Christina Martin

What Cecile Richards left out in her history lesson for Republicans

Christina Martin
By Christina Martin

November 16, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Do you remember learning about Thanksgiving in elementary school? The happy pictures of Native Americans and Pilgrims sharing a fall feast warmed my little heart. But as I grew older, my teachers gave me a very different history lesson than the one I learned as a child.

While I was shocked and saddened to hear about the injustices committed against the Native people, I was grateful to finally know the truth. Even though the truth isn’t always pretty, I’d take it over a lie any day.

Perhaps it’s my love of honest history which made it hard for me to swallow the lesson given by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

Richards gave some advice tied in with a history lesson in a post-Election Day interview with the Huffington Post. It’s obvious that Cecile was excited that her choice for president won the election. Planned Parenthood invested lots of money in celebrity-endorsed videos and marketing campaigns to support Obama. After the Democrats won, Cecile thought she’d dispense some words for the Republican Party.

In essence, she urged Republicans to get back to our “roots” by supporting family planning. She told the Huffington Post:

Back in the olden days, the Republican Party was the party that supported people’s individual rights and keeping government out of personal health care decisions, so I think there’s a history they can go back to. A lot of Republicans used to support family planning, and Richard Nixon signed that first federal planning program into law. There’s a clear pathway to [win back women’s support], and it’s to listen to the middle of their party instead of the extreme fringe.

Since I like history, I thought I’d do some reading on the life of former Republican President Richard Nixon. I found out that Cecile was right about his strong stand for family planning.

The Huffington Post reports:

Indeed, back in the 1970s and 1980s, Republicans supported family planning initiatives and took a softer stance on abortion rights. Nixon was so enthusiastic about a federal family planning initiative for low-income women that he declared it a ‘national goal’ in 1969 before signing Title X into law.

Nixon was so enthusiastic about a federal family planning initiative that he declared it a national goal. Reading that could make some assume that Nixon was genuinely concerned about the plight of poor. Richards considers Nixon such an “inspiration” that she also mentioned him in a Feb 10, 2011 Huffington Post article titled, “Don’t Let Them Kill Family Planning!” In it Cecile shared these thoughts:

Richard Nixon may not be the first name most people associate with women’s health and reproductive rights. But as House Republicans ramp up their unprecedented assault on women this week, I’m starting to think of the Nixon era as an age of enlightenment. The Title X Family Planning program, which Nixon signed into law in 1970, is one of this country’s great achievements in public health and social justice. Clinics funded through Title X now prevent nearly a million unintended pregnancies every year. They save women’s lives through cancer screening, immunization and blood-pressure testing. Publicly supported family planning even saves the government money — $3.74 for every dollar invested.

While I don’t agree with her statement about Nixon’s era as an age of enlightenment, I will say my eyes were opened in a new way after reading about our former president.

In 1970, Nixon signed into law the Title X Family Planning Program. In 1973, Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court. Also in 1973, Nixon recorded audio tapes of conversations between him and members of his staff. The tapes, along with 140,000 pages of domestic records, 45 video oral histories, and 2,500 pages of once-classified national security materials, were later released.

As the Washington Post reports, the tapes revealed Nixon’s private feelings towards blacks, Jews, and other ethnic groups. In an excerpt from the article:

During another conversation with his personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, Nixon expresses doubt about the opinion of William P. Rogers, his secretary of state, about blacks.

‘Bill Rogers has got somewhat – and to his credit it’s a decent feeling – but somewhat, sort of, a sort of blind spot on the black thing because he’s been in New York,’ Nixon said. ‘He says, well, “They are coming along, and that after all, they are going to strengthen our country in the end because they are strong physically and some of them are smart.”

‘My own view is I think he’s right if you’re talking in terms of 500 years,’ Nixon said. ‘I think it’s wrong if you’re talking in terms of 50 years. What has to happen is they have to be, frankly, inbred. And, you just, that’s the only thing that’s going to do it, Rose.’

Nixon’s racist viewpoints heard through his audio recordings have now become public knowledge. The documentary Maafa 21 shares a series of conversations Nixon had in 1972-73 dealing with low-income minorities and their children. You can watch the clip on YouTube or read the words I transcribed.

White House tape 697/29 March 30, 1972

Nixon: A majority of people in Colorado voted for abortion, I think a majority of people in Michigan are for abortion, I think in both cases, well certainly in Michigan they will vote for it because they think that what’s going to be aborted are the little black bastards.

White House tape 700/10- April 3, 1972

Nixon: As I told you, we talked about it earlier – that a hell of a lot of people want to control the negro bastards.

White House tape 700/10- April 3, 1972

Nixon: And you know what we’re talking about – population control.

Unidentifed Staff: Sure.

Nixon: We’re talking really – and what John Rockefeller really realizes, look the people in what we call our class controls – their populations. Sometimes they’ll have a family of six, or seven, or eight or nine, but it’s the exception.

Unidentifed Staff: Sure.

Nixon: People who don’t control their families are people in – the people that shouldn’t have kids. Now that’s…

Unidentified Staff: The black population in the city of San Francisco has gone from 3,000 – right after World War II – to where they represent 30 percent of the population of San Francisco.

