John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Family Planning

Posted on February 24, 2012

According to the New York Times, “Mitt Romney has explicitly cited his mother’s views as the basis for his own.  During the 1994 race against Mr. Kennedy, and again in 2002 when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, he told voters that his mother personally opposed abortion but had taken “a very bold and courageous stand” in arguing that “a women should have her own right to choose.”  He said he felt the same way.”

That sentiment wasn’t that unusual for Republicans back then.

Gerald Ford was pro-choice.  George H.W. Bush was a big proponent of Planned Parenthood.  Many Republicans were personally opposed to abortion in their own lives, but were quietly ok with it for others, especially among the lower classes.

In fact, blue-blood Republicans saw abortion as a way to control the explosive growth of the lower classes.

And in fact, civil rights leaders in the day saw it the same way, which is why they opposed abortion.  One famous African-American leader said: “There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of higher order than the right to life. I do not share that view. I believe that life is not private, but rather it is public and universal. If one accepts the position that life is private, and therefore you have the right to do with it as you please, one must also accept the conclusion of that logic. That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside of your right to concerned. ...

Everyone can come to the mercy seat and find forgiveness and acceptance. But, and this may be the essence of my argument, suppose one is so hard-hearted and so in-different to life until he assumes that there is nothing for which to be forgiven. What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person, and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually?”

That same preacher also said that abortion was “black genocide.”

Jesse Jackson eventually changed his position on abortion in his quest to run for President in 1984.  And now he is a champion for abortion rights, as is just about every other ambitious Democratic politician.

And on the Republican side, you can’t just be pro-life.  You have to be adamantly pro-life and fiercely opposed to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has been in the spotlight more than a few times in the last couple of months.  It humiliated Nancy Brinker, the charismatic leader of the Susan Komen Foundation, because she had the temerity to ok a plan to take funds away from the leading abortion provider in the country in the expectation that the money could be better spent fighting breast cancer elsewhere.

Margaret Sanger founded the direct descendant of Planned Parenthood when she and her sister opened up the American Birth Control League in 1916.  She was promptly jailed for her efforts.  Four years later, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote.

In 1970, Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, which created Title X, the part of the Public Services Health Act that gave Planned Parenthood access to federal funding for reproductive services.

In 1976, Congressman Henry Hyde authored an amendment to an appropriation bill making clear that no federal money (in this case, Medicaid money) could be used to pay for abortion services.  Hyde, a devout Catholic and perhaps the most articulate defender of the unborn in history, helped lead the Republican Party away from its ambivalence to abortion to its current steadfast opposition.

And eventually, as the GOP became more opposed to abortion, it became more opposed to Planned Parenthood.

Eventually, both abortion and to a certain extent family planning became politically polarized and Planned Parenthood, which gets million of dollars in federal funding and is the nation’s largest provider of both abortions and family planning advice, became the number one target of conservatives.

Margaret Sanger, the inspiration and the founder of Planned Parenthood, worked with the American Eugenics Society to promote her philosophy.  The American Eugenics Society promoted the idea that some people really shouldn’t procreate, and shared the same kind of racial philosophy of the Nazis in Germany.  Sanger didn’t necessarily agree with the Eugenics crowd, but there is an unmistakable aura of racial profiling in the whole abortion debate.

The Catholic Church believes that every life is sacred and the procreation is a sacred act.  They frown upon contraception and of course are bitterly opposed to abortion of any kind.  This is the position of Rick Santorum.  Mitt Romney is now opposed to abortion, but he does not share Santorum’s opposition to birth control.

The Obama Administration has now made government policy that all birth control should be made free to anybody who wants it.  Since presumably most middle-class and wealthy Americans already have easy access to birth control, this policy is clearly meant to get poor Americans to procreate less.

According to the Obama Administration, having fewer poor people procreate is better for the budget.  Fewer poor people having fewer poor kids means less welfare and less poverty.

In the meantime, more and more single women are having more and more kids out of wedlock.  Studies show that the single greatest predictor of poverty is if you are born to a single mother.

In our current political structure, it seems that you can either take the view of the Democratic Party that the only way to stem this tide is to either kill the unborn or give a bunch of condoms to a bunch of poor people to prevent pregnancy or you can take the view of the Republican Party that there needs to be wholesale renewal of morality and personal responsibility in America that celebrates life and promotes marriage.

Or you can try to take the middle ground, where you accept the need for better sex education to prevent kids from getting pregnant, as you promote the economic and social benefits of two-parent families.

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