Archive for Fred Jaffe

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

Posted in Abortion History, Abortion prior to Roe, Alan F. Guttmacher, American Law Institute, 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, 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. 

From “control” to “planning” how Planned Parenthood targeted blacks

Posted in Birth Control and Eugenics, Black Genocide, Black Students, Blacks oppose Birth Control, Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood and Black Leaders, Planned Parenthood and Black Women, Planned Parenthood and Eugenics, Planned Parenthood and NAACP, Planned Parenthood Employee, Planned Parenthood in Black Neighborhoods, Planned Parenthood in minority community, Planned Parenthood's black spokespeople with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2013 by saynsumthn

malcolmxIn 1962, Wylda B. Clowes, a Black field consultant for Planned Parenthood and Mrs. Marian Hernandez director of the Hannah Stone Center, met with Malcolm X to “discuss with him his group’s philosophy concerning family planning”. They described the Black Muslims as a Negro nationalist group who recruit mainly “low income Negroes”.

A June 19, 1962 memo from Eugenics Society Vice President and one time Planned Parenthood president, Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, describes the meeting, “[ Malcom X] responded in a positive way to the name [ Planned Parenthood] by saying that Black Muslims are interested in anything having to do with planning. He asked if Planned Parenthood has anything to do with birth control and offered the suggestion that we would probably be more successful if we used the term family planning instead of birth control. His reason for this was that people, particularly Negroes, would be more willing to plan than to be controlled…Throughout the interview it was apparent that Malcom X looked more favorably on the Maternal-Child Health approach and economic reasons for Negroes using our services. The mention of overpopulation reasons evoked questions on why major efforts to control population are directed toward colored nations , therefore this aspect was played down.”

Malcolm X PP

On December 16,1965 a letter was sent to Rev. Andrew J. Young of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, to engage his support in the birth control / planned parenthood movement.

The letter is written on the University of Wisconsin Letterhead by an associate professor who begins by telling Young that his father was a sociologist in India aiding in population planning as a consultant with the Ford Foundation.

The professor also admits to Young that his mother and mother-in-law are “ardent workers for Planned Parenthood.”

He expressed to Young a, “fond hope for a marriage between the experts in birth control and the experts in the civil rights movement,” and sells it as, “one program that the civil rights movement would not have to finance.”

He expresses one hurdle to Mr. Young that would be the Negroes themselves, “ many Negroes will be justifiably suspicious of white organizations, white physicians, and white social workers that seek to “limit the Negro population.” It smacks of racism and can offend people who are understandebly sensitive on the matter. Planned Parenthood is itself relunctant to take any initiative for fear of the reaction from the Negro population as a whole as well as from civil rights leaders in particular.” He ends by suggesting that, “ it is crucial that Negro leaders in the movement introduce the project to their Negro followers so that whites are not in the mis-perceived position of racist aggression.”

guttmachr

In 1966, Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation told a symposium at the University of California Medical Center that a sensitive area in the field of birth control was, “the belief that the white middle class was coercing their own poor and people with black and yellow skins to reduce family size because the middle-class whites are frightened of being outnumbered.

The only way the mounting feeling that birth control is a tool of racism can be handled, is to involve knowledgeable leaders from the minority groups who understand and are favorable to the philosophy of birth control. They, in turn, must translate their appreciation of the contribution which birth control can make toward family stability to their own people.”

A January 28, 1966 internal memo from Alan Guttmacher and Fred Jaffe, outlines the plan for winning over the Black Community. The memo begins by calling the new plan, a “Community Relations Program.” The “program” is to, “form a liaison between Planned Parenthood and minority organizations.”

The plan, according to Planned Parenthood, will 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.”

One way to get the message is out is to “ get assistance from black organizations like The Urban League and the AME church,” and according to the memo they need 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.”

Along with this Guttmacher suggests that they initiate cooperation with the National Medical Association [NMA], a Black medical association, and encourage them to establish a committee on reproduction and family planning.

Guttmacher also hoped to “secure at least three Negro physicians for membership on the PP-WP Medical Committee, and he planned to invite NMA leaders to address their convention. Also on the radar was a comprehensive plan to address the Black media by, “specially developed news and feature articles for Negro newspapers.”

Guttmacher ends by stating that the above suggestions are “long overdue” but stresses, “we do not need to panic. In fact, if we panic and continue to publicize the “problem”, we may well exacerbate it”

NOTE: In 1968, Jaffe founded the PPFA Center for Family Planning Program Development, which later became the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research arm.

