WASHINGTON (BP)–Planned Parenthood -— an organization that calls itself pro-child, pro-woman and pro-life -— has been discovered allegedly accepting racist-motivated donations.
A recent investigation by The Advocate student magazine at the University of California at Los Angeles, produced phone recordings of Planned Parenthood affiliates in seven states approving a donor’s racist motivation.
The magazine had an actor pose as a donor and call the clinics to see how Planned Parenthood employees would respond as he expressed openly racist comments. The actor said he wanted his gift to be used to abort African American babies to “lower the number of black people,” according to The Advocate. None of the affiliates expressed reservations about the reason for the contribution, the magazine reported.
An Idaho Planned Parenthood staff member agreed on a telephone call that blacks should be implementing more abortions. According to The Advocate, the actor said in a phone call that “the less black kids out there the better.” In response, Autumn Kersey, vice president of marketing and development for Planned Parenthood of Idaho, said she understood, according to the magazine. She also commented, LifeNews.com reported, “This is the first time I’ve had a donor call and make this kind of request, so I’m excited, and want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.”
Another phone recording caught an Ohio Planned Parenthood worker saying “we’ll accept the money for whatever reason” in response to the actor’s racist-motivated donation, The Advocate reported.
Outraged by the phone recordings, some UCLA students have been petitioning the school to cut off connections with Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood of Idaho CEO Rebecca Poedy apologized for Kersey’s comments initially, saying she made a “serious mistake,” according to LifeNews. On Feb. 28, however, Poedy backtracked in remarks to the Boise Weekly, describing The Advocate as “extremist” and charging it had “manipulated a 25-minute conversation.”
Clenard Childress, founder of BlackGenocide.org, said in a written statement, “No other ethnic group in the United States has been decimated more by abortion than the Afro-American community. The war being waged upon innocent captives in the womb is led by Planned Parenthood.”
Black women were 4.8 times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have abortions in 2005, according to a January report by the Guttmacher Institute. African Americans made up 12.3 percent of the United States population, according to the 2000 census, but black women had 36.3 percent of the abortions that same year, the Centers for Disease Control reported.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the country’s No. 1 abortion provider. More than 260,000 babies were aborted in its clinics in 2005, a 15 percent increase from 2002.
The report of receiving racist-motivated donors is not the only thing about Planned Parenthood that has brought recent protests.
— Alveda King, niece of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., denounced Planned Parenthood’s use of her uncle’s words and images on its website.
“Planned Parenthood is no stranger to deception,” King said in a written release. “I know firsthand because prior to my abortion, a Planned Parenthood doctor told me my baby was just a ‘blob of tissue.’ Now, Planned Parenthood lies by trying to imply that my uncle would somehow endorse the organization today. He most certainly would not.”
King said her uncle accepted an award from Planned Parenthood in 1966 before the organization began publicly advocating abortion and before abortion itself was legal nationwide. If he had known the true agenda, her uncle would not have associated with the organization, she said.
— Planned Parenthood’s TeenWire website “encourages kids to play sexual games or explore bisexuality and it gives teens advice on how to avoid telling their parents about a possible abortion,” LifeNews reported Feb. 28.
Some content on the website is so graphic that certain Internet filters are preventing access to it, according to LifeNews.
— The opening next fall of a 78,000-square-foot facility by the University of Houston also has prompted some protests. The Houston clinic will have an entire floor dedicated to late-term pregnancies, according to LifeSiteNews.com.
Planned Parenthood likes to locate near universities to make it easier for young women to use their abortion services, a Houston Coalition for Life spokeswoman told LifeSite.
This new facility exceeds by far the 22,000-square-foot clinic opened in Aurora, Ill., last year and the 50,000-square-foot facility being built in Denver.
Planned Parenthood receives nearly a third of its money in government grants and contracts that added up to $305.3 million in 2006. “With over $300 million in taxpayer funds, the organization has the U.S. government to thank for helping to promote these messages,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.
Pro-life members of Congress have been fighting for the federal government to stop funding the organization.
On Feb. 27, Virginia made some progress in that direction. Members of the Virginia Senate voted to cut off state funding of Planned Parenthood because of the number of abortions its performs each year.
Pro-choice Virginia senators opposed the ruling. Sen. Janet Howell claimed the amendment would lead to women dying from illegal abortions.
However, the legislation passed by the narrowest of margins. Senators tied 20-20, and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, broke the tie in favor of the measure, according to The Washington Post.
Katherine Kipp is an intern with the Washington bureau of Baptist Press.