Archive for the Illegal abortion Category

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.

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.

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

Posted in Abortion death, Abortion Death List, Abortion History, CDC, Illegal abortion, Planned Parenthood Employee with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2017 by saynsumthn

Pro-abortion professor testifies against Heartbeat Bill using bogus, debunked abortion statistics

Prior to the legalization of abortion, those who sought to legally end the lives of preborn children falsely marketed their position by claiming that women were dying by the thousands (and even millions) from illegal abortions. However, there is absolutely no evidence to back up those figures.

Despite this, those figures continue to be repeated by abortion advocates any time they sense that the so-called “right” to abortion is potentially in jeopardy.

A pro-abortion professor, testifying under oath before Congress, unfortunately used these disputed and highly suspect statistics regarding the number of women who died from illegal abortions in an effort to oppose the federal pro-life Heartbeat bill, HR490, which proposes to stop abortions at a point when it can be documented that the preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected:

Prof Priscilla Smith testifies HR490 Heartbeat abortion bill

In her testimonyProfessor Priscilla Smith claimed that 5,000 women died annually from illegal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade:

Women have been obtaining abortions since the beginning of time, before Roe when abortions were illegal… An estimated 1.2 million women each year still resorted to illegal abortion in the US. As many as 5000 of these women — already born – living, breathing, lungs working, hearts beating, women, many with children at home who depended on them — 5,000 of them died each year as a result of illegal abortions and many more were severely injured. This is the world we would return to if HR490 went into effect….

But the facts don’t agree with Smith’s claims. A 1975 report by National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, entitled, “Legalized Abortion and the Public Health: Report of a Study,” disputes these statistics (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.

The 5,000 figure originates from a piecemeal of several sources based largely on assumptions, and comes straight from the largest abortion lobby group in the nation: National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL.)  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.” 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.

NARAL Footnotes on illegal abortion deaths

In fact, in Lawrence Lader’s book “Abortion,” also sourced, he clearly states, “Tietze places the figure nearer 1,000.” But, as Dr. John C. Willke explains in the video below, that trend decreased over time:

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.”)

In 1967, Dr. Tietze, who was speaking at a conference on abortion 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 infamousMargaret Sanger Award, named after a eugenicist 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 abortion 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

Tietze, who favored abortion on demand, also opined that legalizing abortion would “not have a big impact on mortality.”

The Register, a Virginia paper, notes in its article entitled, “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

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967 b

Tietze was right.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the early founders of NARAL (then known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws), revealed that he and his colleagues fabricated the large numbers of deaths from illegal abortion in an attempt to sway public opinion toward making abortion legal.

In his book, “The Abortion Papers,” Dr. Nathanson admitted that the 5,000 to 10,000 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.

However, there was data available, and it didn’t support those fabricated figures.

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 Eighty-Seventh Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she also gave far fewer numbers than Professor Smith:

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.

In 1967, New York Assemblyman, Albert Blumenthal, who sponsored a law to legalize abortion that year, was quoted by the media as claiming that between 35 and 60 deaths from illegal abortions were reported in New York City annually. That same year, an Illinois Health Director by the name of Dr. Herbert Ratner called the 5,000 to 10,000 figure “outlandish,” noting, “This hardly leaves room for deaths from other causes.”

1967 article Illegal abortion Chicago Tribune

Dr. Ratner also correctly warned that the liberalization of abortion, which he called “exterminative medicine,” would start a dangerous trend in medicine — a prophetic insight America has sadly seen come true.

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. At that time, five states had passed abortion legislation and 24 others had bills under review. According to this same CDC report, in 1966, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 189 maternal deaths from abortion complications.  And, while no one would diminish those numbers, they are a far cry from the 5,000 touted by Professor Smith.

By 1970, the CDC reported that in just a six month period (July to December), out of sixteen reported abortions in New York City, eight women — yes, HALF — had died from legal (not illegal) abortions. 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….”

