Archive for the Abortion Category

Not just Nazis: The grisly history of research on abortion survivors

Posted in Abortion History, Fetal Development, fetal Remains, fetal research, Fetal Surgery, Fetal Tissue with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2018 by saynsumthn

A look back at some of the grisly experiments once conducted on human abortion survivors will most likely make your stomach turn. This history shows the depravity a society can spiral into when medical research is allowed to advance untethered to any sense of ethical morality. Today, as videos of Planned Parenthood staffers haggling over the price of aborted baby body parts come to mind, a look into the fetal research market dating back to the 1930s reveals again how those who experiment on the bodies of tiny victims will often justify their actions as good.

Davenport Hooker’s Fetal Experiments on Living Aborted Babies

Image: Davenport Hooker University of Pittsburgh

Davenport Hooker University of Pittsburgh

Davenport Hooker (Image credit: University of Pittsburgh)

From the 1930s until the mid 1960s, University of Pittsburgh anatomist Davenport Hooker conducted research on children who survived surgical abortion by hysterotomy, a risky procedure similar to Caesarian section, where the doctor opens up the uterus with an incision and pulls the baby out.

Forensic anthropologist Emily K. Wilson authored a paper in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, explaining how Hooker obtained the abortion survivors:

Immediately following a surgical abortion by hysterotomy, performed on an unnamed woman at a nearby lying-in hospital, Hooker took the seven-week-old fetus to an observation room. He touched and stroked the face, body, arms, and legs as a motion picture camera recorded the fetus’s corresponding movements and reflexes. Over the next thirty-one years, Hooker would observe more than 150 fetuses and prematurely born infants in this manner. The project resulted in over forty articles and one nine-minute medical film and contributed information and photographic stills to numerous scientific and popular publications.

Wilson also writes, “But while Hooker and the 1930s medical and general public viewed live fetuses as acceptable materials for nontherapeutic research, they also shared a regard for fetuses as developing humans with some degree of social value.”

According to PittMed, a publication of the University of Pittsburgh, “Hooker purchased a 35-mm motion picture camera. Having gained the trust and permission of the obstetricians at Magee-Womens Hospital, Hooker was able to observe therapeutically aborted fetuses removed by Caesarian section. Upon stimulating the skin, he recorded the degree of reflex development, and in January of 1933, created the first films ever made of human fetal movement.”

Rutgers professor Johanna Schoen, an abortion supporter, adds, “In 1952, he [Hooker] assembled his footage into a silent educational film called “Early Fetal Human Activity.” The film showed the muscle activity of six fetuses ranging from 8 1/2 to 14 weeks.”

Video from that film can be viewed below (Warning – Images may be disturbing for some):

Author Lynn Morgan also did research on Hooker and discovered a brief account of Hooker’s experiments before the American Philosophical Society were published in a 1938 Time Magazine article entitled, “Embryonic Grasp.” Morgan writes:

“It described how a twenty-five week old fetus “snatched a glass rod weighing three grams from the scientist’s hand, waved it feebly but triumphantly for an instant before the spark of life went out.”

Hooker pointed out to his audience that an abortion survivor at twelve weeks gestation makes a “pretty fair fist.”

Article: Time Magazine Research on aborted baby 1938

Time Magazine Research on aborted baby 1938

The article noted that the doctor was notified by a Pittsburgh hospital, “whenever it has on hand a living abortus so that Dr. Hooker can rush to the scene with his photographer, make pictures and experiments before the fetus expires.”

Writing in her book, “Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos,” Morgan seemed troubled by the calloused demeanor of Hooker’s audience and the journalist, writing:

“The journalist cited the “admiring voice” of the scientist as Hooker described his findings before a “spell bound” audience… Didn’t the audience question the ethics of fetal experimentation? Didn’t the audience question whether 149 women would have had to be subjected to major abdominal surgery if the researchers had not wanted the fetuses delivered alive?”

Schoen, who approves of using abortion survivors for research, goes on to write that, “Several of Hooker’s images were published in 1962 in an early pregnancy guidebook, ‘The First Nine Months of Life.’ Its author, Geraldine Flanagan, did not discuss how the fetuses were photographed or mention the conditions, such as therapeutic abortion, that allowed them to be used in research.”

Images: Davenport Hooker fetal specimens featured in First Nine Months of Life

Davenport Hooker fetal specimens featured in First Nine Months of Life

Nurse Testifies Aborted Fetuses Shipped Alive on Ice

In 1972, a former Magee-Women’s Hospital nurse anesthetist testified before the Pennsylvania Abortion Law Commission that she witnessed the hospital shipping aborted and still living human fetuses to researchers for experimentation. Wilhamine Dick told the committee she witnessed “live fetuses being packed on ice” for use in research. According to a March 15, 1972, article published by the Indiana Evening Gazette, the former nurse also told the commission, “It was repulsive to watch live fetuses being packed in ice while still moving and trying to breathe, then being rushed to some laboratory and hear the medical students later discuss the experience of examining the organs of a once live baby.” She added that she resigned because she was “no longer able to accept seeing tiny arms and legs considered routine specimens.”

Image: article 1972 Nurse testifies about living human fetuses shipped alive

1972 Nurse testifies about living human fetuses shipped alive

Stanford University Experiments on Living Aborted Children 

A report by the New York Times detailed experiments which involved scientists at Stanford University who allegedly immersed 15 abortion survivors in a salt solution to see if they could absorb oxygen through the skin. An October 4, 1973, report by the Placerville Mountain Democrat quoted an alleged witness by the name of James Babcock, who told a legislative panel that he “learned that live fetuses had been placed in a special chamber, their ribs cut open to observe their heartbeat under certain conditions.”

report by the Stanford Daily, which did not dispute that the experiments happened, claimed the project had been “terminated in 1969.” In fact, according to the report, Dr. Robert Goodlin, an associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics, performed the research at Stanford in the 1960s and told the paper, “Our goal was to keep the fetus alive.” He added, “Cutting the fetus open was sometimes necessary to observe heart action and at other times to massage the heart.”

Paul Ramsey, author of “The Ethics of Fetal Research,”writes that the longest Goodlin was able to keep a fetus alive was eleven days, adding, “Again, the experiments would have been pointless if those previable abortuses had not been importantly and relevantly ‘alive’ before yet having capacity for respiration.”

The Stanford Daily reported, “Funds for further research were halted in 1969 when it was decided that Goodlin and other scientists were ‘too far away’ from their goal of keeping the fetus alive outside the womb….”

Image: article Stanford Daily Med School Doctors attack fetal research ban

Stanford Daily Med School Doctors attack fetal research ban

The paper also stated:

Stanford, along with other medical schools in the nation, made their research widely known in Life magazine article in September, 1965. Life stated that Goodlin and other scientists were “working toward the day when it would become routine to save prematurely aborted fetuses at almost any age and carry them through to “birth” in artificial wombs.

… In 1965, Life magazine depicted a 10-week-old fetus kept alive in an artificial womb by Goodlin’s team of Stanford physicians. Goodlin said the objective at all times was “to preserve life.”

Image: 10 week old Fetus kept alive via artificial womb (Image: Life Magazine)

10 week old Fetus kept alive via artificial womb (Image: Life Magazine)

That same year, Life Magazine published Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson’s photo essay, “Drama of Life Before Birth.” Nilsson later published many of the images in the book, “A Child is Born.”

Today, there seems to be a bit of a mystery about where Nilsson may have obtained his images. In fact, Time.com claims that some of those babies he photographed had been aborted:

Image: Life Magazine cover from 1965

Life Magazine cover from 1965

In the accompanying story, LIFE explained that all but one of the fetuses pictured were photographed outside the womb and had been removed—or aborted—“for a variety of medical reasons.” Nilsson had struck a deal with a hospital in Stockholm, whose doctors called him whenever a fetus was available to photograph. There, in a dedicated room with lights and lenses specially designed for the project, Nilsson arranged the fetuses so they appeared to be floating as if in the womb.

The website Making Visible Embryoscreated in part by an historian of biological and medical sciences, makes a similar claim:

Although claiming to show the living fetus, Nilsson actually photographed abortus material obtained from women who terminated their pregnancies under the liberal Swedish law. Working with dead embryos allowed Nilsson to experiment with lighting, background and positions, such as placing the thumb into the fetus’ mouth. But the origin of the pictures was rarely mentioned, even by ‘pro-life’ activists, who in the 1970s appropriated these icons.

Whether allegations that some of the photographed babies came from abortions is true or not is difficult to verify; however, a paper published in Bulletin of The History of Medicine, written by Solveig Julich, associate professor and senior lecturer at the Department of History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University in Sweden, makes a compelling case. She writes in part:

He admitted that most of the pictures were of “fetuses, just removed surgically” in connection with miscarriages or extrauterine pregnancies. They looked as if they were alive because they were still alive. He had only a few minutes in which to take the pictures before they developed ugly blotches and were changed. A few of the pictures, Nilsson told the reporter, were “taken inside the mother by means of a cystoscope and a flash in connection with a necessary abortion.” But he insisted that his photographs should not be seen as a contribution to the abortion debate: all he wanted to do was to give a clear conception of the origin and development of human life.

In all fairness to Nilsson, now deceased, there is no way to absolutely confirm these allegations nor to understand fully what his motivation was, if, in fact, he did use aborted babies in his photography.

Read the full paper here.

History is full of examples in which scientists and doctors went too far in their research on human subjects. The most vivid example of this comes out of the Holocaust, during which Nazi physicians believed the medical advances from experiments somehow justified their actions. In an article published by the Montreal Gazette, Dr. Hans Munch, an SS research pathologist at a Nazi institute near Auschwitz, described concentration camp physician Josef Mengele, who experimented on Jews inside the horrific camps:

Mengele saw the gassings as the only rational solution and argued that as the prisoners were going to be gassed anyway, there was no reason not to use them for medical experiments.

Sadly, that kind of reasoning for experimenting on human subjects sounds too familiar, as readers will see in parts two and three of this series on the history of experimentation on abortion survivors.

  • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

Alan Guttmacher (a man) pushed Planned Parenthood to perform abortions

Posted in Abortion History, Guttmacher, Illegal abortion, Planned Parenthood History, Planned Parenthood uses blacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2018 by saynsumthn

Past Planned Parenthood president instrumental in pushing to decriminalize abortion

This article is part of a series on the history of Planned Parenthood. Read parts one and two and four.

In reviewing the genesis of Planned Parenthood’s obsession with abortion, their founder Margaret Sanger’s views on forced sterilization and birth control, we’ve learned that it was actually under Alan F. Guttmacher’s presidency that abortion became part of Planned Parenthood’s mission. In the second part of this series, we gave some context to just how long Guttmacher had been pushing abortion prior to becoming a leader of Planned Parenthood. In part three, we will detail when Planned Parenthood publicly began to call for the legalization of abortion and began referring for the procedure.

In 1962, Guttmacher became president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and shortly thereafter, he told a friend, “I have not had the fortitude” to present to PPFA the idea of promoting abortion. “I think I would have a tough time in getting them to take a stand” he said. Any open support for legal change, he said, according to author David J. Garrow, “is going to take a long time.”

