Archive for Abortion II

How pro-abortion men hijacked the women’s movement for their own benefit

Posted in Abortion pill, Abortion prior to Roe, Bernard Nathanson, Betty Friedan, Birth Control and Eugenics, Civil Rights, DANCO, Eugenics, Feminism, Frederick OSborn, Lader, Live Action, Margaret Sanger, Men and Abortion, Population Control, Roe V Wade History, RU-486, Subverted, Women's Movement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2019 by saynsumthn

 

Image: Larry Lader in 2000

Larry Lader in 2000

The “Father of Abortion Rights,” Larry Lader, held eugenic beliefs inspired by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger — but on abortion, they parted ways, with Lader being extremely in favor of abortion. Lader and his colleague Bernard Nathanson were the two men most instrumental in pushing the 1960’s women’s movement towards abortion.

The reason we know this information, says “Subverted” author Sue Ellen Browder, is because Nathanson, an abortionist who later converted to the pro-life cause, had stories to tell.

Image: Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson. Both men worked against the feminist pro-life movement to push abortion on women.

Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson — two men behind the 1960s abortion push in the U.S.

Browder told Live Action president Lila Rose in an interview, “These two men, Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson, had founded this organization [NARAL] and… Lader knew Betty Friedan very well. They were magazine writers together in New York. Larry Lader had graduated from Harvard University. He was fairly independently wealthy… and his greatest passion was to make abortion legal. And he worked on Betty Friedan for years to try to convince her to insert abortion into her list of demands [within the National Organization for Women (NOW)]….”

“We would never had known it was Lader who at last persuaded Betty to insert abortion into NOW’s package of ‘women’s rights’ if it weren’t for the written testimony of a third party who eye-witnessed events as they unfolded behind the scenes,” Browder wrote in her book. That eyewitness was Nathanson.

“If we’re going to move abortion out of the books and into the streets, we’re going to have to recruit the feminists,” Browder quotes Lader as suggesting.

“Friedan has got to put her troops into this thing – while she still has control of them,” Lader stated.

READ: 8 ways pro-abortion men pushed legalized abortion on America

Friedan, Browder notes, had agreed to write a foreword in the jacket of Lader’s book. “He wrote a book on abortion and it was full of half truths, selective truths and truths out of context. But it was trying to prove to women that they need abortion to be free,” Browder stated. “And Betty Friedan bought it. She gave him a wonderful blurb on the back cover saying what a wonderful book this was. So, she now agreed with him.”

Image: Abortion written by Lawrence (Larry) Lader 1966

Abortion written by Lawrence (Larry) Lader 1966

Lader wanted to “unleash the fury of women”

Nathanson, who reluctantly agreed to work with Lader in 1967 to convince Friedan’s feminists to support an abortion plank, once admitted, “Larry’s marriage with the feminists was a brilliant tactic.” But Nathanson later regretted the decision.

“In short I found, to my surprise, that I had been subtly dragooned into planning political strategy with Lader,” Nathanson wrote regretfully in his book, “The Hand of God.” Nathanson called himself and Lader “radicals,” writing, “We would settle for nothing less than striking down all existing statutes and substituting abortion on demand.”

The scheme was simple. In “Abortion,” Lader placed the responsibility on women to pronounce abortion as a freedom:

Women themselves must bear the special responsibility of rallying opinion behind reform, standing up and making their demands for justice known throughout the country. Nothing is stronger than the moral power of an idea once it has come of age. And the moral power of legalized abortion will surely prevail when women have directed their anger against the superstitions of centuries, and cried out for the final freedom of procreative choice.

In “Abortion II,” Lader prophetically concluded that to legalize abortion, women would need “to stand before television cameras and describe their own abortions to the public…. It needed brawling women, shouting defiance of the law….” Lader then took credit for convincing women to join, writing, “It took only a few of us in 1966 – the early fanatics – to break the silence and unleash the fury of women. Once the National Organization for Women and Women’s Liberation groups joined the abortion movement, we were ready to shake the country.”

“Significantly, even Friedan, one of the most impressive militants of her time, avoided the abortion issue at first,” Lader recounted in the same book. He wrote, “[W]hile she was writing Mystique, I occasionally suggested that all feminist demands hinged on contraception and abortion and a woman’s control over her own body and procreation. Yet, her book hardly touched this fundamental problem and mentioned Margaret Sanger only peripherally….”