On January 11, 1966, Lammont Du. P. Copeland sent a letter to Alan Guttmacher which contained the advice of Dupont’s Public Relations Representative, Mr. Glen Perry regarding the attitudes of the Black community toward Planned Parenthood.

Perry sought counsels from a black man who had been active with Planned Parenthood, Mr. Joseph Baker, who Dupont retains as a public relations adviser in the field of race relations.

Perry summarized the suggestions in a memo dated: January 10,1966, “Baker told us that Dr. Guttmacher is correct in feeling that civil rights leaders are beginning to take a hostile position toward population planning on the ground that it is an attempt to halt the growth of the Negro population.”

Baker strongly suggested to Perry that Planned Parenthood immediately open dialogue to the Black leaders, to “get their support and participation.”

Baker chastised a speech that Guttmacher made where he admitted some on the Planned Parenthood Board may be there solely for a racist agenda.

Perry writes, “[ Baker] was especially critical of Dr. Guttmacher’s admission that there might be some members of Planned Parenthood who had the political objective attributed to the organization by civil rights leaders. Such an admission could easily be taken out of context, and used to the detriment of the organization.”

Perry suggested that Guttmacher consider adding blacks to the Planned Parenthood board as well as the staff, he warns, “If this isn’t done, I’m not sure any amount of talk can convince the Negro leaders that this isn’t something being done to them by the whites rather than being done for whites and blacks by whites and blacks working together.”

Perry end by stressing that they need to “move quickly” to involve the black community.

On February 4, 1966 Mrs. Helen P. Stanford passed a copy of an article written in the Philadelphia Independent to Mrs. Naomi T. Gray. The memorandum was written on Planned Parenthood-World Population letterhead.

Stanford called the editorial “interesting” describing the writer as a young Negro lawyer who was a “member of our board here.” Stanford was critical of the writing style, but said that “ Still, there is food for thought here.”

The article written by Robert W. Williams, Jr. Esq., president and publisher of the Philadelphia Independent read in part, “There has been serious question of the motives of the Planned Parenthood Association, some opponents seeing in the organization’s work an aim of “containing” the Negro population or of even decimating it. They point to the concentration of interest,
by the Planned Parenthood Association virtually from the beginning, in the Negro ghettos of the major cities. And, let us admit it, it is not difficult to imagine that some racist might have seen the important of keeping the Negro race in America from becoming a larger minority than it already is…”

Williams goes on to defend Planned Parenthood, “The very people who seem least concerned about “oversized” families are also the ones who too often are least concerned about supporting them.”

Williams calls them “repeaters” and says they are both white as well as black. He then proposes a solution, “why not “limit” them, preferably by planned parenthood education —but, if this doesn’t work, perhaps sterilization is not to drastic for some “repeating” unwed mothers?”

In a 1966 Memorandum from Mrs. Miriam Manisoff to Dr. Alan Guttmacher entitled: Negro Attitudes Toward Family Planning, dated February 11,1966, Mrs. Manisoff mentions that questions were raised during a seminar on Planned Parenthood that showed the concern the Black Community had. One such question that came from a man in the audience asked, “How come you people only have clinics in Negro neighborhoods?”

In February of 1966, Sidney A. Hessel of the Planned Parenthood League of New Haven [CT.] wrote to Alan F. Guttmacher this letter (experts): “ Since the luncheon phase of the last board meeting I have been very much concerned. I do not know if your report was the bombshell to the others that it was to me, but the fact that the Urban League, NAACP, etc. were actively and vocally naming PP*WP [Planned Parenthood-World Population] a racist organization shocked me. I remember as long ago as 1935 hearing the then Catholic inspired reaction from the Negro community, “The whites want to keep our numbers down so they can rule us.” However, to hear this view point promulgated in 1966 by the leaders of the Negro group was a shock. More upsetting was the apparent acquiescent nod of the PP*WP spokesperson to the accusation. We can and should admit that our efforts have been geared toward the low socio-economic segment of the population-and probably the Negro population more than others…As to Negro board membership- Should a person be elected to the board because his skin is brown or yellow? Isn’t this also racism? Do the leaders of the Negro community have the time to give to Planned Parenthood over and above their other commitments? Let’s put the burden of cure on them and ask the leadership of the NAACP, CORE, the Urban League, etc. to submit names of qualified people to our nominating committee on the same basis as our affiliates…If we tell our story and stick to our viewpoint often enough we will be believed.

