Archive for Mary S. Calderone

Don’t be fooled: Abortion bans didn’t result in thousands of deaths

Posted in Abortion death, Abortion Death Prior to Roe, Abortion History, Alan F. Guttmacher, Bernard Nathanson, Christopher Tietze, Guttmacher, Illegal abortion, Mary Calderone, NARAL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2019 by saynsumthn

abortion, abortion rates, Roe v. Wade

 

When abortion bans are in the news, the usual scare tactic claimed by abortion supporters is that when abortion is illegal, thousands of women die. They typically point to entirely fabricated numbers of women who died from illegal abortions just prior to Roe v. Wadeciting a debunked statistic of between 5,000 and 10,000 annually. A more recently cited number claiming “thousands of women [are] dying from abortion every year,” dates all the way back to the 1940’s — before antibiotics were invented. These inflated numbers were created intentionally to garner sympathy for decriminalizing abortion.

Live Action News has broken down this data in more detail previously, including debunking Planned Parenthood’s false claims multiple times. Here’s a summary of facts:

1. Hundreds of thousands of women did not die from illegal abortions annually

  • Former NARAL founder Bernard Nathanson admitted that the 5,000 to 10,000 death figure fed to the public and media in the late 1960’s was fabricated.
  • American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), found: ‘The frequently quoted figure of 5,000 – 10,000 deaths from abortion annually appears unrealistic….”
  • 1975 report by National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine noted: “It is difficult to find credible estimates of the number of deaths associated with illegal abortion. One estimate, which has been frequently quoted, is between 5,000 and 10,000 deaths per year. That is hardly plausible, considering that the total number of deaths of women aged 15-44 from all causes in the United States is approximately 50,000 annually, and the total number of deaths due to abortion reported by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has been below 500 since 1958 and below 100 since 1971.”
  • Others (see below) including abortion proponents, reveal illegal abortion death numbers drastically lower than what is regularly cited.

Image: Illegal Abortion Deaths 1930 to 1979 updated (Graph credit: Live Action News)

Illegal Abortion Deaths 1930 to 1979 updated (Graph credit: Live Action News)

2. Abortion death numbers were purposely inflated to scare politicians and manipulate the public

  • Dr. Christopher Tietze, an abortion advocate once awarded Planned Parenthood’s infamous Margaret Sanger Award, suggested in 1967 that the inflated illegal abortion death numbers were made up to scare politicians into legalizing abortion. “The higher estimates are made by people who feel in order to raise sympathy for liberalized abortion laws they have to make people afraid,” he said.

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967 b

 

3. The year Roe was decided, legal abortion killed more women than illegal abortion

  • By 1973, abortion had already been legalized in several states. CDC reports, which can be found in this table, reveal that in 1973, the year the Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion, more women died from “legal” abortion than “illegal” abortions. (25 v. 19)

CDC Abortion deaths 1972 to 1990

Live Action News previously documented that while legalizing abortion resulted in a drastic increase in abortions, it did not necessarily equate to safer abortions, especially in the first few years after Roe was decided. Even today, women are injured and killed after seeking legal abortions

4. No one knew exact illegal abortion death numbers, but acknowledged that numbers were inflated

  • In 1967, statistician Christopher Tietze called the inflated numbers “unmitigated nonsense,” adding, “we have no real basis for guessing which extreme is closer to the truth.” He then suggested that merely liberalizing abortion “probably would not have a big impact on mortality.”
  • In 1969, the very first abortion surveillance report was published by the Centers for Disease Control, noting a “lack of accurate incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality data” on abortion. According to this same CDC report, in 1966, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 189 maternal deaths from abortion complications.

Today, although the CDC reports legal abortion deaths, many believe they could be under-reported. Years ago, I was personally told by a medical examiner “off the record” that abortion deaths are “covered up regularly.”

5. Antibiotics decreased the number of Illegal abortion deaths

The Guttmacher Institute writes that by 1950, “just over 300” women died from illegal abortion, adding that it was most likely “because of the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections that frequently developed after illegal abortion.”

