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Basic Facts About Planned Parenthood

What is Planned Parenthood?

Planned Parenthood is the world’s largest birth control enterprise and the most vocal proponent of legal abortion. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. (PPFA) is the founding member of the London, England-based International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). PPFA is an affiliate of IPPF.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America describes itself as “the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate . . .” According to Planned Parenthood “everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child . . .” It wants laws guaranteeing “reproductive freedom,” including unlimited birth control and abortion for everyone, regardless of age.

Who founded Planned Parenthood?

Planned Parenthood was founded in 1916 by eugenics advocate Margaret Higgins Sanger. She saw birth control as the key to limiting the numbers of people she considered inferior. Sanger wanted to protect the rights and power of those she believed to be of an elite superior breed as they would be needed to rule over “the hordes of irresponsibility and imbecility.”

Sanger favored “a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation” against anyone “whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” An editorial in Birth Control Review, a publication Sanger founded, summarized her goal: “More children from the fit, less from the unfit -- that is the chief issue in Birth Control.”

Sanger said the Eugenics Movement could not succeed without birth control, which she described as “the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives.” In fact, she said the core reason behind birth control and eugenics is “practically identical.”

Sanger primarily sought to control the reproduction of immigrants, the poor, certain religious groups, and anyone else she thought was from an “unacceptable” heritage. Sanger referred to such people as reckless breeders who were “unceasingly spawning a class of human beings who never should have been born at all . . .”

Today’s Planned Parenthood “proudly carries on the courageous tradition of Margaret Sanger . . .” Planned Parenthood still hails Sanger as a “20th Century Hero” and claims she “changed the world . . . for the better.”

Does Planned Parenthood do abortions?

Planned Parenthood commits more abortions than any other single entity in the United States. Affiliates not yet committing “surgical” abortions onsite must refer to abortionists elsewhere. In late 2010 PPFA announced that it will soon require every affiliate to commit “surgical” abortions.

In a newsletter distributed to its abortionists, Planned Parenthood wrote, “We see abortion as a necessary, desirable service and as an integral piece of comprehensive reproductive health care services.”

Planned Parenthood opposes all laws that protect preborn human beings, including bans on late-term abortions and those done for “birth control,” “convenience,” and sex selection, as well as other proposals that have widespread public support. At the same time, Planned Parenthood claims its views are in sync with those of the vast majority of Americans.

Planned Parenthood admits to “surgically” killing 329,445 preborn human beings in 2010 alone (down less than one percent from 2009 -- the first time in 16 years that the number dropped; up nearly 1.7 percent from 2008), generating an estimated $135 million. Only 841 customers were referred to adoption agencies (down 13.9 percent from 2009; down a whopping 65 percent from 2008).

Planned Parenthood claims it prevents the “need” for abortion while concurrently working to increase its share of the lucrative market. In 1984 Planned Parenthood committed almost 5 percent of all abortions in the United States. Today, Planned Parenthood is responsible for nearly 28 percent. Clearly, its programs create a demand for abortion. Planned Parenthood can prove its programs are used by the public, but not that they are successful.

All Planned Parenthood “clinics” sell “emergency” birth control. Many take orders for the deadly concoction online and/or by phone without requiring a physical examination. In 2010 Planned Parenthood sold 1,461,816 “emergency” birth control kits.

Birth control pills occasionally cause an abortion but “emergency” birth control usually does so. Yet Planned Parenthood claims neither can cause an abortion. In order to back this claim Planned Parenthood and its collaborators have resorted to verbal engineering.

A 1971 book endorsed by then-Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher defined “pregnancy” as the “period between conception [fertilization of the ovum] and birth.” Yet Vanessa Cullins, Planned Parenthood’s vice president for medical affairs, has declared that pregnancy begins with “implantation of the developing fertilized egg . . . (emphasis added).” Similarly, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has dumped “pregnancy” in favor of “established pregnancy,” which it says occurs between 8 and 18 days after fertilization. This overt deception cannot change the indisputable truth, but it does allow Planned Parenthood to mislead customers.

Does Planned Parenthood respect parental rights?

