By Jim Sedlak
An unprecedented move this past weekend by its president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, reveals that Planned Parenthood Federation of America is apparently in a fight for its existence over its individual and corporate racism.
Groups opposed to Planned Parenthood have spent decades pointing out its inherent racism from its very beginnings as well as its racist practices within the organization to this very day. Until last year, the organization’s leaders have met all these documented charges with arrogant dismissal as they simply pointed to the facts that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a recipient of their Margaret Sanger Award and they even had a Black president, Faye Wattleton, from 1978 to 1992. Never mind that it was King’s wife who accepted the award at a time when Planned Parenthood publicly opposed abortion and that Wattleton, during her presidency, was backed up by a senior staff of White men.
Then, last year, a public fight erupted between the leadership of a Planned Parenthood affiliate in New York and its employees. The entire fight centered on the racist actions of the affiliate’s CEO when handling complaints and requests by employees—specifically, people of color. The employees became so distraught that they penned a letter to the affiliates board of directors and saw to it that the letter was made public. Planned Parenthood Federation of America took a hands-off approach and simply stated it would support whatever the New York affiliate decided. As the fight in New York—which eventually resulted in the firing of the CEO and the removal of Sanger’s name from an affiliate medical center amid promises of internal change—dragged on, other Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country began to publicly reveal their own internal racism.
All of this sparked an investigation by American Life League into the racism within Planned Parenthood and how many states in the country were affected. Although many of the affiliates were tight-lipped about their internal problems, ALL was able to identify that almost 40 percent of Planned Parenthood affiliates admitted current racism in their organization and these affiliates operated in 62 percent of the states in the country.
American Life League published a 16-page report, Planned Parenthood Racism … In Their Own Words, and circulated that report on the Internet and through pro-life leadership. The reaction was swift. Groups opposed to Planned Parenthood circulated the report and the heads of many corporate supporters of Planned Parenthood received inquiries as to why they were supporting such a clearly racist organization.
As the pressure began to grow, an article entitled The Racial Reckoning Inside Planned was published in the December 2020/January 2021 issue of Harper's Bazaar. In the article, Alexis McGill Johnson said: “Right now our country is in the middle of a racial justice reckoning—one that includes Planned Parenthood. We know we cannot address structural racism or white supremacy in this country without addressing our own.” When PPFA released its 2019-2020 Annual Report in March 2021, it contained the following joint statement by its (Black) president, Alexis McGill Johnson, and its (White) board chair, Aimee Cunningham. They state: “Planned Parenthood is 104 years old, and we’re committed to addressing structural racism, both historic and current, in the federation.”
Now, just weeks later, Alexis McGill Johnson published an opinion piece in the New York Times this past weekend. The piece is entitled I’m the Head of Planned Parenthood. We’re Done Making Excuses for Our Founder. In it, Planned Parenthood (finally) admits to the claims about Sanger’s racism. Johnson says: “Sanger remains an influential part of our history and will not be erased, but as we tell the history of Planned Parenthood’s founding, we must fully take responsibility for the harm that Sanger caused to generations of people with disabilities and Black, Latino, Asian-American, and Indigenous people . . . she devalued and dehumanized people of color.”
Talking about Planned Parenthood’s current racism, she says: “We are committed to confronting any white supremacy in our own organization, and across the movement for reproductive freedom . . . Planned Parenthood is taking this work seriously. Our senior leadership team is diverse. We have invested in training designed to give everyone, from the board room to the exam room, a foundational understanding of how race operates. And we are establishing new diversity, equity and inclusion standards for affiliates seeking to be a part of the Planned Parenthood Federation . . . Achieving health equity requires fighting the systemic racism that creates barriers to sexual and reproductive health care . . . Planned Parenthood has an obligation to change how we operate.”
These are all nice words, but they ring hollow to us. They also ring hollow to many of Planned Parenthood’s staff. They have heard this before and, as we documented on Page 5 of our report, after years of promises, they don’t believe management any longer.
PPFA is obviously under great pressure from its employees, its donors, its corporate supporters, and even from government administrators who don’t want to be seen dealing with an obvious racist organization. So, Johnson publishes the opinion piece in the New York Times, hoping that it will be enough to stem the tide of opposition by its enemies and desertion by its friends; but it is too late.
Everyone can now see what Planned Parenthood has been—racist—all along. It has already taken over $11.5 billion in taxpayer money to ply its racist trade and to end the lives of over 4.5 million preborn babies of color!
No more!! It’s time to pull the plug. Planned Parenthood needs to simply close its doors forever.
Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a talk show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.
Planned Parenthood likes to claim that abortion accounts for only three percent of its business. While many sources have shown that number to be a lie, there is another three-percent number that Planned Parenthood doesn’t want you to know about. Just two weeks ago, our friend Carole Novielli revealed research she had done on Planned Parenthood’s customers in an article for Live Action. Her statistics show a Planned Parenthood organization struggling to remain relevant. According to Carole,
If you have based your opinion of Planned Parenthood primarily on the mainstream media’s narrative about the corporation — a narrative crafted from Planned Parenthood’s own talking points — you likely believe that a vast number of people depend upon it for their health care, especially women. But the truth is that while Planned Parenthood commits 41% of the abortions in the United States every year (over 350,000), it actually only serves around 3% of the female population of reproductive age.