6. Small percentage of women went to non-medical personal for illegal abortions

Mary S. Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, 1959: “Whatever trouble arises usually comes after self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 per cent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of nonmedical abortionist.”

7. Physicians referred patients to colleagues for illegal abortions

Mary S. Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, 1959: “Another corollary fact: physicians of impeccable standing are referring their patients for these illegal abortions to the colleagues whom they know are willing to perform them…”

8. Physicians committed the majority of illegal abortions

  • Former Planned Parenthood president Alan Guttmacher, Harvard Crimson December 5, 1967: “Seventy per cent of the illegal abortions in the country are performed by reputable physicians, each thinking himself a knight in white armor.”
  • Mary S. Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, 1959: Called abortion “no longer a dangerous procedure,” because it was being committed by physicians, saying “…90 per cent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians.”

9. Illegal abortions were often classified as “therapeutic” (to save a woman’s life) so they could be done by doctors:

Mary S. Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, 1959: “What we have to admit is, as was repeatedly emphasized, that most therapeutic abortions are in the strictest sense of the law actually illegal.”

For more, visit:

Read Part One of this “Don’t be fooled” series here.

  • 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. 

Planned Parenthood’s abortion history and Margaret Sanger Timeline ( Part 1 of 4)

Posted in Abortion History, Abortion legalization by state, Abortion prior to Roe, Abortion Vintage, ACLU, Alan F. Guttmacher, American Law Institute, Eugenics, Frederick OSborn, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood History, Roe V Wade History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2018 by saynsumthn

Planned Parenthood, abortion corporation

Believe it or not, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger did not introduce abortion to the organization. It was a man, Alan F. Guttmacher (after whom the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute is named), who did so. But Sanger has a very controversial history as an enthusiastic proponent of eugenics and as a member of the American Eugenics Society. The philosophy of eugenics not only fed her work within the Planned Parenthood movement, but her lesser known advocacy of euthanasia as well. The organizations Sanger founded, such as the American Birth Control League (ABCL), and later, Planned Parenthood, also have ties to many eugenics proponents. Under the philosophy of eugenics, minorities and the poor, as well as others deemed to be “feebleminded or unfit” were sometimes sterilized by the state. And at times, state sterilization boards used Planned Parenthood to commit these surgeries.

Sanger’s advocacy of eugenics reveals that her desire was initially to sterilize those she deemed “unfit.” It wasn’t until after these inhumane, eugenic methods were challenged in court that abortion was introduced into Planned Parenthood as an organization.

This clip from the documentary film, Maafa21, recounts a case in which eugenics courts utilized Planned Parenthood’s services to do the dirty work of eugenic sterilizations:

In 1921, Sanger founded the ABCL after opening her first birth control clinic in 1916. In 1923, according to the Margaret Sanger Papers, the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau (BCCRB) began as the Clinical Research Bureau (CRB), and on January 19, 1939, the Birth Control Federation of America (BCFA) was formed through a merger of the ABCL and the BCCRB. At a special membership meeting held on January 29, 1942, the BCFA changed its name to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

Planned Parenthood Federation of America Formerly BCFA

Sanger’s obsession with eugenics originated with her introduction to Henry Havelock Ellis in 1914, a psychologist and author of several books on sex, according to biographer Larry Lader. Lader once recounted that Sanger had “skimpy” knowledge about abortion, and that the topic caused a split between Lader and Sanger. “Ironically, I would eventually split with Margaret over abortion — only in a theoretical sense since, by 1963, she was too ill to carry on our old discussions,” Lader wrote in “Abortion II.” “Margaret had always opposed abortion…. Naturally, she was right in the context of her time,” he continued.

