The following thread contains subjects of racism, abuse, and illegal activity. Viewer discretion is advised.
October 16, 1916, Brownsville, New York, NY
A woman by the name of Margaret Sanger founded the first birth control clinic in the United States that went by the nickname, "The Brownsville Clinic." The clinic was quickly closed after only 10 days of operation, due to the outlaw of birth control and abortion in the United States at the time. Sanger was found guilty of violating the Comstock Act and was sentenced to 30 days in prison. Despite this, the Brownsville clinic set the foundation of the company Sanger would go to create known as Planned Parenthood. The company is viewed by many as a great health clinic providing many services to its users and has been endorsed by many politicians. Although many today would find birth control as a morally acceptable option, the company has had many scandals, controversies, and accusations in the many decades of operation.
Although I and many others against abortion, I will not be including the political issue of whether or not abortion should be legal in my analysis. This thread will focus on scandals the company was involved in that most would find abhorrent on a moral level, regardless of political affiliation. I will admit this company has done and continues to do good with providing services to its patients, but the amount of scandals they have tried to hide from the public goes to show this company is more than meets the eye (and not in a good way). For anyone doubting the credibility of my sources, I will leave a mediabiasfactcheck page to any sources they have listed. I will do my best to give an honest review of this company. With that out of the way, let's begin.
Planned Parenthood's Racist Roots:
After days of protests and riots advocating for police reform (or in some cases, defunding or abolition), on June 1st, 2020, the Planned Parenthood Action Twitter account tweeted the following:
"It’s time to address white supremacy in our own institutions. PP pledges to reckon with our own racist history, acknowledging and correcting implicit bias in our organization, and creating space for Black organizations and leaders."
While I and many others applaud them for coming forward with this, what do they mean by, "own racist history"? To understand the context of this tweet, we'll have to examine some of Sanger's idea for Planned Parenthood. In 1939, Sanger sent a letter to fellow supporter Dr. C.J. Gamble. The letter starts with Sanger happy to hear Gamble was recovering, although I could not find what exactly he was recovering from. On page 2, Sanger stated:
"There is only one thing I would like to be in touch with and that is the Negro Project of the South which, if the execution of the details remain in Miss Rose's hands, my suggestions will not be confusing because she knows the way my mind works."
What is the "Negro Project of the South" exactly? According to Sanger, she stated:
"It seems to me from my experience where I have been in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennesse and Texas, that while the colored Negros have great respect for white doctors they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts. They do not do this with white people and if we can train the Negro doctor at the Clinic he can go among them with enthusiasm and with knowledge, which, I believe, will have far-reaching results among the colored people. His work should be entirely with the Negro profession and the nurse, hospital, social workers, as well as the County's white doctors. His success will depend upon his personality and his training by us."
What does she mean by this? Basically, she is saying that African Americans are more likely to trust black doctors. By using a black doctor to carry out the "Negro Project", they can accomplish their goal more effectively. What exactly was this project? According to a PDF released by Planned Parenthood to refute some of their accusations, they stated the purpose of the Negro Project was:
"designed to serve African Americans in the rural South. The advisory council called it a “unique experiment in race-building and humanitarian service to a race subjected to discrimination, hardship, and segregation (Chesler, 1992, 2007)." "
However, the actual letters paint a different picture. The letter reads:
"The ministers [The Black Doctor] work is also important and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation [The Planned Parenthood Federation of America] as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."
From the letter, it seems Sanger is implying she hopes to use the project to commit genocide. However, there is nothing in the letter that describes how the doctor would accomplish this goal. Planned Parenthood refutes this by stating:
"Sanger was aware of African American concerns, passionately argued by Marcus Garvey in the 1920s, that birth control was a threat to the survival of the black race. This statement, which acknowledges those fears, is taken from a letter to Clarence J. Gamble, M.D., a champion of the birth control movement. In that letter, Sanger describes her strategy to allay such apprehensions — because exterminating an entire population was not her goal. A larger portion of the letter makes Sanger’s meaning clear:"
I've read this over and over again, I just don't understand. The letter says she hopes to exterminate the Negro population, but the true context of that quote was her acknowledging the fear of the survival rate of the black race? If anyone can elaborate on Planned Parenthood's explanation, I'd love to hear it. While reading the PDF, I noticed something in the following paragraph. They quoted the portion of the letter where Sanger explains the purpose of the Negro Project. However, the PDF conveniently leaves out the part where Sanger talked about Black's, "ignorance, superstitions and doubts." and how the project will "have far-reaching results among the colored people."