In reality, it did not take long at all.

Image: Alan F Guttmacher

Alan F Guttmacher

Pushing the “health exceptions” and redefining “life of the mother”

Guttmacher had been an outspoken advocate of decriminalizing abortion for years, but he became especially obsessed with abortion while in New York, eventually serving (in 1968) on Governor Rockefeller’s commission to examine the abortion statute in the state and make recommendations for change. In comparing the abortion rate of New York hospitals, Guttmacher observed that more whites than minorities were having abortions, writing, “the ratio of therapeutic abortions per 1000 live births was 2.6 for whites, 0.5 for Negroes, and 0.1 for Puerto Ricans…. [D]iscrimination between ward and private patients and between ethnic groups served to aggravate my dissatisfaction with the status quo and led to my desire for the enactment of a new law.”

Image: Alan Guttmacher, 1973 (Image credit: WGBH)

Alan Guttmacher, 1973 (Image credit: WGBH)

Guttmacher was a Humanist who did not view the life of the child as equal to the woman. He can be credited with pushing the so-called “health exceptions” for abortion. “By defining ‘life’ to include mental well being… Guttmacher claimed that there were instances in which it was appropriate to protect a woman’s ‘life’ by taking the life of her fetus,” writes abortion historian Daniel K Williams:

“I don’t like killing,” Guttmacher stated in a public lecture in 1961.

“I don’t like to do abortions but as many of you probably fought in World War II and killed because you wanted to preserve something more important, I think a mother’s life is more important than a fetus.”

Guttmacher’s focus on abortion for health purposes might be attributed to his twin brother, Dr. Manfred Guttmacher, a psychiatrist who happened to be a member of the American Law Institute (A.L.I.). The two Guttmacher brothers were both activists in the first birth control clinic in Baltimore.

“I have great respect for the American Law Institute. My twin brother Manfred, also a physician, an authority on forensic psychiatry, is a member of this group. Because of our twinship, I was privileged to attend a closed meeting two years ago,”Guttmacher wrote in Babies by Choice or Chance, in 1961.

Image: Manfred Guttmacher US National Library of Medicine

Manfred Guttmacher (Image: US National Library of Medicine)

According to the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the ALI was founded in 1923 and was made up of a group of  judges, lawyers, and law professors, “to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work.” It was the ALI’s Model Penal Code on abortion that was used in the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that forced abortion on every state in the nation.

Guttmacher later described that closed meeting further in 1972:

 [O]n a Sunday afternoon in December, 1959 when Mr. Herbert Wechsler (Professor of Law at Columbia) unveiled his model abortion statute now called the A.L.I. bill. The recommended statute provided that a doctor would be permitted to perform an abortion:

(1) if continuation of pregnancy “would gravely impair the physical or mental health of the mother”;

(2) if the doctor believed “that the child would be born with grave physical or mental defects”; or

(3) if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.”

Image: article American Law Institute Model Penal Code on Abortion 1959

American Law Institute Model Penal Code on Abortion 1959

“The Wechsler abortion bill was passed by the Institute as part of the total revised penal code revealed to the public in 1962. Many, including myself, hailed it as the answer to the legal problems surrounding abortion, which had always been the doctors’ dilemma,”Guttmacher recounted, adding, “In 1967, Colorado, California, and North Carolina… and in 1968, Maryland and Georgia… all modified their respective statutes using the A.L.I. bill as the prototype.”

“Even though the A.L.I. Code had not yet been adopted by any state, its mere promulgation opened the medical profession’s eyes to the preservation of health as being a justification for abortion,” Guttmacher wrote.

The real reason for the abortion push: population control and eugenics

Guttmacher’s and Sanger’s views were very similar, as they were both vocal members of the eugenics community. Sanger once advocated that a woman should obtain a license to breed in order to have a child, while Guttmacher pushed the idea that “feeble-minded” and “unfit” persons should have abortions. He was, however, clever enough to say that these were to be voluntary measures, despite a history of force within the population control movement.

As author Donald T. Critchlow explained in his book, “Intended Consequences,” “Within Planned Parenthood… population control advocates found a prominent place. Thus, Planned Parenthood maintained its position of promoting birth control as a woman’s right, but it joined other groups in lobbying for family planning as a means of controlling the rate of population growth.”

Image: Babies by Choice or By Chance, by Alan F Guttmcher

Babies by Choice or By Chance, by Alan F Guttmcher

In his 1959 book, “Babies by Choice or by Chance,” Guttmacher writes:

It is my belief that it should be permissible to abort any pregnancy in which there is high likelihood of injury to the health of the mother, or one in which there is a strong probability of an abnormal or malformed infant. In addition, the quality of the parents must be taken into account. Feeble-mindedness, in the mother in particularly, and her ability to care for a child should be evaluated. Pregnancy occurring from proved rape, and pregnancy in a child less than sixteen serves no useful purpose. Further, chronic moral turpitude which unfits humans as parents, such as drug addiction or chronic alcoholism, if declared incurable, should furnish ground for pregnancy interruption.

On December 4, 1967, Guttmacher appeared on a panel at Harvard Law School to discuss which types of people Hospitals should approve for abortions. He admitted:

“… I would abort mothers already carrying three or more children…. I would abort women who desire abortion who are drug addicts or severe alcoholics…. I would abort women with sub-normal mentality incapable of providing satisfactory parental care…”(Source; “Abortion: The Issues”, Dr. Alan Guttmacher – President, Planned Parenthood, December 4, 1967, Harvard Law School Forum)

Lying about motives… and about illegal abortion deaths

Abortion was strategically pushed on the nation, as Live Action News has previously reported, through lies and deceptions on the numbers of women who died from illegal abortions. And yet, a 1967 article in the Harvard Crimson quoted Alan Guttmacher speaking at the Harvard Law School Forum, admitting that most abortions prior to legalization were performed by “reputable physicians” – something that was downplayed as advocates pushed legal abortion as being safer than illegal abortion:

Seventy per cent of the illegal abortions in the country are performed by reputable physicians, each thinking himself a knight in white armor.

At the same event, Guttmacher asked for liberalization of abortion laws, but according to a report published by the Harvard Crimson, not for outright repeal. He said, “To allow abortion on demand would relegate man to the status of the bull.”

The next year, in 1968, Guttmacher founded the Center for Family Planning Program Development, a “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood, later renamed The Alan Guttmacher Institute. The organization, according to their website, was “originally housed within the corporate structure of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).” In a speech he made in July of 1969, Guttmacher acknowledged that funding for his Institute came from grants “from the Kellogg, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations as well as several other lesser  foundations.” Some of these same organizations had been funding eugenics for years.

Image: article headline on Guttmacher

Alan Guttmacher sees abortion as necessary 1968

In April 1969, Guttmacher suggested adding a clause to permit abortion in New York for any woman over 40 years of age, but it was voted down. He also believed that “abortion statutes should be entirely removed from the criminal code.”

“Family planning” not welcomed by minorities

Guttmacher called abortion “family planning,” and, in that same July 1969 speech, he pushed the decriminalization of abortion, saying, “It is time that we come to grips with two methods of family planning which we have a tendency to skip over in this country. One is abortion. I doubt that any of you is satisfied with the archaic, punitive, medieval law which now exists in your state and in mine which permits abortion to be done only to preserve the life of the mother. Almost all realize that liberalization of the abortion law is absolutely essential to permit the practice of good, honest medicine, not hypocritical medicine, but honest medicine. The question is how extensively should we liberalize the law.”

Image: article

Guttmacher calls abortion family planning 1969

The problem they had was that the very people which Sanger and her eugenics boards (and Guttmacher with his abortion advocacy push) targeted, the Black community, viewed birth control and abortion to be genocidal efforts to limit the growth of the Black race. And Planned Parenthood had noticed that their own minority patients had been on the decline. “Figures for ethnicity only go back to 1964 when 47% of the total patients were nonwhite. This dropped to 39% five years later in 1968,” Guttmacher stated.

Image: article Guttmacher speaks about Blacks in 1969

Guttmacher speaks about Blacks in 1969

Guttmacher acknowledged this in his speech:

“In addition, we must take full cognizance of the fact that our work among some militant minority groups is considered genocidal. They charge that what we are doing is not really trying to give a better family life to the less privileged segments of the community but trying to retard the numerical growth of ethnic minorities. This was first brought to my attention five or six years ago when I was lecturing at the University of California. For the first time in a long life I was picketed, and this fascinated me. I was picketed by a group called EROS, so I went down and chatted with the pickets who were very intelligent-looking black men. EROS means Endeavor to Raise Our Size…. They protested the work of PPWP as a form of genocide.”

Image: article Racism seen as denting Birth Control 1966

Racism seen as denting Birth Control 1966

Black suspicions ran even higher, when during a 1969 White House conference on food, nutrition and health, Guttmacher again unashamedly pushed for the decriminalization of abortion.

Fannie Lou Hamer

His statements, along with comments by others at the conference, were supposed to be aimed at helping the poor with food, but, instead, he was pushing population control. This alarmed Black activists like Fannie Lou Hamer, who, the night before the conference ended, issued a scathing attack on Guttmacher and others of like mind, according to a report filed on December 20, 1969, by the The Free Lance-Star. The paper quoted the noted civil rights activist as denouncing voluntary abortion, calling it “legalized murder,” making it clear that “she regards it as a part of a comprehensive white man’s plot to exterminate the Black population of the United States.”

The paper then went on to defend Guttmacher’s eugenic motives as “humanitarian.”

Image: article

Media spins Black concerns about Guttmacher push for abortion

A January 28, 1966, internal memo from Alan Guttmacher and Fred Jaffe acknowledged that Planned Parenthood was aware of how the Black community viewed abortion. The memo outlined the plan for winning over the Black community, calling for a “Community Relations Program” to “form a liaison between Planned Parenthood and minority organizations.” The plan, according to Planned Parenthood, would emphasize that “all people have the opportunity to make their own choices,” rather than, as the memo states, exhortation telling them how many children they should have.”

Image: article Black community charges genocide from abortion

Black community charges genocide from abortion

One way to get the message out, according to the memo, is to “get assistance from black organizations like The Urban League and the AME church,” and to employ “more Negro staff members on PP-WP [Planned Parenthood-World Population] and Affiliate’s staff, as well as recruit more Negro members for the National Board – at least 5.”

Planned Parenthood approves abortion advocacy

A few short years later, in 1968, Planned Parenthood did just that. Coincidentally, the move to add more Black board members came at the same time that the organization unanimously approved a policy recognizing abortion and sterilization as proper medical procedures.

According to the New York Times, “It called for liberalizing the criminal laws that prohibit them.”

Image: article Planned Parenthood uses Black man to push abortion (Image: New York Times 1968)

Planned Parenthood uses Black man to push abortion (Image: New York Times 1968)

At that same meeting, Planned Parenthood elected the first Black board chairman as the face to push this new abortion agenda — Dr. Jerome H. Holland, who, according to the NYT, “pledged his support for the group’s program saying that those who call birth control a form of genocide are ‘not aware of the real meaning of family planning and its uses.’”