In 1966, Planned Parenthood president, Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher praised the advice of Cecil Newman, the publisher of the Minnesota Spokesman and former board member of Planned Parenthood of Minneapolis, concerning Guttmacher’s concern that blacks viewed Planned Parenthood and birth control as genocide.

In a letter dated February 18,1966, from a mutual friend, Daryl Feldmeir managing editor of the Minneapolis Tribune, Newman offered this suggestion, which Guttmacher wholeheartedly approved, “If I were Dr. Guttmacher, I would find some of the top Negro clergymen with large congregations to serve on my board. They really command respect.”

On March 7th of the same year, Guttmacher thanks Newman, “Our mutual friend, Daryle M. Feldmeir, wrote me that he had discussed with you my concern about the racist reaction which seems to be springing up regarding Planned Parenthood. Actually the groups that seem the most vocal do not seem to be connected with the Black Muslim movement, to wit, the group of students at Berkley, calling themselves EROS and the NAACP in Philadelphia under the leadership of Cecil Moore.”

Guttmacher goes on to acknowledge Newman’s suggestion of placing clergymen on the board and asks him to submit three names.

On February 23,1966 while in Berkley California, Wylda B. Cowles met with Walter Thompson, head of EROS an organization that opposed both Planned Parenthood and Birth Control.

EROS stands for Endeavor to Raise our Size.

On March 28, 1966, Cowles reported to Planned Parenthood President, Alan F. Guttmacher, MD that EROS “interprets the underlying motives [of Planned Parenthood] as a means of accomplishing racial genocide.

She described Thompson as a college graduate, articulate, and intelligent and said that she did not believe that Thompson was an “irrational, wild-eyed radical.”

Cowles acknowledged that Thompson’s goals were to “destroy Planned Parenthood” because his wife was insulted at a Planned Parenthood center.

In a letter dated March 7, 1966, Planned Parenthood President, Alan F. Guttmacher wrote to Mr. William Searle, VP of Marketing of the CD Searle Company telling him that he had been picketed by a group of very attractive young men, and noted that this was “just one of several manifestations of increasing racist apprehension in regard to birth control by minority groups, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans.”

Guttmacher had a solution, he continued, “I am seriously considering adding to my staff a minority relations man or women from one of the minority groups, and since the largest is the Negro, probably someone of the Negro race. It would be his task to work not only with the conventional groups like the NAACP, CORE, etc. but actively to confront three militant groups and see whether or not we couldn’t persuade them of the error of their ways.”

Guttmacher then tells Searle that the “only thing holding me back is the lack of money.” Guttmacher than asks is Searle would be interested in supporting “such a unit”.

During a workshop on family planning at the March 21-24th, 1966 Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.N.C.C.), Planned Parenthood’s field consultant, Mrs. Elsie Jackson reported to Alan Guttmacher that, “ As I had suspected the two S.N.C.C. workers came into the room with homemade picket signs (sheets of papers on their chests and backs). WE OPPOSE BIRTH CONTROL FOR NEGROES.

Elsie Jackson described the response of other blacks who attended the conference as follows, “Immediately after the initial presentation and the short introductory film, the reactions were hostile and volatile:

“God is against abortion and family planning is abortion and killing.”
“ Let the government give us our rights…and we’ll take care of our children.”
“They brought us here to work when they needed us and used us even as studs to produce more and more when they needed us—now they say stop breeding—Hell, no—now we’ll do as we please—we are tired of being run and manipulated.”
“Birth Control is a plot just as segregation was a plot to keep the Negro down.”

She reported that two members of the group described birth control as the white man’s tool to weaken the race.

Jackson observes, “It is apparent that birth control—family planning—population control have been caught up in the mass ball that is looked upon as the power structure that has been planned and implemented against the Negro American by the white American. Where or when this happened no one could say, but birth control—family planning—Planned Parenthood is now viewed by many Negroes as part of the other side—that which represents itself as being against the eventual elevation of the Negro…

“[Birth Control – Planned Parenthood] is viewed as a potential enemy. ..One man who was vehement in his opposition was finally pacified when reassured that abortion was not a method of birth control approved by Planned Parenthood…It became obvious that one role of Planned Parenthood in the community is continued education in the principles and philosophies of our organization and continued contacts with the leaders of the people to reassure them of the integrity of our intentions and of our belief, interest and support of the principles and rights that minorities are interested in.”

