As is often said, when it comes to unraveling the agendas behind most questionable objectives, follow the money — and, I might add, the motivation. In the 1960s and early 1970s as the government began to push for federal dollars to fund population control programs, this did not occur in a vacuum. In fact, as Live Action News has documented in this series on Title X, it was concocted by movers and shakers within eugenics-based organizations, most notably the Population Council and Planned Parenthood. The previous segment in this series documented how the Nixon Administration — which showed concern over the increase in the Black population at the time — ushered in huge increases in government dollars for so-called “family planning.” In this article, Live Action News will show how the creation of the Federal Title X Program targeting poor families was manipulated by people within the Planned Parenthood and Guttmacher organizations.
The move came at a pivotal moment on the eugenics timeline, because the Black community was quickly gaining traction in the realm of civil rights. Many outspoken Black leaders felt government funded birth control and abortion programs were designed to limit Black births. In a July 1969 speech given by Alan F. Guttmacher (a former Planned Parenthood president and VP of the American Eugenics Society who masterminded the push for legal abortion and is credited with opening the flood gates of abortion within Planned Parenthood), he acknowledged this suspicion, saying:
“In addition, we must take full cognizance of the fact that our work among some militant minority groups is considered genocidal. They charge that what we are doing is not really trying to give a better family life to the less privileged segments of the community but trying to retard the numerical growth of ethnic minorities.”
In that same speech, Guttmacher also acknowledged that funding for the Institute came from grants “from the Kellogg, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations as well as several other lesser foundations.” Some of these same organizations had been funding eugenics for years. A 1970 article published by the New York Times also acknowledged minorities’ fears:
Thus the government’s concentration on the procreative proclivities of the poor is often viewed with suspicion. For instance, “Muhammad Speaks,” the organ of the Black Muslim Movement, has charged that “black people are the target of birth control not because the ruling politicians like them and care about their economic equality, but because they hate them and can no longer use them plantations and other cheap labor conditions.
Just one year earlier, President Richard Nixon recommended that Congress create a Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, noting, “it is clear that the domestic family planning services supported by the Federal Government should be expanded and better integrated.”
The commission was chaired by John D. Rockefeller III, a longtime advocate of population control. The Executive Director of the project was to be Dr. Charles F. Westoff, a member of both the American Eugenics Society and Planned Parenthood’s National Advisory Council.
Nixon’s commission was applauded by former Planned Parenthood VP Fredrick Jaffe. In 1968, Jaffe founded the PPFA Center for Family Planning Program Development, which later became the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research arm. The organization is named after Alan F. Guttmacher (previously mentioned). At the time this memo was created, coercive population control measures were being considered — such as poisoning water supplies with birth control chemicals without consumers’ consent or knowledge. If there was resistance to voluntary methods, “involuntary control must be imposed.” (Read Jaffe’s disturbing memo outlining this here).
As previously documented, one of the chief co-sponsors of the Title X statute, which allocates millions of federal tax dollars to Planned Parenthood, was Rep. George H.W. Bush (R-Texas), who later became our nation’s 41st president. Additional information has surfaced indicating that the push for federal population control dollars by Congressman Bush was actually initiated by Planned Parenthood and its “special affiliate,” the Guttmacher Institute.
This information comes from a Planned Parenthood insider by the name of Jeannie Isabelle Rosoff.
In the book, “A Tradition of Choice,” Planned Parenthood describes Rosoff as the lobbyist (alongside director Frederick S. Jaffe) of the “first Washington office of PPFA.” That office was called the Center for Family Planning Program Development, which later became the Guttmacher Institute.
Ostensibly, therefore, the reason for Planned Parenthood‘s opening an office in Washington was that federal grants were going to be made out of Washington and therefore one should be there to kind of seize the opportunity and guide the direction of this new national program… the whole imperative there is not to refinance Planned Parenthood services but to expand services nationwide… This is where AGI [ Alan Guttmacher Institute] began, really, because to do that, you would really have to go proselytize at the local level…So Fred Jaffe went to the Ford Foundation and got a large grant essentially for the Washington office to create a technical assistance program….