Image: Margaret Sanger (Image Credit Milwaukee Sentinel)

Margaret Sanger (Image Credit Milwaukee Sentinel)

Sanger believed in birth control to “stop the reproduction of the unfit”

Today, thanks to Lader and the media, Sanger is probably most well known for her push for contraception. But Sanger’s birth control agenda had a sinister eugenics plot behind it, as she admittedin 1919, when she stated:

Before eugenists and others who are laboring for racial betterment can succeed, they must first clear the way for Birth Control…. We who advocate Birth Control, on the other hand, lay all our emphasis upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care for those who are born in health. …While I personally believe in the sterilization of the feeble-minded, the insane and syphilitic, I have not been able to discover that these measures are more than superficial deterrents when applied to the constantly growing stream of the unfit… Eugenics without Birth Control seems to us a house builded upon the sands. It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit…”

Sanger was a nurse by trade and had witnessed the horrors of illegal abortion. In fact, as early as 1912, before there were appropriate medicines to combat infection, Sanger witnessed a patient die from what she believed to be an illegal abortion. Sanger was not necessarily opposed to abortion, but as it had not yet been legalized, her focus was eugenic sterilization and birth control. In her book Woman and the New Race, published in 1920, Sanger suggests that birth control is a better choice than abortion:

When society holds up its hands in horror at the “crime” of abortion, it forgets at whose door the first and principal responsibility for this practice rests. Does anyone imagine that a woman would submit to abortion if not denied the knowledge of scientific, effective contraceptives? Does anyone believe that physicians and midwives who perform abortions go from door to door soliciting patronage? The abortionist could not continue his practice for twenty-four hours if it were not for the fact that women come desperately begging for such operations…The question, then, is not whether family limitation should be practiced. It is being practiced, it has been practiced for ages and it will always be practiced. The question that  society must answer is this: shall family limitation be achieved through birth control or abortion?”

Margaret Sanger talks abortion in Woman and the New Race

As abortion continues today despite the availability of multiple kinds of contraception, it appears that Sanger, in claiming women seek abortion only because they don’t have birth control, was wrong.

Sanger called birth control “less repulsive” than abortion

She goes on to admit, “In plain, everyday language, in an abortion there is always a very serious risk to the health and often to the life of the patient…. Frequent abortions tend to cause barrenness and serious, painful pelvic ailments. These and other conditions arising from such operations are very likely to ruin a woman’s general health.”

Poster from Birth Control Federation called Abortion Facts

Then, she briefly advocates for legalized abortion, while maintaining her focus on “prevention,” writing, “We know that abortion, when performed by skilled hands, under right conditions, brings almost no danger to the life of the patient, and we also know that particular diseases can be more easily combatted after such an abortion than during a pregnancy allowed to come to full term. But why not adopt the easier, safer, less repulsive course and prevent conception altogether? Why put these thousands of women who each year undergo such abortions to the pain they entail and in whatever danger attends them?”

She goes on to claim that “every argument that can be made for preventive medicine can be made for birth-control clinics,” adding that without these, “the rapid increase of the feebleminded, of criminal types and of the pathetic victims of toil in the child-labor factories,” will continue.

Sanger understood that life begins at the moment of fertilization, writing this in her Family Limitationpamphlet, originally published in 1914: “Any attempt to interfere with the development of the fertilized ovum is called an abortion. No one can doubt that there are times where abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception.”

Margaret Sanger in Family Limitation noted life begins at fertilization.

In 1921, Sanger proclaimed that “the campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aim of eugenics.”

In 1926, as Live Action News has previously detailed, Margaret Sanger met with the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan, entertaining additional invitations, according to her own report of the meeting. The event took place in Silver Lake, New Jersey, and Sanger described in it in her autobiography:

I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan…. I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses…. I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak…. In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered. (Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, P.366)

Sanger called that event “one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.”

Sanger’s writes about meeting the Klan in autobiography

Sanger believed having children was a privilege (granted by the state), not a human right

In 1934, Sanger suggested requiring a “license” to have children. To the likes of Sanger, the concept of becoming a parent was never one of “choice” but rather something reserved only for the privileged few and only if they obtained the approval of either the government or eugenics leaders.