Guttmacher expressed pleasure that “the group had taken a positive stand on ‘the necessity to liberalize abortion and sterilization statutes,’” adding that abortion should never be used as birth control. The recommendation affirmed by the 100-member board had originated from Planned Parenthood’s medical advisory committee, which Guttmacher had been part of. That committee had held:

“[I]t was the right and responsibility if every woman to decide whether and when to have a child…

“The committee recommended the abolition of existing laws and criminal laws regarding abortion and the recognition that advice, counseling and referral constituted an integral part of medical care…It recommended also that Planned Parenthood centers offer appropriate information and referral,” the NYTs reported.

The board then took Guttmacher’s advice to stress “voluntarism” with regard to legalizing abortion as the best way to reduce population.

Image: Planned Parenthood first calls for legalizing abortion 1968 (Image: New York Times)

Planned Parenthood first calls for legalizing abortion 1968 (Image: New York Times)

Planned Parenthood first calls for legalizing abortion 1968 (Image: New York Times)

“After this plank was approved in 1969,” writes Larry Lader in “Abortion II,” “PP chapters soon started abortion referrals, and even clinics, as ‘an integral part of medical care.’”

Planned Parenthood refers for abortions 

In fact, by 1970, Planned Parenthood of New York had announced according to the New York Times, “a citywide abortion information and referral service would be in operation on July 1, when the state’s new abortion law takes effect. The service will advise women on abortions and refer them to doctors and hospitals willing and able to perform the operations.”

Image: Planned Parenthood announces they will be referring for abortion June 1970

Planned Parenthood announces they will be referring for abortion June 1970

That same year, Guttmacher added, “We look forward to the time when our clinics can be closed, when the government can fund enough money to serve the poor and research new birth control methods.”

In our next article in this series, we will discuss Planned Parenthood’s first abortion facility, which did not open until 1970, and will detail Alan Guttmacher’s role in the idea of stand-alone abortion facilities, revealing how abortion came to be seen as the ultimate method of population control.

    • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

The population control advocate behind Planned Parenthood’s transition to abortion

Posted in Abortion History, Forced Population Control, Forced Sterilization, Guttmacher, Illegal abortion, Lader, Planned Parenthood History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2018 by saynsumthn

Alan Guttmacher, abortion, Planned Parenthood

This article is part two in a series on the history of Planned Parenthood. Read part one here.

Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s focus was eugenic sterilization and birth control, rather than decriminalizing abortion. But it wasn’t a female eugenics crusader who rolled out the abortion agenda of Planned Parenthood — that came from Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, a physician and past vice-president of the American Eugenics Society who was already steeped in abortion prior to his election as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) in 1962. Guttmacher worked with Mary S. Calderone, who joined Planned Parenthood’s staff in 1953 as its medical director, a post she held until 1964. Years earlier, Guttmacher had vowed to work to decriminalize abortion, eventually persuading the PPFA board to commit the procedures.

Image: Alan F Guttmacher

PPFA president Alan F Guttmacher speaks about abortion, 1965

Planned Parenthood was initially reluctant to perform abortions — that is, until Guttmacher came on the scene. Before making millions committing abortions, Planned Parenthood admitted that abortion takes human life. A Planned Parenthood pamphlet from 1952 reads, “Abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun.”

Another pamphlet from Planned Parenthood Federation of America also describes abortion as a procedure that “kills life after it has begun” and one which is “dangerous” to a woman’s “life and health.”

In the early 1960s, abortion enthusiasts like Larry Lader bemoaned Planned Parenthood’s lack of involvement with abortion, noting in his book, “Abortion II,” that “Abortion never became a feminist plank in the United States among the suffragettes or depression radicals. It was ignored, even boycotted by Planned Parenthood women in those days.”

Lader notes in his book, “Ideas Triumphant” how, other than the National Organization for Women (NOW), few groups were willing to support abortion: “In medicine, only the American Public Health Association (APHA) had taken a stand…. The huge network of Planned Parenthood Federation clinics remained on the sidelines except for its outspoken medical committee under Dr. Alan Guttmacher.”

Image: Lawrence Lader

Lawrence Lader, abortion crusader

Lader expounds further in his book, “Abortion II,” writing, “Planned Parenthood, with hundreds of chapters and clinics throughout the country, had been a particular disappointment. Legalized abortion, I insisted from the start, was the logical measure for contraception and an essential form of birth control. Under the leadership of Dr. Alan Guttmacher, the medical committee of Planned Parenthood-World Population proposed the ‘abolition of existing statutes and criminal laws regarding abortion’ in 1968. After this plank was approved by the members in 1969, Planned Parenthood chapters soon started abortion referrals, and even clinics, as an ‘integral part of medical care.’”

Guttmacher was an avid eugenicist, who joined others of his day in voicing a concern about rising population growth.  In spite of national calls for coercion to slow down the rate of population growth, Guttmacher instead advocated the decriminalization of abortion as an effort that he felt would accomplish the same result. But, although Guttmacher had learned how to finesse the rhetoric, he did not discount the use of coercion altogether. In 1966, Guttmacher compared the world population with the threat of nuclear war, telling the Washington Post that governments may have to act officially to limit families. “It may be taken out of the voluntary category,” Guttmacher said.

Image: article Guttmacher abortion coercion possible

Guttmacher abortion coercion possible

Population concerns drove public policy

In Michael W. Perry’s compilation of one of Sanger’s works with others of her period, “The Pivot of Civilization in Historical Perspective: The Birth Control Classic,” Perry writes of Alan Guttmacher, “In 1962, Alan Guttmacher, former vice president of the American Eugenics Association, assumed the presidency of Planned Parenthood. Soon, a ‘population bomb’ hysteria… was driving public policy. In 1969, a medical news magazine revealed what was really going on when it quoted Guttmacher, warning that if ‘voluntary means’ did not achieve the desired goals, ‘Each country will have to decide its own form of coercion and determine when and how it should be employed. At present, the means available are compulsory sterilization and compulsory abortion.’”

“That’s what [Margaret] Sanger intended to do with birth control…. So, why should it be surprising that Guttmacher felt the same?” Perry added.

 

This 1968 interview with Alan Guttmacher and a member of the clergy, which, according to Ball State University,  originated from WLBC-TV and was (possibly) a part of a segment titled, “Week in Review,” demonstrates the concern the PPFA president had about the so-called “population crisis.” Guttmacher began the interview by defining Planned Parenthood as a “movement which tries to make each child a wanted child born to responsible parents….”

In the interview, Alan Guttmacher, addressed the issue of population growth:

“Now, I think everyone is conscious of the fact that in some areas of the world there is explosive type of population increase, unsupportable, in that it is outdistancing food, it retards economic development… and, what we are attempting to do, of course, is to encourage countries to curtail the rate of growth.”

https://youtu.be/G1pwA6onfR0

He added this about the threat of a global “population crisis:”

Now, I’ve been in this a really long time and I am encouraged because, we have governments becoming deeply involved. Each year, one or more – many governments make population control part of national policy.

In 1969, after seeking government funding for “family planning” specifically for “low income Americans,” Guttmacher responded to criticism from some that population growth could be reduced by “voluntary methods” rather than government coercion. “I do not share their despair,” he stated. “The appropriate response, in my view, is to mobilize rapidly a total, coordinated U.S. program by government, in collaboration with voluntary health services, in an all-out maximum effort to demonstrate what voluntary fertility control can accomplish in a free society.”

A year later, in 1970, Guttmacher, told Boston Magazine that the United Nations should be the organization the United States used to carry out population control programs worldwide. Guttmacher explained his reasoning:

If you’re going to curb population, it’s extremely important not to have it done by the dammed Yankees, but by the UN. Because the thing is, then it’s not considered genocide. If the United States goes to the black man or the yellow man and says slow down your reproduction rate, we’re immediately suspected of having ulterior motives to keep the white man dominant in the world. If you can send in a colorful UN force, you’ve got much better leverage.

The fact is that Guttmacher understood that coercive means of population control would not be well received, especially by members of the Black community. The eugenics movement, of which he was a part, had come under criticism after the Nazis’ implemented their eugenic “final solution” for a “pure race” — something many believe originated with American eugenics leaders.

“So even though the plan [of coercion] may be desirable and would make us a stronger nation, a less polluted nation, I feel it would be strategically unwise at this time,” the former Planned Parenthood president told Lee McCall, a reporter for the Sarasota Herald Tribune in 1966.

Image: article Guttmacher Compulsory Birth Control 1970

Guttmacher Compulsory Birth Control 1970

The push for taxpayer-funded birth control for the poor and minorities

Guttmacher, who also founded Planned Parenthood’s research arm and “special affiliate,” the Guttmacher Institute, then proposed a blueprint to force taxpayers to pay for birth control access for the poor, as Live Action News detailed previously.

The plan was highly criticized by the Black community, which saw the move as a means of racist Black genocide.  “Among other things, this policy has brought the Planned Parenthood Federation under attack from black militants who see ‘family planning’ as a euphemism for race genocide,” the NYT reported at that time. So, a 1966 internal memo from Alan Guttmacher and Fred Jaffe outlined a new “community relations program” for winning over the Black community by “form[ing] a liaison between Planned Parenthood and minority organizations.” The plan, according to Planned Parenthood, was to emphasize that “all people have the opportunity to make their own choices,” rather than, as the memo states, exhortation telling them how many children they should have.”

Image from 1940’s Birth control pamphlet published by Planned Parenthood

In its 1969 article entitled, “Dr. Guttmacher is the Evangelist of Birth Control,” the New York Times was forced to acknowledge that many leaders sitting on Planned Parenthood’s board were in favor of coercive measures of population control. While painting the picture of an agency which was pushing birth control on the “ghetto” rather than the “middle-class” who were having more than the optimal amount of children, the paper noted that a “sizable” number of Planned Parenthood’s board was made up of “preponderantly white and well-to-do” people. They then quoted a Planned Parenthood board member who admitted the racist attitude of the organization when he stated, “What it all comes down to is that we want the poor to stop breeding while we retain our freedom to have large families. It’s strictly a class point of view.”

Guttmacher and Sanger were both (as eugenicists) concerned that the world population was a threat, but, Guttmacher, much savvier than Sanger, chose to couch his agenda as a “right.” He even told the paper that they were not trying to take away anyone’s rights, but trying to “show ghetto families how to space their children and avoid having children they don’t want.”

“Admittedly Guttmacher is buying time,” writes the New York Times in that 1969 report. “He thinks the voluntary movement should set a deadline of 1980. If world population growth has not dropped below 1.5 percent by then, he says, ‘we’ll have to get tough.’”

Guttmacher on coercive population control New York Times

Whatever Guttmacher meant by getting “tough” never materialized, because he believed decriminalizing abortion was the solution and noted this in a 1970 interview where he stated:

If we could get the abortion law liberalized, most of the 750,000 unwanted pregnancies would not lead to babies – rejected children, battered baby syndrome and illegal abortions.

