Gov’t Funding of Planned Parenthood: A Dark History

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 7, 2015   

Federal funding of contraception was fueled by racial population politics

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After a spate of graphic video exposés showing Planned Parenthood profits off the sale of aborted children's body parts, New Hampshire earlier this week canceled a $640,000 contract with the abortion giant — an amount comprising one third of the organization's public funding in the state; the other two thirds (about $1.3 million) consists of federal money. New Hampshire was one among several states that cut state funding to the organization, while measures in the U.S. House and Senate to defund Planned Parenthood failed.

As of today, the abortion giant continues to receive half a billion dollars in federal taxpayer money each year.

The use of federal taxpayer dollars to fund the abortion industry has a long history in the United States stretching back nearly four decades, to the presidency of Richard Nixon, a strong proponent of population control.

Concerned by the threat of overpopulation, Nixon issued a statement in 1969 proposing the creation of a Commission on Population Growth. He wrote, "When future generations evaluate the record of our time, one of the most important factors in their judgment will be the way in which we responded to population growth."

In the statement, Nixon warned of the global threat to humankind if population were allowed to grow unchecked, and he offered a number of common myths about the dire consequences that would result if nations failed to stem population growth. He pledged America's full support of the United Nations in its efforts at population control around the world.

He also proposed federal funding of contraception. "I believe, therefore, that we should establish as a national goal the provision of adequate family planning services within the next five years to all those who want them but cannot afford them. This we have the capacity to do."

Thus was born Title X — the nation's only federal grant program devoted to promoting contraception. 

Then-U.S. Representative George H.W. Bush — who would later go on to become the 41st president of the United States — was chief sponsor of the Title X bill. "We need to make population and family planning household words," said Bush. "We need to take sensationalism out of this topic .... . If family planning is anything, it is a public health matter."

Title X passed in the House 298–32 and unanimously in the Senate, and Nixon signed it into law in 1970.

But Nixon's motives in passing Title X were far darker than he publicly let on. Nixon's support of free contraception for the poor targeted one primary demographic: African Americans. Audio recordings captured from the Oval Office reveal the president's true motives — the reduction of "the Negro population," or what he called "the little black bastards."

Nixon approvingly cites John D. Rockefeller — one of the chief architects of the American eugenics movement — to support the idea of targeting poor minorities for population reduction. According to historian Edwin Black, "The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz."

By 1926, Rockefeller had donated some $410,000 — almost $4 million in 21st-century money — to hundreds of German researchers. In May 1926, Rockefeller awarded $250,000 to the German Psychiatric Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, later to become the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry. Among the leading psychiatrists at the German Psychiatric Institute was Ernst Rüdin, who became director and eventually an architect of Hitler's systematic medical repression. ...

Rüdin's organization became a prime director and recipient of the murderous experimentation and research conducted on Jews, Gypsies and others.

The tentacles of the American eugenics movement reached far and high. Nixon named Rockefeller Chair of his Commission on Population Growth in 1969, and Charles Westoff was chosen to be the Commission's executive director. Westoff was another prominent eugenicist, and a card-carrying member of the American Eugenics Society.

The American Eugenics Society had a close working relationship with the American Birth Control League, founded by Margaret Sanger. Sanger's League in its early days operated out of the offices of the American Eugenics Society, and it was this League that eventually morphed into Planned Parenthood — which continues to honor its founder each year by offering the "Margaret Sanger Award" to those who most vigorously promote abortion. Rockefeller was among Sanger's more sizeable donors.

Although Sanger is touted as a great feminist leader who fought for women's rights, in truth Sanger was a eugenicist who made no secret of her desire to reduce or eliminate undesirable populations — including African Americans, the "feeble-minded," and others "whose progeny is tainted." 

"We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," Sanger wrote. In 1939, Sanger established The Negro Project, a collaborative effort between the Birth Control League and Sanger's Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. The aim was to control the African-American population, which she and other eugenicists deemed racially and intellectually inferior.

She would accomplish her goals through contraception, sterilization and abortion. In her words, "Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race."

 

Not only did Sanger correspond with Ernst Rüdin, the head of Nazi Germany's eugenics program, her magazine the Birth Control Review published his article in 1933 titled "Eugenics Sterilization: An Urgent  Need."

Lothrop Stoddard, who sat on the board of Sanger's Birth Control League, was a respected American eugenicist who praised the Nazi's racial policy for "weeding out the worst strains in the Germanic stock." He met personally with Hitler, and his writings on racial policy were featured in Nazi school textbooks.

Sanger herself got her start when she opened up the nation's first birth control clinic in 1916, where she tested the country's Comstock Law, which criminalized the sale of contraception. Nine days after her clinic opened, she was arrested by an undercover police officer posing as a patient. On trial, the court ultimately ruled in her favor, opening the door for legalized contraception in the United States.

Today, Planned Parenthood receives federal funding from both Title X and Medicaid to the tune of more than half a billion dollars per year. Although Title X initially set aside $6 million for family planning in 1970, that number would increase nearly thirty-fold within a decade, to $162 million in 1980. Today, the federal government appropriates more than $300 million to providing "family planning services" to low-income families — much of this money going to Planned Parenthood.

Although the abortion giant is incorporated as a non-profit, it rakes in yearly revenue of $1.3 billion. As recent video exposés reveal, a chunk of those profits comes from the fetal body parts industry. According to recent testimony by Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic that regularly engaged in selling aborted infants' organs, her clinic received $200 per "specimen."

The actual costs to the clinic for harvesting were minimal — only $5 – $10 per aborted child, and those were costs only associated with shipping. No other costs, according to Johnson, were incurred by the clinic in its harvesting of organs. Thus receiving $200 per aborted child resulted in "sheer profit" for the clinic. In her words, if only two thirds of the women seeking abortions at the clinic consented to "donating" their aborted child, and the clinic agreed to receive only $100 per "specimen," the clinic could generate as much as $120,000 per month. That's more than $1.4 million per year — for a single clinic. In Johnson's words, "That is certainly not recouping cost."

 

Although the measures to bring a Defund Planned Parenthood bill to a vote failed in both the U.S. House and Senate last month, it's likely the bill will be brought back to the floor in this fall's legislative session. Depending on the moral conviction of our legislators and the strength of public outcry over the fetal body parts trade, the abortion giant may soon see its enormous yearly revenue cut in half.

 

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