By Katie Walker
Who let Planned Parenthood speak for women?
I’m a 23-year-old woman and a product of my generation – a generation that, statistically speaking, supports the family, increasingly opposes abortion, gives and works for those less fortunate, and is willing to fight for human rights at home and abroad. We appear to be at the beginning of the anti-“me generation,” if you will. I like to think of us as Joan of Arcs with laptops. Make mine a Mac!
And judging from anecdotal evidence of women I see out and about (drum roll, please!), we increasingly like dresses. Was that a gasp I heard from the Gloria Steinem crowd? Calm down, ladies.
Now I consider myself a fairly normal, well-adjusted woman of my generation, so you can imagine my confusion when this commercial from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, began heating up the airwaves earlier this month in the Washington, D.C. area – where I live.“More than 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is provide preventive and primary care to keep women healthy,” the soft voice-over tells me.
Primary, preventive care? Now isn’t that sweet of them? And all this time I thought Planned Parenthood was about abortion and contraception! Silly me.Let’s just mosey over to their 2007-2008 Annual Report, shall we? And we’ll read all about their primary "health care" for women of my generation.
Stop the presses!
According to their own data, primary care accounts for less than one percent of Planned Parenthood’s business—0.7 percent, to be exact. So much for truth in advertising. It appears the operative word here is “preventive.” So what are they preventing? Breast cancer, heart disease, maybe? Those two frightening killers of women? Hmmm … Not exactly.
Abortion accounts for one-third of Planned Parenthood’s clinic income of $374 million in 2008. Planned Parenthood saw 2,360,796 women for “contraceptive services” in 2008. To Planned Parenthood, “preventive” refers to prevention of both pregnancy and birth – and always has.
Margaret Sanger, in her 1915 book, What Every Girl Should Know, said this about motherhood: "I cannot refrain from saying that women must come to recognize there is some function of womanhood other than being a child-bearing machine." In her 1922 book, Woman and the New Race, Margaret Sanger said this about the purpose of sex: "[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children.”
And don’t even get her started on marriage! From the same book: "The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order."
(If you think this is scary stuff, do a Google search of Sanger and check out what she had to say on eugenics, “feeble-minded” people and African Americans.)
Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921. The organization changed its name to Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942. Today, Planned Parenthood considers itself a leader in the fields of women’s rights and women’s health. Sanger’s organization, from 1921 to this very day, has always considered pregnancy and birth a form of parasitic physical and social illness – something we need “health care” to fix.
Now we can compare Planned Parenthood’s clearly outmoded concept of femininity and womanhood with the perspective of modern American philosopher Alice Von Hildebrand, one of my favorite authors, in this 2003 interview on her book The Privilege of Being a Woman (2002):
“A woman by her very nature is maternal -- for every woman, whether married or unmarried, is called upon to be a biological, psychological or spiritual mother -- she knows intuitively that to give, to nurture, to care for others, to suffer with and for them -- for maternity implies suffering -- is infinitely more valuable in God's sight than to conquer nations and fly to the moon.”
The choice offered to young women these days is to accept their bodies and their womanhood as gifts: the unique and beautiful ability to give life, hope and nurturing to others.
Or women can accept the Planned Parenthood philosophy that our bodies are meant for self-satisfaction, self-actualization, i.e. the self. Women can choose between a culture of selflessness or selfishness.I know which one I aspire to and I know which one the stats show an increasing number of my fellow young women aspire to.
Get with the times, Planned Parenthood! This boat is leaving without you.
Katie Walker is American Life League’s director of communications.