Life Matters —The Newsletter of the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Rockford
By Patricia Pitkus Bainbridge
Director, Respect Life Office
The eleven counties in Northern Illinois included in the Diocese of Rockford most assuredly have organizations, professionals, and ordinary citizens who are devotees of the philosophy and mission of Planned Parenthood. We have been fortunate, however, not to have Planned Parenthood’s physical presence in the Diocese. Tragically, that may be changing very soon as we have reason to believe that they may be setting up shop in Rockford and perhaps McHenry.
As some of you may not be fully understand why this is tragic, this month’s Life Matters is designed to give you a basic introduction to Planned Parenthood.
Margaret Higgins Sanger was born in 1879 and was baptized Catholic. Sanger’s mother was Catholic. Her father was an atheist who is described by Sanger biographer, Ellen Chesler, as having “contempt for religious authority.”
Sanger rejected Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, and spent her entire adult life challenging the traditional view of human sexuality. She worked diligently to redefine sex and to eliminate cultural and religious constraints on human sexuality. According to a sympathetic biographer, Sanger believed that “sex was more important than anything else.”
Her personal life was wanton. Her own granddaughter, Margaret Lampe, estimated Sanger’s series of affairs “probably numbered as many as a hundred.”
Sanger spent her entire adult life pushing for the acceptance of widespread use of birth control. In 1916 she opened the first U.S. birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) marks its beginning with the opening of that first clinic.
Sanger and her friend Katharine McCormick were the forces behind the development of “the Pill.” Bernard Asbell, author of The Pill, writes, “There after it changed how human beings behave.” Sanger and her ilk rejoiced that procreation could now be separated from the pursuit of sexual pleasure—what followed, of course, was the sexual revolution with all its tragic consequences.
The organization today
Since its founding, PPFA has grown into a behemoth not-for-profit organization with 120 affiliates and 850 “health centers” in 50 states and the District of Columbia. While PPFA writes, “Each Planned Parenthood affiliate is a unique, locally governed health service organization that reflects the diverse needs of its community,” it is important to understand that each affiliate must abide by PPFA’s mission and may not say or do anything in contradiction to the policies set by PPFA. So, while not all affiliates offer surgical abortions, those who do not must refer to another provider.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004 PPFA reported revenue of $810 million ($265.2 million from taxpayers) with a $35.2 million profit. In that same fiscal year, Gloria Feldt, past president of PPFA, was paid $452,870.
How can a not-for-profit make a $35.2 million profit? Simple. The Internal Revenue Code may classify an organization as “not-for-profit” if that organization does not pay out net earnings to shareholders or individuals as a dividend or share.
In 1994, the Wall Street Journal—with good reason—designated Planned Parenthood as “abortion central.” Each year in the United States, Planned Parenthood commits more abortions than any other single entity. As the reported number of abortions continues to decline in the U.S., the number of reported abortions committed at Planned
Parenthood continues to increase.
In 2004, PPFA reported committing 255,015 abortions in its own facilities. At $400 per abortion, that translates to $102,006,000 added to its coffers.
Planned Parenthood has killed more than 3.8 million pre-born babies in its own facilities since abortion was decriminalized in 1973. They are so committed to abortion that they oppose any and all restrictions on the procedure. If a woman is pregnant with a girl and she wants a boy, Planned Parenthood has said, “We support completely a woman's right to access abortion. We do not judge their motivation.”
PPFA’s longest reigning president, Faye Wattleton, in a 1997 Ms. Magazine interview said, “I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus, but it is the woman’s body, and therefore ultimately her choice.”
So committed are they to abortion on demand, that in 1997, Gloria Feldt (then-president of PPFA) commented, “reproductive choices [including abortion] are not just legal rights but are recognized as moral necessities without which there can be no liberty.”
As if that were not extreme enough, one of Planned Parenthood’s brochures insists, “By age five, children should: Understand the concept that a woman does not have to have a baby unless she wants to.”
True to its founder’s distorted view of human sexuality and her goal to eliminate all prohibitions on sexual expression, PPFA continues in its attempt to force its philosophies and programs on our culture. “
Violating common decency and traditional values, Planned Parenthood seduces children and teens with its enticing, yet insidious messages. They use the entertainment media, celebrities, “comprehensive sex education” programs, and their own teen website to spread their dogma of moral relativism. Their mantras “only you can decide what is right for you” and “there are no rights or wrongs with any sexual activity as long as it is consensual” are conveyed in ways that play on the vulnerability of young people who want to be considered mature.
Rejecting the proper view of human sexuality, Planned Parenthood violates the innocence of children and teens. Rather than teaching self-mastery and chastity, Planned Parenthood chooses—as Faye Walttleton boasted—“not to be an organization promoting celibacy or chastity. Our concern is not to convey ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots,’ but to help young people make responsible decisions about their sexual relationships.”
Of course, “responsible decisions” in Planned Parenthood terms is anything but responsible. Planned Parenthood believes “responsible” is engaging in sexual activity of any kind as long as condoms and chemical “contraceptives” are in abundance and that abortion is readily available as a backup when the contraceptives fail.
Recognizing the importance of public relations, Planned Parenthood loves to make pronouncements about the importance of parental involvement with their kids. In reality, this is what they believe: “Planned Parenthood opposes any limitation or restriction [parental notification or consent] on the access of adolescents to confidential reproductive health services, including contraception and abortion.”
In addition, on their teen website, this is what Planned Parenthood communicates to tweens and teens: “Take the useful, smart stuff you’ve learned from your folks and kick the crap to the curb.” So much for the importance of parental involvement.
Obviously, Planned Parenthood wants parental involvement only when parents have bought into the Planned Parenthood belief system. They want everyone to adopt their ideas which—over the past 89 years—have brought us the sexual revolution with all its deadly consequences. Planned Parenthood is not the solution to the problem—it is at the root of the problem.
Children and teens can be taught to live chaste lives. If you want what is best for your children; if you want your children to be happy and healthy; and, if you are concerned about their souls, keep them away from anyone or anything that has been tainted by Planned Parenthood.