License to Breed Margaret Sanger

In her publication, “A License for Mothers to Have Babies” with the subtitle, “A code to stop the overproduction of children.” Sanger outlined her plan article by article, which read in part (emphasis mine):

A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood.

Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.

Article 5. Permits for parenthood shall be issued upon application by city, county, or State authorities to married couples, providing the parents are financially able to support the expected child, have the qualifications needed for proper rearing of the child, have no transmissible diseases, and on the woman’s part, no medical indication that maternity is likely to result in death or permanent injury to health.

Article 6No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.

Then, in 1936, Julian S. Huxley, brother of novelist Aldous, who authored Brave New World, published an article in the Eugenics Review, where he proclaimed that birth control had to be taught to the so-called “lowest strata” of society who were “reproducing relatively too fast.” Sanger once said that Huxley “brings to the Birth Control movement the most distinguished intellectual background England can boast.” Huxley wrote:

First comes the prevention of dysgenic effects. The upper economic classes are presumably slightly better endowed with ability – at least with ability to succeed in our social system – yet are not reproducing fast enough to replace themselves, either absolutely or as a percentage of the total population. We must therefore try to remedy this state of affairs, by pious exhortation and appeals to patriotism, or by the more tangible methods of family allowances, cheaper education, or income-tax rebates for children. The lowest strata, allegedly less well-endowed genetically, are reproducing relatively too fast.

Therefore birth-control methods must be taught them; they must not have too easy access to relief or hospital treatment lest the removal of the last check on natural selection should make it too easy for children to be produced or to survive; long unemployment should be a ground for sterilization, or at least relief should be contingent upon no further children being brought into the world; and so on. That is to say, much of our eugenic programme will be curative and remedial merely, instead of preventive and constructive.

Huxley was an outspoken elitist on population control who, in 1946, became UNESCO’s first Director-Genera. He was the vice president of the Abortion Law Reform Association, and like Sanger, he once endorsed euthanasia. Then, in 1959, Huxley was awarded for his work by Planned Parenthood.

Julian HUxley spoke to Planned Parenthood

Julian Huxley spoke to Planned Parenthood (Image credit: Maafa21 documentary)

Interestingly, months later in 1937, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially recognized birth control as an integral part of medical practice and education. Then, North Carolina became the first state to include birth control in a public health program. We later learned that they were also heavily influenced by the eugenics movement.  

In 1938, Sanger set up a “Committee on Planned Parenthood,” announcing it in her publication, the American Birth Control Review, writing, “As a first step in a campaign to expand the nation-wide activities and services of the American Birth Control League, the Citizens Committee for Planned Parenthood will conduct a fund-raising campaign for $263,990 this Spring in metropolitan New York.”

Image from Sanger's publication

Committee on Planned Parenthood 1938 ABCL

By 1940, the group had raised over $118,000 for the cause with $10,000 coming from Albert D. Lasker.

Planned Parenthood once touted birth control as a way to reduce abortion… but it hasn’t

In 1939, the New York Times used the term “Planned Parenthood” in an article headline, quoting Sanger as claiming that, “The only way to halt the increasing abortion rate and strike at the roots of a racket… is through medically guided birth control advice.”

Image of article

Planned Parenthood mentioned in 1939 in NYT

Behind the scenes, Sanger’s organization was trying to gain the trust of the Black community. Her work in eugenics and her members’ continued advocacy of the very racist movement created some ambivalence.  The problem they faced was that the Black community saw birth control and abortion as genocide. But Sanger had a solution: to use Blacks themselves to introduce and promote “birth control.”

Thus, in 1939, Sanger created her “Negro Project,” as described in a letter she penned to Clarence Gamble regarding her desire to use Black ministers in furthering her organization’s agenda, because, she said, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” and if it did, these ministers could “straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Excerpt: Margaret Sanger Letter to Clarence Gamble, Negro Project

Then, on March 6, 1942, the NYT announced that the BCFA had changed its name to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood founded in 1942 (Image: New York Times)

In 1946, Frederick Osborne, a founding member of the American Eugenics Society (AES) who signed Margaret Sanger’s “Citizens Committee for Planned Parenthood” was elected president of the AES.

