1938, the "Negro Number"), page 90.
Yes, it's that W.E.B. DuBois—the founder of the NAACP.

Planned Parenthood is quite aware of DuBois's quote. In fact, on its Web site, it refers to the sentence beginning, "The mass of ignorant Negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously," and states: "Taken out of the context of his discussion about the effects of birth control on the balance between quality-of-life considerations and race-survival issues for African-Americans, Dubois' language seems insensitive by today's standards."

You now have the context of W.E.B. DuBois's infamous quote. Is it anything other than an utterly abhorrent argument for reducing the numbers of blacks in the population? Why can't Planned Parenthood simply admit it has a racist past?

Maybe because it remains a racist organization—both in its targeting its abortion clinics in poor neighborhoods so as to kill a disproportionately high number of black babies, and in its alleged unfair treatment of minority employees.

Happy Black History Month—from Planned Parenthood.