CDC Abortion Deaths, 1970

In 1972, the year prior to national legalization, CDC reports revealed that deaths from illegal abortion were nothing close to Professor Smith’s 5,000 figure. In this table from the CDC report (shown below), just 39 women died from illegal abortion in 1972 while 24 died from legal abortion.

CDC Abortion deaths 1972 to 1990

Live Action News previously documented that the majority of illegal abortions were performed by physicians, and many of those same doctors went on to perform legal abortions, some of whom have seriously injured and even killed women. But, today, instead of protecting the women who are being butchered or are dying from legal abortion, advocates like Professor Smith spew made up numbers from the illegal abortion days.

It would appear that abortion advocates do not actually care about the safety of women or even about real statistics; they care only about legalizing abortion at any cost.

Early Planned Parenthood director: few women died from illegal abortion

Posted in Abortion Death Prior to Roe, Abortion History, Bernard Nathanson, Guttmacher, Illegal abortion, Mary Calderone, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Brochure, Planned Parenthood History, Planned Parenthood Life Begins with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2017 by saynsumthn

Planned Parenthood director and NARAL founder both admitted abortion kills human beings

An early Planned Parenthood director, who once admitted that few women died from illegal abortion because a majority were performed by physicians, also called abortion the “taking of a life” and “a traumatic experience that may have severe consequences later on.”

In 1953, Mary S. Calderone became the medical director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where she remained in that position for eleven years. She resigned from Planned Parenthood after co-founding the Sex Information and Education Council (S.I.E.C.U.S.) in 1964 — an organization mired in controversy.

Mary S. Calderone, (image credit Library of Congress)

On October 19, 1959, Calderone presented a paper before the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) at the Eighty-Seventh Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was there that Calderone laid out her argument for legalizing abortion on the basis that illegal abortion was a “disease of society.”

The argument is ridiculous, but the information that Calderone presented to the APHA exposes the lie that led to the legalization of abortion to begin with, and that is how millions of women died every year from illegal abortions.

In her presentation, entitled Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem, the former Planned Parenthood director made it clear that she did not favor abortion and that she believed that abortion was a traumatic experience that takes a life, writing:

I ask you not to assume that I am indiscriminately for abortion.

Believe me, I am not. Aside from the fact that abortion is the taking of a life, I am also mindful of what was brought out by our psychiatrists – that in almost every case, abortion, whether legal or illegal, is a traumatic experience that may have severe consequences later on.

Before they made 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.

Planned Parenthood pamphlet 1952 life begins

Planned Parenthood pamphlet 1952 life begins

 

 

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 her remarks, Calderone quoted a psychiatrist who described the kind of woman who would seek an abortion not as a person in charge of her own choices (as it was sold to the public), but as “a sick person”:

… [A]lthough the effort to obtain an induced abortion may indicate that the woman is physically ill, more often it reflects one or more of a complexity of factors, such as poor social or economic environment, disturbed marital relations, psychiatric or neurotic disturbances in the family or quite simply a need to keep her family at its present size.

There was general agreement with the words of one psychiatrist: “When a… responsible female seeks an abortion, unless the warrant for it is overwhelming as say in the case of rape or incest, we are in effect confronted both with a sick person and a sick situation.”

To Calderone, this was the impetus for pushing for abortion’s legalization. To do so, she and her colleagues had to admit that a majority of illegal abortions were being committed by physicians. And to do this, they had to dispel their long repeated myth that millions of women died every year from illegal abortion.

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

Defund Planned Parenthood

She added:

… [T]he 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.

Calderone not only admitted that it was mainly physicians who were committing abortions, but also that women were getting referrals for illegal abortions from “physicians of impeccable standing,” not from back-alley quacks:

From the ethical standpoint, I see no difference between recommending an abortion and performing it. The moral responsibility is equal. 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.

Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood

Calderone was joined in her admission by former Planned Parenthood president Alan Guttmacher, who stated at the 1967 Harvard Law School Forum, “Seventy per cent of the illegal abortions in the country are performed by reputable physicians, each thinking himself a knight in white armor.”