Planned Parenthood believes children can make “responsible decisions” regarding sex, birth control and abortion. “As part of its ongoing advocacy to protect and enhance reproductive rights for all Americans,” Planned Parenthood began a campaign to “safeguard minors’ access to abortion.”

Planned Parenthood demands the “right” to commit an abortion on your minor child and/or give her birth control, even via invasive means (injections). It opposes all laws that would give rights to parents on such matters -- even the right to be informed.

Just the title of one Planned Parenthood report makes clear how the group’s hierarchy feels about parents who interfere with their plans for your children. “Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Young People: Autonomous Decision Making and Confidential Services” points out that “minors face specific barriers that do not affect the adult population, such as the cultural or social conditioning of their parents and their parents’ religious beliefs or expectations on what age children should become sexually active.” Planned Parenthood expresses deep concern that, “These types of beliefs and cultural mores may make it difficult for minors to seek services, as their parents may not give them money, may place controls on their time or explicitly prohibit them from doing so. This prevents them from receiving support and guidance . . .”

Clearly, Planned Parenthood’s philosophy is that parents who disagree with its agenda are putting children in danger. While the group stops short of calling for state control over childrearing, it does advocate mandatory attendance in “approved” sexuality education programs. Planned Parenthood has declared that “governments and societies must recognize the young as sexually active, and therefore ensure their sexual and reproductive rights through specific policies, laws, and programs.”

What is the relationship between a local Planned Parenthood and PPFA?

PPFA has 87 affiliates and 825 “health centers” in every state and Washington, D.C. Affiliates are required to maintain an active lobbying unit and must abide by PPFA standards, including fervent devotion to its philosophy and goals. Any suggestion that the objectives of an affiliate are even slightly dissimilar to those of its national office is flatly untrue.

Does Planned Parenthood support abstinence education?

Planned Parenthood’s First Things First program was designed to reduce by half the number of teens who get pregnant “and give birth.” Planned Parenthood wants to reduce teen pregnancy that results in childbirth; not sexual behavior that results in pregnancy. This may be accomplished through Planned Parenthood’s growing abortion business.

Planned Parenthood teaches there are no “rights” or “wrongs” with any sexual activity if there are no “victims.” It fervently opposes sex education that focuses on abstinence and has gone so far as to file lawsuits against school districts that have decided to implement such programs.

Planned Parenthood has published many articles and “reports” that assail abstinence education. Titles include: “Call for the Investigation of Harmful Abstinence-Only Programs,” “Abstinence- Only Sex Education? Not in My Backyard!” “Flaws of Global Abstinence-Until-Marriage Programs,” and “The Abstinence-Only Scam.”

In 2008 the Centers for Disease Control reported that nearly three million teenage girls were infected with a sexually transmitted disease. “How could this happen?” Planned Parenthood asked. “Planned Parenthood knows where to point the finger -- not at young people, but at the $1.5 billion failure of a national sex education policy that promotes abstinence-only programs.” Yes, Planned Parenthood blames abstinence education -- not teen sexual activity -- for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, even though the federal abstinence program gets less than ten percent of the funds “family planning” receives.

Nothing can put a damper on a rigid ideology better than a study done by an indisputably reputable source. The February 2010 edition of Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine included the results of the most comprehensive study ever conducted to measure the success rate of abstinence education programs. The Washington Post reported on the release of the study:

Over the next two years, about 33 percent of the students who went through the abstinence program started having sex, compared with about 52 percent who were taught only safe sex. About 42 percent of the students who went through the comprehensive program started having sex, and about 47 percent of those who learned about other ways to be healthy did. The abstinence program had no negative effects on condom use, which has been a major criticism of the abstinence approach.

Despite the findings of the study, Planned Parenthood continues to cling to and defend its lucrative but unsuccessful programs. (Abstinent teenagers do not become Planned Parenthood customers.) Interestingly, while raising a fist in opposition to the federal abstinence education program, Planned Parenthood quietly used its other hand to apply for some of the funds. (Needless-to-say, Planned Parenthood’s definition of “abstinence” is vastly different from that of most people.) Planned Parenthood essentially argues that any taxpayer funds not spent on its programs is wasted.

