Archive for the Abortion History Category

History of legal abortion prior to Roe

Posted in Abortion death, Abortion Death Prior to Roe, Abortion History, Abortion Numbers, Abortion prior to Roe, Abortion stats, American Law Institute, Guttmacher, Home Use Abortion, Illegal abortion, State Abortion Stats, States prior to Roe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2018 by saynsumthn

Legal abortion equals more abortion, and America’s history is proof of this

abortion

Prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision, each state had its own abortion laws. Many had laws on the books banning it completely, but others legalized it in some form well before 1973. Roe didn’t become Roe overnight. We can trace its roots back more than a decade prior. And as is usually the case with abortion, once an inch is given, so to speak, those in favor of it tend take a mile. Here’s where it began:

1959: American Law Institute passes model penal code to liberalize abortion, the basis for Roe v. Wade

In 1959, the American Law Institute (A.L.I.), an organization of American lawyers and other elite members of the judiciary, whose mission was the reform of American law, proposed that therapeutic abortions should be legal. Although the first draft of the Model Penal Code to liberalize abortion was released on May 21, 1959, the final version was issued in 1962.

Image: American Law Institute-ALI model penal code on abortion (Image: CDC)

American Law Institute-ALI model penal code on abortion (Image: CDC)

The law proposed that “[a] licensed physician is justified in terminating a pregnancy if he believes there is a substantial risk:

(1) When continuation of pregnancy would gravely impair the physical and mental health of the mother; or

(2) When the child might be born with grave physical or mental defect; or

(3) When the pregnancy resulted from rape, incest, or other felonious intercourse.”

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

The ALI’s Model Penal Code was the premise of the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. At that time a large percentage of states allowed abortion only when the woman’s life was endangered. By 1967, three states had liberalized it; according to Time.com, by 1968, four of five states—Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia and Maryland, had authorized it “if the child is likely to be born defective,” but “California did not sanction this ground because Governor Ronald Reagan threatened to veto any bill that included it.”

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

According to the Washington Post, “Through the mid-1960s, 44 states outlawed abortion in nearly all situations that did not threaten the life or health of the mother.”

In 1966, abortion was still illegal in all fifty states, according to Dr. and Mrs. John C. Willke. However, in 1966, Mississippi altered its existing law by adding rape as an indication for a hospital abortion, according to the CDC’s first abortion surveillance report in 1969. And, according to National Right To Life’s timeline, in 1954, Alabama permitted abortions for the mother’s physical health.

According to Dr. Willke, “The Bureau of Vital Statistics reported only 160 mothers had died from abortion in 1966 in the entire USA.”

1973: Abortion legalized nationwide by Supreme Court, with more than 600,000 abortions 

In 1969, the CDC estimates that there were 22,670 abortions. As more states began to legalize it, the numbers climbed dramatically. By 1970, the CDC reported 193,491, and the list went on:

1971: 485,816
1972: 586,760
1973: 615,831

After the U.S. Supreme Court decided to legalize abortion nationwide by a 7 to 2 decision in Roe v. Wade, the CDC Abortion Surveillance report from 1973 indicates that a total of 615,831 legal procedures were reported from 50 states and the District of Columbia and New York City.

Image: Abortions reported to CDC prior to 1973

Abortions reported to CDC prior to 1973

 

Alan F. Guttmacher, MD, who served as Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s president from 1962–1974, responded to the ruling by stating, “I think that to raise the dignity of woman and give her freedom of choice in this area is an extraordinary event. I think that Jan 22, 1973, will be a historic day.”

According to the CDC, in ten states, abortions outnumbered live births among teens 15 years and younger.

By race, the numbers broke down as follows:

  • 67.7% were white
  • 25.7% were Black or other races
  • 6.6% reported race was unknown

At the time the initial report was filed, the CDC reported that 51 deaths related to legal, illegal, and spontaneous abortions had been reported in 1973, and 71 in 1972. However, those reports were eventually updated.

