The once-glowing image of Planned Parenthood (PP) has become tarnished in the wake of revelations that PP employees eagerly sought donations to abort black babies in several large states, as a reporter for the student newspaper at UCLA discovered. Now, black pro-lifers, many of them ministers, are taking on the abortion provider, ubiquitous on many college campuses, although the dissenters’ efforts receive little media attention.
“Planned Parenthood plants itself in inner city neighborhoods frequently next to schools,” Day Gardner of Black Americans for Life said in front of PP’s northeast Washington, D. C. offices on April 24. “There’s a school right there, ladies and gentlemen,” she said, literally pointing to PP’s neighbor, the School for Arts and Learning, a public charter school.
Later, in the late-morning news conference, a teacher from the school complained that the speakers were too loud for special education students attempting to take a standardized test. One of the attendees pointed out that that is precisely the group that Planned Parenthood targets.
Gardner herself made history as the first black semi-finalist in the Miss America pageant. She has been involved in the pro-life movement for a number of years.
Planned Parenthood gets about $300 million a year in federal subsidies. This largesse makes up approximately a third of the group’s budget.
President Reagan defunded Planned Parenthood, a ban that his successor, George H. W. Bush kept in place. President Clinton lifted the ban which the pro-life President George W. Bush never slapped back on.
“I am absolutely stunned when I talk to young girls who went into Planned Parenthood clinics and are told that what is inside them is not a baby and are injected with saline solution,” the Reverend Jesse Peterson said. Based in Los Angeles, the Reverend Peterson is the founder and director of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND).
Sixteen million black babies have been aborted since the U. S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in the landmark Roe v. Wade case, he noted at the rally sponsored by Students for Life of America. He called for a boycott of Planned Parenthood by civil rights groups.
That may take a while. “The NAACP in Macon, Georgia could not even read a pro-life resolution because Julian Bond found it inappropriate,” the Reverend Clenard Childress said. NAACP director Bond, once an elected Democrat in Georgia, currently teaches at the University of Virginia.
The Reverend Childress heads the Life Education and Resource Network. He estimates that “80% of Planned Parenthood clinics are in black neighborhoods.”
“I am an angry black woman,” Dr. Lillie Epps, vice-president of Urban Center Development, said at the press conference at PP’s 16th Street, Northwest, Washington, D. C. office. “I had an abortion in that building when I was 26.”
“When I had a second abortion there, the counselors said, ‘We’re going to make all your problems go away.” The lunchtime crowd rubbernecked while walking and driving past to see and hear the speakers.
Although a security guard from Planned Parenthood made only a cameo appearance, eight young women wearing orange “pro-choice escort” vests wandered around the crowd. The young ladies would not talk to media even to say whether they were PP staffers or volunteers although they were clearly college-age.
Fox News and Channel 7 filmed the press conference. Among print media, virtually only Human Events and yours truly covered the event, although arguably the gathering should at least have had a novelty quotient for newsgatherers.
As those present learned, it had much, much more. Moreover, although the meeting took place during the work day, it drew a respectable crowd of about 45, not counting the aforementioned media.
Such a showing is particularly impressive for a conservative meeting. Conservatives tend to be more likely to have day jobs that preclude such activism and, thus, can field fewer unemployed “regulars” at such meetings, as this correspondent has observed in 20 years of attending such events—left, right and center.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.