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February 2009


A few months ago, a colleague stopped by my office to show off a fundraising card he had received at home.  Rick’s a committed pro-lifer, married with four kids, so we were amused that it came from Planned Parenthood.  But a photo on the front made us realize that the card was no laughing matter.
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Margaret Sanger was born in 1879, the sixth of eleven children of Irish Catholic parents.  By her death in 1966, Sanger had become one of the most influential women in America, and certainly its most controversial.  Sanger was an ardent believer in birth control.  By 1921, she had founded the American Birth Control League, and she worked unceasingly to promote it.  But underlying Sanger’s work was a belief in the dangerous eugenics theories of 19th century cleric and professor Robert Malthus.

Malthus feared that the world was overpopulated, and by “unfit” people at that.  He believed in racial supremacy, particularly among Aryans, whose bloodlines need to be purified.  For Malthus and his followers, the world would be better if the poor, unfit, diseased, racially inferior, and mentally dim were isolated and even eliminated.

Sanger took the eugenics bait hook, line, and sinker.  Like Malthus, she labeled charitable organizations as “a symptom of a malignant social disease.”  Charity work merely increased the numbers of “defectives, delinquents, and dependents.”  She decried the “human waste” and believed that charity should aim at “eliminating the stocks that are the most detrimental to the future of the race and the world.”   She wrote an essay called, “We Must Breed A Race of Thoroughbreds.” Sanger’s views matched those Adolph Hitler, who in Mein Kampf said much the same things.  Sanger shared her views far and wide, even as a guest speaker at a Ku Klux Klan rally.

Sanger opened her first clinic in Brooklyn, where she worked with poor immigrants, those “unfit” to reproduce.  Sanger claimed that she could teach the “science of breeding” and so breed out the diseased, defective, poor, and lawless, those “breeding like weeds.”  In 1929 she opened her first clinic in a black community. Instead of attacking the root causes of discrimination and poverty, Sanger sought to reduce the black population.  Using the code words “better health,” she convinced community leaders that it was attainable through birth control.  Influential blacks began calling for “eugenic discrimination” among blacks. Having secured their support, Sanger moved forward.

In 1939 she launched the Negro Project, the plan for widespread birth reduction within black communities. Black physicians were placed where they would appear to be in charge.  She even used black ministers to further her racist ends.  Sanger wrote: “We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”  Ultimately, her program made no significant impact on health.

Sanger is long gone but her organization, now known as Planned Parenthood, proudly walks in her footsteps.  Using its “better health” code, Planned Parenthood continues to infest black communities. The vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are located in those communities, at times about 80 percent.  When Planned Parenthood switched from community-based to school-based clinics during the 80’s, virtually all were placed in black, minority, or ethnic schools.

And since 1973, Planned Parenthood has unleashed a new weapon in its arsenal: legal abortion.  According to Planned Parenthood’s 1992 figures, blacks accounted for 13% of the population but 23.2% of the abortions.  By 2004, the numbers were 12.4% and 35%, respectively.  Abortion kills more blacks than AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined, well over 1400 each day.  A black baby is nearly as likely to be aborted than born.  Abortion kills about five times as many blacks as whites.  And who is the biggest abortion provider?  Take a guess.

We all know about our tragic history of black slavery.  We hear little about the new slavery of blacks and other people of color: legal abortion.  That’s why black pro-life leaders like Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, and Gardner Day call stopping abortion the new civil rights movement.  We must join the fight.  For starters, demand that Congress stop funding Planned Parenthood, a billion dollar organization receiving about $300 million annually in taxpayer dollars. Our hard earned money has become blood money.  We are supporting the killing of our brothers and sisters, unwittingly involving ourselves in what black leaders call “black genocide.”

For its part, Planned Parenthood denies any racist intent, which brings us back to that photo.  It shows a woman of color with two kids.  The woman’s face is turned from the camera, but the name “Ricky” tattooed on her left breast is plainly visible.  And then there are those kids, who if not black are of mixed race. So here’s the question: why would Planned Parenthood send that photo and a request for money to a white guy living in an affluent white area?

Take a guess.

Paul V. Esposito is a Catholic lawyer who writes on a variety of pro-life topics.  He and his wife Kathy live in Elmhurst, Illinois, where they raise their six kids.

© Paul V. Esposito 2009.  Culture of Life.  Permission to copy and distribute for pro-life purposes is granted.  Visit us on the web at

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