Planned Parenthood Condemned to Repeat the Past

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On March 27, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s annual gala in Houston, Texas. She was being honored and presented with the Margaret Sanger award “for her unwavering support of women’s health and rights throughout her public service career.” While Secretary Clinton happily received her award and spoke to the attending audience in the George R. Brown Convention Center, an estimated 900 pro-lifers marched outside along the Discovery Green with one purpose, to show that Secretary Clinton and President Obama are wrong on abortion.

In her acceptance speech, Secretary Clinton stated, “Now I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award. I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision…and when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her.”

Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This quote makes me wonder if Secretary Clinton has really taken time to look back at Margaret Sanger’s accomplishments and ideology.  Margaret Sanger is one of the many advocates of eugenics, the science that deals with the improvement (through controlled mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed.  Along with her extreme feminist ideology, which advocated taking the decision of child birth away from the married couple and placing it solely in the woman’s hands, Sanger also gave speeches to racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

The debate about Sanger’s racism continues, but there is no doubt that her legacy has chosen its targets. According to Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s 1997 Plan of Action, its “core clients” are “young women, low-income women and women of color”. Planned Parenthood facilities across America are strategically placed in minority communities. Four out of five Planned Parenthood facilities are located in minority communities. Most recently, here in Houston, the largest Planned Parenthood facility in the western hemisphere has been placed in the middle of Hispanic and African American communities and across the street from the University of Houston main campus.

Planned Parenthood continuously tries to deny its roots and its current reality. They shy away from talking about Margaret Sanger’s bigotry and racist ties. They also try to claim that abortion is only a small portion of their business. Abortion advocates and supporters of Planned Parenthood continuously use the mantra that Planned Parenthood does much more than just abortions, such as women’s reproductive services and sex education.

In a report by ABC 13 Eyewitness News in Houston, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson, Rochelle Tofoya, described the new facility, “It’s a larger facility for us to provide all the same services we’re providing now…that’s birth control, annual well woman exams, surgical cancer screenings. We will provide abortions, but that is only a small portion of services provided.” Small portion?  Planned Parenthood’s 2008 annual report shows the following.

Abortions: 324,008 (up 6.1% from 305,310 in 2007)
Prenatal Care: 9,433 (down 14% from 10,914 in 2007)
Adoption: 2,405 (down 51% from 4,912 in 2007)

The American Life League states that, “Planned Parenthood commits 134 abortions for every adoption referral.” Along with the apparent increase in abortions from 2007 to 2008, the other areas show significant drops. Planned Parenthood’s proud primary care services account for 0.1% of its business.

Secretary Clinton stated that she is in awe of Margaret Sanger and her contributions.  But nowhere in the rest of her acceptance speech does she mention Sanger and Planned Parenthood’s biggest contribution and money maker, abortion. It is hidden in phrases like “women’s empowerment” and “reproductive freedom”. She did mention abortion once, but in an antagonizing way to people who want to reduce abortions not stop abortions, “For those who care so deeply about reducing the abortion rate, the best way to make sure we reduce abortion is to provide access to safe family planning.” Yet Planned Parenthood does not seem too interested in reducing abortions. It was Albert Einstein who said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Why do we continue to trust them with human lives?

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