Nixon: What?

Unidentified Staff: Yes, sir.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Nixon, like Rockefeller, was part of a wealthy elitist group that bought into the lies of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. It seems that Nixon’s enthusiasm towards “family planning” was just a guise to further support the eugenics-driven agenda of Planned Parenthood. Nixon, like Supreme Court justice Ruth Badger Ginsberg, admitted that he saw abortion as a means to controlling a population whose growth he feared.

Ryan Bomberger, founder of Too Many Aborted, wrote about the Cecile/Nixon connection:

Richards was a history major at Brown University. Certainly she’s aware of the easily discoverable and irrefutable historical facts surrounding Nixon and his racist advocacy of Population Control. But like Sanger and hundreds of other eugenists, she willfully divorces herself from the truth in order to press forward in her crusade to exalt the culture of birth control. These public audio recordings (revealed in Maafa21 and online for all to hear) show the vile racism with which this disgraced former President viewed black people. His solution to the problem of the ‘negro black bastards’ was to systematically eliminate them through birth control/abortion. By signing the Population Research and Family Planning Act of 1970 into law, Nixon solidified the government’s embrace of the eugenics movement backed by billions of tax dollars since the Title-X funding legislation passed.

Is this the history Cecile believes Republicans should get back to? Is Nixon someone we should seek to emulate? I for one won’t be following in his footsteps. The truth is that this tragic history of eugenics-motivated family planning has continued to repeat itself for forty years. Nixon’s agenda and Richards’ are one and the same. Cover it with pink paint or spin it with celebrity endorsements if you will, but the agenda of Planned Parenthood hasn’t changed.

If I want to get back to the “roots” of the Republican Party, I’d much rather follow the example of leaders in the mid-1800s who championed the anti-slavery movement. The Republican Party was once known for its commitment to abolishing slavery and fighting for the dignity and rights of black Americans. If I’m looking to taking advice from someone, I’d rather it be leaders who fought to save the lives of my people rather than destroy them. If I’m looking for an accurate history lesson, it won’t be from Cecile Richards.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org


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African denounces Western elites pushing population control in his country

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By Ben Johnson

An op-ed in one of the leading publications in Uganda has denounced the promotion of IUD use and other long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in the nation as a colonialist form of population control.

An article published in New Vision, which bills itself as “Uganda's leading daily,” and which was posted online after being translated into broken English, contradicts the frequent claim that there is a desperate cry from Africans and brown people generally to provide the “unmet need” for contraception in the Third World.

Programs to convince African women to use the IUD or other forms of contraception “are projects of multibillion international agencies distributing them under the guise of helping the poor countries to control birth rates,” Stephen Wabomba wrote.

The use of the IUD leads to an increase in “the spread of STIs/HIV/AIDS, infections or increased rates of Pelvic Infection Diseases (PID),” and other maladies, he said. The IUD, which is inserted into the uterus and may work for years at a time, offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases and often does not prevent fertilization.

Western governments and NGOs are very much “aware of the side effect[s] but still force them on us through sensational marketing strategies by claiming that there is unmet need” for contraception “in Uganda,” he wrote.

He instead suggested the use of Natural Family Planning methods as the “best alternative” for married couples, as well as increased “funding of chastity and abstinence education in Uganda.”

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He called on every citizen of Uganda “to stand up and be counted as a lover of life” and become a “protector of the voiceless and defenseless unborn children being aborted every day.”

Wabomba is heeding his own advice by acting as director of the Pregnancy Help Center in Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda. The town of 87,000 is perched on the shores of Lake Victoria.


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UN tells Chile and Peru to legalize abortion

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By Guilherme Ferreira Araújo

On July 7 and 8, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) discussed Chile’s abortion laws and issued a report asking for liberalization of those laws.

According to the report, Chile “should establish exceptions to the general prohibition of abortion, contemplating therapeutic abortion and in those cases in which the pregnancy is a consequence of a rape or incest.”

Chile is one of the few countries that prohibits abortion in all cases.  So far, the country has managed to stand against internal and external pressure to legalize abortion.

But during her campaign, President Michele Bachelet promised to make the legalization of abortion a priority.  Indeed, last May she stated that her intention was to reopen the debate so that the government could approve therapeutic abortion before the end of this year.  The U.N. report also said that Chile “should make sure that reproductive health services are accessible to all women and adolescents."

One of the reasons the UN is using to pressure Chile’s government to change their abortion laws is the high number of clandestine abortions allegedly taking place in Chile. The UNHRC points to “official data” showing 150,000 annual clandestine abortions. However, not only is it impossible to corroborate that figure, but other sources show that this number could be exaggerated by a factor of 10.  According to an article published in the Chilean news publication, Chile B, the annual number of clandestine abortions in Chile may vary between 8,270 and 20,675.

Inflating the number of illegal abortions and maternal mortality is a common tactic of the pro-abortion movement’s effort to legalize the deadly practice. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), famously admitted the tactic after becoming pro-life.

“We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions,” he said. "The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception."

Chile has also been used as a prime example that legalized abortion does not reduce maternal mortality.