Planned Parenthood claims to offer “value-neutral” sex education, but for decades has demanded the implementation of its own brand of “comprehensive sex education,” which clearly reflects its “values.” Every year the problems Planned Parenthood claims to address get worse. And when the problems get worse, Planned Parenthood demands more money. The cycle never ends.

Is Planned Parenthood pro-woman?

Planned Parenthood claims to be pro-woman but opposes “women’s right to know” legislation. And despite dozens of studies showing a link between breast cancer and abortion, Planned Parenthood refuses to tell women about the research. “There is no truth to this at all,” PPFA’s vice president for medical affairs said of the link. “It is one of those nasty myths invented by anti-choice organizations to frighten women away from having an abortion.”

A “nasty myth” by “anti-choice” groups? One study was conducted for the National Cancer Institute by Dr. Janet R. Daling of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “Among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women,” she said. “I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our research is rock solid, and our data is accurate. It’s not a matter of believing. It’s a matter of what is.” Daling supports legal abortion but opposes a self-serving “gag rule” that suppresses medical data and leads to patient ignorance. “If politics gets involved in science, it will really hold back the progress we make. I have three sisters with breast cancer, and I resent people messing with the scientific data to further their own world . . .”

In 2005, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) publicly confirmed that combined estrogen-progestin oral birth control may cause cancer. IARC put the birth control method into the highest category of carcinogenicity, which is only used “when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.” Yet Planned Parenthood has also withheld this information.

Have visits to Planned Parenthood “clinics” ever proven fatal?

Yes. While there have been several such cases, the most publicized incident occurred in 2003. In an effort to kill her preborn baby, Planned Parenthood gave mifepristone to Holly Patterson and told her to take misoprostol at home. Within four days she was taken to an emergency room due to bleeding and debilitating cramps. Holly returned to the hospital three days later, in pain and vomiting. She died shortly thereafter.

The Alameda County (Calif.) Coroner said fragments of the dead preborn baby left inside the uterus led to sepsis. The infection sent the 18-year-old into septic shock, which caused her untimely death. The State of California cited Planned Parenthood for not providing full information on the procedure for self-administration of the drugs. Details of only a handful of other cases involving serious complications have been released to the public.

What about reports tying Planned Parenthood to racism?

In 2007 a young man associated with The Advocate, a student publication at UCLA, called Planned Parenthood affiliates in seven states saying he wanted to make a donation. Several Planned Parenthood officials were eager to accept the money, but there was a catch. The donor said he wanted the money used only to kill black preborn babies.

A Planned Parenthood affiliate in Idaho expressed great joy and excitement over the gift, despite the fact that the donor was motivated by racism. The phone call was recorded:

Caller: Okay, so–so the abortion could -- could be -- you know -- I could give money specifically for a black baby. That would–that would be the purpose.

Planned Parenthood: Yeah. Absolutely, um, if you wanted to designate that you wanted your gift to be used to help an African-American woman in need, um, then we would certainly, ah, make sure that that gift was earmarked specifically for that purpose.

Caller: Great, because I really face trouble with Affirmative Action and I don’t want my kids being disadvantaged, you know, against, um, black kids. I just had a baby. I wanna put it in his name . . .  Planned Parenthood: Hmm. Hmm. Absolutely. That’s fantastic.


Caller: . . . Great . . . he’s [going to be] trying to get into, into colleges and he’ll be applying, you know, and uh, and uh, he’s just, ah, we’re just really big, um, um, we’re really, he’s really faced troubles with Affirmative Action and, you know, we don’t, we just think, you know, the less, the less black kids out there the better.

Planned Parenthood: Understandable, understandable . . . You said you wanted to put it in your son’s name and you would like this designated specifically to assist [an] African-American woman who’s looking to terminate a pregnancy?


Caller: Yeah . . . I wanna protect my son so he can get into college. Planned Parenthood: Alright, um; excuse my hesitation . . . this is the first time I’ve had a donor call and make this kind of request so I’m excited . . .

