By Hilary White

BOISE, March 17, 2008 ( – The underlying racism of Planned Parenthood’s policies was revealed recently when an official was caught on tape agreeing, while laughing, to take a donation for abortions specifically targeted at reducing the black population. Now the Idaho branch of Planned Parenthood has claimed that the official’s response was a “serious mistake” and has criticized the pro-life group that gathered the information.

The students’ undercover investigation received national media attention when it revealed that PP officials were open about their continued dedication to their founder Margaret Sanger’s eugenic policies to “exterminate the Negro population”. The results of the investigation were published in the pro-life students’ newspaper, The Advocate, at the University of California Los Angeles.

Idaho Planned Parenthood blasted the students for their investigation, calling the Advocate editor “a known anti-choice extremist”.

“While the actions of our staff member were unacceptable, it’s also unacceptable for opponents of abortion to use racist, deceptive tactics to smear Planned Parenthood.”

“A fundraising employee violated the organization’s principles and practices when she appeared to be willing to accept a racially motivated donation,” Planned Parenthood of Idaho CEO Rebecca Poedy said in a written statement. “We apologize for the manner in which this offensive call was handled. We take full responsibility for the actions of the fundraising staff member who created the impression that racism of any form would be tolerated at Planned Parenthood.”

The organisation was at pains to assure supporters that they do not discriminate and kill unborn children of any race, or background. “We took swift action to ensure that each of our employees understands their responsibility to communicate clearly with donors about the fact that we believe in helping all individuals, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation, make informed decisions about their reproductive health care.”

The Advocate published the transcript of a conversation in which Autumn Kersey, identified on tape as the vice president of marketing for Planned Parenthood of Idaho, responded, “understandable, understandable” when an actor posing as a racist potential donor said, “The less black kids out there the better”.

The actor was proposing to give a targeted donation to the organization specifically to eliminate a black baby, saying, “I really faced trouble with affirmative action, and I don’t want my kids to be disadvantaged against black kids. I just had a baby; I want to put it in his name.”

The Advocate has released an audio recording of the phone calls on the internet video website YouTube. In one recording, a PP official who identified herself as Lisa Hutton, told the caller “OK whatever” when the actor said he wanted to reduce the number of black people in Ohio.

“If you specifically wanted underwrite an abortion for a minority person, you can target it that way,” she told the caller.

The student group’s president, Lila Rose, told media that she had recordings of PP officials in seven states agreeing to reduce the number of black people by targeted donations for abortion, without expressing any concern about the racist implications. 

“They do not change their ways,” Rose told The Statesman. “They attack the whistleblower.”

“It is unacceptable for a non-profit to accept donations that target specific races,” Rose said.

Read related coverage:

Undercover Investigation Reveals Planned Parenthood’s Racism

Listen to the recorded phone calls