Planned Parenthood wasn’t always an abortion business like it is today. But once it started down that path, it was led there not by its founder, Margaret Sanger, nor even by a woman. Instead, the corporation’s decision to begin offering abortions was initiated by one of its male presidents, Alan F. Guttmacher, who took that office in 1962.
Guttmacher was a former vice president of the American Eugenics Society who joined others of his day in voicing concerns about rising population growth.
In the early 1960s, abortion enthusiasts like Lawrence (Larry) Lader bemoaned Planned Parenthood’s lack of involvement with abortion, noting in his book, “Abortion II,” that “Abortion never became a feminist plank in the United States among the suffragettes or depression radicals. It was ignored, even boycotted by Planned Parenthood women in those days.”
Lader wrote in his book, “Ideas Triumphant” how, other than the National Organization for Women (NOW), few groups were willing to support abortion: “In medicine, only the American Public Health Association (APHA) had taken a stand…. The huge network of Planned Parenthood Federation clinics remained on the sidelines except for its outspoken medical committee under Dr. Alan Guttmacher.”
Guttmacher pushes “unlimited abortion” — for population control
Despite national calls for coercion to slow down the rate of population growth, Guttmacher advocated “volunteerism” through the decriminalization of abortion as an effort that he felt would accomplish the same result. In this, the eugenicist leader had shown a skill for finessing rhetoric to accomplish the same goal of population control, but he did not discount the use of coercion altogether.
In 1966, Guttmacher told the Washington Post that governments may have to act officially to limit families, saying, “It may be taken out of the voluntary category,” separately suggesting that coercion would be “strategically unwise at this time.”
“So even though the plan [of coercion] may be desirable and would make us a stronger nation, a less polluted nation, I feel it would be strategically unwise at this time,” the former Planned Parenthood president told Lee McCall, a reporter for the Sarasota Herald Tribune in 1966 (emphasis added).
In 1969, the New York Times noted that Guttmacher’s so-called “volunteerism” did not rule out coercion, writing, “Admittedly Guttmacher is buying time. 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.’”
In a 1970 Cornell Symposium, Guttmacher claimed that “unlimited abortion” was ”the most effective way of reducing population growth.”
Guttmacher’s pro-abortion path
In 1952, Guttmacher relocated from Baltimore to New York, where he became the first Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mount Sinai Hospital, which had already been approving and committing abortions. “I was told that if a private patient was denied abortion in another institution, she frequently sought abortion at Mt. Sinai because of its well-known, relatively liberal policy,” Guttmacher claimed.
By 1962, Guttmacher was at the helm of Planned Parenthood and he was positioned to put his dream of decriminalizing abortion into action. That same year, as chairman of the medical and scientific committee of the Human Betterment Foundation, Guttmacher called the existing abortion laws “archaic” and “idiotic.”
A few years later, during a 1965 “Abortion and the Law” CBS editorial report, Guttmacher, then president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, put forth the infamous “health” exception for abortion, stating (36:20),“Now the law, as you know, is simply to preserve the life of the mother. This is wholly inadequate. Number one, I’d preserve the life or health of the mother. And, as you know, health could be interpreted quite broadly and I think it should be….”
Planned Parenthood begins to refer for abortion
In 1968, Guttmacher founded the Center for Family Planning Program Development, a “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood, later renamed The Alan Guttmacher Institute. That same year, under Guttmacher’s leadership, Planned Parenthood’s board approved a resolution to begin calling for the decriminalization of abortion and offering abortion referral services. It was passed the following year.
Planned Parenthood’s first abortion facility opened in 1970.
Guttmacher called abortion “family planning” in a July 1969 speech in which he promoted the decriminalization of abortion, saying (emphasis added), “It is time that we come to grips with two methods of family planning which we have a tendency to skip over in this country. One is abortion… Almost all realize that liberalization of the abortion law is absolutely essential to permit the practice of good, honest medicine, not hypocritical medicine, but honest medicine. The question is how extensively should we liberalize the law.”
In 1970, Planned Parenthood of New York had announced that “a citywide abortion information and referral service would be in operation on July 1, when the state’s new abortion law takes effect…”
That same year, Guttmacher added, “We look forward to the time when our clinics can be closed, when the government can fund enough money to serve the poor and research new birth control methods.”
Planned Parenthood opens first abortion facility
In anticipation of New York decriminalizing its state abortion laws in 1970, Guttmacher suggested that “special facilities,” which he called “abortoriums,” should be opened. A New York Magazine article documented how Guttmacher, nicknamed the “dean of abortion faculty,” wanted to “rent a loft or store, equip it with surgical equipment and about 20 recovery beds and go into the large scale abortion practice….”
On July 1, 1970, Planned Parenthood Center of Syracuse became the first affiliate to offer abortions. The following year, the New York Times announced that Planned Parenthood was set to open an abortion facility in New York. Its executing vice president, Alfred F. Moran, noted that the facility would be a better option from what he called the “commercial profit-making abortion services” that were operating in the city. He called the facility a “prototype for the development of additional centers throughout the city, state and nation and will stimulate the conversion of so-called abortion clinics” into facilities that would also provide comprehensive birth control services.
After the Supreme Court legalized abortion in January of 1973, Guttmacher wasted little time approaching the Planned Parenthood board to offer abortions nationwide According to author Rose Holz, at a February 1973 PP World Population board meeting, Guttmacher insisted that Planned Parenthood begin offering on-site abortions for the poor.
Today, Planned Parenthood has morphed into an abortion corporation. Live Action News has estimated (based on Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report for 2019-2020) that over the past decade (2010-2019), Planned Parenthood has committed more than 3.3 million abortions and has also received nearly $6 billion from U.S. taxpayers while accumulating $1 billion in excess revenue over expenses. This shocking total of aborted human beings over the course of 10 years represents more than the current population of at least 20 states.
For more on Planned Parenthood’s history to committing abortion read Live Action News articles here, here, here, here, and here.
“Like” Live Action News on Facebook for more pro-life news and commentary!