Proposing the availability of “unlimited abortion” to curb population growth

And, in that same year, Guttmacher admitted to a 1970 Cornell Symposium, (according to an April 7, 1970, article published by the Cedar Rapids Gazette), that although he did not know when life began, he believed that “unlimited abortion” was the only way to reduce population growth, saying, “There is no question that the most effective way of reducing population growth is by unlimited abortion.”

According to researcher and author Mary Meehan, “Guttmacher undoubtedly believed that [abortion] helped women; in fact, he had referred patients to an illegal abortionist as early as 1941. Yet he also had other motives, indicated by his service as vice president and board member of the American Eugenics Society.”

Omage: book The Case for Legalized Abortion Now, edited by Alan F Guttmacher

The Case for Legalized Abortion Now, edited by Alan F Guttmacher

In 1967, Guttmacher edited a book on legalizing abortion, where he admitted, “Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life.” Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino agrees with this, stating that there is never a valid medical reason for abortion:

Guttmacher became Chief of Obstetrics at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital in 1942, eventually creating a staff committee of five to make decisions about abortion. Like Sanger, Guttmacher allegedly watched a woman die from an illegal abortion while serving as an intern in Baltimore. He later wrote of other women, “In a short period I witnessed three deaths from illegal abortions: a 16-year old with a multiperforated uterus, a mother of four who died of sepsis rejecting another child, and a patient in early menopause who fatally misinterpreted amenorrhea.”

Image: Alan Guttmacher 1973 (Image credit: WGBH)

Alan Guttmacher 1973 (Image credit: WGBH)

For years, Guttmacher referred women to physicians for illegal abortion procedures. He once wrotehow an illegal abortionist, nicknamed Dr. T,  showed him the abortion technique. “His technique was to pack one inch gauze strips into the cervix and lower uterine segment the night before he was to evacuate the conceptus,” Guttmacher wrote. “After 12 hours of packing, the cervix was wide open, and he was able to empty the uterus with an ovum forceps, followed by currettage without anesthesia. In advanced pregnancies he inserted intrauterine bougies, held in place by a vaginal pack until strong contractions commenced, which not infrequently took several days.”

“These early medical experiences with the unavailability of abortions in reputable hospitals and the incidence of illegal abortions convinced me that permitting abortion only ‘to preserve the life of the mother’ was undesirable and unenforceable…. My sentiment was that as long as the law was as restrictive as it was, doctors should not breach it, but work to change the law – a position which I forthrightly espoused in the classroom,” Guttmacher stated.

Dr. T later attended a 1950’s Abortion in the United States conference sponsored by PPFA, which focused on abortion. PPFA leader Mary Calderone writes, “Those very concerned with the problem of abortion will be full of gratitude for this report; gratitude to the P.P.F.A. for convening the conference and for the frankness of the thirty-eight participants, who comprised eminent gynaecologists, psychiatrists and a few social workers. The highlight of the proceedings was an M.D.’s testimony as a convicted (but not imprisoned) abortionist. The chairman stated that Dr. T. was his valued friend, known for nearly three decades, and described him as ‘an extremely competent abortionist … who some years ago fell into disagreement with the law and is no longer in practice”.’”

The PPFA group heard from abortion advocates worldwide, and in the end, Calderone indicates that there was no clarion call to push for abortion reform.

In his book, “Babies by Choice or by Chance,” published in 1959, Guttmacher allegedly deplored “the performance of abortion on virtual demand.” But Guttmacher also noted how he had learned from experience how hospitals were “allowed to interpret and administer the abortion law of their respective states without supervision or interference from either the police, the courts or medical agencies.”

Babies by Choice or By Chance, by Alan F Guttmcher

In 1952, Guttmacher had relocated from Baltimore to New York, where he became the first Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mount Sinai Hospital, which had already been approving and performing abortions. “I was told that if a private patient was denied abortion in another institution, she frequently sought abortion at Mt. Sinai because of its well-known, relatively liberal policy,” Guttmacher claimed.

Alan Guttmacher appointed head of obstetrics at Mount Sinai Hospital (Image New York Times June 27,1952)

By 1962, Guttmacher was at the helm of Planned Parenthood and he was positioned to put his dream of decriminalizing abortion into action. That same year, as chairman of the medical and scientific committee of the Human Betterment Foundation, Guttmacher called the existing abortion laws “archaic” and “idiotic.”

Guttmacher named president of Planned Parenthood, 1967 (Image: New York Times)

“The idea that the fetus has a sacred right to survive from the moment of fertilization is a Judeo Christian creation,” he said according to a May 2, 1962, Poughkeepsie Miscellany News report.

Alan Guttmacher calls 1960 abortion laws archaic

“I believe that a new abortion statute for New York and each of the other states is needed…. I think it is high time that a commission of physicians, lawyers, judges, sociologists, and religionists convened in an attempt to wrestle with the problem realistically…. The only way progress can be made is through an aroused citizenry. What we need in the United States is a uniform abortion law,” Guttmacher wrote in “Babies by Choice.”

A few years later, during a 1965 “Abortion and the Law” BBC program, Guttmacher, then president of PPFA, put forth the infamous “health” exception for abortion, stating (36:20):

Now, the law as you know is simply to preserve the life of the mother. This is wholly inadequate.

Number one, I’d preserve the life or health of the mother. And, as you know, health could be interpreted quite broadly and I think it should be. In 1960, the World Health Organization gave us splendid definition of health. They said health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being. Not simply the absence of illness and disease.

Second, I feel that abortion should be done, when competent medical opinion feels that there’s strong likelihood of the current [inaudible] to result in the malformed or abnormal child. I think whenever pregnancy is the result of proved rape, incest, or the impregnation of a child of sixteen or less, with or without the consent, that we have legal grounds for interrupting this pregnancy.

Interestingly, this language comes directly from the 1959 American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code on abortion. In our next report in this series, we will learn Guttmacher’s connection to that organization and detail what led up to Planned Parenthood’s decision to push for the decriminalization of abortion and begin referring for the procedure.

    • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

Planned Parenthood’s abortion history and Margaret Sanger Timeline ( Part 1 of 4)

Posted in Abortion History, Eugenics, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2018 by saynsumthn
Planned Parenthood, abortion corporation

Believe it or not, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger did not introduce abortion to the organization. It was a man, Alan F. Guttmacher (after whom the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute is named), who did so. But Sanger has a very controversial history as an enthusiastic proponent of eugenics and as a member of the American Eugenics Society. The philosophy of eugenics not only fed her work within the Planned Parenthood movement, but her lesser known advocacy of euthanasia as well. The organizations Sanger founded, such as the American Birth Control League (ABCL), and later, Planned Parenthood, also have ties to many eugenics proponents. Under the philosophy of eugenics, minorities and the poor, as well as others deemed to be “feebleminded or unfit” were sometimes sterilized by the state. And at times, state sterilization boards used Planned Parenthood to commit these surgeries.

Sanger’s advocacy of eugenics reveals that her desire was initially to sterilize those she deemed “unfit.” It wasn’t until after these inhumane, eugenic methods were challenged in court that abortion was introduced into Planned Parenthood as an organization.

This clip from the documentary film, Maafa21, recounts a case in which eugenics courts utilized Planned Parenthood’s services to do the dirty work of eugenic sterilizations:

In 1921, Sanger founded the ABCL after opening her first birth control clinic in 1916. In 1923, according to the Margaret Sanger Papers, the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau (BCCRB) began as the Clinical Research Bureau (CRB), and on January 19, 1939, the Birth Control Federation of America (BCFA) was formed through a merger of the ABCL and the BCCRB. At a special membership meeting held on January 29, 1942, the BCFA changed its name to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

Planned Parenthood Federation of America Formerly BCFA

Sanger’s obsession with eugenics originated with her introduction to Henry Havelock Ellis in 1914, a psychologist and author of several books on sex, according to biographer Larry Lader. Lader once recounted that Sanger had “skimpy” knowledge about abortion, and that the topic caused a split between Lader and Sanger. “Ironically, I would eventually split with Margaret over abortion — only in a theoretical sense since, by 1963, she was too ill to carry on our old discussions,” Lader wrote in “Abortion II.” “Margaret had always opposed abortion…. Naturally, she was right in the context of her time,” he continued.

Image: Margaret Sanger (Image Credit Milwaukee Sentinel)

Margaret Sanger (Image Credit Milwaukee Sentinel)

Sanger believed in birth control to “stop the reproduction of the unfit”

Today, thanks to Lader and the media, Sanger is probably most well known for her push for contraception. But Sanger’s birth control agenda had a sinister eugenics plot behind it, as she admittedin 1919, when she stated:

Before eugenists and others who are laboring for racial betterment can succeed, they must first clear the way for Birth Control…. We who advocate Birth Control, on the other hand, lay all our emphasis upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care for those who are born in health. …While I personally believe in the sterilization of the feeble-minded, the insane and syphilitic, I have not been able to discover that these measures are more than superficial deterrents when applied to the constantly growing stream of the unfit… Eugenics without Birth Control seems to us a house builded upon the sands. It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit…”

Sanger was a nurse by trade and had witnessed the horrors of illegal abortion. In fact, as early as 1912, before there were appropriate medicines to combat infection, Sanger witnessed a patient die from what she believed to be an illegal abortion. Sanger was not necessarily opposed to abortion, but as it had not yet been legalized, her focus was eugenic sterilization and birth control. In her book Woman and the New Race, published in 1920, Sanger suggests that birth control is a better choice than abortion:

When society holds up its hands in horror at the “crime” of abortion, it forgets at whose door the first and principal responsibility for this practice rests. Does anyone imagine that a woman would submit to abortion if not denied the knowledge of scientific, effective contraceptives? Does anyone believe that physicians and midwives who perform abortions go from door to door soliciting patronage? The abortionist could not continue his practice for twenty-four hours if it were not for the fact that women come desperately begging for such operations…The question, then, is not whether family limitation should be practiced. It is being practiced, it has been practiced for ages and it will always be practiced. The question that  society must answer is this: shall family limitation be achieved through birth control or abortion?”

Margaret Sanger talks abortion in Woman and the New Race

As abortion continues today despite the availability of multiple kinds of contraception, it appears that Sanger, in claiming women seek abortion only because they don’t have birth control, was wrong.

Sanger called birth control “less repulsive” than abortion

She goes on to admit, “In plain, everyday language, in an abortion there is always a very serious risk to the health and often to the life of the patient…. Frequent abortions tend to cause barrenness and serious, painful pelvic ailments. These and other conditions arising from such operations are very likely to ruin a woman’s general health.”

Poster from Birth Control Federation called Abortion Facts

Then, she briefly advocates for legalized abortion, while maintaining her focus on “prevention,” writing, “We know that abortion, when performed by skilled hands, under right conditions, brings almost no danger to the life of the patient, and we also know that particular diseases can be more easily combatted after such an abortion than during a pregnancy allowed to come to full term. But why not adopt the easier, safer, less repulsive course and prevent conception altogether? Why put these thousands of women who each year undergo such abortions to the pain they entail and in whatever danger attends them?”

