Supreme Court justice gets it right about Planned Parenthood
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2019-06-05

The fight against Planned Parenthood has been going on since Monsignor John Ryan and New York’s Cardinal Patrick Hayes took on Margaret Sanger in the 1910s—as she was sowing the philosophies of what has become the largest killing organization in American history. It has killed over 8,000,000 children inside Planned Parenthood facilities since 1970, and is adding 911 daily.

A watershed moment in that fight took place in 2007, when Congressman Mike Pence (now vice president) introduced the first-ever amendment to a congressional funding bill that sought to take away all money in the bill from Planned Parenthood—by name. No one in Congress had ever done that before and it was exciting. Since then, of course, many bills have been introduced and many members of Congress have supported taking the money away from Planned Parenthood. Mr. Pence started it all.

Last week, there was another watershed moment in this fight against Planned Parenthood. In a decision involving an Indiana abortion law case (BOX v. PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF INDIANA AND KENTUCKY, INC.), Justice Clarence Thomas, in his written opinion, took the time to take Planned Parenthood and its leaders (Margaret Sanger and Dr. Alan Guttmacher) to task for their advocacy of birth control and abortion as a means of eugenics.

Justice Thomas’ remarks are much too long to quote here in their entirety. You can read the full opinion (PDF)), but let me give you a sense of what he had to say:

I write separately to address the other aspect of Indiana law at issue here—the “Sex Selective and Disability Abortion Ban.” This statute makes it illegal for an abortion provider to perform an abortion in Indiana when the provider knows that the mother is seeking the abortion solely because of the child’s race, sex, diagnosis of Down syndrome, disability, or related characteristics from the definition of disability). The law requires that the mother be advised of this restriction and given information about financial assistance and adoption alternatives, but it imposes liability only on the provider. Each of the immutable characteristics protected by this law can be known relatively early in a pregnancy, and the law prevents them from becoming the sole criterion for deciding whether the child will live or die. Put differently, this law and other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics. 

The use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical. The foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth-control movement. That movement developed alongside the American eugenics movement. And significantly, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger recognized the eugenic potential of her cause. She emphasized and embraced the notion that birth control “opens the way to the eugenics.” As a means of reducing the “ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all,” Sanger argued that “Birth Control . . . is really the greatest and most truly eugenic method” of “human generation.” In her view, birth control had been “accepted by the most clear thinking and far seeing of the Eugenicists themselves as the most constructive and necessary of the means to racial health.” It is true that Sanger was not referring to abortion when she made these statements, at least not directly . . .  But Sanger’s arguments about the eugenic value of birth control in securing “the elimination of the unfit,” apply with even greater force to abortion, making it significantly more effective as a tool of eugenics. Whereas Sanger believed that birth control could prevent “unfit” people from reproducing, abortion can prevent them from being born in the first place. Many eugenicists therefore supported legalizing abortion, and abortion advocates—including future Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher— endorsed the use of abortion for eugenic reasons. Technological advances have only heightened the eugenic potential for abortion, as abortion can now be used to eliminate concurring children with unwanted characteristics, such as a particular sex or disability. Given the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation, the Court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s. 

There is much more contained in the full remarks of Justice Thomas, but this short extract will give you the idea.

A major part of our work, since the very beginning of the fight against Planned Parenthood, is to educate individuals and organizations on the truth about the organization. The fact that one of the members of the highest court in our land writes so clearly about the truth of that organization and its leaders is a demonstration that, unlike 35 years ago when we started, the truth is out there and our efforts need to continue.

The task of all who fight Planned Parenthood is to educate their local communities on the truth about the organizations and lead people to the understanding that Planned Parenthood must be kept away from our children and away from our money.