READ: These Black leaders in history viewed abortion as Black genocide

In this table from the CDC report (shown below), 39 women died from illegal abortion in 1972, and 19 in 1973 while 24 died from legal abortion in 1972 and 25 died in 1973.

CDC Abortion deaths 1972 to 1990

Live Action News has previously documented how the abortion lobby falsely claimed that hundreds of thousands of women died annually from illegal terminations, in a deliberate effort to push abortion on the nation. Standing in stark contrast to this is the breakdown of the estimated numbers going back to 1930. Clearly, the claims that hundreds of thousands of women were dying was a complete falsehood — and Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of NARAL, later admitted as much:

Image: Illegal Abortion Deaths according to various sources, 1930 to 1979 – updated (Graph credit: Live Action News)

Illegal Abortion Deaths according to various sources, 1930 to 1979 – updated (Graph credit: Live Action News)

Roe v. Wade was filed by Norma McCorvey, known as ‘Roe,’ and was argued by Sarah Weddington. McCorvey would later admit that the claim that she had become pregnant through rape was fabricated. In fact, McCorvey’s child was never aborted. Her baby was born while the case was still being argued and she ultimately placed her child for adoption.

McCorvey became a staunch pro-life advocate and later expressed sorrow for her participation in the infamous court decision, working to overturn the case up until her passing in February of 2017 at the age of 69.

Click here for more details on state legalization prior to Roe.

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

Roe v. Wade violates science, which confirms preborn children are human beings

Posted in Abortion History, Fetal Development, Roe, Supreme Court with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2018 by saynsumthn

first trimester, pro-life

Some people, especially those in the pro-choice camp, believe that “personhood” and “being a member of the human species” are two different things. But are they? By creating this artificial divide, society can deem certain members of the human family “persons” while denying that title to others of that same family. During arguments in the Roe v. Wade case before the full U.S. Supreme Court in 1972, Texas Attorney General Robert C. Flowers argued for the state against abortion legalization. Flowers was asked by Justice Thurgood Marshall, “Is there any medical testimony of any kind that says that a fetus is a person at the time of inception?”

In response, Flowers submitted dissenting arguments made by Senior Judge Campbell in a 1971 Illinois abortion case, Doe v.s Scott, which Flowers said was “very similar to the case we have before us.”

READ: Science shows the humanity of preborn children — so why are scientists ignoring it?

Image: Robert C. Flowers (Image: Oyez, 24 Aug. 2018, www.oyez.org/advocates/robert_c_flowers)

Robert C. Flowers (Image: Oyez, 24 Aug. 2018, http://www.oyez.org/advocates/robert_c_flowers)

In that case, Justice Campbell spoke against amending or repealing Illinois’ existing abortion statute. He wrote, “We, as did the Illinois Legislature, have before us the following undisputed facts relating to fetal life.” Campbell eloquently presented facts about the development of the preborn child, quoted in part below (emphasis added):

Seven weeks after conception the fertilized egg develops into a well proportioned small scale baby. It bears all of the familiar external features and all the internal organs of an adult human being. It has muscles; hands with fingers and thumbs; and the legs have recognizable knees, ankles and toes.

The brain is operative…. Brain waves have been noted at 43 days. The heart beats; the stomach produces digestive juices; the liver manufactures blood cells; and the kidneys begin to function by extracting uric acid from the blood.

In the third month it can kick its legs, turn its feet, curl and fan its toes, make a fist, move its thumb, bend its wrist, turn its head, and even open its mouth and swallow and drink the amniotic fluid that surrounds it. Thumb sucking has been noted at this age… with inhaling and exhaling respiratory movements.

In the twelfth week it can move its thumb, in opposition to its fingers. It swallows regularly. It has active reflexes. The facial expressions of a fetus in its third month are already similar to the facial expression of its parents….