She goes on to claim that “every argument that can be made for preventive medicine can be made for birth-control clinics,” adding that without these, “the rapid increase of the feebleminded, of criminal types and of the pathetic victims of toil in the child-labor factories,” will continue.

Sanger understood that life begins at the moment of fertilization, writing this in her Family Limitationpamphlet, originally published in 1914: “Any attempt to interfere with the development of the fertilized ovum is called an abortion. No one can doubt that there are times where abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception.”

Margaret Sanger in Family Limitation noted life begins at fertilization.

In 1921, Sanger proclaimed that “the campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aim of eugenics.”

In 1926, as Live Action News has previously detailed, Margaret Sanger met with the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan, entertaining additional invitations, according to her own report of the meeting. The event took place in Silver Lake, New Jersey, and Sanger described in it in her autobiography:

I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan…. I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses…. I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak…. In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered. (Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, P.366)

Sanger called that event “one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.”

Sanger’s writes about meeting the Klan in autobiography

Sanger believed having children was a privilege (granted by the state), not a human right

In 1934, Sanger suggested requiring a “license” to have children. To the likes of Sanger, the concept of becoming a parent was never one of “choice” but rather something reserved only for the privileged few and only if they obtained the approval of either the government or eugenics leaders.

License to Breed Margaret Sanger

In her publication, “A License for Mothers to Have Babies” with the subtitle, “A code to stop the overproduction of children.” Sanger outlined her plan article by article, which read in part (emphasis mine):

A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood.

Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.

Article 5. Permits for parenthood shall be issued upon application by city, county, or State authorities to married couples, providing the parents are financially able to support the expected child, have the qualifications needed for proper rearing of the child, have no transmissible diseases, and on the woman’s part, no medical indication that maternity is likely to result in death or permanent injury to health.

Article 6No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.

Then, in 1936, Julian S. Huxley, brother of novelist Aldous, who authored Brave New World, published an article in the Eugenics Review, where he proclaimed that birth control had to be taught to the so-called “lowest strata” of society who were “reproducing relatively too fast.” Sanger once said that Huxley “brings to the Birth Control movement the most distinguished intellectual background England can boast.” Huxley wrote:

First comes the prevention of dysgenic effects. The upper economic classes are presumably slightly better endowed with ability – at least with ability to succeed in our social system – yet are not reproducing fast enough to replace themselves, either absolutely or as a percentage of the total population. We must therefore try to remedy this state of affairs, by pious exhortation and appeals to patriotism, or by the more tangible methods of family allowances, cheaper education, or income-tax rebates for children. The lowest strata, allegedly less well-endowed genetically, are reproducing relatively too fast.

Therefore birth-control methods must be taught them; they must not have too easy access to relief or hospital treatment lest the removal of the last check on natural selection should make it too easy for children to be produced or to survive; long unemployment should be a ground for sterilization, or at least relief should be contingent upon no further children being brought into the world; and so on. That is to say, much of our eugenic programme will be curative and remedial merely, instead of preventive and constructive.

Huxley was an outspoken elitist on population control who, in 1946, became UNESCO’s first Director-Genera. He was the vice president of the Abortion Law Reform Association, and like Sanger, he once endorsed euthanasia. Then, in 1959, Huxley was awarded for his work by Planned Parenthood.

Julian HUxley spoke to Planned Parenthood

Julian Huxley spoke to Planned Parenthood (Image credit: Maafa21 documentary)

Interestingly, months later in 1937, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially recognized birth control as an integral part of medical practice and education. Then, North Carolina became the first state to include birth control in a public health program. We later learned that they were also heavily influenced by the eugenics movement.  

In 1938, Sanger set up a “Committee on Planned Parenthood,” announcing it in her publication, the American Birth Control Review, writing, “As a first step in a campaign to expand the nation-wide activities and services of the American Birth Control League, the Citizens Committee for Planned Parenthood will conduct a fund-raising campaign for $263,990 this Spring in metropolitan New York.”

Image from Sanger's publication

Committee on Planned Parenthood 1938 ABCL

By 1940, the group had raised over $118,000 for the cause with $10,000 coming from Albert D. Lasker.

Planned Parenthood once touted birth control as a way to reduce abortion… but it hasn’t

In 1939, the New York Times used the term “Planned Parenthood” in an article headline, quoting Sanger as claiming that, “The only way to halt the increasing abortion rate and strike at the roots of a racket… is through medically guided birth control advice.”

Image of article

Planned Parenthood mentioned in 1939 in NYT

Behind the scenes, Sanger’s organization was trying to gain the trust of the Black community. Her work in eugenics and her members’ continued advocacy of the very racist movement created some ambivalence.  The problem they faced was that the Black community saw birth control and abortion as genocide. But Sanger had a solution: to use Blacks themselves to introduce and promote “birth control.”

Thus, in 1939, Sanger created her “Negro Project,” as described in a letter she penned to Clarence Gamble regarding her desire to use Black ministers in furthering her organization’s agenda, because, she said, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” and if it did, these ministers could “straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Excerpt: Margaret Sanger Letter to Clarence Gamble, Negro Project

Then, on March 6, 1942, the NYT announced that the BCFA had changed its name to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood founded in 1942 (Image: New York Times)

In 1946, Frederick Osborne, a founding member of the American Eugenics Society (AES) who signed Margaret Sanger’s “Citizens Committee for Planned Parenthood” was elected president of the AES.

Osborn once wrote, “Eugenic goals are most likely attained under a name other than eugenics.” Some speculate that Planned Parenthood’s infamous slogan, “Every Child a Wanted Child,” may have originated with Osborn. It is no wonder that Osborn also said that “Birth Control and abortion are turning out to be the great eugenic advances of our time.”

1950’s Planned Parenthood Logos

A few years later, in 1950, Margaret Sanger proclaimed in a letter to Mrs. Stanley McCormick, “I consider that the world and almost our civilization for the next twenty-five years, is going to depend upon a simple, cheap, safe contraceptive to be used in poverty stricken slums, jungles, and among the most ignorant people. Even this will not be sufficient, because I believe that now, immediately, there should be national sterilization for certain dysgenic types of our population who are being encouraged to breed and would die out were the government not feeding them. Contraceptive research needs tremendous financial support…”

The push to add voluntary abortion for “medical, eugenic, and humanitarian reasons” began

Then, in 1959, the American Law Institute (ALI) proposed permitting legal therapeutic abortions. The ALI’s Model Penal Code on abortion was the premise of the 1973 Supreme Court Decision.

American Law Institute, Model Penal Code on Abortion (Image: Chicago Tribune, 1966)

In 1960, Psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Kummer and Zad Leavey, Deputy District Attorney of Los Angeles, suggested at an annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA), that abortion laws be changed to allow for, as the New York Times reported, “medical, eugenic and humanitarian reasons.”

In 1962, Alan Guttmacher, M.D. began his years as president of Planned Parenthood. The following year (1963) Betty Friedan published her book, The Feminine Mystique. Then, in 1964, the platform of the American Eugenics Party was presented and read in part, “The United States is already over-populated. We must stop all immigration and impose birth controls.”

Harriet Pilpel and Alan Guttmacher

In 1965, Harriet Pilpel, general counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union who later became chairwoman of the Law Panel International of Planned Parenthood Federation, according to the New York Times, published The Right to Abortion, calling abortion “the most widespread… method of fertility control in the modern world.”

Pilpel added, “If we really want to cut our population growth rate on a voluntary basis, we should make abortion available on a voluntary basis, at least in the early stages of pregnancy.”

That same year, more pressure was applied to the AMA to adopt a resolution in support of abortion. Sitting on the AMA’s Committee on Human Reproduction was Dr. Mary S. Calderone, a leader in the Planned Parenthood movement and director of SEICUS at the time. She argued, according to the New York Times, that, “A woman should not have to go through with having a baby she will shudder to see.”

Sanger died in 1966, several years before abortion was decriminalized in most states. That same year, Lader published his infamous book, Abortion.

Margaret Sanger Dies 1966

In 1967, Lader and Nathanson hijacked the women’s movement and influenced Betty Friedan to add an abortion plank to NOW. Soon after, in 1969, Lader helped to found NARAL.

Also in 1967, the AMA approved a measure to adopt an abortion policy that would allow therapeutic abortions for the health of life of the mother, to prevent the birth of a child with a physical or mental defect, and to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

That same year, California, Colorado, and North Carolina modified their statutes on abortion as well.

The next year, Planned Parenthood would also approve abortion and call for liberalizing laws that criminalized abortion.

    • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

Planned Parenthood opened first abortion clinic in 1970 years after Margaret Sanger founded

Posted in Abortion History, American Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians (AAPPP), Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood Employee, Planned Parenthood History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2018 by saynsumthn

How Planned Parenthood’s first abortion center went from ‘pregnancy detection’ to abortion

planned parenthood sticker

This article is part four of a series on the history of Planned Parenthood. Read parts onetwo, and three.

While Planned Parenthood was founded in 1942 by eugenicist Margaret Sanger, the organization didn’t open its first abortion facility until 1970. The decision to push for decriminalization of abortion and then subsequently begin committing abortions was brought in under Alan F. Guttmacher, a former vice president of the American Eugenics Society and president of Planned Parenthood in the 1960s, long after Margaret Sanger’s departure.

Image: Alan Guttmacher 1973

Alan Guttmacher 1973

In Live Action News’ series on this subject, we previously documented how former Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) president, Alan F. Guttmacher began advocating for abortion years before taking the helm of Planned Parenthood in 1962. Then, in 1968, under Guttmacher’s leadership, Planned Parenthood’s board approved a resolution to begin calling for the decriminalization of abortion and offering abortion referral services. It was passed the following year.

In this report, readers will learn about Planned Parenthood’s first abortion facility, which opened in 1970. George Langmyhr, chair of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Committee and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) at that time, detailed the organization’s abortion genesis, writing in 1971, “It goes without saying that Planned Parenthood Affiliates have long been involved in programs of abortion information, counseling and referral.”

George Langmyhr writes about Planned Parenthood first abortion facility

Langmyhr added:

I think it is fair to say that most professionals and volunteers associated with Planned Parenthood have accepted, for a long time, the necessity of abortion as an integral part of any complete or total family planning program. In 1969, Planned Parenthood-World Population passed a policy on abortion. Further, the National Medical Committee has issued Standards for Pregnancy Counseling Programs and Abortion Services.

Planned Parenthood began its journey to abortion with a “pregnancy detection” service

Langmyhr called Planned Parenthood’s early role in abortion activities “necessarily unpublicized,” pointing to “the outspoken advocacy of abortion law change by Dr. Alan Guttmacher” and going on to detail the organization’s involvement in abortion information, counseling, and referrals following the “advent of abortion reform movements,” as well as Planned Parenthood’s role in pregnancy detection, “clergy counseling,” national abortion hotlines, and the opening of abortion facilities.

