Roe, Roe, Roe Your Boat

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1 Chronicles <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />12:32
Dennis A. Wright, DMin.
 
 

Roe, Roe, Roe Your Boat

 
South Dakota lawmakers approved the nation's most far-reaching ban on abortion on February 23, thus setting the stage for new legal challenges that its supporters say they hope lead to an overturning of Roe v. Wade.  The measure, which passed the state Senate 23 to 12, makes it a felony for doctors to perform any abortion, except to save the life of a pregnant woman.  Designed to challenge the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe, which in 1973 recognized the right of women to terminate pregnancies, sponsors of the bill want to force a reexamination of the ruling by the court, which now includes two justices appointed by President Bush.
 
"The momentum for a change in the national policy on abortion is going to come in the not-too-distant future," said Rep. Roger W. Hunt, a Republican who sponsored the bill.  To his delight, abortion opponents succeeded in defeating all amendments designed to mitigate the ban, including exceptions in the case of rape or incest or the health of the woman.  Hunt said that such "special circumstances" would have diluted the bill and its impact on the national scene.
 
Gov. Mike Rounds signed the abortion ban into law on March 6, and then issued a written statement saying he expects the law (which is to go into effect July 1) will be tied up in court for years and will not take effect unless the U.S. Supreme Court upholds it.  "In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society.  The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society.  I agree with them," Rounds said in the statement.
 
As expected, Planned Parenthood of South Dakota, which operates the only abortatorium in the state, plans to immediately challenge the ban.  Director Kate Looby said that while she was not surprised, she was still a "little shocked" by the vote.  "Clearly, this is a devastating day for the women of South Dakota," she said.  "We fully expected this, yet it's still distressing to know that this legislative body cares so little about women, about families, about women who are victims of rape or incest."  This statement itself is interesting in that Looby seems to have absolutely no concern for the some 800 unborn babies who are hacked to death each year under her supervision.  Four doctors who fly in from Minnesota on a rotating basis actually perform the abortions, since no doctor in South Dakota will do so because of the heavy stigma attached. 
 
 

It is most interesting that Planned Parenthood is challenging South Dakota's ban on partial birth abortions.  When one "follows the money" regarding Planned Parenthood one discovers that American taxpayers underwrote the Planned Parenthood Federation of America --- the nation's leading abortion performer --- to the tune of  $265 million in government grants and contracts in 2003-2004.  In the same period of time Planned Parenthood killed 244,628 unborn children at a taxpayer-funded $108.33 per child.  Life is certainly cheap in Planned Parenthood's abortatotiums!
 
These same American taxpayers are assumed by Planned Parenthood to overwhelmingly support Roe v. Wade.  But is this really the case?  The July 2005 issue of the National Right to Life News reports that, after more than 32 years of debating Roe v. Wade (and its companion case Doe v. Bolton), one might think by now that the public would understand the 1973 decisions and (if you believe the media) support their radical holdings.  In fact, neither is true, as illustrated by a breakdown of polling data provided by NRL Executive Director David N. O'Steen, Ph.D. at a NRLC 2005 workshop.
 
After more than three decades of pretending otherwise, some in the media are "beginning to recognize that there is no majority for Roe's holdings," he said.  In truth, there has never been majority support, a conclusion demonstrated by a series of polls O'Steen showed that went back a number of years. 
 
To take a recent snapshot, O'Steen offered the results of an April 2005 poll conducted by The Polling Company.  "Which of the following statements most closely describes your own position on the issue of abortion?" 1,000 respondents were asked.  A total of 62% would eliminate almost all abortions: 17% said abortion should never be legal; another 14% said legal only for life of mother; and 31% said legal only for life of mother, rape, and incest.
 
Does Planned Parenthood Have A Hidden Agenda?
Obviously Planned Parenthood is worried about South Dakota's abortion ban because it will most certainly bring Roe v. Wade back under public scrutiny and Planned Parenthood surely knows the majority of Americans are not going to side with them on this issue.  And it will hit them in their pocketbooks when the dust finally settles. 
 
But could there be another, hidden agenda lurking behind the scenes?  Let us take a look at the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), and what made her tick.
 
