How ‘independent’ is Guttmacher from Planned Parenthood?

planned parenthood, boston
Alan Guttmacher president Planned Parenthood screen grab from CBS news report

Alan Guttmacher, past president of Planned Parenthood (CBS)

The Guttmacher Institute – which supports and promotes the full agenda of Planned Parenthood, even taking its name from one of the abortion giant’s former presidents – has been successful in convincing the media that they are the most credible source on all things family planning and abortion. In turn, the media has happily presented Guttmacher as an impartial research organization.

But are they?

Archived news articles document that in Guttmacher’s early years, the mainstream media correctly referred to them as the “research arm of Planned Parenthood.” In fact, Guttmacher has even been called a “division of Planned Parenthood” and a “special affiliate” of the abortion giant.

While the organization states it became independent from Planned Parenthood in 1977, the two groups’ agendas appear to have remained the same.

According to their website, the Guttmacher Institute was founded in 1968 as the Center for Family Planning Program Development which was housed within the corporate structure of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). (Surprise surprise.)

Its program, however, was independently developed and overseen by a National Advisory Council separate from the PPFA Board of Directors. Its early development was nurtured by Alan F. Guttmacher, an eminent obstetrician-gynecologist, teacher and writer who was PPFA’s president for more than a decade until his death in 1974. The Center renamed in Dr. Guttmacher’s memory, and the Guttmacher Institute incorporated as an entirely independent nonprofit policy research institute with its own Board in 1977.

1970 Letterhead from the Center, a division of PPFA

1970 Letterhead from the Center, a division of PPFA

The Sophie Smith College, which houses the records of the Guttmacher Institute, describes their history this way:

Founded in 1968 and first known as the Center for Family Planning Program Development, the organization was initially part of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). The Center had as its champion Alan F. Guttmacher, the prestigious obstetrician/gynecologist/educator who served as PPFA president for more than ten years until his death in 1974. By 1977, the Center was renamed the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) in Dr. Guttmacher’s honor and incorporated as an independent non-profit organization with its own Board of Directors, distinct from PPFA. But its mission and goals remain the same since its founding.

“Distinct” from Planned Parenthood – yet its mission and goals are the same as they were while still a part of Planned Parenthood?

Rarely does today’s news media mention the Guttmacher Institute’s connections to Planned Parenthood, nor that their mission is exactly the same. In fact, the media refers to the Guttmacher Institute as nondescriptly as:

1). a non-profit that focuses on reproductive health.
2). a research organization.
3). a U.S.-based non-profit that researches family planning.
4). a New York-based nonprofit organization that does research on reproductive issues and is a strong advocate of family planning.

But years ago, the media was much more honest about the connection between Guttmacher and Planned Parenthood. In 1975, Guttmacher was referred to by several media outlets as a “division of Planned Parenthood” – which was true, at the time…



But in the same year that Guttmacher was said to have become “independent” of Planned Parenthood, an excerpt (image below) from a July 31, 1977, Tuscaloosa News article shows that the media still referred to the Guttmacher Institute as the “research arm” of Planned Parenthood.


And in October of 1977:


By 1980 (three years after Guttmacher became “independent” of Planned Parenthood), the media was still referring to them as Planned Parenthood’s “research arm”:




Same in 1981:


But the media were not the only ones still associating Guttmacher with Planned Parenthood.

In 1987 (10 years after Guttmacher’s “independence”), the Robert Sterling Clark Foundations published a report of organizations which received grant monies from them. The Guttmacher Institute was among them (receiving $50,000 to research why women have abortions), described as, “Originally founded as the research arm of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Alan Guttmacher Institute conducts policy analysis, research and public education in the areas of family planning and population.”

John Sterling Founfation 1987 grant Guttmacher

Then, by 1998 (11 years post-“independence”), a General Accounting Office (GAO) report acknowledged Guttmacher’s separation from Planned Parenthood, yet described the organization as a “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood:


The Alan Guttmacher Institute was originally a division of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and became an independent not-for-profit corporation in 1977; it remains a special affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

PPFA itself also used that definition for Guttmacher. As early as 1998, Planned Parenthood wrote in their annual report:


We enhance our mission by supporting a special affiliate, The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), an independent, not-for-profit corporation for reproductive healthresearch, policy analysis, and public education.

Planned Parenthood also referred to the Guttmacher Institute as a special affiliate in: 19992001200220032004 and 2005 – where on page 15, PPFA references the Guttmacher Institute as a, “special affiliate to which PPFA supplies some support…”

By 2003 (26 years after “independence”), another General Accounting Office report also referred to the Guttmacher Institute as an affiliate of Planned Parenthood:

The Alan Guttmacher Institute was originally a division of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and became an independent nonprofit corporation in 1977 with offices in New York City and Washington, D. C. It remains an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Alan Guttmacher Institute conducts reproductive health and family planning research and policy analysis, provides public education nationally and internationally, and publishes journals about family planning and reproductive health.

On their website, Guttmacher claims that in 2007, their “special affiliation” status with PPFA was terminated – 30 years after they claimed they were “independent” from Planned Parenthood… hmmm.

guttmacher3PPfa affiliate Radiance

Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation found evidence that in its 2007 tax filing, Planned Parenthood still listed Guttmacher as an “independent affiliated organization” (emphasis mine) which was receiving money from the abortion giant. Bomberger wrote, “Planned Parenthood… gave $2,142,076 of our tax dollars to their ‘research’ arm, Guttmacher….”

And, as Live Action News previously reported, despite the fact that Guttmacher used to own up to the fact that they were directly connected to Planned Parenthood, nearly 40 years after Guttmacher’s ‘separation’ from Planned Parenthood, funding received by both taxpayer-supported organizations flows freely between the two.

If Guttmacher and Planned Parenthood are really independent organizations, they certainly have a strange way of showing it.

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