Margaret Sanger wrote in her publication, Voluntary Motherhood, “The world is full of undesired babies and every undesired baby represents a terrible infringement of the personal rights of a mother. Women do not desire to spend the whole of their adult lives in bringing children into the world.” Her answer to this “infringement of the personal rights of a mother,” was contraception. Sanger’s work continues today through Planned Parenthood health clinics and sex education programs.
Though Planned Parenthood feels that contraception is the answer, others contend it might be the problem. “Most abortions are the result of unwanted pregnancies, most unwanted pregnancies are the result of sexual relationships outside of (or prior to) marriage and most sexual relationships outside of marriage are facilitated by the availability of contraceptive. Contraception made sex outside of marriage “doable” in an unprecedented way.” (Dr. Janet Smith)
Has Planned Parenthood the nation’s leading sexual health care provider and educator been successful in their objective to lower abortion and unplanned pregnancy?
Between 1994 and 2001, the steady decline in the U.S. unintended pregnancy rate stalled… As progress in reducing unplanned pregnancy has stalled, so has progress in reducing abortion. The U.S. abortion rate declined by 3.4% each year between 1992 and 1996 and by 1.2% each year between 1996 and 2000. Since then, the decline has slowed sharply…. If the picture for American women overall is one of progress stalled, the picture for poor women is one of progress turned back….Between 1994 and 2001 the unintended pregnancy rate for poor women shot up by 29%. Abortion levels show a similar trend. From 1994 to 2000, abortion rates…increased among poor women...In 2000, the 13% of reproductive-age women who are poor accounted for 27% of all abortions. (Guttmacher Policy Review Summer 2006, Rekindling Efforts to Prevent Unplanned Pregnancy: A Matter of ‘Equity and Common Sense’)
For the first time since the early 1990’s the overall U.S. teen pregnancy rate increased in 2006, rising 3%, and continues to be one of the highest in the developed world. (Guttmacher Institute, Facts on American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health, December 2011)
Abortion rates are highest among African American and Hispanic women (Trends in Abortion in the United States, 1973 – 2008, Guttmacher Institute January 2011)
By their own statistics, the answer would be no, Planned Parenthood has not been successful, but people, in general, believe what they want to believe, what best meets their physical, psychological, economical, spiritual and social needs, sometimes regardless of the truth. If we are honest with ourselves, we have all fallen into that "people in general" category, at one time or another. I know at times I have grasped at inadequate or false evidence to justify my opinion, or ignored contrary information because it challenged my belief. Ultimately truth forced me to reevaluate my viewpoint and make a decision.
Part 5 Planned Parenthood – A Catholic Answer to the Culture of Death Part One Contraception and Part Two Natural Family Planning lays out the Catholic Church’s stance on contraception and Natural Family Planning, a challenge to all of us. “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
January 22, 2012 marks the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton. As those who back Planned Parenthood will be celebrating these decisions, others will be marching for The Human Right to Life on January 21 in San Francisco at the 8th Annual Walk for Life and on January 23, 2012 in Washington D.C. at the 39th Annual March for Life.