In a recent W Magazine interview, former Planned Parenthood president Faye Wattleton spoke about the founding of Planned Parenthood, about her own philosophy on “reproductive rights,” and about sexuality in the womb (yes, really).
Wattleton, a registered nurse, expanded Planned Parenthood’s health services for women during the time of her presidency from 1978 to 1992 (just before current president and political organizer Cecile Richards took over and health services began to plummet). Much of Wattleton’s interview is a string of run-on sentences, but one thing is clear: Wattleton is a true believer in Planned Parenthood’s mission… and that mission is not women’s health.
In speaking about Planned Parenthood as an organization, Wattleton admits, “Interestingly, Planned Parenthood was started by a woman who wasn’t so concerned about parenthood as she was about women’s sexual and reproductive liberation.”
This is very true, and it is refreshing to hear someone so closely associated with Planned Parenthood admitting that Margaret Sanger’s motivation was not actually women’s health or parenthood (unless you count the fact that she believed people should have to petition eugenics boards to obtain licenses to be parents in the first place). Sanger’s motivation was indeed “women’s sexual and reproductive liberation,” and she opposed religion because of this, viewing religious teachings on “chastity and sexual purity” as “foolhardy.” (This disdainful view on abstinence is even reflected in Planned Parenthood’s modern sex education programs.) However, when it came to sexual liberation, only those deemed most fit were truly to be liberated when it came to reproduction. It was considered undesirable for poor women and women of color to reproduce; Sanger’s goal was to cull their population. Wattleton, a woman of color herself, seems totally blind to this and to the history of Sanger’s Negro Project.
Wattleton was raised by her minister mother and insists that her own “work [with Planned Parenthood] really informed my values quite deeply in a religious grounding, in the view that we must extend compassion, but also, that we have to understand that everyone doesn’t have the same life, and that the government should not dictate it.”
This dubious claim — that abortion work (otherwise known as killing actual human beings in the womb) can be somehow motivated by a religious inclination to help humanity — has been made numerous times by those in the abortion industry. Abortionist Willie Parker kills preborn children created in the image of God every day while claiming to be a practicing Christian. Abortionist Curtis Boyd, who operates the infamous late-term abortion chain, Southwestern Women’s Options, claims to be an ordained Baptist minister-turned Unitarian who “ask[s] that the spirit of this pregnancy be returned to God with love and with understanding” when he aborts children. Abortion is not an act of love or understanding, as this video animation of a D&E abortion demonstrates:
This idea that killing is compassion is warped thinking. Many on the pro-choice side are anti-war and anti-death penalty, yet they support the choice to kill innocent human beings who have not yet left the womb. Some have chosen to believe the lie that those children are not yet human and not yet alive, when science tells us quite the opposite. And in all Wattleton’s talk about “compassion” and living “life,” she ignores the most vulnerable.
Wattleton says her mother “didn’t believe in government intervention in your personal lives” and “did not at any point dictate or advance the notion that the government should carry out her message that she derived from the Bible and from the teachings of the Old and New Testaments. She did not believe that that should be enshrined in laws, to impose and enforce them on others against their will.” Wattleton appears to be saying, in essence, “Hey, religious people, you can’t force your pro-life views on the rest of us, because even my minister mother didn’t do that!” But coming from Wattleton, these are odd things to say; Wattleton’s mother actually disapproved of her work with Planned Parenthood, and when her daughter finally resigned as president of the abortion organization after 14 years, Wattleton’s mother said, “My prayers have been answered.”
Is Wattleton attempting to somehow justify her work with an organization that kills hundreds of thousands of human beings every year? Wattleton makes the mistake of painting abortion as a religious issue instead of what it is: a human rights issue.
Wattleton claims that when she was a child, she “got saved” (meaning received the Gospel of Jesus Christ) but didn’t “stay saved,” so maybe she has missed some things — like the fact that the biblical value of “do to others as you would have them do to you” is enshrined in many of our country’s laws (like those against murder, theft, and rape). But beyond this, many of our laws are designed to protect and preserve human life. (It’s against the law to inject illegal drugs into our bodies. It is illegal to ride in a car without a seatbelt.) The government dictates an awful lot of things about our bodies. Yet somehow, Wattleton and her friends at Planned Parenthood view trying to stop the violence that abortion does to another human being as a horrible governmental intrusion into the lives of citizens.
Because abortion deals with women’s reproductive organs (or, more specifically, with the human beings growing within those reproductive organs), people like Wattleton falsely claim it’s simply an issue of sex and sexuality, and of people wanting to sexually repress others. But that’s where Wattleton’s comments get a bit confusing.
She tells the interviewer (emphasis added), “Sexuality is a part of who we are as creatures, from infancy, even during gestation. Sexual development takes place in the development of the fetus….” Gasp! And then, just when you think she’s going somewhere, it’s as if she realizes what she’s just said, (whoops!) and she veers back into her own lane, adding, “and so it is a matter of whether we will stand against those who wish to control and regulate or whether we will continue to speak out and advance the notion that, just as other aspects of our health and the wellbeing of our lives is better advanced by being informed, by being educated, by understanding the progression that has been made in understanding how the body functions and how we relate psychologically to one another, it should be a part of that natural aspect of who we are.”
I doubt Ms. Wattleton really wants to delve into “how the body functions” in the womb. From the moment of fertilization, all of our DNA — our genetic code that makes us us — is present. This means that biologically, we can be nothing other than human beings while in the womb — a stunning accidental admission from a former president of the nation’s largest and most profitable abortion conglomerate.
But the truth is that Ms. Wattleton, as a true believer in Planned Parenthood’s mission, is not really concerned with in-utero sexual development. No, she is concerned about sexuality because “the only question is whether we will be able to express our sexuality by an informed process and with the choices to be able to exercise our choices responsibly, or whether we will be circumscribed to another person’s value system and views as to how we should conduct our lives.”
In other words, to her, it’s not really important who we are innately, as human beings; “expressing sexuality” is of the highest order, even if that “expression” necessitates killing other human beings.
Wattleton paints herself — and Planned Parenthood — as some sort of savior of women and preserver of democracy, saying, “… I’d like to think that the work that I was able to do during the almost a quarter of a century of Planned Parenthood is that I preserved a country in which people who really want to have children and who believe that abortion is wrong and that they should not be forced to terminate a pregnancy against their will will also have that right…. I really felt that the context of that work is really about preserving the fundamental principles of our country and our society.”
Wattleton might like to think that, but she and her organization have not “preserved” anything. They have contributed by the millions to the slaughter of more than 60 million children since 1973. But what are tens of millions of dead babies when women get to “express their sexuality” freely… right? Perhaps she forgot the one of the fundamental principles of our country and our society is the right to life. Without this right, human beings have no other rights.
Planned Parenthood, with half a billion dollars of our taxpayer money, kills more than 320,000 children annually. And Faye Wattleton, in all her candor, has revealed that the true values of Planned Parenthood have nothing to do with parenthood or women’s health.