In the third month finger nails appear; sexual differentiation is apparent in both internal and external organs….

From the twelfth to the sixteenth week the child grows to eight or ten inches in height and receives oxygen and food from its mother through the placental attachment. In the fifth month it gains two inches in height and ten ounces in weight…. It sleeps and wakes and may be awakened by external vibrations.

In the sixth month the fetus develops a strong muscular grip with its hands; starts to breathe regularly and can maintain a respiratory response for twenty-four hours if born prematurely…. A child has been known to survive between twenty to twenty-five weeks old

“Indeed, as medical science progresses in the field of detection, the date of potential viability moves continually closer to earlier stages of gestation,” Justice Campbell wrote.

He also quoted from Dr. Arnold Gesell, who wrote in his book, “The Embryology of Behavior”:

Our own repeated observation of a large group of fetal infants (an individual born and living at any time prior to forty weeks gestation) left us with no doubt that psychologically they were individuals. Just as no two looked alike, so no two behaved precisely alike. One was impassive when another was alert. Even among the youngest there were discernible differences in vividness, reactivity and responsiveness. These were genuine individual differences, already prophetic of the diversity which distinguishes the human family.

Today, a corporation is considered a “person” and yet the Supreme Court in Roe wrongly determined that a preborn child was not. This irony is reminiscent of the infamous Dred Scott case which ruled a Black man was not a full person.

READ: Harvard Law Journal concludes: The preborn child is a constitutional person

The Fourteenth Amendment, known for giving citizenship and equal rights under the law to former slaves and African Americans, should also apply to the preborn, as Live Action News contributor Kristi Burton Brown previously documented.

Fordham law professor Robert M. Byrn addressed this just prior to the Roe case, in an article published in 1970 in the Notre Dame Review:

From its original intent to safeguard Negroes against discrimination by Whites, the fourteenth amendment has evolved into a broad guarantee of equality both to artificial persons and to all natural persons irrespective of citizenship, sex or race. In an era of increased sensitivity to human rights, it would be the ultimate in irony if the corporation which manufactures the instruments used to abort the unborn human child was entitled, as an artificial person, to equal protection of the law, while the unborn child, who is in all respects qualitatively human, is deprived of that protection.

There is no doubt that the child in the womb is a human person deserving of constitutional protection.

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

Prior to Roe, Abortion Legalization by State (1960’s and 1970’s)

Posted in Abortion History, Abortion legalization by state with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2018 by saynsumthn

Researched by: Carole Novielli

Prior to the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that forced abortion on the nation, abortion was illegal in a majority of states, except to save the life of the mother. At that time the decriminalization of abortion was left up to states to decide.

Laws legalizing abortions by state began in the late 1960’s as follows:

1966: Mississippi allows abortion for rape

In 1966, Mississippi altered its existing abortion law by adding rape as an indication for hospital abortion, according to the CDC’s first abortion surveillance report in 1969.

Image: State Laws Abortion (Image credit: CDC 1969)

State Laws Abortion (Image credit: CDC 1969)

1967: Colorado becomes first state to decriminalize abortion further, followed by North Carolina and California

On April 25, 1967, Colorado became the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize abortion, along the lines proposed by the American Law Institute (ALI.) The bill was introduced by then Representative Richard D. Lamm. According to the Associated Press:

“On April 25, 1967, Colorado became the first state to allow abortion for reasons other than rape or an imminent threat to a woman’s health. The bill passed a Republican-controlled Legislature with bipartisan support and was signed into law by Republican Gov. John Love despite strong objections from many constituents…Love said the new law requires that abortions be performed only in accredited hospitals and that each operation must have the unanimous consent of a special three-man board of physicians… Colorado law previously allowed abortions only in cases presenting a severe threat to the physical health of the mother or in pregnancies resulting from forcible rape. The new law permits the ending of pregnancies presenting a severe threat to the health — mental or physical — of the mother. It allows the termination of pregnancies resulting from incest or from any of the classifications of rape — including statutory rape.”