Calderone and Guttmacher were not always in agreement with the mission of Planned Parenthood. In his memoriam of Calderone after her death, Harold I. Lief wrote of the two Planned Parenthood officials:

When Mary was national director of Planned Parenthood in the early 1960’s, she came into conflict with Alan Guttmacher and the board board of Planned Parenthood…. [M]any people may not realize that 35 years ago Planned Parenthood opposed putting their resources into, or even advocating, sex education because they saw this as a diversion from their major task of providing birth control and abortion services…. She left Planned Parenthood and with a few like-minded colleagues, (of which I was one), formed SIECUS.

Guttmacher was not even initially for the use of abortion on demand, stating, “Abortion should be a back-up procedure for failed or failure-to-use effective contraception. It must never be the primary method of birth control.” (Source: AMA Congress on Environmental Health, May 4-5, 1970 speech by Alan F. Guttmacher, Page 63.)

The question is, how did the numbers of illegal abortion deaths get so inflated to begin with? The answer lies with Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the early activists in the fight for abortion’s decriminalization.

Nathanson was co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of the Abortion Laws (later known as NARAL),  and he also committed thousands of abortions before he repented and became pro-life.

In the video below, filmed just before his death, Dr. Nathanson admitted responsibility for over 75,000 abortions, which he called “the greatest mistake of my life.” Nathanson admitted, “One of our strategies, in order to mislead the American public, was to deny what we knew to be true: that an abortion kills an existing human being. We denied that fact in an effort to mislead the American public and the courts of this land.”

Nathanson admitted in other publications that he his colleagues lied about the numbers of illegal abortions and inflated the number of women during from illegal abortions:

We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200 – 250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000.

Calderone’s numbers were much lower than 100,000. She wrote:

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.

As current society’s attitudes change toward legal abortion, supporters of the killing of preborn babies may be tempted to scare pro-life politicians by playing the “illegal abortion death” card again. This time around, when they make this false claim, we can remind them what one of Planned Parenthood’s early directors, along with one of the founders of NARAL, had to say about it.

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

Editors Note: This article has been updated to clarify Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s remarks about misleading the public on the number of illegal abortions as well as deaths from illegal abortion.

Save

Don’t believe the lie that making abortion illegal will cause thousands of women to die

Posted in Abortion death, Abortion Death List, CDC, Cree Erwin-Sheppard, Illegal abortion, Planed Parenthood abortion death, Tonya Reaves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2017 by saynsumthn

From Live Action News | Article text starts here

As society rejects abortion in larger and larger percentages and the humanity of the preborn child becomes overwhelmingly obvious, the radical abortion lobby reverts to false claims used successfully in the past — especially the lie that if abortion was ever again made illegal, thousands of women would die.

Embedded in this lie is the assumption that legal abortion means safe abortion, and this is based on the false claim that when abortion used to be illegal, thousands (or even millions) of women died because of it.

While this false claim has spread like wildfire, the truth is that Dr. Bernard Nathanson — one of the early founders of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) who later repented of his pro-abortion actions and views, revealed that he and his colleagues fabricated the large numbers of deaths from illegal abortion in an attempt to sway public opinion toward making abortion legal:

We persuaded the media that the cause of permissive abortion was a liberal, enlightened, sophisticated one…. Knowing that if a true poll were taken, we would be soundly defeated, we simply fabricated the results of fictional polls. We announced to the media that we had taken polls and that 60 percent of Americans were in favor of permissive abortion. This is the tactic of the self-fulfilling lie. Few people care to be in the minority. We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000, but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000.

This lie appeared to work.

During the debate to liberalize abortion in New York, the fabrication about illegal abortions actually swayed one representative to change his vote on the floor, opening the door to abortion on demand in that state.

The deciding vote was cast by Democrat Assemblyman George Michaels, who told the LA Times that for years he had been told by local party leaders not to vote for the repeal of the abortion ban, and he pledged not to.

For two years he had followed the party line. “I would vote no, hoping the bill would pass,” he said. “I was not doing the right thing.”