You can see here exactly where they cut out the quote:
If we are to take this letter as a plan meant to harm African Americans, this letter goes hand in hand with her involvement in the eugenics movement. Sanger advocated a eugenics approach hoping for, “the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.” However, we don't know exactly what groups she deems "human weeds". We can use some of her other quotes to help us answer that question. For example, she described the woman's branch of the KKK as a "good group" in her 1938 autobiography. It's reasonable to infer that those human weeds were those of African descent.
You could give her the excuse of her just being a product of her time, assuming that this plan was genocide as the letter suggests, plotting how to exterminate an entire race was very radical. In 1937, just 2 years before this letter was sent, 72% of national adults supported an anti-lynching bill, with 57% of southerners supporting the bill. I highly doubt she would have gotten much support for her plan even back then.
Despite this, in Sanger's defense, there are many quotes that question the true purpose of the Negro Project. In a letter to philanthropist Albert Lasker sent a few months prior to Gamble's letter, she stated:
"a group notoriously underprivileged and handicapped to a large measure by a ‘caste’ system that operates as an added weight upon their efforts to get a fair share of the better things in life. To give them the means of helping themselves is perhaps the richest gift of all. We believe birth control knowledge brought to this group, is the most direct, constructive aid that can be given them to improve their immediate situation."
It seems Sanger has had a handful of quotes, both positive and negative. Therefore, let's analyze some of Planned Parenthood's reputation on race relations to determine if the company has had any racial inequality over its over 100 years of operation.
Toxic Work Environments and Corruption:
In this section, I will be analyzing the toxic work environments present in Planned Parenthood clinics.
A survey from 64 current and 12 former PP employees was posted on October 6, 2020, which detailed how black employees were treated poorly compared to white employees. The survey reads:
"Black employees told AORTA they regularly experienced acts of racism and anti-Blackness from their white colleagues but found that when they reported problems to human resources, there was “no meaningful consequence or accountability for racial harm,” a slide in the presentation read. The employees said they had been experiencing these issues and bringing them to management’s attention for years, but felt that little had been done to change the problems."
The employees had complained about acts of racism from their white colleagues, but nothing was done about it. The survey elaborates further:
"AORTA’s findings line up with an investigation published by BuzzFeed News in August, which detailed allegations of racism and discrimination at Planned Parenthood’s state affiliate chapters, as well as at NARAL Pro-Choice America, another major reproductive rights group. Twenty-six sources at both organizations told BuzzFeed News at the time that they regularly faced racism at work and were belittled by their bosses, while their non-Black colleagues were not, and felt they often had nowhere to turn for help with these issues. They also said they were unable to move up within the organization, while their white colleagues were promoted."
The survey states that Black employees were belittled by their bosses and frequently faced racism at work, while white colleagues were promoted more easily. As it turns out, this is a very common occurrence at many Planned Parenthood clinics and by no means were these allegations of racism at work an isolated incident.
On June 18, 2020, a letter was created by hundreds of former and current Planned Parenthood of Greater New York employees describing the toxic work environments. The letter describes many aspects of the work environments under CEO Laura McQuade's leadership, which I will each be analyzing. Near the beginning of the letter, it states:
"Over the past 18 months, staff have worked tirelessly to resolve the following issues internally by meeting with senior leadership and reaching out to our Board of Directors. Our many efforts to elevate our voices were met with silence, indifference, and an increasing disregard for staff wellbeing. We wanted change; all we got was pizza."
Pizza? Nevermind, all is forgiven.
I will first discuss the allegations of racism, as it relates to the previous section. The letter reads the following:
"Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist, white woman. That is a part of history that cannot be changed. While efforts have been made to undo some of the harm from institutional racism, many of these issues have worsened under McQuade’s tenure. After years of complaints from staff about issues of systemic racism, pay inequity, and lack of upward mobility for Black staff, highly-paid consultants were brought in three separate times to assess the situation. Each time, employees of color were brutally honest about their experiences, but nothing changed. It is not possible to do justice to the scope and gravity of this issue here. Black women and other staff of color created a space to speak directly to their experiences."