Image: 1967 Colorado legalizes abortion

1967 Colorado legalizes abortion

According to a report by the New York Times, in 1966, only 50 abortions were committed in the state and permitted if the mother’s life was endangered. In the first 14 months of legalization, more than half of the abortions were reported for reasons of “mental health” and only 32 for “medical reasons.”

Abortions rose in Colorado over the years as follows:

  • 1967 (last half of year) – 140
  • 1968 – 500
  • 1969 – 946

In May of 1967, North Carolina liberalized its abortion statutes, similar to the Colorado law.

Image: 1967 North Carolina liberalizes abortion laws

1967 North Carolina liberalizes abortion laws

In June of 1967, the California legislature also passed abortion law reforms. The law was signed by then Governor Ronald Reagan on June 14, 1967. The so-called Therapeutic Abortion Act took effect November 8, 1967 and restricted abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Image: 1967 California liberalizes abortion laws

1967 California liberalizes abortion laws

According to the National Review, there were 518 abortions reported in the state that same year, and the New York Times reports that by the first half of 1968, 2,035 legal abortions were reported. A separate New York Times report states that by 1969, 14,000 abortions were reported. Sadly, the National Review claims that by the end of Reagan’s remaining years as Governor, the number of abortions would soar to an annual average of 100,000. Reagan later admitted that abortion had been “a subject I’d never given much thought to.”  

By 1971, a state appeals court ruled that all abortions could be legal in the state of California.

Reagan biographer Lou Cannon claims this was “the only time as governor or president that Reagan acknowledged a mistake on major legislation.” Reagan’s longtime adviser and Cabinet secretary Bill Clark called the incident “perhaps Reagan’s greatest disappointment in public life.”

Ronald Reagan went on to become the most pro-life president the US has had since the legalization of abortion through the Roe v. Wade decision.

1968: Georgia and Maryland become fourth and fifth states to legalize abortion

In 1968, Georgia became the fourth state to legalized abortion. The bill passed the House 144 to 11 and the Senate 39 to 11.

Image: 1968 Georgia legalizes abortion

1968 Georgia legalizes abortion

Maryland also passed a similar law that same year.

1969: Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, New Mexico, and Oregon pass abortion legislation

By 1969, twelve states in addition to Colorado and California had legalized abortion, most for very restrictive reasons, according to the Willkes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued their first abortion surveillance report noting that in the same year, five states had passed new abortion legislation (Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, New Mexico and Oregon) and 24 other states considered new bills.

According to the Abortion Surveillance Report Annual Summary 1969, published by the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare… National Communicable Disease Center, “Oregon became the first state to follow the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology [ACOG], which makes the following allowance, “In determining whether or not there is substantial risk (to the woman’s physical or mental health), account may be taken for the mother’s total environment, actual or reasonably foreseeable. The other four states enacted laws based on the American Law Institute Penal Code.”

Image: 1969 CDC and HEW report on states that legalized abortion

1969 CDC and HEW report on states that legalized abortion

In June of 1969, New Mexico liberalized its abortion law.

Image: 1969 New Mexico liberalizes abortion

1969 New Mexico liberalizes abortion

According to Jonathan B. Sutin:

“New Mexico’s 1969 abortion law… makes it unlawful for any person to produce an untimely interruption of a woman’s pregnancy with intent to destroy the fetus. Yet termination of the pregnancy is justified, under certain consensual and medical requirements, in the following instances:

  • The continuation of the pregnancy … is likely to result in the death of the woman or the grave impairment of the physical or mental health of the woman; or
  • The child probably will have a grave physical or mental defect, or
  • The pregnancy resulted from rape… or
  • The pregnancy resulted from incest.

According to the CDC, “In 1969, four of the nine states with recently changed abortion laws reported *12,417 legal abortions to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).” (*See end as numbers were later updated).