George Michaels

In April, 1970, Michaels had a conversation with his daughter-in-law, Sarah, and the topic of illegal abortions came up. Michaels told the LA Times that Sarah said, “In the meantime, thousands of women will be mutilated and die because of that stupid Legislature.”

The paper describes Michaels’ response and what occurred next:

“Boy, that rocked me,” Michaels says “That rocked me.”

Michaels returned to Albany still not knowing how he would vote, he says. “I was hoping somebody would switch; that it wouldn’t be George Michaels.”

The vote was taken. Michaels voted against the repeal. Then, just before the clerk announced the vote, he stood up and asked the Speaker to change his vote.

“When it came to a tie vote, I could not go through that charade any longer,” he said. “I knew my career was finished.”

And, based on a lie, the Assemblyman voted to repeal New York’s abortion laws, opening up a floodgate of abortions in the state.

Since those early years, the abortion lobby has stuck with that lie, and the media has been more than willing to help.

A 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).

Illegal abortion deaths Planned Parenthood 1991

In 1991, Planned Parenthood published its version of a “Fact Sheet” on illegal abortion deaths. These are some of the claims about illegal abortions made in that publication:

Between 1845 and 1970… desperation forced millions of women to turn to dangerous back-alley, or self-induced abortions.

Thousands of women died, at least 100 each year.

In 1972, although abortion by then was legal in at least 11 states, 330,000 illegal abortions were performed nationwide. At least 100 women died.

Well, Planned Parenthood wasn’t even close.

Statistics show that in the year prior to Roe (1972), the Center for Disease Control’s abortion surveillance reports disputed Planned Parenthood’s alleged “facts.” In this table from the CDC report (shown below) just 39 women died from illegal abortion in 1972 while 24 died from legal abortion.

CDC Abortion deaths 1972 to 1990

What Planned Parenthood doesn’t typically say is that one of its own former presidents, 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.”

Despite all the past rhetoric regarding illegal abortion, the reality is that it is becoming more and more difficult to convince the American public that “legal” abortion is safe — and this is for good reason.

 

Cree Erwin-Sheppard died in July 2016, a few days after having an abortion at Kalamazoo’s Planned Parenthood facility on West Michigan Avenue. The 24-year-old had an abortion there on June 30, according to Operation Rescue. (The pro-life group has since filed a complaint against the Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood, seeking a revocation of its license to conduct abortions.) Local pro-life activist Lynn Mills, who uncovered the woman’s tragic death and has been working to expose all the facts of this case, quickly organized a rally to demand Justice for Cree.

Surprisingly, no one from the abortion lobby cared to weigh in.

The woman’s brother, Tyler Sheppard, even flew to Michigan to speak out against what Planned Parenthood did to his sister.

A portion of his statement can be heard in the video below, following an excerpt of the emotional 911 call made by Cree’s mother, who discovered her daughter’s body:

According to a report by Operation Rescue:

Sheppard displayed a copy of Cree’s medical record obtained by another family member from Bronson Hospital in Battle Creek where she had sought help for severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting two days after having a 12-week abortion at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo.

At the hospital, records show that an ultrasound discovered “products of conception” inside the uterus consistent with an “incomplete miscarriage,” the hospital’s term for an incomplete abortion.

“They saw baby parts still inside of my sister and they still sent her home . . . I want to know what happened,” Sheppard said, questioning why she was not treated at this hospital.

Tonya Reaves died from abortion at Planned Parenthood

An autopsy was performed on July 4, 2016, which showed that a uterine perforation was discovered. Blood clots were found in her uterine artery and lungs, which caused her death. Blood and urine were sent for toxicology screening.

But Operation Rescue states that “when the autopsy was finally released on March 9, 2017, all mention of the abortion, uterine perforation, and IUD insertion were redacted along with the salient portions of the cause of death while other sensitive information was left intact.”

While answers are still forth coming in Cree’s abortion death, there is no debate in what happened to another 24-year-old Planned Parenthood patient by the name of Tonya Reaves.