Image: Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique

 

READ: Film documents Planned Parenthood’s history of Black genocide, eugenics

“The breakthrough came slowly,” Lader wrote. “In June 1966, at a meeting of the Commissions on the Status of Women in Washington, Friedan emerged from the status of woman to activist,” Lader said, recounting how Friedan founded NOW. “Although pounding away at the abortion issue in her lectures, she still hesitated to force it into the NOW platform for fear of splitting off Catholics and conservative professionals.”

Then, in a 1966 news conference announcing Lader‘sbook, the LA Times recounted how reporters began using new rhetoric, calling abortion “a civil rights movement for women.”

One year later, in 1967, Lader would convince Friedan to add an abortion plank into NOW.

“Friedan has claimed that she did not start out consciously to start to a revolution,” Lader noted in his book “Ideas Triumphant.” But, he said, “This is not completely accurate. At the time she agreed to write a plug for my book jacket in 1965, we were discussing how to turn ideas into organizing. The founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966 was pivotal.”

“By bringing NOW and eventually Women’s Lib into the abortion campaign, Friedan assured that the struggle for feminine liberation was solidly rooted in the one base that could turn theory into reality – a woman’s control over her own body and procreation,” Lader wrote in “Abortion II.”

Lader’s abortion obsession continued into the 1990’s when he pushed for the legalization of the abortion pill, RU486. In a 2000 press release, Lader bragged about his “plot” to break the law and smuggle the drug into the US.

He told an audience, “We have all sorts of little tricks; we’re tricky people. We smuggled some in from China through a doctor I knew coming in…. We then set up a very small lab… to make a small amount… and then we were very lucky; we found a very good manufacturer in the US and we have been with them ever since.”

Lader died in 2006 from colon cancer. He was 86.

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

____________________

 

  • ( Part One) ‘Father of abortion rights’ called minority children in America ‘unwanted’
  • (Part Two) ‘Father of abortion rights’ called self a ‘disciple’ of Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger
  • (Part Three) ‘Father of abortion rights’: Minorities need abortion to prevent future ‘drug addicts’
  • (Part Four) Pro-abortion leader hoped abortion would end ‘morality’ and ‘the nuclear family’
  • Larry Lader and Margaret Sanger (here) (here)
  • Larry Lader on Planned Parenthood (here). (here) (here)
  • Larry Lader, Bernard Nathanson and NOW, Betty Friedan and NARAL – Here and here.
  • Men like Larry Lader who pushed abortion and helped Roe (here)
  • Lies about illegal abortion (here)

Pro-abortion leader hoped abortion would end ‘morality’ and ‘the nuclear family’

Posted in Black Babies, Black Genocide, Eugenics, Garret Hardin, Garrett Hardin, Human Betterment, Lader, Margaret Sanger, Men and Abortion, Roe V Wade History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2019 by saynsumthn

abortion, abortion rates, Roe v. Wade

The “father of the abortion movement,” Larry Lader, was heavily influenced by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, about whom he wrote a biography. Planned Parenthood was also steeped in eugenics from its beginning, and boasted a list of eugenics proponents as its board members. Although the two shared a eugenics ideology, Lader would eventually part ways with Sanger over abortion. But it was perhaps Sanger’s warped eugenic ideology that motivated Lader to manipulate the 1960s women’s movement to push for abortion legalization.

 

Lader wasn’t interested in equal rights… just ‘abortion rights’

“Larry never seemed to be interested in the rest of the women’s movement, the equal rights amendment, child care and so forth,” Sey Chassler, a consulting editor at Parade magazine, recalled to the LA Times in 1995. But on abortion, “he is absolutely single-minded. He just keeps going forward on it.”

Image: Lawrence Lader abortion crusader

Lawrence Lader abortion crusader

READ: Did a eugenics proponent coin Planned Parenthood’s iconic slogan?

In 1966, Lader authored the book “Abortion” on the heels of the Supreme Court’s 1965 decision in Griswold vs. Connecticut, granting a so-called right to privacy. “If I had written it five years earlier, it would have sunk like a stone,” he admitted.

Lader stressed in the book, “We will only defeat ourselves by producing an endless cycle of unwanted children. Those born in slums, for example, denied even the smallest share of education and economic opportunity, have little chance of realizing their full potential as citizens.” He goes on to quote Garrett Hardin, a leading eugenic ecologist, whose views influenced debates on abortion, immigration, foreign aid, overpopulation, and other provocative issues.

