Lena Dunham's pro-Planned Parenthood video has some major problems
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Lena Dunham’s pro-Planned Parenthood video has some major problems

Lena Dunham is back. Fresh off of her outrageous statement about wishing she could have had an abortion, Dunham has just debuted a project that she says she spent over a year working on. “100 Years” is an animated short about the history of Planned Parenthood, as well as the life of founder Margaret Sanger. It features the voice talents of actresses like Meryl Streep, America Ferrera, Hari Nef, Mindy Kaling, Jennifer Lawrence, and Constance Wu.

“We’ve been working on the film for over a year in an attempt to shed light on Planned Parenthood’s remarkable history and ongoing battle to keep serving the people who show up to their health centers every day of the year,” Dunham said. “I really think it’s the best cartoon about the history of reproductive freedom ever made, but it may also be the only cartoon about the history of reproductive freedom ever made.”

The video begins by showing Margaret Sanger as a compassionate, driven health care provider who cared deeply about women and wanted to save their lives. Sanger is shown as starting her crusade after a woman died because her male doctor refused to give her birth control. “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body,” Sanger says.

Mothers are shown pleading with Sanger to help them avoid pregnancy, telling them that Sanger is the only person who can help them. And of course, our wonderful hero does. (Of course, in reality, Margaret Sanger didn’t just advocate for birth control when women wanted or needed it — she said that women should not be allowed to have babies at all.) Sanger’s organization eventually became Planned Parenthood.

“100 Years” also tries to skate over Sanger’s racist and eugenicist past. “Margaret worked with civil rights leaders, immigrant women, and black communities… but also aligned herself with eugenicists. Ugh,” the video says. But this is brushed off as something that was merely fashionable at the time, and in no way reflects Planned Parenthood’s current operating policy. “It doesn’t seem to make sense. But way back in the early 20th century, eugenics was an immensely popular social movement, one with the kind of widespread legitimacy Margaret craved for her own birth control campaign.

“Let’s make this clear: racism and ableism do not have a place at Planned Parenthood, and sure as hell don’t represent the organization’s commitment to equality,” the video claims.

First off, abortion is most definitely ableist, allowing for discrimination (and a death sentence) against weaker human beings because they aren’t as developed as born humans — therefore, ableism certainly has “a place at Planned Parenthood.” At Secular Pro-Life, Rebecca Stapleford addressed this issue:

The pro-choice movement insists that the unborn are not persons, for a myriad of reasons. However, all of these reasons are based on functionalism, which is the belief that what you are currently able to do is what makes you a person, not who you are. For instance, some pro-choicers will insist that the ability to have rational thought is what makes you a person. Now let’s completely set aside the fact that this would make infants non-persons, since they are not yet capable of rational thought, and let’s focus on the functionalism inherit [sic] in such a statement. It presumes that what makes us all equally human and equally deserving of human rights is the ability to think on a certain level, and excludes from the definition of a human person those who cannot. It is no different than saying that in order to be a human person, one should be able to produce insulin, and that therefore diabetics are not human persons. It should be obvious by now that functionalism is merely a certain form of ableism.

Secondly, it sure seems like racism still has a place at Planned Parenthood — the organization is perfectly willing to accept donations earmarked specifically for the abortions of Black babies:

In addition to this, Black women at Planned Parenthood, even today, have been pressured to get sterilized, in keeping with Sanger’s “Negro Project.” Sanger once said of this goal:

We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal.

We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

Planned Parenthood today also has been caught jacking up prices of the abortion pill in minority communities, and also places a disproportionate number of their clinics in minority neighborhoods.

But sure — racism has no place at Planned Parenthood. Right.

The video continues on with ludicrous statements, such as claiming that the passage of the Hyde Amendment was devastating for women’s rights, and directly caused the deaths of multiple women. (For the record, Americans overwhelmingly support the Hyde Amendment.) It ends with the typical claims about how Planned Parenthood provides much-needed health care for women across the country, as well as a plea from Cecile Richards, who pleads with people to stand with Planned Parenthood.

But the truth is, Planned Parenthood’s priority is abortion, not health care. Only a small percentage of American women are served by the abortion giant, and in fact, Planned Parenthood has vastly decreased the number of health care services that it provides. Abortions, meanwhile, have increased.

Sorry, Ms. Dunham… it’s clear that Margaret Sanger was not some altruistic woman just looking to help the poor and downtrodden with a compassionate organization… and that doesn’t apply to Planned Parenthood today, either.

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