Reaves died following a fatal second trimester abortion which she received at an Illinois Planned Parenthood on July 20, 2012.

The care — or shall we say lack of care — that Planned Parenthood gave to Reaves was so egregious that Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation were ordered to pay Tonya’s family $2 million in a wrongful death settlement.

Tragically, Reaves and Erwin-Sheppard are just two examples of a growing list of women who have died after believing the lie that legalizing abortion made it safe. The names of these women haunt abortion supporters who refuse to acknowledge their tragic end.

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

Planned Parenthood denies it’s nurse is doing illegal abortions

Posted in Illegal abortion, Planned Parenthood Employee with tags , , , , , , , on April 22, 2016 by saynsumthn

Planned Parenthood has denied allegations from a pro-life group that a New Mexico Planned Parenthood nurse is performing abortions in violation on state law. As Saynsumthn has previously reported, ProtestABQ, a pro-life group in New Mexico, says they have uncovered documentation showing that registered nurse Vivianne Clark (license number RN-71112) – whom they claim is employed by Planned Parenthood of New Mexico – performed several abortions, some late-term, in violation of state law which requires that only licensed physicians perform abortions. The group has filed a formal complaint with the State’s Nursing Board.

Vivianne M. Clark medicaid abortions report provided by ProtestABQ

Vivianne M. Clark medicaid abortions report provided by ProtestABQ

Protest ABQ received documentation on abortions paid by Medicaid Managed Care which showed that Clark, who is a nurse and not a licensed physician as required by state law, received payments for 81 abortions she performed totally $10,396.12 in 2013, a majority which were performed between 17 and 24 weeks prompting the complaint. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the New Mexico Board of Nursing confirmed receiving the complaint and say it has been referred it to the board’s investigators.

On Monday, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Whitney Phillips responded in a written statement to the Journal denying the charges against Clark, claiming that, “Nurse practitioners with prescriptive authority prescribe mifepristone as requested by a patient.” Adding, “No surgical abortions are being performed by any nurse practitioners.”

But there is a problem with that conclusion:

Documents provided by ProtestABQ appear to show that nurse Clark performed abortions from 17-24 weeks long past the new FDA standards of 70 days or 10 weeks. As the pro-life group Live Action News has previously reported, in March the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is relaxing its protocols for the use of the abortion drug Mifeprex. Under the new regulations, it may be described in 200 milligram doses instead of 600, 70 days after the start of a woman’s last menstrual period instead of 49, and with one fewer trip to an abortionist’s office.

In their denial of the charges, Planned Parenthood officials point to a 2007 lawsuit where a judge ruled that nurse practitioners can, according to the Journal, “legally prescribe the drug mifepristone, an abortion drug, to patients without violating the state’s criminal abortion law.”

But, Attorney Angelo Artuso, who filed the complaint in conjunction with Protest ABQ said that is bogus telling the Journal, “A district court order is not precedent.”

Artuso said there should be an investigation noting that Planned Parenthood “believe[s] they have cover, but it doesn’t mean that the Board of Nursing isn’t going to investigate and find that it is contrary to the licensing regulations.”

Planned Parenthood has come under scrutiny in the past for not only pushing medication abortions but not adhering defying guidelines for women’s safety. Kristin Burton Brown explained this in a recent Live Action News article, writing:

    At nearly all of its abortion clinics across the nation, Planned Parenthood performs medical abortions (also known as the abortion pill, RU486, and mifepristone) past the FDA recommended guideline of seven weeks. And, at 104 of its clinics across the nation, Planned Parenthood publicly advertises medical abortions past nine weeks, the medical standard set by NARAL and Planned Parenthood itself.

Carmen Feldman, general counsel for Planned Parenthood of New Mexico called the ProtestABQ complaint a “baseless attack” intended to “intimidate and harass providers.”

Artuso said the complaint was accurate because the New Mexico Legislature decided abortions should be performed by licensed physicians.

“We think it’s a good law. If that’s harassment and intimidation, then why not let anyone perform abortions?” he added.