Immediately, PP's employees throw Sanger under the bus. Furthermore, under McQuade's leadership, racism in PPGNY clinics has actually worsened, implying racism has been a staple of the clinics since the start of many of these employee's careers. Aside from institutionalized racism, they also mention racial pay inequality. Assuming this pay gap was systematic, this would be a clear violation of the 14th Amendment of the United States, which guarantees each citizen equal protection of the laws. Although there is debate over a nationwide racial pay gap, the fact that this company prides itself on advocating for racial equality by supporting groups such as Black Lives Matter, it comes off as very disingenuous. Lastly, note how the letter addresses racism within the workplace and upward mobility for black staff, this is nearly identical to the AORTA survey.
The letter reads:
"Dozens of staff members have witnessed McQuade yell, berate, slam her fists, verbally abuse, humiliate, and bully employees, often brutally shaming staff members in internal meetings in front of their colleagues. This behavior is out of line for anyone, let alone the CEO of a “progressive” organization. After countless complaints, a law firm was hired by the board to investigate these allegations. The firm interviewed staff members at all levels, including senior leaders, many providing documented evidence of this pattern of behavior. The cost of this, and other investigations into her behavior, was likely significant and has led to no positive organizational change."
Simply put, McQuade verbally abused her employees. Despite many interviews with senior leaders and employees, nothing has changed,
The letter reads:
"Under McQuade and with budgets approved by the Board, the organization has lost the 18 million dollar surplus she inherited and replaced it with a 2020 projected deficit of 6.2 million dollars for the first six months, well before the COVID-19 crisis. It’s not our place to determine if her actions were illegal, but the distribution of highly-paid contracts and consultant opportunities to close contacts challenges the integrity of our CEO and many Chief Officers."
As the letter reads, the leader created a 6.2 million dollar deficit following under her leadership. However, it's mostly unknown why. The letter suggests her actions might be illegal, but ddoesn't go into any more detail other than "the distribution of highly-paid contracts and consultant opportunities to close contacts challenges the integrity of our CEO and many Chief Officers."
Decimation of Institutional Knowledge Due to Unprecedented Rates of Staff Turnover:
The letter reads:
"McQuade’s time at PPGNY has been defined by constant staff departures. Under her leadership, 23 members of senior staff have quit or been forced out. Many of these colleagues had 10-20+ years of experience with our affiliate. Others were people hired by McQuade directly to newly created positions who left mere months into their roles. This high amount of turnover has had a destabilizing effect on the organization. The loss of institutional knowledge is so profound as to be detrimental to every aspect of the organization. View a comprehensive list of departures here."
There is not much to say about this. They basically emphasize how McQuade has fired or drove out senior staff and the negative impact on the company. However, the next paragraph contains something interesting:
"Early on, McQuade outsourced PPNYC’s internal call center, eliminating an entire department of primarily Black and Latina women, to an external company run by her close friend. PPFA warned PPNYC leadership that this call center would not be able to handle PPNYC’s volume. These warnings went unheeded and sure enough, this outside service has cost substantially more and been significantly less effective than our internal call center. PPGNY cannot even keep up with the payments. McQuade has further used the current national crisis to continue layoffs that have left skeleton crews of clinical workers to care for the people of New York."
McQuade fired an entire team of mostly Black and Hispanic employees. It could be possible the team was mostly Black and Hispanic by design. However, considering what we've previously read, it's not beyond possibility this was a direct result of racism. In addition, the call center has been unable to keep up with payments as a result of these employee's terminations.