Osborn once wrote, “Eugenic goals are most likely attained under a name other than eugenics.” Some speculate that Planned Parenthood’s infamous slogan, “Every Child a Wanted Child,” may have originated with Osborn. It is no wonder that Osborn also said that “Birth Control and abortion are turning out to be the great eugenic advances of our time.”

1950’s Planned Parenthood Logos

A few years later, in 1950, Margaret Sanger proclaimed in a letter to Mrs. Stanley McCormick, “I consider that the world and almost our civilization for the next twenty-five years, is going to depend upon a simple, cheap, safe contraceptive to be used in poverty stricken slums, jungles, and among the most ignorant people. Even this will not be sufficient, because I believe that now, immediately, there should be national sterilization for certain dysgenic types of our population who are being encouraged to breed and would die out were the government not feeding them. Contraceptive research needs tremendous financial support…”

The push to add voluntary abortion for “medical, eugenic, and humanitarian reasons” began

Then, in 1959, the American Law Institute (ALI) proposed permitting legal therapeutic abortions. The ALI’s Model Penal Code on abortion was the premise of the 1973 Supreme Court Decision.

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

In 1960, Psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Kummer and Zad Leavey, Deputy District Attorney of Los Angeles, suggested at an annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA), that abortion laws be changed to allow for, as the New York Times reported, “medical, eugenic and humanitarian reasons.”

In 1962, Alan Guttmacher, M.D. began his years as president of Planned Parenthood. The following year (1963) Betty Friedan published her book, The Feminine Mystique. Then, in 1964, the platform of the American Eugenics Party was presented and read in part, “The United States is already over-populated. We must stop all immigration and impose birth controls.”

Harriet Pilpel and Alan Guttmacher

In 1965, Harriet Pilpel, general counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union who later became chairwoman of the Law Panel International of Planned Parenthood Federation, according to the New York Times, published The Right to Abortion, calling abortion “the most widespread… method of fertility control in the modern world.”

Pilpel added, “If we really want to cut our population growth rate on a voluntary basis, we should make abortion available on a voluntary basis, at least in the early stages of pregnancy.”

That same year, more pressure was applied to the AMA to adopt a resolution in support of abortion. Sitting on the AMA’s Committee on Human Reproduction was Dr. Mary S. Calderone, a leader in the Planned Parenthood movement and director of SEICUS at the time. She argued, according to the New York Times, that, “A woman should not have to go through with having a baby she will shudder to see.”

Sanger died in 1966, several years before abortion was decriminalized in most states. That same year, Lader published his infamous book, Abortion.

Margaret Sanger Dies 1966

In 1967, Lader and Nathanson hijacked the women’s movement and influenced Betty Friedan to add an abortion plank to NOW. Soon after, in 1969, Lader helped to found NARAL.

Also in 1967, the AMA approved a measure to adopt an abortion policy that would allow therapeutic abortions for the health of life of the mother, to prevent the birth of a child with a physical or mental defect, and to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

That same year, California, Colorado, and North Carolina modified their statutes on abortion as well.

The next year, Planned Parenthood would also approve abortion and call for liberalizing laws that criminalized abortion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prof Priscilla Smith testifies HR490 Heartbeat abortion bill

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

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

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

It is difficult to find credible estimates of the number of deaths associated with illegal abortion. One estimate, which has been frequently quoted, is between 5,000 and 10,000 deaths per year. That is hardly plausible, considering that the total number of deaths of women aged 15-44 from all causes in the United States is approximately 50,000 annually, and the total number of deaths due to abortion reported by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has been below 500 since 1958 and below 100 since 1971.