Hardin, a member of the American Eugenics Society, who was given Planned Parenthood’s highest national award in 1980, once called it insanity to rely on voluntarism to control population. He advocated coercive birth control, stating that citizens should be willing to give up their right to breed for the betterment of society.

“When unwanted children become parents,” Lader quotes Hardin in “Abortion,” “they are more likely than others to be poor parents themselves and breed another generation of unwanted children. This is a vicious cycle if there ever was one. It is ruinous to the social system.”

Image: Abortion written by Lawrence (Larry) Lader 1966

Abortion written by Lawrence (Larry) Lader 1966

“Above all, society must grasp the grim relationship between unwanted children and the violent rebellion of minority groups,” Lader went on to state, then using Planned Parenthood’s iconic slogan, “every child a wanted child,” coined by eugenicist Frederick Henry Osborn, a founding member and president of the American Eugenics Society (AES) who also signed Sanger’s “Citizens Committee for Planned Parenthood,” published in her review in April 1938.

Frederick Osborn

READ: Planned Parenthood’s ties to eugenics go far beyond Margaret Sanger

“As long as a reasonable chance of contraceptive failure persists, however, abortion must be included as part of birth control to insure every child’s becoming a wanted child,” Lader wrote. He then turned from a eugenics emphasis to couching abortion as liberating for women, calling it, “the final freedom,” and quoting Sanger as saying, “No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”

“The complete legalization of abortion is the one just and inevitable answer to the quest for feminine freedom,” Lader stated. “All other solutions are compromises.”

Lader sought “a complete restructuring of sexual morality”

Lader saw abortion as liberating for women, sexually. But in reality, abortion was a man’s dream and the last barrier keeping him from free sex without consequences… and has shifted the responsibility of pregnancy to the woman alone.

“The rapid advance of legalized abortion in turn gave the feminist movement an explosive boost,” Lader wrote in “Abortion II,” adding, “Abortion provided the prime weapon against sexism and the ‘biological imperative’ – the prison of unwanted childbearing that had chained most women to the role of housekeepers, nurses, and cooks under male dominance. Once sex had been detached from pregnancy, Women’s Liberation could construct its own ethics on the ash-heap of puritan morality.”

Lader then suggested that the “feminist revolt” was the “rebirth of sex… an explosion of sexuality” while also pointing out that a recent study had shown that “nearly half of all unmarried women have had sexual intercourse by the age of nineteen.” Of course, Lader also observed from that Commission on Population Growth study that, “more Blacks than Whites had intercourse in each age group.”

Lader described the feminist demands as “a complete restructuring of sexual morality,” claiming that the “most radical feminist wants an even more sweeping revolt – the end of the nuclear family itself.” He claimed the feminist had replaced the security of a “husband’s salary” for the “biological security of abortion.”

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

 

____________________

 

  • ( Part one) ‘Father of abortion rights’ called minority children in America ‘unwanted’
  • (Part Two) ‘Father of abortion rights’ called self a ‘disciple’ of Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger
  • (Part Three) ‘Father of abortion rights’: Minorities need abortion to prevent future ‘drug addicts’
  • Larry Lader and Margaret Sanger (here) (here)
  • Larry Lader on Planned Parenthood (here). (here) (here)
  • Larry Lader, Bernard Nathanson and NOW, Betty Friedan and NARAL – Here and here.
  • Men like Larry Lader who pushed abortion and helped Roe (here)
  • Lies about illegal abortion (here)

Feminist icon: The way we sold abortion to public caused ‘lack of reverence for life’

Posted in Bernard Nathanson, Betty Friedan, Feminism, Garret Hardin, Lader, Lila Rose, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood History, Subverted, Women's Movement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2019 by saynsumthn

abortion, pregnancy

Feminist icon Betty Friedan, a founding leader of the National Organization for Women (NOW), which bills itself as the first national organization to endorse the legalization of abortion, admitted that it was pro-abortion men who drove the push to legalize abortion. Friedan, who falsely claimed she “started the Woman’s Movement,” was once granted the “Humanist of the Year” award. She authored the book, “The Feminine Mystique,” which didn’t even mention abortion in its first publication. Friedan has been quoted as saying, “Ideologically, I was never for abortion. Motherhood is a value to me, and even today abortion is not.”

But the NOW founder was eventually convinced — by these patriarchal men — to push abortion as part of NOW’s official platform.

Friedan’s admission to NARAL supporters was captured in CSPAN’s 1989 video, “Who Decides? Political Action for Pro-Choice.” She referred to the 1960s pro-choice push as the “second American evolution of women.”

