NRL News

Cain: Planned Parenthood Harms Black Community

by | Nov 3, 2011

Pro-life GOP Presidential contender Herman Cain

By Dave Andrusko

Why would the comments of pro-life businessman and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain about Planned Parenthood generate a buzz saw of criticism, including an all-out full-throated critique by Glenn Kessler, the author of the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker: The Truth Behind the Rhetoric”? Some reasons are obvious, others less so.

Herman Cain is an African-American, so when he talks about PPFA being less about planned parenthood than about planned genocide (against Blacks), it resonates and reverberates in a powerful way. Also PPFA has a legion of protectors in the Mainstream Media. Nothing uncomplimentary about this $1 billion non-profit behemoth will ever go un-rebutted. And, obviously, as the co-front runner (with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney) for his party’s presidential nomination, Cain will be in the media’s cross-hairs.


But, is what Cain said true? Kessler paid far less attention in his rebuttal to the numbers Cain has talked about (the percentage of abortion clinics built close to concentrations of Black Americans) than he did to Cain blistering attack on PPFA’s founder, Margaret Sanger.

   For the record, it is very, very, very difficult to pin down precisely what percentage of abortion clinics are in areas close to heavy minority populations. For example, is a clinic in a marginally white zip code just across the street from a heavy minority zip in a black or white neighborhood?  Do you count clinics that do a few hundred a year abortions a year in a white suburb the way you do a downtown abortion mill that does thousands?

But what you can know is that data produced by someone in the pro-abortionists’ corner—the Guttmacher Institute—shows that a high percentage of abortion are performed on minorities. In its “Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008,” Guttmacher found that 63.9% of abortion patients were minorities (29.6% non-Hispanic black, 24.9% Hispanic, 9.4% Non-Hispanic other).

Kessler concedes that Black women have triple the abortion rate of White women. (To be more specific, black women comprise 13% of the population but get nearly 40% of the abortions.) Kessler attributes that to “higher rates of unintended pregnancy.”  None of this changes that minority women’s abortions are indeed the clinics’ major revenue sources.

But the bulk of Kessler’s analysis is a whitewash of Sanger, a woman steeped in the eugenics ideology of her time. For example, we’re told that a lot of the best people swam in the currents of the “now discredited eugenics movement” which “aimed to improve humans by either encouraging or discouraging reproduction based on genetic traits.”

The operative two sentences are as follows: “As with any historical figure, it is important to place Sanger’s views and attitudes in the context of her times. For the period, she would likely be considered a racial pioneer; under today’s standards, she would appear to have a paternalistic attitude toward African Americans.”

Indeed, Kessler offers a quote from a woman on the national board of planned parenthood which portrays Sanger as almost a victim,

“There is no denying that she allowed herself to become caught up in the eugenic zeal of the day and occasionally used language open to far less laudable interpretations,” including at one point saying birth control would lead to the creation of a “race of thoroughbreds,” wrote Sanger’s biographer, Ellen Chesler, in “Woman of Valor.

So, what do you expect, a saint? No, but someone a little better, and a portrait much closer to the truth. And this was provided by a spot-on piece that ran at getreligion.orgwritten by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway (see

Hemingway offers quotes from Sanger (which pro-abortionists always insist are “taken out of context”) which show, shall we say, a less enlightened Sanger.

Equally important, perhaps, is that Hemingway points out how imbalanced Kessler’s critique of Cain’s critique of Sanger actually is.

You won’t be surprised, then, that Cain got four Pinocchios [a mark of not hewing to the truth, according to Kessler], apparently mostly for accidentally revealing Margaret Sanger’s eugenicism. And that’s a subject that Planned Parenthood itself assures us — assures us — is in no way problematic.

`      “No, really, the ‘fact checker’ didn’t manage to speak to anyone troubled by racial eugenics or abortion or any black pro-lifers working to highlight Sanger’s (totally understood and contextualized by the Washington Post) views on eugenics. Perhaps pro-lifers are in short supply over at the Washington Post, I don’t know. But he did get some really great sources at Planned Parenthood and they assure us that Sanger’s comments are totally fine and nothing to be worried about and all those black fetuses are being very nicely taken care of at Planned Parenthood, OK?”

.A post-script. Kessler was made aware of Hemingway’ critique and responded that, heck, he had read a quote from Sanger’s biographer that showed her to be a beacon of enlightenment and a tower of tolerance. That this same biographer—Ellen Chesler—who sits on PPFA’s national board might not be the world’s most objective source seems to be lost on Kessler.

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Categories: Politics