Ken Connor

Planned Parenthood is in search of a makeover. For years, the organization has been the biggest abortionist in the business, but as abortion is losing its cachet, Planned Parenthood is trying to reinvent itself. It seems that killing children for cash is just not as fashionable as it used to be.

According to Stephanie Simon of the Wall Street Journal, Planned Parenthood wants to "[open] new avenues for boosting revenue and, they hope, political clout." The first step in the organization's redo involves marketing itself to customers in a higher income bracket. Planned Parenthood is building new centers with larger waiting areas, wooden floors, nice lighting and other amenities which create a more inviting environment and, presumably, make clients feel less shameful about the act they are contemplating. A new "green" clinic is going up in Massachusetts, made of recycled and earth-friendly materials. "Express centers" are being located in malls so that young women can have quick and easy access to birth control, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and counseling. Gift shops make the centers more appealing to their young clientele.

In its early years Planned Parenthood was directed by Margaret Sanger who advocated for a "right" for women to choose to kill their unborn children. She also promoted a Congressional plan which would, in part, "apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring."

Sanger wanted to use reproductive controls to halt the "vicious cycle" of poverty and ignorance. She argued, "There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them. Herein lies the key of civilization."

Sanger advocated "choice" as a tool for eugenics. "Only upon a free, self-determining motherhood can rest any unshakable structure of racial betterment." Yet she did not believe that this exalted idea of choice should apply to "the undeniably feeble-minded." In other words, Sanger thought the mentally handicapped should be sterilized by force, people should be sterilized to remove unwanted traits from the populace, and the country should seek racial perfection.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.