Abortion, Birth Control Biases Exposed by Proponents' Original Intentions
by Bob Parks
Because so many things seem to get lost among the political minutia when laws and policies are created, it's wise to look back to find the "original intent" that began the process. When it comes to the original intent of liberal abortion and birth control policies, the motivations of their proponents can be downright shocking.
Most people probably think the original intent behind the movement to legalize abortion, for instance, was to give women control of their bodies. It was all about a woman's right to choose, right? Wrong.
To understand the abortion lobby's original intent, one must start with the world's leading provider of abortion - Planned Parenthood. Its founder, Margaret Sanger, believed that the poor were a burden on society and that a cleansing of the gene pool through birth control was in order. In the 1930s, Sanger targeted blacks with "The Negro Project" that strategically placed birth control clinics in poor and minority neighborhoods.
Why bring up the past? Besides uncovering original intent, they say that those who don't learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them.
Recently uncovered documents from the Clinton Presidential Library shed new light on the modern motivations of those who pushed the Clinton Administration to expedite bringing RU-486, often called the "morning after pill," into the American marketplace. Mincing no words, one document quotes a leading abortion and birth control advocate who told President-Elect Bill Clinton that he should "start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of the country."
Ron Weddington, the man who successfully helped argue the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion in America, made that statement.
Pointedly advocating the legal distribution of RU-486, Weddington wrote in a cover note to Clinton advisor Betsy Wright, "Something's got to be done very quickly. Twenty-six million food stamp recipients is more than the economy can stand." In the attached letter, Weddington urged the future president to use his powers of persuasion to push for new birth control policies. He said President Clinton could begin "reforming our country" by "start[ing] immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of the country... Our survival depends upon our developing a population where everyone contributes. We don't need more cannon fodder. We don't need more parishioners. We don't need more cheap labor. We don't need more poor babies."
In his first official act, President Bill Clinton ordered the government to begin paving the way for RU-486 to be marketed to the American public. It would appear that Weddington's letter may be a foundation document - evidence of original intent - for President Clinton's decision to rush to make RU-486 available in the United States.
Today, over a decade later, RU-486 is again in the headlines. The Food and Drug Administration - one of the federal agencies pushed to make RU-486 readily available back in 1993 - issued a health warning last July because five American women died after using RU-486. This past March, more maternal deaths were linked to RU-486, in addition to the countless potential lives extinguished through the use of this drug.
It's sad that there are still so many in our society who believe they are morally superior and should determine who should and should not be born simply because of a parent's economically-inferior status. To them, it really never seems to have been about a woman's right to choose. But using this rallying cry gets women all worked up, and that's half the battle. Whatever works.
Considering that he grew up poor, given that so many people agree with this rationale, Bill Clinton himself is lucky to have been born.
Think about it. Think about the original intent of these people.
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Bob Parks is a Navy veteran, single father and national advisory council member of the black leadership network Project 21. Comments may be sent to Project21@nationalcenter.org.
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
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