George Langmyhr Planned Parenthood medical committee

Langmyhr explained just how Planned Parenthood affiliates became so involved in abortion:

In a programmatic way, Planned Parenthood began to get more deeply involved in abortion programs through its involvement in pregnancy detection services. In many communities, Planned Parenthood patients complained that it was virtually impossible to get a pregnancy test done easily and cheaply; this was verified by Affiliate personnel, upon checking these complaints. When attempting to prod health departments or hospitals, they found many institutions resistant to developing or implementing a pregnancy detection service. Therefore, many affiliates assumed this responsibility, at least on a temporary basis. When Planned Parenthood’s efforts became known, affiliates were confronted with an increasing number of women seeking pregnancy detection services who also began to request other assistance if they were found to be pregnant. Thus, certain affiliates began to get more deeply involved in abortion information, counseling and referral.

Up to this point, Planned Parenthood’s role was advocacy for the decriminalization of abortion as well as abortion referral in states such as New York, Colorado, and California, which had already changed their strict abortion laws. But in 1968, shortly after the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals liberalized its abortion stance, Planned Parenthood followed suit. An article written just after members of all 158 Planned Parenthood affiliates were presented with the change quotes Langmyhr as claiming that not all of Planned Parenthood’s members were on board.

“The great majority of the affiliated members are much in favor of the statement,” Langmyhr told the Charleston Gazette on December 30, 1968. But not all. “Just a week before the policy statement was made, a Washington D.C. based member said, ‘We don’t talk about abortion. We’ve had enough of a fight just getting birth control across.’” However, the paper noted that others felt Planned Parenthood had “dragged its feet much too long on the subject of abortion.”

From “pregnancy detection” to “abortion guidance”

Langmyhr then admitted that “[p]rior to 1965, when we were still walking the tight rope, getting those birth control laws repealed, it made little sense to get on to abortion.” He told the Gazette that his affiliates were being encouraged to give “abortion guidance” to all their patients. “Up until now they’ve been given the run around in most instances, even where there were indications they might be legally able” to have therapeutic abortions, Langmyhr said, adding that a lot of Planned Parenthood groups were working with others to change the laws.

In 1970, Planned Parenthood-World Population published a booklet to assist women in obtaining abortions. “Legal abortion: A guide for women in the United States,” was written by Langmyhr and Walter C. Rogers, MD.

Abortion Guide published by Planned Parenthood

In the booklet, Langmyhr called abortion a “proper medical back-up technique.” And, as is often done today, he also dehumanized the preborn child in the womb by referring to him/her as “the pregnancy.” The booklet, published three years prior to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, tells readers how to obtain an abortion by seeking the help of a select number of organizations including Planned Parenthood: “If you have a doctor you see regularly, ask him about getting an abortion. Or, call the Planned Parenthood affiliate in your community.” The booklet then published a list of every affiliate’s location and telephone number. And, of course, Langmyhr was sure to advise his readers that they seek birth control or sterilization from the organization as well.

Image: Legal Abortion A Guide for Women by George Langmyher

Legal Abortion A Guide for Women by George Langmyher

Planned Parenthood president Guttmacher suggests idea of “abortoriums” – free for poor women

In anticipation of New York decriminalizing its state abortion laws in 1970, Planned Parenthood’s president Alan F. Guttmacher suggested that “special facilities,” which he called “abortoriums,” should be opened. These “abortoriums” would supposedly do well if they charged one-third of the patients $150 to $200 and performed free abortions for poor women.

Planned Parenthood prez Alan Guttmacher suggests abortoriums in 1970 (Image New York Times)

Also in that April 1970 article, the paper reported that the membership of the American Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians (AAPPP) voted unanimously to recommend that the medical profession make “easily available to all women” whatever aid they may need to prevent birth, including abortion. The resolution also urged the “abolition of all statutes and criminal laws which in any way restrict the performance of abortion by licensed physicians.”

Image: Alan Guttmacher on abortion 1970 (Image New York Times)

Alan Guttmacher on abortion 1970 (Image New York Times)

The AAPPP was founded by Dr. Guttmacher in 1963 and was renamed the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) in 1987. According to the ARHP,  the AAPPP was based out of Planned Parenthood offices and was funded in large part by the organization. According to APHA history:

Guttmacher had recognized a need for a forum in which physicians could learn about and discuss advances in the field of family planning and formed AAPPP…. Funded largely by Planned Parenthood, with some small grants from pharmaceutical companies and membership dues from roughly 650 members… AAPPP had volunteer leadership, no staff and no office space of its own. The thread holding together its members was the annual meeting and the publication Advances in Family Planning. The thread was held by Planned Parenthood, from which AAPPP drew its very lifeblood: AAPPP’s funding came largely from Planned Parenthood, nearly all its members were Planned Parenthood physicians, and it was based in the Planned Parenthood offices in New York, with part-time administrative support from Planned Parenthood.

A May 25, 1970, article published by New York Magazine documents how Guttmacher, nicknamed the “dean of abortion faculty,” wanted to “rent a loft or store, equip it with surgical equipment and about 20 recovery beds and go into the large scale abortion practice.”

Image: Guttmacher large scale abortion practice NY Magazine May 1970

Guttmacher large scale abortion practice NY Magazine May 1970

The magazine went on to state, “Guttmacher would like to see the Planned Parenthood Association… set up facilities. In fact, the Planned Parenthood group in New York City is now thinking about setting up a clinic in the Borough Hall area of Brooklyn.”

Planned Parenthood made a big shift toward abortion over five years

In 1966, according to the New York Times, Planned Parenthood of New York had just 42 locations. Shortly after New York liberalized its abortion laws, Planned Parenthood set out to open its first abortion facility. By 1971 — just five years later — Planned Parenthood had 100 centers throughout the city. In 1971, Langmyhr detailed the organization’s shift towards abortion, writing:

Planned Parenthood of New York City is currently considering the development of an outpatient abortion facility in order to provide prompt, safe, low-cost ($0- 150) outpatient abortions.

Our affiliate in Syracuse made the decision to perform abortions on its premises. You may know that Syracuse is a conservative, Catholic community. The affiliate began to plan its abortion facility when it became apparent that no hospitals in the area were making provision for abortion services. Through various surveys, it learned that a number of doctors were willing to accept referrals for abortions that would either be performed in the physician’s office or in the hospital with which the physician was associated.

Since July 1, 1970, approximately 12 pregnancies per week have been terminated in the Syracuse Planned Parenthood facility. Twenty percent of the patients are on welfare; the fees have ranged from $0 – 250, with the average payment being $150. The administrative problems in actually putting together the service were, to say the least, horrendous.

1970: Planned Parenthood Center of Syracuse becomes first affiliate to commit abortions

On July 1, 1970, Planned Parenthood Center of Syracuse became the first affiliate to offer abortions. The affiliate’s executive director, Ellen Fairchild, recalled the event and was quoted in Planned Parenthood’s book, “A Tradition of Choice,” as saying, “Before the legislature even passed the new law, Dr. Jeff Penfield, the medical director, and I had decided to challenge the state by opening up an abortion clinic. Of course we never expected the law to be passed. But, once it happened, we decided to wait until it took effect on July 1. We did four abortions that first day.”

Image: Ellen Fairchild opened first Planned Parenthood abortion clinic 1971

Ellen Fairchild opened first Planned Parenthood abortion clinic 1971

“We had the young and we had the desperate. We even had one whole family of sharecroppers come up from Mississippi because their 13-or 14-year-old girl was pregnant. They had read in the paper that we did abortions and we were the only place they had to turn,” Fairchild stated.

That same year, Mrs. Fred Schumachker, executive director of Planned Parenthood in Washington D.C., told the Elyria Chronicle Telegram, “You can have the most liberalized abortion laws in the world, but it won’t do any good without facilities and a hospital that allows it.”

Image: article

First Planned Parenthood abortion facility in US

The following year, the New York Times announced that Planned Parenthood was set to open an abortion facility in New York. Its executing vice president, Alfred F. Moran, noted that the facility would be a better option from what he called the “commercial profit-making abortion services” that were operating in the city. He called the facility a “prototype for the development of additional centers throughout the city, state and nation and will stimulate the conversion of so-called abortion clinics” into facilities that would also provide comprehensive birth control services.

 

Image: article

Planned Parenthood Opens first abortion facility in 1970 (image New York Times)

Funds for the abortion facility were being set up by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Scaife Family Trust of Pittsburgh, and an anonymous donor.

Moran told the media that they estimated doing about 80 abortions per week. He called the center “an example of how a family planning clinic can be successfully converted with relatively minor changes to provide abortions as well as birth control services.”

Image: article

Planned Parenthood New York starts offering abortions

Moran suggested that eight to ten abortion clinics capable of doing nearly 100,000 abortions be set up across the city, costing in the range of $3-4 million. “That there would be a demand for terminations was clear from the affiliate’s experience with abortion counseling and referral service which had been established in 1968,” wrote Ellen Fairchild in April 1971.

The abortion facility, according to reports, was set up to perform more than 10,000 abortions per year on women less than 10 weeks pregnant. Under the state’s health code, Planned Parenthood was required to have a back up hospital within a ten minute drive from the clinic, which was Beth Israel Medical Center (also committing two thousand abortions annually), according to a New York Times report.

Planned Parenthood opens abortion clinic 1971

Within six months, Planned Parenthood of New York City began providing abortions on a larger scale in the Bronx.

Image: article

Planned Parenthood to open first abortion clinic 1971

In testimony before Congress in 1972, demographer Randy Engel detailed what occurred next:

As of 1971, Planned Parenthood was operating at least three aboratoriums, including an out-patient center in Alameda-San Francisco area for “low-income” patients, a clinic in Syracuse, and one in New York which will perform 9,000-10,000 low cost abortions per year. In New York City, Planned Parenthood operates a Family Planning Services Information Service for the city, which gives information and makes referrals for birth control, voluntary sterilization, and abortion for city residents.

… Planned Parenthood, Milwaukee, for example has received a $150,000 grant from HEW [a Government agency at that time] which was matched by $75,000. This permitted PP to increase its services by 50% to include contraception, sterilization and “abortion referral.”

According to PP, abortion counseling and referral are “educational and political” as well as purely “service”, that is, a total program aimed at educating the public so as to “mold a new attitude” toward abortion: to “increase the number of therapeutic abortions performed under the law in the Bay area and throughout California; and to work for further liberalization of the law” and other objectives.

Planned Parenthood ultimately committed abortions for eugenic reasons 

Planned Parenthood was not only referring for abortions, now they were also fully engaged in committing the procedure. But the organization’s overall agenda was the same: eugenics. Eugenicists like Guttmacher long identified abortion as the new “solution” to what was deemed a “population problem,” and other eugenics-minded advocates wasted little time joining Planned Parenthood in implementing their new plan.

