To My Friends at Planned Parenthood

This is a letter I sent to the folks at Planned Parenthood–who made the mistake of sending me a fund-raising letter!

February 13, 2002

Dear Friend,

I’m always happy to hear that someone considers me a friend, although I’ll admit that your letter addressing me as such caught me by surprise! I wouldn’t have considered myself a likely candidate to be called a friend of your organization, but thank you for the goodwill gesture!

I must point out, however, my profound disappointment with how you have begun our new-found friendship! You see, I believe that truth must form the cornerstone of any good friendship, and I’m afraid that you’ve gotten off to a bad start in that department. But since friends can be trusted to tell the truth to friends, I thought I’d tell you the truth—as a friend, you understand.

In your letter, friend, you talk about the “constant attacks” of organizations like Christian Coalition, the “violently radical Operation Rescue”, The Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family. Now, I am not a member of any of these organizations, but a number of my friends are, and so I’m in a quandary: you, a friend, are saying some things about my other friends which are just not true! This bothers me, and so I thought, as a friend, I’d let you know about it. Like where you say, “to some of these groups, this (the goal of abolishing Planned Parenthood) might mean bombing a clinic…(or) stalking a doctor.” Friend, you’ve said something that is just not true, and it disappoints me! You know full well that none of these groups supports, but rather that all condemn, such tactics. I wonder why you would lie about other friends of mine such as these? You said that my friends at the Christian Coalition were “fanatical” and were trying to “force their beliefs on the rest of us”. I’m afraid that that isn’t true either. I’m so disappointed that you feel the need to begin our friendship by fabricating things about some of my other friends!

I’m also concerned, friend, that you mention several times, in glowing terms, the founder of your organization, Margaret Sanger. But it’s interesting that you tell only a little bit of the truth about Ms. Sanger. I’m disappointed that you would shield me, a friend of Planned Parenthood, from the truth. For instance, here is what Ms. Sanger had to say, in her own words: “Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, 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.” In her 1922 book Pivot of Civilization, for instance, she called for the extirpation of “weeds…overrunning the human garden”; for the segregation of “morons, misfits, and the maladjusted”; and for sterilizing “genetically inferior races”. She even singled out the Chinese in her autobiography, complaining about “the incessant fertility of (Chinese) millions spread like a plague.” I’m disappointed that you didn’t tell me, a friend, that Ms. Sanger was a eugenicist, who advocated the “creation of a superman”; that she opined that “the most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it”; and that “all our problems are the result of overbreeding among the working class.” My, my, but doesn’t Ms. Sanger sound like an elitist! At least she does to me.

Further, Ms. Sanger, in her 1939 work Birth Control and the Negro along with Clarence Gamble, overtly suggested that the Negro race, especially in the South, be controled, so as to “ease the financial load of caring for with public funds…children destined to become a burden to themselves, to their family, and ultimately to the nation.” Wow, friend…in her words, little black kids in the South were just a burden to everybody. Isn’t it interesting that Faye Wattleton, an attractive young black woman, was president of Planned Parenthood for a time. I wonder if Ms. Sanger would have wanted Ms. Wattleton to live? Golly, if I didn’t know better, I’d think our friend Ms. Sanger was a bigot! But you seem to love her so much! Why would you love a bigot like Ms. Sanger, friend?

And what’s more, Ms. Sanger made Lothrop Stoddard, an associate of Adolf Hitler’s, a member of the Birth Control League, forerunner of Planned Parenthood. He wrote in 1940 that the “Jew problem” is “already settled in principle and soon to be settled in fact by the physical elimination of the Jews themselves from the Third Reich”. I wanted to warn you of this as soon as I found out, friend, because I knew that no friend of mine would want to be linked with the Nazis!

Oh, and one more thing, friend: at an address before the New History Society, Ms. Sanger called for, among other things, giving “certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.” Wow! I knew that you wouldn’t like hearing this, friend, because any friend of mine would want to know the truth.

I’m glad we could have this little chat, friend, and please feel free to write me any time you want to know more of the truth about Planned Parenthood. I’ll be happy to share—from a friend to a friend!

Sincerely, your friend,

Byron D. Harvey

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