This same year, the Supreme Court of California rendered a decision in the case of People vs. Belous, which, according to the CDC, invalidated the pre-1967 California abortion law and raised the issue of constitutionality of state abortion statutes. Also in 1969, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided on the case of Dr. Milan Vuitch, a Washington abortionist indicted for illegal abortions. The court ruled that the State’s law labeling abortion as a felony was unconstitutional.

Image: 1969 CDC Judicial Decisions affecting abortion

1969 CDC Judicial Decisions affecting abortion

Next, we will detail abortion legalization by state in the 1970’s.

1970: New York, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska legalize abortion

In 1970, eleven states, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina, had reform laws similar to the ALI’s Model Penal Code. And, according to Time.com, “four more lifted all abortion restrictions — New York, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska — before 1970.”

By 1970, more than *180,000 legal abortions were reported to the CDC from 19 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Abortion Surveillance Report published that year. (*See end as numbers were later updated).

The following table shows reported legal abortions for 14 states and the District of Columbia:

Image: 1970: CDC reported abortions in 14 states plus DC.

1970: CDC reported abortions in 14 states plus DC.

In April of 1970, New York decriminalized abortion (by one vote) up to the 24th week. The law went into effect on July 1st.

Image: 1970 New York legalizes abortion CDC

1970 New York legalizes abortion CDC

At that time, the state had a Republican Governor and Republicans controlled both Houses of the legislature, according to the New York Times. During the debate to liberalize abortion in New York in 1970, the false claim that thousands of  women died annually from unsafe abortions one representative to change his vote on the floor, opening the door to abortion on demand in New York.

More states followed: South Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, Washington

An American Law Institute (ALI) type law became effective in South Carolina on January 27, 1970 and Virginia on June 27, 1970.

Although Kansas passed its abortion reform law in 1969, it did not become effective until July 1, 1970. In March of 1970, Hawaii changed its law on abortion allowing for no restrictions on the reasons why a woman might obtain an abortion. Shortly thereafter Alaska followed suit and their law became effective on July 29, 1970.

Image: 1970 states that liberalized abortion laws CDC

Washington State’s abortion law change was enacted by a referendum held during the November 1970 general elections and went into effect December 3, 1970, according to the CDC.

Also on March 17, 1970, a woman by the name of Norma McCorvey  signed affidavit challenging the Texas law on abortion. Oral arguments in that case were heard before a  three judge district court in Dallas in May of that same year. By June, the court ruled the Texas statute unconstitutional, opening up the challenge that led to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973.

1971: 24 states plus Washington, D.C., liberalize abortion laws – and abortions nearly triple

In 1971, *480,259 abortions were reported to the Center for Disease Control from 24 states and the District of Columbia. (*See end as numbers were later updated).

 

Image: 1971 reported number of legal abortions to CDC

1971 reported number of legal abortions to CDC

At this time 79.2% of all legal abortions were performed on White women and 18.9% were performed on Black women or women of other races, according to the CDC’s 1971  Abortion Surveillance Report.

Image: 1971 reported number of legal abortions to CDC

1971 reported number of legal abortions to CDC

Although several states attempted to liberalize or change their abortion abortion statutes, most failed due in part to strong pro-life sentiment. Author and researcher Daniel K Williams reports:

In 1971, twenty-five states considered abortion legalization bills. Every one of them failed to pass. In 1972, the pro-life movement went on the offensive and began campaigning for measures to rescind recently passed abortion legalization laws and tighten existing abortion restrictions.

In 1971, several important court decisions were also rendered as follows:

  • Illinois: Doe v. Scott
  • North Carolina: Corkey v. Edwards
  • District of Columbia: United States v. Vuitch
  • Wisconsin: Babbitz v. McCann

1972: 27 states plus Washington D.C. have abortion laws on the books, and abortions are rising

By 1972, *586,760 legal abortions were reported to the CDC from 27 states and the District of Columbia. (*See end as numbers were later updated).