This should actually be of great surprise to no one because Planned Parenthood’s founder had implemented programs designed to destroy “unwanted” groups of people. In fact, according to a 2011 Planned Parenthood statement, “Sanger’s early efforts remain the hallmark of Planned Parenthood’s mission . . .” Planned Parenthood continues to use Sanger’s methods but now claims the programs will “help” people. Either Sanger was grossly mistaken or today’s Planned Parenthood is keeping a long held secret.

What about the undercover investigations at Planned Parenthood?

A California-based organization, Live Action, sent actors with hidden cameras to Planned Parenthood offices in several American cities. (The media and Planned Parenthood itself have made use of hidden cameras for many years, particularly at pregnancy help centers.)

In January 2011, two people entered a Planned Parenthood facility in New Jersey; one portraying a prostitute and the other her pimp. In the video, the clinic manager explains how the pair may get abortions, sexually transmitted disease testing, and birth control for their fellow sex workers without anybody finding out about their sex-trafficking ring. The manager tells the pimp to have his girls lie about their ages to avoid mandatory reporting laws. (Planned Parenthood would be required by law to report the matter to authorities if any of the girls is under the age of 15.)

The manager suggests that Planned Parenthood staff be given “as little information as possible,” which will make it is less likely that something will be said that triggers the need to file a report. The manager also tells the pimp that he can get less expensive birth control for his prostitutes at Planned Parenthood by having them claim to be students. “If they’re minors, put down that they’re students. Yeah, just kind of play along that they’re students -- we want to make it look as legit as possible.” She even gives the prostitute advice on which sexual acts could be performed with “clients” right after getting an abortion.

Undercover work done in Virginia, New York and Washington, D.C. also showed Planned Parenthood staffers coaching the pimp and prostitute on how they can get services without exposing their child sex-trafficking operation. In fact, in New York the pimp was told he could claim to be the guardian of the minor who was working for him when she wanted to get birth control or an abortion.

In past years, Live Action undercover videos have shown Planned Parenthood officials covering up sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl and suggesting that a 14-year-old girl lie to a judge about the age of her 31-year-old boyfriend when seeking a judicial bypass to circumvent the state parental consent law. In the latter case, the Planned Parenthood official counseled the girl to tell the judge her boyfriend is 17 years old in order to keep him from getting into trouble. Of course, doing so would also allow the sexual relationship to continue. (All undercover videos may be accessed at www.liveaction.org.)

What is Planned Parenthood’s budget?

Planned Parenthood’s income for Fiscal Year 2009-2010 was nearly $1.048 billion (down 4.8 percent from 2008-2009; up one percent from 2007-2008), with nearly 47 percent coming from taxpayers. For this “nonprofit” every fiscal year ends with millions of dollars in “excess revenue over expenses.” The “excess” for 2008-2009 alone was $63.4 million.

On June 30, 2010, Planned Parenthood’s net assets were $1.01 billion (up 1.5 percent from 2009) of which $397.8 million was unrestricted (in effect a savings account) and $141.7 million was temporarily restricted. Despite these sums, Planned Parenthood incessantly claims it needs more money.

Why haven’t we heard this before now?

Public ignorance of Planned Parenthood’s activities, goals and philosophy has long been its greatest ally. Yet it is clear that the greater the public education about Planned Parenthood, the far less enthusiasm there is for having the behemoth in a community.

Note: Life Decisions International accepts full responsibility for this content. Statistics are from Planned Parenthood documents (primarily its annual reports) or website. All quotations and data are guaranteed accurate and presented in context. As used herein, “Planned Parenthood” refers to the entire entity or any part thereof. The statistics included herein were the most up-to-date available.

This material is available as a booklet. Visit the Order Materials page for details.

Copyright © 2013 Life Decisions International. All rights reserved.

Discover what Planned Parenthood leaders say--in their own words.

What Is LDI?


How Is LDI Governed?

Is LDI Part Of Another Group?

What About Groups That Harm The Pro-Life Movement?

What Is LDI's Policy On Violence?

How Is LDI Funded?

What Procedures And Policies Are Used By LDI With Regard to Financial Management?

What Is LDI's Fund-Raising Policy?

What Is LDI's Privacy Policy?

What Do Pro-Life Activists Say About LDI?


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