The COVID-19 Crisis at PPGNY:
Lastly, the letter discusses the actions by McQuade during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The letter reads:
"Like most organizations across the country, COVID-19 changed the landscape of PPGNY’s financial future. However, when forced to reconcile with PPGNY’s new financial reality, McQuade chose to protect only herself and her Chief Officers. Instead of keeping staff up to date in the ever-changing landscape, the gravity of the situation was shrouded in secrecy. Without warning, three weeks into the COVID-19 crisis, McQuade sent an email to all staff announcing imminent layoffs and furloughs affecting 250 employees, or 28% of total staff. She cited that the original 2020 projected 10 million dollar deficit was now projected to be 20-32 million dollars. Instead of salary cuts at the top of the organization, a tactic employed by many during COVID-19, McQuade immediately laid off 134 employees and furloughed another 100. Those 100 people were told that they would be furloughed through June 30th and informed of their recall status by June 1st. As of today, these employees have not directly received any substantive updates from PPGNY."
Bottom line, the company laid off or furloughed 28% of its original staff, with little warning. The letter ends with the signatures of hundreds of current and former PPNYG employees.
On June 24, 2020, the PPGNY Board of Directors responded with the following:
"Many of you have raised your concerns, and the PPGNY Board of Directors is listening. We know that this has been a period of turmoil and pain and we are truly, deeply sorry. We know our challenges are complex and are deeper than what we can address in a letter, especially as we are hearing and processing more information. This is just the start of a conversation that is long overdue. We recognize that our actions--or inactions--have contributed to people’s hurt and frustration. We take responsibility for that, and for the work ahead."
Good news for sure. However, whether or not they follow through with their plans listed on their website is a whole different thing. As of right now, it's too early to determine if PPNYG's plans for reform ever came to fruition.
The Puerto Rico Experiment:
What was PP's most racist action? To answer this question, we will need to travel back to the 1960s, when the U.S. government was working to combat the high levels of unemployment and poverty in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. At the time, the government saw these problems as a result of overpopulation on the island. To solve all three issues, the government sent health department officials to rural parts of the island, advocating for sterilization. Latina women were specifically targeted for sterilization.
"This idea incorporates the concept of an ideal race and the United States felt that they could do whatever they wanted to the Puerto Ricans because they were inferior. This also incorporates the idea of eugenics. Professor Alex Stern said that eugenics is the idea that certain genes are good or bad. At this time, there was a stereotype in the U.S. that Puerto Ricans were dysfunctional welfare queens. This was further justified by the IQ tests performed in the 1970s. This was done in the US and it labeled Mexican and poor women as lower than average and as irresponsible breeders. Thus, the US government felt confident in forcing sterilization on these women."
Latina women inside of the U.S. were also targeted, with there also being additional cases of forced sterilization in the state of California. The article reads:
"Population control targeted toward Latinos was not only prevalent in Puerto Rico. Forced sterilization was also common in California. The film No Más Bebés tells the story of Mexican American women who were sterilized while giving birth in Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s. The case of Madrigal vs. Quilligan was a federal class action lawsuit in which these women fought back after being sterilized without informed consent or under duress. Dolores Madrigal, one of the 10 plaintiffs in the case, was told her sterilization could easily be reversed. Jovita Rivera and Georgina Hernández said they were pressured into agreeing to the procedure after being intensely criticized by doctors and nurses for being poor and having children."
As it turns, the government was not alone. PP was also directly involved in these sterilizations for quite some time. Professor Jessica LeAnn Urban of Humboldt State University confirms in her book, "Nation, Immigration, and Environmental Security". The book reads:
"NGO’s [Non-government organizations] such as Planned Parenthood have worked with the Puerto Rican government to sterilize women."
The Women's Press of Toronto in the book "Gender and Women's Studies in Canada: Critical Terrain" elaborates on this:
"Both private agencies, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and the Puerto Rican government, with United States funding, encouraged women to accept sterilization by providing it at minimal to no cost. By 1968, one third of Puerto Rican women of childbearing age had been sterilized on the island, the highest percentage anywhere in the world at that time."
Truly disgusting. This one affects me personally, as I have a friend from Puerto Rico. To think, he may never have been born as a result of the U.S. government and this company. To the best of my knowledge, PP has not acknowledged their involvement.
Fetal Trafficking Allegations:
Probably PP's biggest controversy in decades, the company has faced allegations of fetal trafficking. The first instance of this was in March of 2000 when ABC's "20/20" aired a hidden-camera investigation. The show investigated a businessman whose company charged extraordinarily high prices for the fetal parts. However, due to the lack of documentation for this event, I was unable to find the episode anywhere online. A brief clip in the first 25 seconds of this video shows an ABC News broadcast of the story.
