Right now, Washington is more comfortable with abortion than it has been in a long time. As Hillary Clinton praises the Obama administration's commitment to "reproductive rights," it's an important time for some reflection on what, exactly, that euphemism means.
Does, for instance, the Roe v. Wade co-counsel, Ron Weddington, reflect the reproductive rights movement? In the early 90s, just as the first Clinton administration was getting ready to take office, he urged it to rush an abortion pill into the hands of American women. He argued that doing so would help "start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country."
He wrote: "(G)overnment is also going to have to provide vasectomies, tubal ligations and abortions. ... There have been about 30 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade. Think of all the poverty, crime and misery ... and then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario. We lost a lot of ground during the Reagan-Bush religious orgy. We don't have a lot of time left."
Sounds a lot like the population-culling paranoia of Sanger, doesn't it?
Pro-lifers are frequently portrayed by the Planned Parenthood crowd as heartless zealots unconcerned with the realities of women's lives. Not only does the work of many crisis-pregnancy centers and like-minded groups suggest otherwise, but if you pay attention to the words of Sanger and her followers, you'll find a much more chilling disdain for the realities of lower-class life.
There are folks with good intentions on all sides of the abortion debate. But if you doubt that a little scrutiny is well overdue, consider this: we have not yet hit the 100-day mark in the Obama administration, and the United Nations Population Fund has already been given a $50-million check from the United States. Sure, the UNFPA has been criticized for its collaboration with coerced abortion in China, but that's just fine with us. And that's exactly what can be expected from a State Department run by a woman "really in awe" of Margaret Sanger.
PPFA's annual report is titled "Planned Parenthood Matters." It sure does. It's about time we take notice.