Kathryn Lopez

"We want fewer and better children ... and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict on us."

That ghastly pro-eugenics message appeared in the introduction to Margaret Sanger's 1922 book, "The Pivot of Civilization."

In a little-noticed incident, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced that she is "really in awe" of Sanger. "The 20th century reproductive rights movement, really embodied in the life and leadership of Margaret Sanger, was one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race," Clinton declaimed, upon receiving an award from the organization that Sanger founded, Planned Parenthood.

Clinton's speech punctured the fiction that she's a moderate -- the radical organization Planned Parenthood certainly has confidence in her. Her words didn't set off shockwaves among the public because Planned Parenthood is about as American as apple pie at this benighted point in history.

Pop culture, mass media, most Democrats and even some Republicans bow at its altar -- the religious metaphor is intentional: Sanger referred to a "religion of birth control," that sought to "ease the financial load of caring for with public funds ... children destined to become a burden to themselves, to their family and ultimately to the nation."

According to its just-released annual report for 2007-2008, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was responsible for conducting 305,310 abortions in the United States in 2007, an increase from 289,750 the previous year. Consider that the next time a pro-choice advocate tells you that women are being kept from abortions in America. That increase in abortions provided by PPFA coincided with an increase in government funding, from $337 million to $350 million.

Does any of this sound unacceptable to you? We certainly don't have to subsidize the largest abortion provider in the United States, one with a dark history, (which Jonah Goldberg chronicles well in his book "Liberal Fascism,") and a disturbing present.

But attempts by pro-life politicians to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood are always averted. Defenders of the organization argue that the government money goes toward family-planning outreach, not just abortions. But why does Planned Parenthood even need the U.S. Treasury, considering it makes a healthy profit year after year? Shouldn't we at least be arguing over this?

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.