Writing for the NYT, in 1971, author Virginia Lee Warren observed how Planned Parenthood was less about women and more about decreasing population growth:

Image: article

Men fund Planned Parenthood because of population and eugenics (Image New York Times)

Men, especially men in big business… have come to see that an excess of people can make life difficult for everyone…. The result, executives and corporation lawyers have been leaping into Planned Parenthood, especially into the money raising phase of it…. Indeed, so many men are now deep in the movement that on the national board of the organization they outnumber women 55 to 49…. Today, largely because of the men who have rallied to the cause, Planned Parenthood’s budget for this year is $20 million–20 times what it was when Cass Canfield led the way into the organization in 1959.

One of those men, Alan Guttmacher, wasted little time approaching the Planned Parenthood board to offer abortions nationwide after the Supreme Court legalized abortion in January of 1973. According to author Rose Holz, at a February 1973 PP-WP board meeting, Guttmacher insisted that Planned Parenthood begin offering on-site abortions for the poor. The former Eugenics Society VP, who had been calling for the decriminalization of abortion for years, saw it as a solution to the overpopulation problem and now seemed determined to take advantage of the court’s decision.

In Holz’s book, “The Birth Control Clinic in a Marketplace World,” she quotes Guttmacher:

What opportunity does the poor person have? Does she have equal opportunity for abortion as the affluent? I am not interested in the fact that private practitioners are changing their criteria for doing abortions because the law has changed. My only interest in this is what opportunity does the [poor] woman with the undesired, unplanned and rejected pregnancy have…. Unless this organization takes a strong stand in this area, I can’t believe that we are going really have a successful program in the United States.

Today, nearly 50 years since Planned Parenthood opened its first abortion facility, it has “successfully” become the nation’s largest abortion provider, marketing them to the poor and minorities from state to state. Due in part to the same type of philanthropists who financed them years ago along with millions in taxpayer dollars annually, this organization now commits more than one-third of the nation’s reported abortions. With Guttmacher’s abortion plan implemented, surely the abortion corporation’s eugenicist founder, Margaret Sanger, would be proud.

How many women really died from illegal abortion prior to Roe v. Wade?

Posted in Abortion death, Abortion stats, Bernard Nathanson, CDC, Guttmacher, Illegal abortion, Lader, NARAL, Tietze with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2018 by saynsumthn

abortion, woman, planned parenthood, abortion

In the days leading up to the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in America, pro-choice advocates falsely claimed that hundreds of thousands of women died from illegal abortions. This claim led to several lawmakers voting to decriminalize the procedure prior to Roe, and it is one of the reasons that some lawmakers are hesitant to outlaw it today. The statistics were simply a lie, thought up by the very people who would profit from legalizing it. Past Planned Parenthood president Alan Guttmacher made it clear that a majority of those who committed the supposedly dangerous illegal abortions which killed (according to them) “thousands of women,” were none other than trained physicians. A 1967 Harvard Crimson article documented the statement, writing, “Seventy per cent of the illegal abortions in the country are performed by reputable physicians, each thinking himself a knight in white armor.”

Another Planned Parenthood official also admitted as much.

Image: Mary S Calderone former Planned Parenthood director

Mary S Calderone former Planned Parenthood director

Image: Mary S Calderone, former Planned Parenthood director (Image credit: Firing Line)

On October 19, 1959, Mary S. Calderone, a medical director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, presented a paper before the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) at the 87th Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she called abortion “no longer a dangerous procedure,” because it was being committed by physicians:

[I]n 1955 it was exhaustively contemplated by 43 men and women from the various disciplines of obstetrics, psychiatry, public health, sociology, forensic medicine, and law and demography… the conference estimated that 90 per cent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians.

Call them what you will, abortionists or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; and many of them are in good standing in their communities. They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is. Whatever trouble arises usually comes after self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 per cent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of nonmedical abortionist. Another corollary fact: physicians of impeccable standing are referring their patients for these illegal abortions to the colleagues whom they know are willing to perform them… So remember fact number three; abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians. “

READ: Gosnell is not alone: Why we need more investigations and stricter regulations

The fact is that, in the majority of states prior to Roe, physicians were legally permitted to commit “therapeutic abortions” if the woman’s life was endangered. “[I]n many circumstances the difference between the one and the other is $300 and knowing the right person,” stated Calderone, adding in that same speech:

[I]t becomes clear that the interpretation of legality is probably in the eye of the beholder. What we have to admit is, as was repeatedly emphasized, that most therapeutic abortions are in the strictest sense of the law actually illegal.

Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physicians.

Industry insider Bernard Nathanson admitted that those in his camp fabricated large numbers of women who died from illegal terminations prior to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. He should know, as he was an early abortionist who worked to decriminalize such laws in the nation by hijacking the women’s movement of his day with the help of Larry Lader, a Sanger biographer. Together, the two men and a few others founded the largest abortion lobby organization at that time, NARAL (as it was known then, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws).

Image: Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson

Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson

The lie that hundreds of thousands of women died from illegal abortions was successfully used to persuade lawmakers to rule in favor of legalizing it in the days leading up to Roe. Alexandra Desanctis writes in the National Review:

Undoubtedly this argument, that the illegality of abortion was leading to the deaths of countless women at the hands of “back alley butchers,” played an essential role in leading the seven justices to conclude that legalizing abortion would prevent harm. In fact, Blackmun in the majority opinion cited the papers of NARAL attorney Cyril Chestnut Means Jr., who falsified the legal history of abortion to make it appear as if abortion restrictions were not imposed until the 19th century and were created then only to protect maternal health rather than the lives of unborn children.

As more and more Americans become uncomfortable with the idea of legal abortion without limits, NARAL and its cohorts are resurrecting similar false claims.

False claim: 5,000 to 10,000 women died annually

In his book, “The Abortion Papers,” Dr. Nathanson admitted that the 5,000 to 10,000 death figure which was fed “to the public and the media in the late 1960’s,” was fabricated because it was a “nice, round, shocking figure.” And, just like they do today, the media — willingly and with no documentation — repeated that figure with no demand for proof. Nathanson reiterated this point in his book, “Hand of God,” and shockingly admitted that one of his strategies to changing perception about abortion was to attack the opposition, “at every opportunity,” which was in that day, the Catholic Church. He also admitted that in 1969:

Our favorite tack was to blame the church for the death of every woman from a botched abortion. There were perhaps three hundred or so deaths from criminal abortions annually in the United States in the sixties, but NARAL in its press releases claimed to have data that supported a figure of five thousand. Fortunately, the respected Dr. Christopher Tietze was our ally. Though, he never actually staked himself to a specific number, he never denied the authenticity of these claims.

Tietze was a senior consultant to the Center for Policy Studies of the Population Council, a radical organization founded by John D. Rockefeller III. That organization’s second president was Frederic Osborn, a founding member of the American Eugenics Society who signed Margaret Sanger’s “Citizens Committee for Planned Parenthood,” published in her review in April of 1938. (Osborn may have coined Planned Parenthood’s “Every Child a Wanted Child” slogan, and once wrote, “Eugenic goals are most likely attained under a name other than eugenics.”)

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967

 

The 5,000 figure mentioned by Nathanson and pushed to the media by NARAL originates from a piecemeal of several sources based largely on assumptions.  In the image below, NARAL’s footnote quotes from a source that allegedly “discussed Dr. Christopher Tietze’s estimate of nearly 8,000 deaths from illegal abortion annually in the United States.”

NARAL footnotes on illegal abortion deaths

The fact is that, in Lawrence Lader’s book “Abortion,” also sourced above, Lader clearly writes that “Tietze places the figure nearer 1,000.”

But, as Dr. John C. Willke explains in the video below, that trend decreased over time:

The truth is that Tietze disputed the 5,000 to 10,000 number, as did records of maternal deaths reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the years just prior to national legalization.

Let’s review the facts.

1930 – According to the Guttmacher Institute, a former “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood, “In 1930, abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women.”

1940 – According to Dr. John C. Willke, in his book, “Abortion and the Pro-life Movement and Insider View,” the “[f]irst official U.S. report stated that 1,407 women died from induced abortion in 1940…” And Guttmacher Institute appears to agree in part, stating, “The death toll had declined to just under 1,700 by 1940…”

1950s – In the previously mentioned speech by Mary S. Calderone on October 19, 1959, the former Planned Parenthood medical director claimed that by the 1950’s, illegal abortion deaths had dropped to less than three hundred:

In 1957 there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind. In New York City in 1921 there were 144 abortion deaths, in 1951 there were only 15; and, while the abortion death rate was going down so strikingly in that 30-year period, we know what happened to the population and the birth rate.

Guttmacher Institute writes that by 1950, “just over 300” women died from illegal abortion, adding that it was most likely “because of the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections that frequently developed after illegal abortion.”

The use of antibiotics was not only beneficial in preventing deaths from illegal abortion but in a decline of maternal mortality over all. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Medical advances (including the use of antibiotics, oxytocin to induce labor, and safe blood transfusion and better management of hypertensive conditions during pregnancy) accelerated declines in maternal mortality. During 1939-1948, maternal mortality decreased by 71%. The legalization of induced abortion beginning in the 1960s contributed to an 89% decline in deaths from septic illegal abortions during 1950-1973.

1964 – report authored by Merry Merrifield and published in the Chicago Tribune claimed that in 1964, 264 deaths had occurred from illegal abortion, according to the Department of Health Education and welfare (HEW).

1965 – Planned Parenthood claims, “In 1965, when abortion was still illegal nationwide except in cases of life endangerment, at least 193 women died from illegal abortions.”

Planned Parenthood’s former “special affiliate,” the Guttmacher Institute, writes, “By 1965, the number of deaths due to illegal abortion had fallen to just under 200.”

1966 – According to Dr. John C. Willke, “only 160 mothers had died from abortion in 1966 in the entire US.”

1967 – In 1967, Dr. Tietze, who was speaking at a conference sponsored by the Harvard Divinity School and Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, called the 5,000 illegal abortion deaths “unmitigated nonsense,” according to a September 13, 1967, article in the Berkshire Eagle. The paper went on to give substantially fewer numbers by Tietze, writing, “The known deaths attributed to abortion in 1964 were 247 and he thinks it is fairly safe to estimate that the real figure may be double that, even a little more, but certainly no more than a thousand.” Note that Dr. Tietze was no pro-lifer: In 1973, he was awarded Planned Parenthood’s infamous Margaret Sanger Award, named after its eugenicist founder who gave at least one speech to the Ku Klux Klan.

The Kingsport News reported on that same conference, pointing out that Tietze disputed the reported illegal totals, which some claimed ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million annually. The paper quotes Tietze as saying, “we have no real basis for guessing which extreme is closer to the truth.”

Tietze disputes illegal abortion deaths, 1967

The Register, a Virginia paper, notes in its article, “Supporters of Liberal Abortion Laws use Inflated Statistics, Expert says,” that Tietze suggested that the larger numbers (5,000 to 10,000) were made up to scare politicians into legalizing abortion. “The higher estimates are made by people who feel in order to raise sympathy for liberalized abortion laws they have to make people afraid.”

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967 b

1969 – By 1969, the very first abortion surveillance report was published by the Centers for Disease Control, noting a “lack of accurate incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality data” on abortion. According to this same CDC report, in 1966, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 189 maternal deaths from abortion complications.

