Archive for legalize abortion

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

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

Researched by: Carole Novielli

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

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

1966: Mississippi allows abortion for rape

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

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

State Laws Abortion (Image credit: CDC 1969)

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

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

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

Image: 1967 Colorado legalizes abortion

1967 Colorado legalizes abortion

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

Abortions rose in Colorado over the years as follows:

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

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

Image: 1967 North Carolina liberalizes abortion laws

1967 North Carolina liberalizes abortion laws

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

Image: 1967 California liberalizes abortion laws

1967 California liberalizes abortion laws

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: 1968 Georgia legalizes abortion

1968 Georgia legalizes abortion

Maryland also passed a similar law that same year.

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

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

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

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

1969 CDC and HEW report on states that legalized abortion

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

Image: 1969 New Mexico liberalizes abortion

1969 New Mexico liberalizes abortion

According to Jonathan B. Sutin:

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

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

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

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

Image: 1969 CDC Judicial Decisions affecting abortion

1969 CDC Judicial Decisions affecting abortion

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

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

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

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

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

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

1970: CDC reported abortions in 14 states plus DC.

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

Image: 1970 New York legalizes abortion CDC

1970 New York legalizes abortion CDC

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

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

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

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

Image: 1970 states that liberalized abortion laws CDC

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

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

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

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

 

Image: 1971 reported number of legal abortions to CDC

1971 reported number of legal abortions to CDC

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

Image: 1971 reported number of legal abortions to CDC

1971 reported number of legal abortions to CDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1972 reported abortions by state to CDC

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

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

In 1995, Norma Joined pro-life movement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abortion stats by CDC prior to 1973

 

The following years abortions reported to the CDC, increased:

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

CDC Abortion numbers 1969 to 1980

 

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

Posted in abortion facility, Abortion History, Abortion prior to Roe, Alan F. Guttmacher, American Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians (AAPPP), Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood Employee, Planned Parenthood History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2018 by saynsumthn

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

planned parenthood sticker

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

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

Image: Alan Guttmacher 1973

Alan Guttmacher 1973

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

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

George Langmyhr writes about Planned Parenthood first abortion facility

Langmyhr added:

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

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

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

George Langmyhr Planned Parenthood medical committee

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

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

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

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

From “pregnancy detection” to “abortion guidance”

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

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

Abortion Guide published by Planned Parenthood

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

Image: Legal Abortion A Guide for Women by George Langmyher

Legal Abortion A Guide for Women by George Langmyher

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

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

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

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

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

Alan Guttmacher on abortion 1970 (Image New York Times)

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

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

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

Image: Guttmacher large scale abortion practice NY Magazine May 1970

Guttmacher large scale abortion practice NY Magazine May 1970

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

Planned Parenthood made a big shift toward abortion over five years

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: Ellen Fairchild opened first Planned Parenthood abortion clinic 1971

Ellen Fairchild opened first Planned Parenthood abortion clinic 1971

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

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

Image: article

First Planned Parenthood abortion facility in US

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

 

Image: article

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

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

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

Image: article

Planned Parenthood New York starts offering abortions

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

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

Planned Parenthood opens abortion clinic 1971

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

Image: article

Planned Parenthood to open first abortion clinic 1971

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

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

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

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

Planned Parenthood ultimately committed abortions for eugenic reasons 

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

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

Image: article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Responding to AHA’s claim pro-lifers focus on “abortion hurts women”

Posted in AHA, Pro-life History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2015 by saynsumthn

This past weekend a debate between pro-life advocate Gregg Cunningham vs. Abolish Human Abortion advocate T. Russell Hunter took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

11164806_881842688548413_8953565359761892780_n

____________________________

The purpose was for each one to defend their view on abortion strategy: Incrementalism vs. Immediatism.

I am not going to address the entire debate in this blog post.

For those interested, pro-life blogger, Jill Stanek has analyzed the debate in a series of blog posts here which I recommend.

The purpose of this blog post is to address two statements made by Hunter.

Gregg Russell prolife vs AHA abortion Debate

During the debate, Hunter makes claims that pro-life strategy of working towards complete abolition of abortion and accepting gradual or incremental methods to save every baby possible along the way is sin.

Then Hunter implies that pro-life people do not call the sinner to repent for abortion. This is one of the statement’s I wish to address here.

Hunter says, “You notice the difference between an immediatist and an incrementalist, in that an immediatists says abortion is sin turn to God and goes out daily and to that work.” (Note: The last three words of Hunter’s statement are hard to make out from the audio, but I think I caught them correctly, please notify me if I am incorrect.)

TR Debate AHA

Hunter ran through his points so quickly that I believe that they are worth reviewing. Let’s pause there for a moment and analyze what Hunter is implying.

The comments begin at 58:29 of the debate video – here if you want to hear them.

First the statement, “an immediatists says abortion is sin turn to God” is intentionally designed to imply that anyone who claims the name “pro-life” and supports “incremental” strategies does not believe that abortion is sin or proclaim that society needs to turn to God.

This is an utterly ignorant and rather insulting statement.

The pro-life movement is made up of a large number of Bible believing Christian people. I would be in that group.