  • 75.7% were White
  • 22.6% were Black or other races
Image: 1972 reported abortions by state to CDC

1972 reported abortions by state to CDC

In 1972, the Supreme Court heard two cases, Roe v. Wade and the companion case Doe v. Bolton. The court, made up of nine male justices, ruled by a vote of seven to two to legalize abortion and released their decision on January 22, 1973.

Although Norma MCCorvey, the plaintiff in the Roe case claimed she was gang raped, and thus needed an abortion, she later recanted the claim admitting, “[I] made up the story that I had been raped to help justify my abortion.”

In 1995, Norma Joined pro-life movement.

Image: Roe in abortion case joins pro-life groups (Image credit: New York Times 8/11/1995)

Roe in abortion case joins pro-life groups (Image credit: New York Times 8/11/1995)

In like manner, Sandra Cano, a/k/a/ “Doe” in the companion case to Roe later claimed that she was unaware her name had been used in this case and that she never sought or had an abortion. 

Image: Sandra Cano was Doe in the Doe v Bolton Supreme Court abortion case

Sandra Cano was Doe in the Doe v Bolton Supreme Court abortion case

Cano told members of the media, “The case brought by my lawyer in the name of Mary Doe was a fraud upon the Supreme Court of the United States and the people of America. My mother and my lawyer wanted me to have an abortion. Not me.”

In 2003, Norma filed an unsuccessful motion to have Roe V. Wade overturned, it was denied in 2005.

*NOTE: In the 1973 CDC Surveillance Report, abortion numbers in previous years were updated as follows:

  • 1969: 22,670
  • 1970: 193,491
  • 1971: 485,816
  • 1972: 586,760
  • 1973: 615,831
Image: CDC Abortion Surveillance Report 1969 to 1973

Abortion stats by CDC prior to 1973

 

The following years abortions reported to the CDC, increased:

  • 1974: 763,476
  • 1975: 854.853
  • 1976: 988,267
  • 1977: 1,079,430
  • 1978: 1,157,776
  • 1979: 1,251,921
  • 1980: 1,297,606
Image: CDC Abortion numbers 1969 to 1980

CDC Abortion numbers 1969 to 1980

 

1970’s Commission looks into fetal experimentation and research

Posted in Abortion History, Fetal Development, fetal heartbeat, Fetal Homicide, Fetal Organs, Fetal Pain, fetal Remains, fetal research, Fetal Stem Cell, Fetal Surgery, Fetal Tissue, The Ryan Program with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2018 by saynsumthn

Some abortion survivors were kept alive almost a day for experimentation

Image: 10 week old Fetus kept alive via artificial womb (Image credit: Life Magazine Sep 10, 1965)

In part one of this series on fetal research, Live Action News detailed a number of experiments conducted on living abortion survivors. Due to the outrage over such experiments reported in the media in the 1970s, the National Research Act established the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The commission was chaired by Kenneth John Ryan, MD, an abortionist who also taught others how to do abortions.

IMage: Dr. Kenneth Ryan chaired commission on fetal research (Image credit: Harvard Gazette)

Dr. Kenneth Ryan chaired commission on fetal research (Image credit: Harvard Gazette)

A report published by the Harvard Gazette at the time of Ryan’s death states:

 President Jimmy Carter appointed Ken to chair the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.

…When he became the Chief of Staff at the Boston Hospital for Women in 1973, one year after the Roe vs Wade decision, he established the first abortion service in a university hospital and included training in the necessary skills as a routine part of residency education. In 1975 Ken credentialed and granted admitting privileges to Dr. Kenneth Edelin, an African-American, even as he was under indictment for manslaughter in a politically motivated prosecution for performing a legal abortion at Boston City Hospital.

The Ryan Program, which bears the doctor’s name and partners with Planned Parenthood, was established in 1999 to train OB-GYN residents in abortion.

