Archive for Planned Parenthood Pamphlet

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. 

Early Planned Parenthood director: few women died from illegal abortion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before they made millions committing abortions, Planned Parenthood admitted that abortion takes human life. A Planned Parenthood pamphlet from 1952 reads, Abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun.

Planned Parenthood pamphlet 1952 life begins

Planned Parenthood pamphlet 1952 life begins

 

 

Another pamphlet from Planned Parenthood Federation of America also describes abortion as a procedure that “kills life after it has begun” and one which is “dangerous” to a woman’s “life and health.”

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

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

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

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

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

Defund Planned Parenthood

She added:

… [T]he conference estimated that 90 per cent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians.

Call them what you will, abortionists or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; and many of them are in good standing in their communities. They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is.

Whatever trouble arises usually comes after self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 per cent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of nonmedical abortionist.

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

From the ethical standpoint, I see no difference between recommending an abortion and performing it. The moral responsibility is equal. So remember fact number three; abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians.

Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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