In a memo from Naomi T. Gray, Elsie Jackson, Helen Stanford, and Wylda B. Cowles, Community Relations Program for Planned Parenthood-World Population, to Alan F. Guttmacher, PP President dated April 11, 1966 they write, “ there was a consensus at the staff retreat that the tax-savings approach as a rational for providing birth control services has generated mistrust of Planned Parenthood’s motives among some segments of minority group communities—especially the Negro. This approach coupled with the population control message has proved to be explosive. The question now is how to handle the situation in such a way as to improve Planned Parenthood’s image , and if possible, to prevent the generation of further mistrust.”

In 1967, Douglas Stewart, Director of Community Relations with Planned Parenthood World Population, noted in a memorandum to the Executive Directors ,Planned Parenthood Affiliates, and Regional Directors that at the July 21-23 Newark Black Power Conference the conference passed an anti-birth control resolution, “I was in attendance at the Black Power Conference held in Newark, New Jersey as a representative of Planned Parenthood –World Population. It is interesting to note that even though the conference passed an anti-birth control resolution, I was personally well received…” Stewart did make this suggestion, “I would strongly recommend that all “outreach” personnel be instructed to minimize discussions of population control in the minority group…”

That same year, the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP charges that Planned Parenthood clinics, which provide the Pill and other forms of birth control in low income and minority neighborhoods, are devoted to keeping the black birth rate as low as possible. In a public statement the organization declares that birth control is being used as an instrument of racial genocide.

In a December 4, 1967 speech at Harvard University, Planned Parenthood president, Dr. Alan Guttmacher gave his views on abortion, “ I oppose abortion on demand, at least now for the United States, there are several reason. First, the public does not want it… only 20 % of the public favors abortion for single women… Abortion on demand relives the male of all responsibility in the sphere of pregnancy control..he becomes and animal…not far removed from the status of a bull…I favor liberalization of existing [ abortion] statutes…I would abort mothers already carrying three or more children…I would abort women who desire abortion who are drug attitudes or severe alcoholics…I would abort women with sub-normal mentality incapable of providing satisfactory parental care…

In a letter from Helen P. Stanford (ACSW) to Mrs. Anne Huppman, Executive Director Planned Parenthood Association of Maryland dated May 14,1968, Stanford tells Huppman , “The charge of Black Genocide as it relates to PP [Planned Parenthood] is being heard more frequently, and I suspect there will be much more of this kind of feeling. This makes it all the more important for us in PP [Planned Parenthood] to focus a great deal of our attention on ways to reach poor urban whites, to put greater emphasis on fostering maternal and child care facilities and to push toward developing social services for family planning by the community. If our services can move in this direction , we will begin to erase the image of birth control , as a planned way of limiting blacks.”

Dr Jerome H Holland sm

Then the dame year that Planned Parenthood World Population approved unanimously a policy recognizing abortion and sterilization as proper medical procedures, they elect the first Negro as Chairman, Dr. Jerome H. Holland.

Holland pledged his support to the organization and said that those who called birth control a form of “genocide” , “ Are not aware of the real meaning of Family Planning and its uses.”

Planned Parenthood then used this BLACK MAN to introduce abortion into the organization:
First BlackPP Prez

Frederick Osborn

That same years, Eugenics Society Officer Frederick Osborn, for thirty years the most important, wrote, “Eugenic goals are most likely to be attained under a name other than eugenics”

The Black Unity Party responded this way: “The Brothers are calling on the Sisters not to take the pill. It is this system’s method of exterminating black people here and abroad. To take the pill means that we are contributing to our own GENOCIDE

BlackUnityPartypoor-p1-72

Later that same year (1968) a family planning center in Cleveland was burned to the ground after militant Negroes had labeled it’s activities “black genocide”. The black publication The Nation reported that, “Organized opposition can be found in cities from California to New York.”

DSC02839

In Pittsburgh, Dr. Charles Greenlee a black physician and William Haden a community Activist forced the closing of a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Homewood-Brushton district and then warned that firebombings and riots would occur if any attempt was made to reopen the clinic. Such threats were taken seriously.

Then in 1969, Alan F. Guttmacher, President: Planned Parenthood-World Population, made this alarming statement, “I would like to give our voluntary means of opoulation control full opportunity in the next 10 to 12 years. Then , if these don’t succeed, we may have to go into some kind of coercion…”