Dr. Paul Ramsey, a Professor of Religion at Princeton University, also served on the commission. He wrote a lengthy opinion in the section entitled, “Moral Issues in Fetal Research,” criticizing NIH definitions of life and death regarding the preborn child, with good reason:

The answer seems clear enough: the difference between the life and death of a human fetus/abortus should be determined substantially in the same way physicians use in making other pronouncements of death… the 1973 NIH proposed guidelines studiously refuses to speak of the previable fetus as “living” or having “life.” By studiously refusing to speak of a previable fetus/abortus who may still be medically “alive” and by leaving the determination of viability entirely to the discretion of physician researchers (not even excluding abortuses with respiration from being deemed previable and entered into experimentation), the American guidelines can be faulted for lack of definitional clarity. Indeed, if and only if the previable fetus is human, unique for certain purposes, and alive in significant medical respects–i.e., if it is not dead–could claims be made that researchers need the knowledge uniquely to be gained by using the fetus/abortus while it is still living, growing and reacting as a tiny, whole fetal human being or entity.

This national commission was tasked to investigate and study research involving abortion survivors, and to recommend whether and under what circumstances such research should be conducted or supported by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). Up to this time, the July 1974 “National Research Act” had ruled that the “Secretary may not conduct or support research in the United States or abroad on a living human fetus, before or after the induced abortion of such fetus, unless such research is done for the purpose of assuring the survival of such fetus.”

Report Research on the Fetus

At the time the commission began, a New York Times article detailed how members of the commission had reviewed existing research of human fetuses. Members told the paper that the amount of research already conducted using aborted fetuses was “so substantial as to seem surprising.”

Image: article Hundreds of aborted fetuses delivered outside womb, NYT 1975

Hundreds of aborted fetuses delivered outside womb, NYT 1975

The most controversial form of research the commission found was on the “fetus outside the womb,” involving “fetuses delivered by abortion.” The commission claimed hundreds of reports of such cases had been conducted. Experiments were also conducted on already expired fetuses from spontaneous or induced abortions. Below is a small sample of what the commission found:

  • Physiologic and Metabolic Studies: Fetal hearts, removed just after death of a fetus following hysterotomy abortion, have been studied to establish physiologic response data.
  • Studies of the Pregnant Mother: Women undergoing elective midtrimester abortion have been starved for 87 hours before abortion in an attempt to learn the effects of caloric deprivation on pregnancy and to gain some information as to whether the fetus could adapt to fuels other than glucose.
  • Research With the Previable Fetus Outside the Uterus: To learn whether the human fetal brain could metabolize ketone bodies, brain metabolism was isolated in 8 human fetuses (12-17 weeks’ gestation) after hysterotomy abortion by perfusing the isolated head (the head was separated from the rest of the body). The study demonstrated that, similar to other species, brain metabolism could be supported by ketone bodies during fetal life suggesting avenues of therapy in some fetal disease states.
  • Another technique for studying the ability of the midtrimester fetus to carry out endocrine reactions used 4 fetuses (16-20 weeks’ gestation) immediately after hysterotomy abortion. The fetuses were perfused through their umbilical veins while being housed in a perfusion tank. Fetal tissues were examined at the end of the study.
  • After studies with newborn and fetal mice, cutaneous respiration (breathing through the skin) was studied in 15 fetuses (9-24 weeks’ gestation) from induced abortions. The fetuses were immersed in a salt solution with oxygen at high pressure. The fetuses were judged to be aliveby a pulsating cord or visible heart beat; if necessary the chest was opened to observe the heart. Four fetuses were supported for 22 hours in this attempt at developing a fetal incubator.
  • Seven previable fetuses (200-375 grams) from spontaneous or induced abortions were immersed in a perfusion tank and perfused with oxygenated blood through their umbilical vessels. The fetuses survived and moved for 5-12 hours.