“First of all, the word ‘abortion’ was almost never heard in the early 60s. It was never used in the newspapers,” Friedan told the group. “There were many founders of NOW… and they persuaded me this was too controversial to take on, it might split the burgeoning women’s movement,” Friedan stated.

And, in fact, it did.

She added that at the time, the issue was too controversial even for Planned Parenthood.

Image: Betty Friedan speaks to NARAL history of NOW

Betty Friedan speaks to NARAL history of NOW

READ: A look at the past, present, and future of pro-life feminism

Labeling her fight the “NAACP for Women,” Friedan confessed that it was men who convinced her to use NOW to promote abortion. “I remember that there were some men — doctors, lawyers — that had been trying to reform these criminal abortion laws. And they got a sense somehow that the women’s movement might make everything different,” she said. “They had gotten nowhere but they had a sense. So, they kept nagging at me, to NOW, to try and do something….”

“When it was clear that NOW wasn’t going to [promote it] in those first years,” Friedan says the men came to her pleading for help. These men were Lawrence Lader and Dr. Bernard Nathanson (a founder of NARAL who later became pro-life). Because of her book, Friedan had “a little bit of fame,” and “these guys, they loved me, because I was helping to give them some visibility.”

Friedan helped establish NARAL, (known then as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) at the First National Conference on Abortion Laws held in Chicago in 1969. She admitted that at NARAL’s founding, few women attended: “I have to tell you. It wasn’t very large and my hunch is that women were not the majority of people even at it.”

In fact, according to Harvard University Library, two of NARAL’s three member pre-formation planning committee were men: Garrett Hardin and Lawrence Lader. (Lader met Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger in 1953, and in 1955, he published a biography on her, later co-authoring another account of Sanger.)

Abortionist and NARAL founder Bernard Nathanson also played a role in convincing Friedan to push abortion.

In her book, “Subverted,” author Sue Ellen Browder described Lader as being adamant that the women’s movement was key to decriminalizing abortion. “We’ve got to keep the women out front… and some Blacks,” she quotes Lader as telling Nathanson at a NARAL strategy meeting. On a 1967 trip the men took together, Lader said, “If we’re going to move abortion out of the books and into the streets, we’re going to have to recruit the feminists…. Friedan has got to put her troops into this thing – while she still has control of them.”

Browder says Nathanson originally objected to the idea of using feminists to further their movement but later proclaimed, “I was dead wrong.”

Image: Larry Lader in 2000

Larry Lader in 2000

READ: An actress, a singer, and a supermodel show that true feminists are pro-life

In his book, “Abortion II,” Lader recounted his interaction with Friedan: “We had known each other for years, and while she was writing Mystique, I occasionally suggested that all feminist demands hinged on contraception and abortion and a woman’s control over her own body and procreation.” He also wrote that Friedan was hesitant, fearing it would “split[] off Catholics and conservative professionals.”

Image: Abortion 11 by Larry Lader

Abortion 11 by Larry Lader

Lader eventually convinced Friedan to market abortion as a way women could “control their bodies,” crediting Margaret Sanger, who said, “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body.”

Over time, Friedan saw problems with her male-created feminism, and noted that her movement’s failure “was our blind spot about the family.” In promoting her book, “Second Stage,” Friedan called for her movement to “stop overemphasizing abortion rights and reaffirm the importance of family.” But the damage was done.

In 1981, Friedan decried the “lack of reverence for life and the mysteries of conception and birth” in pro-choice feminism:

Maybe there was something slightly off in the way we handled abortion. Such slogans as ”free abortion on demand” had connotations of sexual permissiveness, affronting not only the moral values of conservatives but implying a certain lack of reverence for life and the mysteries of conception and birth.

After all, why do feminists seem to be fighting ”for abortion” against women who say they are fighting for ”the right to life”? How can we fight the real battle in such terms? Who is really for abortion? That is like being for mastectomy…

In contrast to NOW, early feminist leaders like Susan B. Anthony referred to abortion as “child murder” and viewed it as a means of exploiting both women and children. They, unlike Friedan, demonstrated that true feminism was pro-motherhood, pro-woman, and pro-child.

    • 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, Alan F. Guttmacher, 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.

This was part two in Live Action News’ series on the history of Planned Parenthood’s move to committing abortions. You can read part one ,(1)  part three, and part four in additional articles.