Under the guise of assisting poor women, abortion proponents are suggesting that it is unfair and racist not to force American taxpayers to fund abortions for low-income women. Abortion is painted as a solution to poverty, or as a stepping stone out of a life of poverty. But this idea has little to do with helping the poor — instead, it eliminates them. With many in Congress pushing to force taxpayers to fund all abortions for low-income women in the US under the guise of racial and female equality and justice, it is important to understand the truth.
For decades, societal elites have labeled low-income people a “strain” on society for having children whom some say are likely to receive welfare benefits. We’ve likely all read or heard comments to the effect of, “To all those opposing taxpayer funding for abortion, repeat after me: an abortion I pay for today is welfare I don’t pay tomorrow!”
Attacking poverty by killing the poor
As seen in the image below, it was once openly admitted that Planned Parenthood’s birth control agenda was “aimed at cutting welfare cost” and “attacking poverty.”
In the 1977 Supreme Court Beal v. Doe case, which held that states could exclude nontherapeutic abortions from coverage under their Medicaid programs, Justice Harry Blackmun — who had written the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade — suggested abortion was cheaper than welfare. “The cost of a non therapeutic abortion is far less than the cost of maternity care and delivery and holds no comparison whatever with the welfare cost that will burden the state for the new indigents and their support and the long long years ahead,” he wrote in part.
Around the same time, Democrat Ellen McCormack, who ran in the 1976 presidential primary, expressed concerns over taxpayer funded abortions “[p]ut forth as a solution for the poor.” In the video below, McCormack was joined by Dr. Mildred Jefferson, the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and the first woman to be a surgical intern at Boston City Hospital.
Dr. Jefferson once referred to abortion as “class war against the poor,” and emphasized that there is “no benefit to use the money to help the poor to get rid of the babies of the poor,” adding that “we must find better means of solving the social problems than getting rid of the people that caused the problems.”
In 1989, Dr. Jefferson noted how the abortion lobby used the poor to maintain abortion access, calling abortion a form of “new slavery.” She then claimed abortion proponents “hide the fact that their social planning abortion policies would eliminate the target races.” She called abortion “not only genocide” but “national suicide.”
“This dreadful alliance has used the poor as pawns in its battle to maintain abortion access. It applies a fascist solution which they call liberal to keep down the cost of caring for the poor. They get rid of those who are going to run up the costs,” she said.
The targeting of the Black community
Dr. Jefferson was not alone. Many leaders of her time, including Black leaders, believed that abortion targeted their community. Government-funded family planning and abortion have their roots in eugenics and are correctly viewed with suspicion by many groups.
In 1968, Fordham law professor Norman Rice suggested the liberalization of abortion would lead to “coercion of welfare clients and other poor persons to undergo abortions,” according to the Saranac Lake Adirondack Daily Enterprise. He then called legalizing abortion a “form of genocide, perhaps more appropriately called pooricide.” He added, “The idea seems to be to eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor.”
A July 1970 letter by Brenda Hyson published in the Black Panther Newspaper attacked the motives behind legalized abortion in New York. “To the Black woman,’ the welfare mothers, it is an announcement of death before birth,” it read. “This will create a situation where a welfare mother is told that she will now receive additional financial assistance for the child she is expecting; and the solution provided by the Government is a genocidal abortion. In order to solve the problem of no means to take care of her child, the law will allow a mother to “legally” murder her unborn child.”
A similar observation was made by comedian Dick Gregory in a 1971 op-ed entitled, “My Answer to Genocide,” published 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.”
In 1977, journalist Samuel Yette, the first Black reporter hired by Newsweek Magazine, wrote a piece on civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer, stating, “It is still a society in which an injured man must show his ability to pay before getting hospital services, but his daughter or wife can be aborted or fed birth control pills at public expense.”
Yette continued, “Instead of seeking ways to feed the hungry, the back stage plan was to get the poor unwittingly to endorse a plan to eliminate from the society those who were hungry.”
In the 1990s, Planned Parenthood’s first Black female president Faye Wattleton admitted to Senator Bob Dornan that Planned Parenthood’s donor base consisted of people who wanted welfare mothers to stop having babies.
In the clip below, Wattleton can be heard telling Dornan, “As a matter of fact… we have received contributions from people who want to support us because they want all welfare mothers and all Black women to stop having children.”
Members of Planned Parenthood’s board also held this same view. A 1969 article published by the New York Times quoted one “preponderantly white and well-to-do” Planned Parenthood board member as stating (emphasis added), “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.”
In 1989, syndicated columnist wrote in part.“I hope non-white Americans in general are paying close attention to this debate. They will learn, if they don’t already sense it, that a great many of their white fellow citizens regard them as social pests whose offspring should be nipped in the larval stage,” he
Then, in 1992, Ron Weddington, a co-counsel of Roe v. Wade and the ex-husband of Roe attorney Sarah Weddington, suggested using the abortion pill as a way to eliminate “poor babies.” His letter, uncovered by Judicial Watch, can be read in part below:
… you can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country. No, I’m not advocating some sort of mass extinction of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that.
The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies who can’t afford to have babies. There, I’ve said it. It’s what we all know is true, but we only whisper it….
Weddington also emphasized, “[…G]overnment is also going to have to provide vasectomies, tubal ligations, and abortions… RU486 and conventional abortions… Our survival depends upon our developing a population where everyone contributes. We don’t need more cannon fodder. We don’t need more parishioners. We don’t need more cheap labor. We don’t need more poor babies.” Read more on Weddington’s remarks here.
Today, if abortion supporters in Congress succeed in eliminating the Hyde Amendment preventing federal taxpayers from funding most abortions, it is likely that tens of thousands more minority and poor babies will be aborted every single year. This will serve only to benefit the profitable abortion industry.
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