The 5,000 figure originates from a piecemeal of several sources based largely on assumptions, and comes straight from the largest abortion lobby group in the nation: National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL.)  NARAL’s footnote quotes from a source that allegedly “discussed Dr. Christopher Tietze’s estimate of nearly 8,000 deaths from illegal abortion annually in the United States.” The truth is that Tietze disputed the 5,000 to 10,000 number, as did records of maternal deaths reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the years just prior to national legalization.

NARAL Footnotes on illegal abortion deaths

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

Tietze was a senior consultant to the Center for Policy Studies of the Population Council, a radical organization founded by John D. Rockefeller III. That organization’s second president was Frederic Osborn, a founding member of the American Eugenics Society who signed Margaret Sanger’s “Citizens Committee for Planned Parenthood,” published in her review in April of 1938. (Osborn may have coined Planned Parenthood’s “Every Child a Wanted Child” slogan, and once wrote, “Eugenic goals are most likely attained under a name other than eugenics.”)

In 1967, Dr. Tietze, who was speaking at a conference on abortion sponsored by the Harvard Divinity School and Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, called the 5,000 illegal abortion deaths, “unmitigated nonsense,” according to a September 13, 1967 article in the Berkshire Eagle.  The paper went on to give substantially fewer numbers by Tietze, writing, “The known deaths attributed to abortion in 1964 were 247 and he thinks it is fairly safe to estimate that the real figure may be double that, even a little more, but certainly no more than a thousand.” Note that Dr. Tietze was no pro-lifer: In 1973, he was awarded Planned Parenthood’s infamousMargaret Sanger Award, named after a eugenicist who gave at least one speech to the Ku Klux Klan.

The Kingsport News reported on that same conference, pointing out that Tietze disputed the reported illegal abortion totals, which some claimed ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million annually. The paper quotes Tietze as saying, “we have no real basis for guessing which extreme is closer to the truth.”

Tietze disputes illegal abortion deaths, 1967

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

The Register, a Virginia paper, notes in its article entitled, “Supporters of Liberal Abortion Laws use Inflated Statistics, Expert says,” that Tietze suggested that the larger numbers (5,000 to 10,000) were made up to scare politicians into legalizing abortion. “The higher estimates are made by people who feel in order to raise sympathy for liberalized abortion laws they have to make people afraid.”

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967

Tietze Illegal Abortion Deaths Inflated 1967 b

Tietze was right.

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

In his book, “The Abortion Papers,” Dr. Nathanson admitted that the 5,000 to 10,000 figure which was fed “to the public and the media in the late 1960’s,” was fabricated because it was a “nice, round, shocking figure.” And, just like they do today, the media — willingly and with no documentation — repeated that figure with no demand for proof.

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

On October 19, 1959, Mary S. Calderone, a medical director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, presented a paper before the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) at the Eighty-Seventh Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she also gave far fewer numbers than Professor Smith:

In 1957 there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind. In New York City in 1921 there were 144 abortion deaths, in 1951 there were only 15; and, while the abortion death rate was going down so strikingly in that 30-year period, we know what happened to the population and the birth rate.

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

1967 article Illegal abortion Chicago Tribune

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

By 1969, the very first abortion surveillance report was published by the Centers for Disease Control, noting a “lack of accurate incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality data” on abortion. At that time, five states had passed abortion legislation and 24 others had bills under review. According to this same CDC report, in 1966, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 189 maternal deaths from abortion complications.  And, while no one would diminish those numbers, they are a far cry from the 5,000 touted by Professor Smith.

By 1970, the CDC reported that in just a six month period (July to December), out of sixteen reported abortions in New York City, eight women — yes, HALF — had died from legal (not illegal) abortions. In total, the 1970 report states that 25 women died in New York City (where abortion had been liberalized), and eleven of those were from illegal abortions. The report also noted that Black and Puerto Rican women suffered higher legal abortion mortality rates.

According to that CDC document, “although there was substitution of legal for illegal abortion deaths, no significant decrease in total abortion mortality occurred following institution of the new law….”

CDC Abortion Deaths, 1970

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

CDC Abortion deaths 1972 to 1990

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

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