A study published in 2012 by Plos One Institute found that since 1989 when Chile banned abortion, there has been an annual decrease in maternal death. That study, and others compiled and published by the Chilean MELISA Institute strongly challenge the myth that abortion is safe or even necessary to increase maternal health.

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Notwithstanding the empirical data, the United Nations is also hard at work to pressure Chile’s neighbor to the North, Peru, to liberalize its own abortion laws.  In the case of Peru it is the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that has issued the report, not the UNHRC.  CEDAW representatives examined Peru’s case on July 1 and suggested that Peru should legalize abortion in case of rape and severe abnormalities of the unborn child.

The organism suggested that the government eliminate all laws that punish women who abort and asked that Peru “urgently” adopt a law to fight violence against women, a notion often used as a euphemism for legalizing abortion.  

The CEDAW commission presented the conclusions of the report on July 22 and put special emphasis on the abortion issue. This happens despite the strong opposition to abortion in Peru. A recent survey showed that 79 percent of Peruvians support the Catholic Church’s position on abortion.

The CEDAW pressure on Peru is not new. In 2011, after the UN sanctioned Peru for denying an abortion to a teenager, Carlos Polo, Director of the Population Research Institute’s Latin American office, stated that the UN organism doesn’t have the right to force Peru to approve abortion.


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People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. Youtube screenshot
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I helped so many women abort their babies. Now how do I live with that?

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By Abby Johnson
Abby Johnson business card Planned Parenthood

I have many memories of my time with Planned Parenthood. I spent eight years of my life there. Some memories are good, some are not. But they are contained in my mind. It’s easy to forget them. I have forgotten so much about my time there in just four and a half short years. 

I found my old business card the other day. That is a tangible memory for me. It made me think of the day that I heard I had been promoted to direct the clinic. I was so happy…hugging and jumping up and down with my supervisor. She was so proud of me.

I thought about the day I moved everything into my new, big office. I put pro-choice stickers all over my file cabinet. I called my parents to share the news. They were, of course, proud of me, but hated my work. I can’t imagine how conflicted they were in their minds and hearts. Human resources sent me my new paperwork. There was my new title, my new and amazing salary. 

A few days later, my new business cards came. I remember putting them in my new business card holder on my desk. I filled up the business card holder that I kept in my purse. I had already become used to hearing myself say my new title.

I was proud of myself. I was proud of the hard work I had put in to earn that new title. I worked so many hours, sacrificed so much time from my family. But I knew it would be worth it. And now I had the job title to prove it.

I remember proudly passing out my new business cards to anyone that would take one. Being pro-choice was not just a movement to me; it was a lifestyle. I wholeheartedly embraced that lifestyle and loved being a part of it. 

These tangible reminders that I occasionally find are sometimes hard to work through. I remember receiving the records from my medication abortion. That tangible reminder of my past was difficult to manage. I look at my “Employee of the Year” award that I received from Planned Parenthood and think back to the night I received it. I ended up putting that old award on my desk as a reminder of where I came from and how much my life has changed. Seeing that plaque no longer brings back those tangible memories. 

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One of the reasons I was so taken aback when finding my old business card was not just because it was a reminder of how proud I had been to run an abortion clinic…something I find deplorable now. It was because of the things I took part in while I had that big title.

The memories of handing women small monetary checks in order to pay for their silence after we had left them with a serious infection after their abortion. The memories of watching women bleed out on our abortion table and being instructed not to call the ambulance because we didn’t want to let the pro-lifers know that we had a medical emergency. The memories I have of “joking” about the babies that died in our facility by abortion. The memories I have of training our abortion facility employees on the “normalcy” of abortion and how to convince women that abortion is the best choice for them.

Part of being a former abortion clinic worker is learning how to deal with your past sin. It may be the lady who came to your clinic for an abortion that you bump into at the store. It could be standing in front of your former abortion facility and remembering all of the damage your words and actions did to so many women. It could be finding that old business card that reminds you of the pride you felt when you became the director of an abortion facility. 

People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. 

One day I was watching the kid’s movie “Kung Fu Panda” with my daughter. In the film there is a wise, old tortoise named Oogway. He is talking to one of his students who is frustrated with his current situation. Oogway asks his student, “Do you know why today is called the present? Because it is a gift.”

That little line by an animated tortoise hit me like a ton of bricks. Today is a gift. There is absolutely nothing we can do with our past. And there is very little we can do to control our future. We live NOW. We serve NOW. We choose to move on from our past NOW. 

I don’t know what your past sins are. And I don’t know how frequently you are reminded of them. But as someone who has to face their past sins on pretty much a daily basis, I can tell you that you can be free from their burden. Being reminded of your past doesn’t mean that you have to live with constant grief. It simply means that you have been given the opportunity to transform your past into something positive…maybe you can help others make different choices than you did, maybe you can help others heal from the same struggles that you lived through. I don’t know what you are being called to do, but as the saying goes, “God can turn our mess into a message.” 

Carrying around past burdens doesn’t help us in any way. Know that you can be forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Use your life to help others. The present is indeed a gift.

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