According to the Lancet, Rosoff served two decades “as President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute” after being recruited by PPFA and hired by Frederick Jaffe. She had first-hand knowledge of the behind-the-scenes dealings regarding the passage of the Title X program. In her interview, Rosoff seems to indicate that the plan rested on her ability to choose the right person to sponsor the legislation.
One of the requisites for the chief Republican was that it had to be somebody who had a decent record on civil rights. We did not want any hint of coercion or excessive concern for saving welfare dollars. And Pierre du Pont of Delaware at that time was in Congress… And he pointed us toward George Bush. And George Bush was serving on the Ways and Means committee as a new congressman from Houston… [O]ne day, Alan Guttmacher was testifying. I could see that he was asking questions and seemed very supportive. So I went to see him and I said, ―You know, this is what we‘re thinking of, and would you be interested in it? And he said, ―Yeah. So he began to organize colleagues, do all the things that you do in terms of getting legislation, getting some cosponsors.
During this same time, coercive population control measures were being bantered around by people within the Planned Parenthood movement, as acknowledged in a 1969 article published by the New York Times.
The paper noted that many leaders sitting on Planned Parenthood’s board were in favor of coercive measures of population control. While painting the picture of an agency which was pushing birth control on the “ghetto” rather than the “middle-class” who were having more than the optimal amount of children, the paper noted that a “sizable” number of Planned Parenthood’s board was made up of “preponderantly white and well-to-do” people. The paper quoted a Planned Parenthood board member who admitted the classist attitude of the organization when he stated, “What it all comes down to is that we want the poor to stop breeding while we retain our freedom to have large families. It’s strictly a class point of view.”
Guttmacher suggested to the paper that they were not trying to take away anyone’s rights, but trying to “show ghetto families how to space their children and avoid having children they don’t want.” But he did not rule out coercion, as the paper noted.
“Admittedly Guttmacher is buying time,” writes the New York Times in that 1969 report. “He thinks the voluntary movement should set a deadline of 1980. If world population growth has not dropped below 1.5 percent by then, he says, ‘we’ll have to get tough.'” That same year, the Population Council’s president, Bernard Berelson, published an article suggesting that if voluntary methods of birth control were not successful, it may become necessary for the government to put a “fertility control agent” in the water supplies of “urban” neighborhoods.
By all indications, Congressman George H.W. Bush may have been targeted by Rosoff for another reason, namely that his grandfather, Prescott Bush, once sat on the board of Planned Parenthood.
In a foreword to a book on population control, the former president wrote that his father’s (Prescott Bush) involvement with Planned Parenthood motivated his views:
My own first awareness of birth control as a public policy issue came with a jolt in 1950 when my father was running for the United States Senate. Drew Pearson, on the Sunday before Election Day, “revealed” that my father was involved with Planned Parenthood…
And, like his father, George H. W. Bush became a vocal advocate for Planned Parenthood’s agenda while serving as a U. S. Congressman from Texas. He created the National Center for Population and Family Planning in the Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW).
Congressman Bush seemed dismissive of critics of population control who viewed government programs as a means of Black genocide. He said, “We need to make population and family planning household words. We need to take sensationalism out of this topic so that it can no longer be used by militants who have no real knowledge of the voluntary nature of the program but rather are using it as a political steppingstone. If family planning is anything, it is a public health matter.”
Recruiting members of the Black community to help push the agenda was a priority for Planned Parenthood groups. As documented many times, founder Margaret Sanger showed Planned Parenthood how to masquerade the true eugenics agenda when she implemented her so-called “Negro Project.”
