"The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." -Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood
"[Our goal is] to be ready as educators and parents to help young people obtain sex satisfaction before marriage." -Dr. Lena Levine, colleague of Margaret Sanger and medical secretary of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in the 1930s
"We are not going to be an organization promoting celibacy or chastity." -Faye Wattleton, President of Planned Parenthood from 1978-1992
This summer, one of America's largest community organization networks was "busted" thanks to the efforts of two college kids with nothing more than a video camera and a desire to expose the truth. The shocking footage of ACORN workers advising Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe on everything from tax evasion to sex trafficking to prostitution sparked a firestorm of controversy and cast doubt upon the credibility of an organization that receives millions in federal funds-funds purportedly used to assist low-income individuals in improving their lives.
Few are aware, however, that before this intrepid pair set their sights on ACORN, O'Keefe conducted a similar campaign against Planned Parenthood. In a series of recorded telephone calls to Planned Parenthood offices across the country, O'Keefe posed as a prospective donor who wanted his contributions restricted to funding the abortion of African-American babies. In each instance he was assured that his wishes would be honored; not once was he turned away or taken to task for his despicable views.
Some interpret this as damning evidence that Planned Parenthood still actively embraces the vision of its founder, Margaret Sanger, who openly advocated for the sterilization of "undesirables" like minorities, immigrants, and the handicapped; and who viewed birth control primarily as a means "to create a race of thoroughbreds." While the organization would deny that its goal today is to "control" the growth of minorities, it is worth noting that minorities are disproportionately impacted by abortion, of which Planned Parenthood is the leading provider.
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From a politically-correct and multicultural perspective, however, Sanger's current relevance lies not in her eugenicist ideology, but in her legacy of advancing the feminist cause well before the word "feminism” made its way into our lexicon. She was among the first to champion the notion that a woman's body was her own and that a woman had a right to choose life or death for her unborn child. Almost a century after Sanger opened America's first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, NY, Planned Parenthood continues to champion this cause by waging a systematic campaign to liberate young people from the constraints of family and traditional sexual morality.
In spite of evidence indicating that responsible parenting plays a formative role in influencing children's sexual choices, Planned Parenthood has worked to supplant parents as the definitive authority on kids and sex. Its unabashed advocacy of pre-marital sexual experimentation, promiscuity, and abortion reveals a radical anti-family agenda that has no respect or regard for the role of parents in guiding kids' sexual choices, no use for the sexual mores that go along with the institution of marriage, and little concern for the emotional or physical health of children.
Unfortunately, few are aware of the extent to which the United States Congress has aided and abetted Planned Parenthood's crimes against the American family.
Last year, Planned Parenthood received approximately $350 million from the government in the form of grants and contracts. This money subsidized, among other things, an estimated 300,000 abortions. That amounts to 822 abortions every day, or 34 abortions per hour. When Planned Parenthood isn't busy ridding the world of unwanted children, it's spending millions to influence public policy and ensure our children are hearing its "sex without consequence thanks to birth control and abortion" message early and often, on the taxpayer's dime, in public school classrooms across America.
Planned Parenthood goes out of its way to downplay its role as an abortion provider, emphasizing on its website that abortion services only account for three percent of its annual business. What the organization fails to acknowledge, however, is the role it plays in perpetuating the kind of irresponsible and short-sighted attitudes that lead to unwanted pregnancies-and thus, abortions-in the first place. According to its mission statement, "Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility.... We believe that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and preserve the individual's right to privacy. We further believe that such self-determination will contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life and strong family relationships." In plain English, that means "Kids, don't let your parents saddle you with any hang-ups about sex outside of marriage. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy, and if that fails, you can fall back on abortion. Don't let an unwanted child interfere with your plans for life."
It's notable that Planned Parenthood's mission statement says nothing about the fundamental responsibility of each individual to exercise self-control in the sexual arena. Planned Parenthood's goal is sex without restraint or consequence. Its view was summed up by President Obama-an ardent supporter of Planned Parenthood-when, during his campaign, he said the mistake of an unwanted pregnancy is a "punishment" that should not have to be tolerated.
But, you can't eliminate a pregnancy without eliminating the unborn child. Therefore, the abortion that Mr. Obama advocates and that Planned Parenthood provides actually results in the "punishment" of an innocent party. Where's the justice in that?
Until we repudiate the false notion that we can have sex without consequence and abortion without injury, organizations like Planned Parenthood will continue their government-assisted campaign to sexualize our children. A step in the right direction would be for Congress to defund Planned Parenthood and stop interfering with parents' rightful role in educating their children about sex.
Ken Connor is the Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC, the former President of the Family Research Council, and a nationally recognized trial lawyer.