However, the story began to pick up national attention in 2015, when an organization by the name of "Medical Center for Progress" published a series of undercover videos showing PP higher-ups supposedly discussing the sale of fetal body parts. Following the release of the tapes (one of which contains the clip of the ABC news story I posted earlier), PP claimed they made no financial benefit from the fetal tissue donations and with the patient's permission:
"In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different. At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does -- with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field."
If these videos were real, PP would be violating federal law. Under 42 U.S. Code § 289g–2, it is illegal to profit from the sale of fetal tissue. The videos have been critiqued as heavily edited with the goal to discredit PP. However, in the Spring of 2020, the legality of PP's business practice came under question when CMP released a series of tapes featuring the people from the previous videos now testifying under oath. Unlike some previous controversies where PP tried to address the situation (just like they did in 2015), it seems they have yet acknowledged these videos' existence. In fact, no major news organization that I could find has reported on this story. Therefore, the legitimacy of these videos will be coming from my own viewing. There are many videos, I will be analyzing the most recent one. The newest video, released 3 weeks ago as of the time I am writing this, begins with CMP CEO David Daleiden explaining that PP claimed their Gulf Coast branch does not have a fetal tissue donation program. Here is the court document as featured in the video. The document reads:
"PPFA also stated that Melissa Farrell, the Director of Research at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, an affiliate captured in the undercover videos, referenced compliance with federal and state laws, but that is not included in the short video. Moreover, according to PPFA, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast does not even have a fetal tissue donation program. Although the CMP video does not make this clear, the Gulf Coast affiliate had only a placental and decidua donation program in place."
The video then shows the testimony of PPGC Director of Research Melissa Farrel. Farrell is asked:
Q: "What product, or specimens, was Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast providing Amphioxus [Amphioxus Cell Technologies] as part of that study?"
Farrel: "Fetal tissue."
PP lied to Congress unless the fetal tissue program was created after the court document was created (which I'm sure they would have testified if that was the case). Shortly after, Melissa testified that all sales to UTMB Health contained the entire fetus from the abortion procedure.
Q. "What specimens are then conveyed to UTMB under the contract?"
MS. MAYO: "Objection. Vague."
THE WITNESS (Farrel): "Products of conception."
Q. "Okay. conception? And -- and in what -- which products of"
MS. MAYO: "Objection. Vague."
Q. "And if I may, what was it -- was it -- well -- well, the idea is -- because -- so, for instance, was -- was it the entire products of conception from the abortion procedure?"
A. "That is my understanding, yes."
Another lie to Congress. As stated in the document, PPGC only donated placenta and decidua.
There are many videos on CMP's youtube channel that I encourage you to watch. With that said, although there has yet to be any concrete evidence of PP selling fetal tissue for profit, a partner of theirs known as DaVinci Biosciences was prosecuted for selling fetal tissue received from them.
So, you might be asking yourself: "Why did you make this thread? Why do you care about this so much? Why did you go through all this effort."
The reason is simple: To compile all the evidence against them into one convenient thread that I might need in the future. That, and I just like journalism. You may have seen the "FUCK PLANNED PARENTHOOD" banner in my signature. Now you know why it is there. I never intended for the thread to be this long, but this company gave me much to work with. There are evenmore crazy scandals from this company I didn't mention. You can read them on sites such as Liveaction.organdLifenews.com. However, theircredibility is somewhat questionable, so be careful if you decide to take a read.
Lastly, by far the biggest question you have: "Why hasn't Fox News hired you yet?"
Simple, I report real news.
Anyways, TrueHeritage out. Below are the mediabiasfactcheck pages of any sources I used (if they have it indexed).
(Excluding all official Planned Parenthood websites and social media):
1.The Embryo Project Encyclopedia (Created by Arizona State University)
2. Smith College
3. New York University
7. PPGNY Letter
8. Cornell Law School
9. University of Pittsburgh
10. University of Michigan
11. University of Pittsburgh
12.Humboldt State University
13.Women's Press of Toronto
14. Center for Medical Progress
15. Cornell Law School
16. Center for Medical Progress
17.Congress of the United States