Planned Parenthood is always a controversial topic. If you want to divide people quickly, mention Planned Parenthood. It’s like oil and water: they will NOT mix.
For me, my dislike for Planned Parenthood is about abortion as much as their claim of being altruistic about women’s health care. As a registered nurse, I had to study many related topics in college, and I see these same themes applied in real life. All that said, I believe that the claims I will make are founded, and I will cite research where possible.
Here are three problems with Planned Parenthood.
1. Abortion (and the Exploitation of Sad Stories)
The most notable topic regarding Planned Parenthood is abortion. It has achieved extensive coverage in the media, and that’s rightly so. However, I have trouble with the grossly misleading statistics and exploitative stories regarding abortion at Planned Parenthood. The following story is taken from the Planned Parenthood 2014-2015 Annual Report:
“I became pregnant in my mid-twenties, which was a wake-up call for me. My partner was abusive, and the pregnancy made me realize that I needed to escape this man. I knew I could not be tethered to him for the next 18 years; that would have devastated me. I decided to have an abortion, which I was able to do at my local Planned Parenthood health center. Since the government prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion and I couldn’t afford it, I borrowed money from a friend.
Leaving my abusive partner was difficult. The abortion was not. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like if I’d carried that pregnancy to term. I would not have been able to continue my education, and chances are high that I would have stayed in my old lifestyle with my abusive partner, too much alcohol, and zero self- respect. I am so grateful that abortion is safe and legal in this country.”
First off, my criticism of this is not in any way supporting the normalization of intimate partner violence. (Obviously, I think any man being violent with a woman is a pig). However, using this story to justify 323,999 abortions in 2015 has multiple problems.
(1) As abusive as this man was, does that justify no other father receiving input in the procedure?
(2) Does she really think killing her child was easier than leaving her abusive partner?
(3) Since you are using this story in this annual report, Planned Parenthood, how many women getting abortions are victims of abuse? I dare say they are outweighed significantly.
They use stories like that to pull at your heart and make you feel pity. Then, they want you to say “yes” to any abortion—cheap and on-demand.
2. Contraception and Family Planning
Okay, this one has more down-home relevance to me. I live in the Deep South; we have a lot of poverty and a lot of young mothers who were not ready. As my OB/GYN nursing professor told me, “There are so many methods of birth control at all price points. If you really don’t want a baby, you won’t have one.” I happened to do a little research on this. At my local health department, there are condoms in the front lobby – free of charge. Take some and go. Prevent pregnancy 98% of the time.
In Margaret Sanger’s book (the founder of Planned Parenthood, Women and the New Race, she states the following:
“[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children … [Women must have the right] to live … to love … to be lazy … to be an unmarried mother … to create … to destroy … The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order … The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
The same can be said for the modern-day Planned Parenthood. Above birth control advocacy, they readily encourage an uncensored sexual liberation with disregard to the impact on potential pregnancy or the existing family.
Star Parker, a black conservative pro-life activist, testified in a House subcommittee hearing regarding the Heartbeat Bill HR 490:
“Abortion feeds a narrative that women are victims, that they have no control over their sexual impulses. And as a result of this narrative being forced down into our hardest-hit communities, [we are seeing] recklessness in sexual activity, and marriage has collapsed. In the 1950s, 70 percent of black adults were married; today, that number is 30 percent. This is causing a lot more social pathologies that have to be addressed by different types of legislation…”
I believe Parker hits the nail on the head. Planned Parenthood has preyed upon these self-described “vulnerable” communities and encourages them in poor decision making. Family planning begins through personal responsibility and genuine love for a child, not through the victimization of those engaging in free-for-all sexuality and the blaming of lack of birth control. It is just disingenuous to say that.
3. Margaret Sanger and the History of Planned Parenthood
It isn’t a secret that Margaret Sanger is the founder of Planned Parenthood and is quite controversial among liberals and conservatives alike. While her exact motivations are sometimes hazy, Sanger was indeed a proponent of negative eugenics. In her own words published in Birth Control Review in 1919, “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.” I don’t want to judge, but I don’t know how Sanger and any other person involved decided they could be the arbiters over that.
Here’s another quote by Margaret Sanger from The Pivot of Civilization that is even more shocking:
“Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying… demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism…[Philanthropists] encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant…We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”
I think someone, especially the bleeding hearts of today, would have to say that this is first-class discrimination and maybe even hate speech. It is certainly not what we like to hear in this day.
If you are like me and are passionate about birth and pregnancy, consider organizations like Evidence-Based Birth, La Leche League, and Healthy Newborn Network. These organizations seek to empower and help women through scholarly research to make educated decisions. If you are in desperate need of resources, go to your local health department. Do not waste your time with an organization like Planned Parenthood. They are not worth your money.