I understand the ignorance of a person who only recently joined the fight to end abortion while claiming to be a Christian for many years. But, just because Hunter and many of his followers have decided to responded to the Biblical mandate to “rescue those being led to the slaughter” does not mean history on this movement began with them.

As much as Hunter would like to re-write the history of the pro-life movement he did not live it as many many pro-lifers did and can now testify as first hand witnesses.

But to the point at hand, there is ample evidence past and present that the call to repentance was and is given within the pro-life community.

This 2001 letter to the editor is just one example:

US Repent 2001 abortion

_______________________________________________

The 1980’s rescues were also public calls for not only the church to repent from abortion apathy, but also for society to do the same. No AHA meme, statement, or fancy design can erase that history.

225488_174509399274400_7414355_n

___________________________________

Moving on…

The second part of Hunter’s statement which I’d like to address is as follows:

    Incrementalists say things like abortion hurts women. It does. But the focus is on, it hurts women not abortion kills babies, even though they recognize that abortion kills babies.”

Again- that is a preposterous statement.

Abortion Hurts Women Debate

The very images collected by the pro-life community, which Hunter now uses in all his effective social media memes, is proof that the focus is on the fact that abortion kills babies.

In addition, I have also documented that pure legislation to defend the preborn and outlaw all abortions was put forth via Human Life Amendments during the early days. That documentation can be found here.

Having said that, there is nothing wrong with saying that abortion hurts women. Hunter, for all his protesting, admits it in fact does. Is not truth- truth?

I will give Hunter the benefit of the doubt on this topic because again, the AHA leader chose to get into this fierce fight after abortion had been legal for a number of years, so he is rather ignorant of historical battles, ideas, and lies that the pro-life community has had to dismantle for the past 42 years.

Those who are new to the abortion battle may not realize that the abortion lobby made major inroads by painting illegal abortion as “unsafe” causing women to die.

It is simple logic to counter the lie that helped legalize abortion with the truth, which is that women still die from abortion and legalization does not necessarily make abortions safe.

Keep abortion safe and legal

The lies:

NARAL Pin

    Millions of women died from illegal abortions.

    If you make abortions illegal, women will die.

Case in point, during the debate to liberalize abortion in New York, the issue of unsafe abortions swayed one representative to change his vote on the floor, opening the door to abortion on demand in that state.

NY Constance Cook

Assemblywoman Constance E. Cook stood to the floor during that 1970 debate to push the lie of unsafe abortion, stating, “I submit that we have abortion on demand in the state of New York right now. Any woman that wants an abortion can get one–if she has $25, she has it done here, under the most abominable circumstances,” and that prohibition only drives abortion underground.”

This clip from the film “Choice at Risk” gives a historical glimpse :

Repealing Abortion Laws (4:18) from Dorothy Fadiman on Vimeo.

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

ASSY George Michaels cast vote to legalize abortion

    I would vote no, hoping the bill would pass,” he said. “I was not doing the right thing.”

    In April, 1970, the night before he left for Albany, Michaels spent an evening with his daughter-in-law, Sarah.

    Sarah asked him what would happen when the abortion bill came up for a vote again. There was a chance it would pass, he told her.

    What if it doesn’t?” she asked.

    Maybe next year,” he said.

    Michaels says he has never been able to forget what his son’s young wife told him next:

    In the meantime, thousands of women will be mutilated and die because of that stupid Legislature.

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

The National Abortion Rights Action League, NARAL, also lied about women dying from illegal abortions. One of their early founders, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who later repented of his pro-abortion actions and views, described what they did early on:

Bernard Nathanson

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

McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Robert P. George breaks it down further when he writes this about the NARAL founder:

    Nathanson and his friends lied—relentlessly and spectacularly—about the number of women who died each year from illegal abortions. Their pitch to voters, lawmakers, and judges was that women are going to seek abortion in roughly equal numbers whether it is lawful or not. The only effect of outlawing it, they claimed, is to limit pregnant women to unqualified and often uncaring practitioners, “back alley butchers.” So, Nathanson and others insisted, laws against abortion are worse than futile: they do not save fetal lives; they only cost women’s lives.

abortion-rally-1970s

For clarification, stats show that, in the year prior to Roe, the CDC disputed the lie that thousands of women died from illegal abortion as shown in this table from their surveillance report on abortion.

cdc-illegal-abortion-deaths

So, to summarize, just because Hunter says that the pro-life movement does not focus on “abortion kills babies” does not make it so.

When the pro-life community documents that abortion is not safe for women it does not automatically mean they do not focus on the fact that abortion kills babies. For many of us, we are able to articulate multiple facts.

In addition, because AHA leaders claim that pro-lifers do not call abortion sin, does not make the claim true either as I stated above.

However, in my personal study of scripture, I do not see every effort to dialogue or convey truth being preceded by the command “repent.”

King Solomon, himself was conflicted when he was forced to determine who the mother of a baby brought before him was. He did not tell the two women squabbling to repent of their actions. Instead the wise King appealed to the heart of the true mother:

The NIV version of the events in I Kings is detailed below:

    The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”

    Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

    The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”

    But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

    Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

In the story above, the true mother, the one who cared for and loved the baby, was willing to compromise to save her child’s life.

Think about that for a while, as you ponder the debate !