Interestingly, in addition to general experimentation, the commission noted that if the fetus could “feel pain” then experimenting on abortion survivors would not be permissible. Of course, that debate continues to linger despite evidence that they do feel pain.

Still, members were mixed:

The fetus in utero or in process of being aborted provides a more difficult ethical analysis than does the dead fetus or the living viable infant. There is a presumption of viability at any stage in gestation for the living fetus as long as it remains inside the uterus. Thus experimentation involving that fetus must have acceptably low risk of any harmful effect on viability or on the potential for meaningful, healthy life. If the process of abortion has begun, the life of the fetus will soon end. There is debate about whether different standards apply in that situation and we disagree in our own analysis.

One view holds that no risks can be imposed that would not be acceptable for the fetus which was continuing life. Another view will accept an increase in risks if the information is important and alternate ways of obtaining the information are not practical, if the methods of the experiment are acceptable in themselves (i.e., would be used in other classes of human subjects), and if the process of dying for the fetus were not altered in an unacceptable way.

In any event, expected benefits from the experimentation still must be clear and must require the use of the human fetus to gain the desired information. Ethical considerations as to sensory perception by the fetus also must be addressed. We know of no evidence to suggest or support a contention that the fetus at midgestation or earlier, when abortions are performed, is aware of pain or has a psychologic fear of death.

Image: Ban on experimenting on live aborted fetuses (Image credit NYT, April 1975)

Ban on experimenting on live aborted fetuses (Image credit NYT, April 1975)

The commission ultimately drafted several recommendations, including a restriction on experimenting on living abortion survivors. But their report also recommended that research resulting in “no harm to the fetus” be permitted, so long as that research might benefit other fetuses.

Unfortunately, this did not stop the push for the research nor the push to obtain federal funding. According to a historical timeline of fetal research regulations published in a report by the Institute of Medicine:

After the National Commission issued its report (Report and Recommendations: Research on the Fetus), fetal research following abortion was permitted under subsequent [Department of Health Education and Welfare] DHEW regulations for therapeutic reasons, but otherwise held to the standard of “minimal risk.” Minimal risk means that no more potential harm is tolerated than would be encountered in daily life. In the case of a fetus, almost all interventions exceed minimal risk, and the regulations did not distinguish between fetuses that were carried to term and those intended for abortion. The DHEW regulations, however, contained the possibility of waiver of the minimal risk standard on a project-by-project basis by a complicated procedure to be decided ultimately by an Ethics Advisory Board.

Image: article 1975 Ban funding fetal research (Image credit Corpus Christi Times)

1975 Ban funding fetal research (Image credit Corpus Christi Times)

The first Ethics Advisory Board (EAB) was convened in 1978. The sole waiver issued by this body was to test the efficacy of using fetal blood samples for prenatal diagnosis of sickle cell anemia. The charter for the EAB expired in 1980, and despite publication of a draft charter in 1988, it has not been reactivated.

According to CQ Researcher, in 1988, an NIH commission “voted 18–3 to pronounce fetal tissue transplant research ‘acceptable public policy’—a position then unanimously endorsed by the standing advisory committee to the director of the NIH. That advice, however, was rejected in November 1989 by Louis W. Sullivan, the Bush administration’s secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), NIH’s parent department. Sullivan decided instead to extend, indefinitely, the moratorium on NIH funding of fetal tissue research first ordered by the Reagan administration in March 1988. The moratorium barred NIH funding of clinical transplantation studies using tissue from induced abortions.”

However, “The NIH moratorium did not affect privately funded research in the United States.”

Co-chairman on that 1988 NIH panel was none other than Kenneth Ryan, the same abortionist/trainer who chaired the 1970’s commission. When the push for federally funded research failed, Ryan began calling for private funding to experiment on aborted children.

In part three of this series, Live Action News will detail who eventually lifted the ban on federal funding of fetal tissue research and how much taxpayers spend on this research every year.

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

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.