Sanger penned in a letter to eugenicist Clarence Gamble regarding her desire to use Black ministers in furthering her organization’s agenda, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” If it did, these ministers could “straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
Planned Parenthood understood that recruiting Black support for government funded population control programs was key, and Rosoff was just the person to make it happen. In the previously mentioned interview, the former Guttmacher staffer explains:
One thing which I thought was very important was to get the House black caucus absolutely on board on these issues, which nobody thought could be done because everybody—because of genocide issue brewing at the time….The entire black caucus signed on as cosponsors. So that meant that all Democrats didn’t have to worry about protecting their backs. And George Bush organized a lot of the Republicans.
For her efforts, in 1986, Planned Parenthood granted Rosoff their infamous Margaret Sanger Award.
As a result of Rosoff’s recruitment of Rep. Bush, in 1970, the United States House of Representatives voted 298 to 32 to approve the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, Title X of the Public Health Service Act, authorizing federal dollars to pay for family planning services for low-income women. The Senate had previously approved the legislation, with the help of Democrat Senator Joseph D. Tydings, a Planned Parenthood supporter who was granted PPFA’s infamous Margaret Sanger award that same year.
These moves did not silence Black leaders. The following year, on June 22, 1971, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, then national director of SCLC Operation Breadbasket, told Nixon’s Population Commission:
Birth Control as a National policy will simply marshal sophisticated methods to remove (and control when not remove) the weak, the poor – quite likely the black and other minorities whose relative increase in population threatens the white caste in this nation. Contraceptives, will become a form of drug warfare against the helpless in this nation. Those who we could not get rid of in the rice paddies of Vietnam we now propose to exterminate, if necessary, eliminate if possible, in the OB wards and gynecology clinics of our urban hospitals. The direct extension of the old “man-in-the-house” rule against public aid recipients can be detected in the drive for birth control…
(Source: Statements at public hearings of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future as quoted in: Genocide? Birth Control and the Black American by Robert G. Weisbord, Greenwoor Press, 1972; P. 165)
Famed comedian Dick Gregory wrote in Ebony Magazine, “There is ample evidence that government programs designed for poor black folks emphasize birth control and abortion availability, both measures obviously designed to limit black population,” adding:
For years they told us where to sit, where to eat, and where to live. Now they want to dictate our bedroom habits. First the white man tells me to sit in the back of the bus. Now it looks like he wants me to sleep under the bed. Back in the days of slavery, black folks couldn’t grow kids fast enough for white folks to harvest. Now that we’ve got a little taste of power, white folks want us to call a moratorium on having children.
Naomi Gray, a former VP of Planned Parenthood World Population and a Black family planning consultant, told the U.S. population commission that many Blacks felt talk of zero population growth was genocide aimed at them. “To many blacks the zero sounds like zero Black children,” Gray said. “White interests in this question have ranged, in my experience, from a desire to have the charge refuted, all the way to finding out if blacks are really smart enough to figure out that whites would like to get rid of them in some polite way.”
Even though Gray herself was an advocate of these programs, she admitted, “It could then legitimately be said that some white interests are more concerned with causing certain black babies not to get born than they are with survival of those already born.”
According to research published by the Institute of Medicine, in 1972, Congress made additional funding for family planning services for low-income available through Medicaid.
In March of 1972, the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, which Nixon had created three years earlier, began calling for the nationwide legalization of abortion.
Today, proponents of programs like Title X claim they are helping the poor by providing them with contraceptives. As a result of these kinds of government funded population control programs, the birthrate of women of reproductive age within the U.S. has dropped to its lowest point in 30 years. Some might hail this a victory, but it is just more evidence that, as Sanger suggested in 1919 and the minority community warned in the 60s and 70s, “birth control” may have indeed cleared “the way for eugenics.”
Read the series here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three. Additional articles on Title X’s history include Planned Parenthood’s Blueprint and George HW Bush’s relationship to Title X and Planned Parenthood.
Editor’s Note, 11/8/18: Related links added.