Despite increasing taxpayer funding, Planned Parenthood’s own reports reveal that many of its services have been in decline while abortions continue to increase.
For years, Planned Parenthood has masqueraded as a “women’s health” organization, yet it serves a very small percentage of female clients annually. Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report for 2019-2020 revealed that out of the 2.4 million clients it recorded, nearly 2.1 million were female, while 321,001 were male, which is a growing demographic.
According to population estimates in 2019, there were 165 million females in the United States with 64 million females of reproductive age (15–44). This means that Planned Parenthood’s female clientele represents just 3.3 percent of the U.S. female population of reproductive age.
While these numbers will be startling to many, they make a lot of sense. Planned Parenthood has been closing centers across the country for decades. Every time it closes a center, it basically loses access to the customers in that geographic area. Planned Parenthood reported that it had 875 medical centers in the United States at the end of 2002. Since then, it closed centers in 490 communities and opened centers in only 178 new communities—leaving it with 563 operating medical centers at the end of 2020. When you lose 312 centers, you can expect to see a decrease in customer numbers.
Despite this massive closing of 35 percent of its centers, and a loss of 740,000 customers, Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer income has almost tripled (from $241 million to $618 million) over those same 18 years.
Of course, not everything is on the down side at Planned Parenthood. Over those 18 years, abortions at Planned Parenthood have risen 54 percent (from 230,630 to 354,871).
Planned Parenthood is aggressively trying to regain customers through tele-health appointments and even dispensing the abortion pill with Internet prescriptions and mailing the pills. But the fact remains the same—only 3.3 percent of women of reproductive age are customers of Planned Parenthood. As Novielli pointed out in her article, a much larger number of women get their medical needs met at Federally Qualified Health Centers.
In a long-awaited announcement, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) made it official on April 2, 2021, that it has merged with Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK). The merger has been in the works since February 2019 and the CEO of PPGNHI had already begun running PPINK. The new organization is now officially known as Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (PPGNHAIK).
This merger follows a recent trend inside Planned Parenthood to create larger and larger affiliates. A few years back, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas was formed and absorbed several local PP affiliates. This was followed by Planned Parenthood of the North Central States, which absorbed Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and now encompasses PP facilities in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Last year, we had the merger of five separate PP affiliates in New York State to form Planned Parenthood of Greater New York. Now, we have PPGNHAIK that clearly covers the largest geographic area of any Planned Parenthood affiliate. In addition to Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky, the affiliate will also run centers in parts of Idaho and Washington State.
When Planned Parenthood was at its zenith in 1995, with 938 clinics and plans to go to 2,000 clinics, it had a total of 158 affiliates across the country. At that time, it ran into an anti-Planned Parenthood juggernaut in the nation and began closing clinics and affiliates. With this merger, the number of Planned Parenthood affiliates is now down to 48.
As we pointed out in other articles in this newsletter, Planned Parenthood is an organization desperately trying to hold on. It is losing customers, losing physical locations, losing respect— especially among minority communities—and losing donors. It seems the only people who don’t understand the truth about Planned Parenthood are the politicians. These elected officials keep increasing government support for Planned Parenthood and are intent in throwing good money after bad.
It is time politicians face the facts—Planned Parenthood is the premier vestige of America’s racist past and needs to be defunded immediately.
As reported in the Arkansas Catholic (the official newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock), Bishop Anthony B. Taylor led local Catholics in a Stations of the Cross devotion outside the Planned Parenthood center in Little Rock on March 12 as part of that city’s 40 Days For Life activities.
This Planned Parenthood center is the organization’s only center in Arkansas, and it kills preborn children using the abortion pill.
The bishop used the Scriptural Stations of the Cross for Life that were originally said by Pope St. John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991. (You can get full information on them on the USCCB website.)
White cardboard crosses were placed along the sidewalk and in the adjacent parking lot for each station. The stations continued into the parking lot of a dental office next door.
The newspaper commented that the dental office also allows the Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center to park its ultrasound van next to the Planned Parenthood clinic to encourage those looking for a free ultrasound to stop in and visit with the staff.
Bishop Taylor previously led a Rosary for Life outside the same Planned Parenthood during last year’s 40 Days Fall Campaign.
In closing, we congratulate not only the bishop, the Pregnancy Center, and those in attendance, but also all who have kept Planned Parenthood out of the Medicaid program in Arkansas. Planned Parenthood in Little Rock is run by the Planned Parenthood Great Plains affiliate. On its website, PPGP says: “At this time, the state of Arkansas does not recognize Planned Parenthood Great Plains as a Medicaid provider. Although our doors are open to all patients, we are unable to treat patients through the Medicaid program because these patients would not be able to get the cost of their prescriptions or referrals covered by Medicaid.”
May God bless all your efforts.