The National Right to Life Committee has prepared an excellent summary of Sanger's life and motivations.  What is most clear about Sanger is that she was an elitist bigot who believed in eugenics, a popular pseudo-science that claimed to be able to blame societal ills on the heredity of the people who suffered those same ills.  Eugenics designated some types of people "unfit" (generally, the poor and the disabled) and attempted to discourage or forcibly prevent those people from reproducing.
Originating in the late 19th century as a hybrid of evolutionary theory and Mendelian genetics by Francis Galton, a cousin of Darwin, "eugenics" literally means "well born." Charles Davenport, who founded the Eugenic Records Office in Cold Springs Harbor, NY, with money from the Harriman railroad fortune, popularized it in the United States.Following other eugenicists, Sanger distinguished between "positive" and "negative" eugenics in her self-described "head book," The Pivot of Civilization (New York: Brentano's, 1922), 187.  She disagreed with the former, which encouraged "fit" couples to have more children, but whole-heartedly supported the latter, which discouraged the "unfit" from reproducing, by force, if necessary.  Sometimes Planned Parenthood claims she was not a eugenicist because she did not advocate positive eugenics, but this view overlooks her numerous statements in support of negative eugenics.
"We should not minimize the great outstanding service of Eugenics for critical and diagnostic investigations.  It demonstrates . . . that uncontrolled fertility is universally correlated with disease, poverty, overcrowding and the transmission of hereditable traits" (Pivot of Civilization, 174).
"This degeneration has already begun.  Eugenists demonstrate that two-thirds of our manhood of military age are physically too unfit to shoulder a rifle; that the feeble-minded, the syphilitic, the irresponsible and the defective breed unhindered; . . . that the vicious circle of mental and physical defect, delinquency and beggary is encouraged, by the unseeing and unthinking sentimentality of our age, to populate asylum, hospital and prison.  All these things the Eugenist sees and points out with a courage entirely admirable" (Ibid., 175).
 
Sanger's "Enlightened" Ideas Concerning Eugenics
Margaret Sanger on the Relation of Eugenics and Politics: "On its [eugenics'] negative side it shows us that we are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all-that the wealth of individuals and of state is being diverted from the development and the progress of human expression and civilization" (Ibid., 187).
 
Margaret Sanger on the Disabled: Birth control "is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives" (Ibid., 229).
 
Margaret Sanger on Forced Sterilization: Instead of charity, Sanger believed that one of the only ways to control the alleged over-reproduction of the "unfit" was to sterilize them, through incentives or through force.  She was not alone.  In 1927, in the Buck v. Bell case, the Supreme Court determined that the state of Virginia's law allowing the forced sterilization of the inhabitants of its state mental institutions was constitutional.  Representing the seven other justices who assented, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in the majority opinion, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." A friend of Holmes, British socialist and jurist Professor Harold Laski, wrote him jovially after the decision, "My love to you both.  Get that stomach better, please.  Sterilise all the unfit, among whom I include all fundamentalists." From 1907 through 1963, over 63,000 sterilizations in over 30 states occurred in accordance with state eugenic sterilization laws (see Jonas Robitscher, editor, Eugenic Sterilization [Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1973]).
 
Margaret Sanger on Race:  The Negro Project is the most questionable activity of Sanger regarding race.  In 1939, the Birth Control Federation of America initiated the project, which was to promote family planning among the black population of the South, using black ministers.  A letter to Clarence Gamble says: "We do not want word to go 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." (Margaret Sanger to Clarence Gamble, October 19, 1939, Sanger Smith Collection, quoted in Linda Gordon, Woman's Body, Woman's Right: Birth Control in America, second edition [New York: Penguin Books, 1990], 332-33)
 
In fairness to Sanger, the National Right to Life Committee states: "Some people believe that this letter reveals a sinister intent to exterminate the black population; others argue that it is simply expressing a possible misconception that blacks might have about the project and how to address that misconception.  Given the lack of further evidence, it is not clear how to interpret the letter.  This is the only really questionable statement about blacks in Sanger's writings; elsewhere she claims to oppose "race prejudice."  The fact that Sanger printed articles that contained racist statements points to the difference between what she said and what she is responsible for.  What she said can be proved by her writings.  What she is responsible for involves her effects on others.  She certainly attracted to her cause racists and other bigots.  Since she reprinted and legitimatized their opinions, she bears a huge measure of responsibility for perpetuating racism" (emphasis added).
 
Could it be that one reason precious little opposition to abortion comes from the liberal elite is due to the fact that some 1,452 black babies are slaughtered every day in their mother's wombs?  Isn't it interesting that some 40% of all abortions in America are performed on black women when blacks only account for 10% of the total population?  Indeed, Dr. Kelly Hollowell estimates that were it not for Roe v. Wade 14 million more black citizens would be alive today.  Do you suppose the ghost of Margaret Sanger still lingers around the corporate boardroom at Planned Parenthood?  It sure looks like it.
 
The National Right to Life Committee summary should be read by everyone who believes, as I do, that abortion is murder, pure and simple. 
 
"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb.  I thank you, High God-you're breathtaking!  Body and soul, I am marvelously made!  I worship in adoration--what a creation!  You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day."  (Psalm 139:13-16, The Message)
 
 
Dr. Dennis A. Wright is Founder and President of Understanding The Times Ministries.  An accomplished writer and educator, Wright has spoken in churches and conferences all over America on spiritual counterfeits and Christian Worldview topics.  He can be emailed at Dennis@UnderstandingTheTimes.org and his new website can be found at www.UnderstandingTheTimes.org.
 

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