BuzzFeed News recently reported that employees, specifically employees of color, are calling out Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations for hypocrisy and racism. This may come as a shock to the pro-choice crowd, since these organizations are great at touting "equity" and "inclusion," but it shouldn't shock anyone in the pro-life movement.
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood (originally called the American Birth Control League), was a renowned eugenicist. She subscribed to the popular theory at the time that criminal activtiy, feeblemindedness, and other undesirable traits were due to "degenerate protoplasm." In order to prevent the lowest 10% of the population from reproducing, birth control and other measures of population control were necessary.
Maragaret Sanger's eugenics ideals really aren't a secret. In fact, they're so well-known that Planned Parenthood of Greater New York has taken her name off their building. Let's look at a couple of examples anyway.
Sanger stated many times that she believed there were different classes of people. In her book The Pivot of Civilization, she decried the work of maternity centers whose goal was to provide prenatal and postnatal care. She wrote:
"The new government program would facilitate the function of maternity among the very classes in which the absolute necessity is to discourage it…[this program] brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant."
NOTE: Often the pro-abortion crowd will claim that pro-life people take Sanger out of context or even misquote her. You don't need to take my word for it! You can read her entire book online. To find the section I am referring to just search for "menacing degree" and it will take you right to it.
And who was to determine which "stocks" were "detrimental to the future of the race and the world?" Presumably, the government. What could possibly go wrong with that?
In a 1957 interview, Sanger stated:
"Well, I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world—that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin—that people—can commit."
There really is no question in anyone's mind that Margaret Sanger was a racist and a eugenicist. The real question is this: do these roots affect Planned Parenthood today?
One example of Planned Parenthood's modern day racism can be found in the extermination of minority populations.
Does that sound too harsh? Keep reading.
In my home state of Pennsylvania about 12% of our population is black, 7% is Hispanic, and 82% is white. It would be reasonable to assume that abortion numbers would closely mirror those percentages - but they don't. In 2018, 43% of all Pennsylvania abortions were performed on black women. If one race is accessing a service like abortion more than other races, that should give us cause for concern.
So, why are so many black women accessing abortion services? First of all, 79% of abortion clinics are located within walking distance of black and Hispanic communities. Even the Guttmacher Institutue acknowledges that black women procure abortions five times more than white women. Their reasoning, however, is that other disparities are causing increased rates of unplanned pregnancies in minority communities. They claim that women of color are unable to access contraceptive and other services in order to lower their rate of unintended pregnancies.
This begs the question, if Planned Parenthood (through the Guttmacher Institute) believes that lack of contraception causes abortion, and they truly want to limit abortions, why not provide more contraception? If Planned Parenthood can put nearly 80% of their abortion clinics in minority communities why can't they take those funds and instead funnel them into contraceptives or other education for women who are most at risk?
Point of clarification - the Guttmacher Institute claims that abortion is the result of unintended pregnancies. I would challenge that. Abortion occurs (most of the time) in response to an unwanted pregnancy. Many pregnancies are unintended, but not all unintended pregnancies are unwanted.
Another, and perhaps broader, reason that is given for the high rate of abortions among women of color is that women of color don't have access to high-quality pre- and post-natal care and therefore choose abortion as the safer option.
My personal belief is that the two are unrelated. While there are proven disparities in medical care based on income and these disparities affect women of color significantly more than white women, abortion isn't the solution. Instead of working to provide abortion access, we should work to ensure that women of color have access to the same high quality medical care as their white counterparts.
However, even though there is no question that pregnancy is more dangerous for women of color, I don't believe that many, if any, women would choose abortion solely for this reason. Women will walk through fire for their children, born and unborn, and while there may be isolated cases where women choose abortion for their own safety I don't believe general access to medical care is a common reason behind an abortion choice. Regardless, we should be focusing on improving prenatal and postnatal care for women of color, not providing abortions.
Realize, though, that the maternity programs we need to help low income women and women of color are the same as the programs that Margaret Sanger spoke against, stating instead that these mothers and their children are a "dead weight of human waste."
Maybe you're not convinced. Maybe you're thinking, "Okay, I see that there are some problems, but you're looking at this too narrowly. Planned Parenthood is providing a service women are requesting. It isn't their fault that women of color request that service more than white women."
This brings us back to the first sentence of this blog post. BuzzFeed News recently reported that employees, and specifically employees of color, are calling out Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion orgs for hypocrisy and racism. If you argue that Planned Parenthood aborting black babies at a disproportionately high rate isn't racism, how can you argue with people of color who have actually worked there?
BuzzFeed reports that even thought abortion rights organizations know that abortion services are accessed disproportionately by women of color they keep people of color in lower paying roles. They also "brush off" concerns about microagressions, tokenization, and even segregation.
One quote from the article is particularly telling:
“I do think it's worse in reproductive rights, because it is insidious. The movement prides itself on working on issues affecting the most marginalized in society — women, trans and nonbinary folks, and people of color,” one woman who used to work at a major public relations firm that works with reproductive rights organizations told BuzzFeed News. “And yet, in their own workplaces, they don’t value those people.” (emphasis added)
If Planned Parenthood (and other pro-abortion organizations) don't value women of color in their offices, how can we expect them to value them as clients/patients? If the organization is toxic to employees of color, you can bet that it is toxic to the communities of color they claim to serve.
Let's contrast this with pregnancy help centers.
Pregnancy help organizations are often slammed for requiring their staff to agree with a faith statement and code of conduct. These statements help us, and our team, to stay true to who we are as faith-based ministries working to share God's love. However, far from making us less tolerant, our faith compels us to treat everyone created in God's image as sacred. Each person who walks through our doors, regardless of the color of their skin or their sexual orientation, is an image-bearer of God.
Our clients remark on how warm, welcoming, and loving we are. They tell us they felt accepted and didn't feel as though they were being judged. Staff who work in pregnancy centers (whether paid or volunteer) stay because they love the work and the environment - they're not trapped by high paychecks and aggressive exit policies.
Planned Parenthood's racist roots are still affecting their work today - there is no question. Even if you support abortion rights, this should trouble you. Demand that Planned Parenthood eradicate racism from it's ranks. If they're not sure where to start, suggest they redirect their efforts from providing abortions for at-risk communities to providing high quality prenatal and postnatal care.
Are you an abortion worker? Would you like to leave? Contact And Then There Were None. They can help.
Would you like to learn more about the connection between abortion and eugenics? Purchase my new book! Courageously Pro-Life has a chapter dedicated to eugencis with 11 others discussing many other topics. 100% of the proceeds benefit the ministry of Promise of Life Network.