This same year, three researchers found that data on illegal abortion deaths were limited.

Writing in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), Mildred B. Beck, M.S.W.; Sidney H. Newman, Ph.D.; and Sarah Lewit, B.A., found:

Limited information on mortality associated with abortion is available for the United States, but there is practically no information on morbidity…The frequently quoted figure of 5,000 – 10,000 deaths from abortion annually appears unrealistic in view of the 189 deaths from abortion, and about 50,000 deaths from all causes for women of reproductive age, reported by the National Center for Health Statistics for 1966…

1970 – By 1970, the CDC reported that in just a six month period (July to December), out of 16 reported abortions in New York City, eight women — HALF — had died from legal (not illegal) procedures. In total, the 1970 report states that 25 women died in New York City (where abortion had been liberalized), and eleven of those were from illegal abortions. The report also noted that Black and Puerto Rican women suffered higher legal abortion mortality rates.

According to that CDC document, “although there was substitution of legal for illegal abortion deaths, no significant decrease in total abortion mortality occurred following institution of the new law….”

Image: CDC Abortion Surveillance 1970

CDC Abortion Surveillance 1970

Image: 1970 CDC illegal abortion deaths

1970 CDC illegal abortion deaths

1972, year prior to Roe – In 1972, the year prior to national legalization, CDC reports revealed that deaths from illegal abortion were nothing close to the elusive 5,000 figure.

At the time the initial Abortion Surveillance report was published, CDC reported 51 deaths related to legal, illegal, and spontaneous abortions in 1973, and 71 in 1972. However, those reports were later updated, and the updated numbers can be found in this table from the CDC report (shown below):

Image: Abortion deaths prior to Roe (CDC 1972)

Abortion deaths prior to Roe (CDC 1972)

Deaths from illegal abortion:

  • 1972 – 39
  • 1973 – 19

Deaths from legal abortion:

  • 1972 – 24
  • 1973 – 25

Below is an image of the updated CDC abortion death table for years prior to Roe:

Image: CDC abortion deaths

CDC abortion deaths (illegal/Legal) 1972-1998

1975 – A 1975 report by National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, entitled, “Legalized Abortion and the Public Health: Report of a Study,” further dispels the lie that hundreds of thousands of women died from illegal abortion, writing in part, (emphasis added):

It is difficult to find credible estimates of the number of deaths associated with illegal abortion. One estimate, which has been frequently quoted, is between 5,000 and 10,000 deaths per year. That is hardly plausible, considering that the total number of deaths of women aged 15-44 from all causes in the United States is approximately 50,000 annually, and the total number of deaths due to abortion reported by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has been below 500 since 1958 and below 100 since 1971.

Live Action News previously documented that making abortion legal has not made it safe. Since Roe legalized it on demand, countless women have suffered physical injuries and many have been killed during their so-called safe and legal procedures. Live Action recently interviewed the brother of Cree Erwin-Sheppard, who died in July 2016, a few days after aborting at Kalamazoo’s Planned Parenthood facility on West Michigan Avenue. In the interview below, Tyler Sheppard emotionally recounted Cree’s tragic death as well as the death of the child she carried.

Tragically, as the end of the video documents, Cree is not the first woman to die from legal abortion. But whether illegal or legal, every abortion is intended to take the life of a human baby and sometimes physically damages or kills the mother in the process.

  • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

‘They never told me’: Women testify of being deceived by the abortion industry

Posted in Abortion Regret, child predator, Planned Parenthood Teens with tags , , , , on February 15, 2018 by saynsumthn
woman looking out window

Abortion has been sold to the public by Planned Parenthood, the abortion industry, and its friends in the media as a “right” for women, and as a marker of women’s empowerment. But in reality, many abortion patients say the experience was not the least bit empowering, testifying how they were given almost no information regarding the potential physical and emotional effects of the procedure, or regarding facts about the development of their babies. Beyond this, it is clear that teens who have abortions are at particular risk, as Planned Parenthood and other facilities do little to protect them, asking few questions and failing to report potential sexual abuse.

Below are statements from several women, including many minors, who suffered at the hands of the abortion industry, submitted to the Supreme Court in the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which the Court decided in favor of the plaintiff, an abortion conglomerate with an extensive list of health and safety violations over several years. These women state that informed consent was not a part of their abortion experiences:

Mary K. S., age 13
I was thirteen, having a “forced” abortion by my parents…. Nobody told me what really happens to the baby…. I was traumatized because I wanted to keep the baby…. The doctor had only aborted half the baby…. THE OTHER HALF WAS STILL IN ME!…

Aishaq M., age 13
No. I was only 13 years old. Nobody ever explained to me what would be happening to me. They explained it to my father. However no one spoke directly to me. I was not given an option…. I was pregnant as a result of rape….

Nika, age 14
No. I was fourteen. This child was a product of rape. I was not given any other options, told my baby was a glob of tissue and was given no aftercare. Told absolutely nothing about what could happen during as a complication or what can happen after, nor of the emotional toll this would take on my life.

Karin, age 15 
No. I was only 15 and was NOT given a choice – I did NOT want to have this done. I screamed at the doctors to stop but I was a minor and my parents made the choice for me….

Jennifer M., age 15
No. I was not informed on any facts on abortion during or before my abortion…. I was 15 years old…. My boyfriend’s sister who was 18 took me there. She called and asked beforehand if they would ask for proof of age. They said “no”….

Angela M., age 15
No. I was only 15 and I was so unaware of the consequences of my actions. My parents thought it would make the problem “go away” and everything would be back to normal…. I struggle even saying the word. I had nightmares, I began using drugs and drinking heavily and I struggled getting pregnant when I was married and ready…. My self-esteem is unrecoverable…. I have anxiety and depression.

Nicole P., age 15
No. I was 15 yrs. old. The procedure was never explained to me in any way. My parents did not know – only my boyfriend who drove me there. I was given no other option such as adoption…. I was scared as I laid there and the pain was intense as was the bleeding…. I contemplated suicide!

Shadia, age 15
No. I was 15 years old. I was directly told by the abortion saleswoman that my pregnancy was simply a blob of meaningless tissue. I was not asked if I wanted an ultrasound. I was never told I was killing a child. I was told if I hurried up and scheduled it before I reach 12 weeks, I’d save $150. No consequences…. Less than six months after the abortion, I became suicidal….

Julie E., age 16 
When I went to Planned Parenthood for the free pregnancy test, the counselor came back in the room with the news that I was indeed pregnant. I was in shock and heartbroken. I was 16. I had no support and no help. She never explained the procedure. She never told me options. It was presented as the only option but the procedure wasn’t explained….

Lisa C., age 16
I was 16 and scared. I was told halfway through the procedure that I was further along than they suspected and they had to switch the larger diameter instruments. I realized then it had to be a baby and that it was already too late to save it. I laid in bed and endured the worst psychological and physical pain I have ever felt….

Vickie E., age 16
No. I was not informed about the risks, the procedure performed or what exactly was going on. I was only 16 years old and was treated with no respect and seemingly disdain from the doctor, nurses and office staff. I was not even minimally informed of any adverse effects.

Kimberly V. D. L., age 16
No. The procedure was explained as terminating a pregnancy…. Medically, I had intense bleeding after procedure and there was no one to call or to turn to but my school nurse. I was not offered any counseling concerning the emotional aftermath. No one asked about the father, who was 21 and I was 16, no one told me he had committed a crime pressuring me into sex.

C.C., age 16
No… I was never told about what my other options were and where to seek help if I wasn’t sure about my decision (which I wasn’t). I remember asking advice from the woman who had just explained the procedure to us, about whether or not I should go through with it or not. She told me, “Look, I’m not a counselor or anything but you seem like a smart girl to me. I don’t think you wanna ruin your life by having a baby right now…. At sixteen years old, frightened and alone, you can imagine the impact that these words had on me…. I was treated like a number and not a person…. As long as I was able to pay, nothing else mattered.

K.H., age 16
No. I was not told anything. I was only 16 years old and I was being forced into having the abortion by my mother…. The nurse never spoke to me about anything that would go on, what was going on, or what would happen later other than not to get pregnant again. They spoke to my mother but never to me.

P.S.J.M., age 17
No. I was 17, scared and didn’t know what to expect, what the consequences would be, how I would feel. They did it so often that they didn’t even bother to explain anything to me. I just followed the instructions.

Patricia L., age 17
No. As a 17 yr. old victim of rape I was told nothing. In fact, I was made to feel as if the rape was deserved because I knew the person. I was treated as if I had been asking for it. I was treated as if there were no other choices but abortion. I was told that no one would believe I was raped so there was no reason to report it either. I was told nothing except that if I didn’t have it then I was choosing to destroy my own life.

Cynthia C., age 19
No. I was not told how the abortion would be done or of any complications or side effects that could occur. I was not told that there was a possibility of not being able to get pregnant in the future or of any of the psychological effects. I was 19 and I was pressured into it by my fiancé….

Jeanene B., teen
No. I was a teenager that was kept in the dark about the whole thing. My parent paid for the abortion. My parent told the medical personnel to not tell me as much as possible….

K.R., age not given
No. The Planned Parenthood counselor told me my baby was only the size of the head of a pin. Later research showed that my baby was developed enough to suck its thumb.

R.W., age not given
No… I became pregnant because I had been raped…. All I knew was that the baby would be taken from me, that it didn’t have a heartbeat, that it was just a blob of tissue…. I was not told about the physical pain – and believe me – it DOES hurt!!… As the doctor was doing the procedure (taking my baby’s life) I couldn’t stop crying, and all he could do was scream at me that “if you don’t shut up, I’m going to knock you out.”

T.P., age not given
No. I visited Planned Parenthood…. Going to the abortion clinic was like going to a doctor for a cold. Very cold, matter of fact, and no, no one told me of any health or emotional consequences.

Gail H., age not given
No. I went to Planned Parenthood… live birth was not even mentioned…. Looking back on this, I feel I was pushed into my abortion…. No other options were even presented to me. I was given no information on what the negative physical, mental and emotional problems could and would occur….

Nicki, age not given
No. I was forced to have this abortion by my ex-husband, an Army officer, who felt another child would adversely affect his military career. I had no idea of the mental, emotional and physical toll it would take on my life.

Lianne, age not given
No. Planned Parenthood staff said it was good to have the abortion early because “it wasn’t a baby yet – only a blob of tissue.” Didn’t inform me of any physical pain, consequences or emotional ramifications. I was not given any information on amount of bleeding, physical pain or other consequences….

Rachele F., age not given
No…. Planned Parenthood told me that my baby was a blob of tissue. They said it was not a baby. I was completely awake during my abortion and felt everything….

Abortion industry leader Planned Parenthood has been caught lying to women about abortion risks as well as fetal development:

The fact is, the abortion industry knowingly deceives women, as attested to by former Planned Parenthood managers.  The women listed above, and millions like them, deserve to be heard. Women — and their babies — deserve better than abortion.

This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News