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Friday, November 4, 2011
CNS Repeats Cain's Falsehoods About Planned Parenthood

An Oct. 31 article by Michael Chapman uncritically repeated two claims by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain -- that “75 percent" of Planned Parenthood facilities "were built in the black community,” and that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger "did talk about preventing the increasing number of poor blacks in this country by preventing black babies from being born.”

Chapman didn't report that neither claim is true.

The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler debunked both claims. While Sanger was involved in the now-discredited eugenics movement that was popular during her lifetime, Cain's claim that she specifically sought to have "black babies" aborted is taken out of context:

But don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. The most damning quote by Sanger has been taken out of context. Meanwhile, a number of doctoral dissertations have closely examined the early days of Planned Parenthood and its relationship with the African American community, and found nothing to confirm these allegations.


What about Cain’s claim that Sanger wanted to “kill black babies” and thus spoke of “preventing the increasing number of poor blacks in this country by preventing black babies from being born?” Starting in 1916, Sanger’s clinics at first were aimed mainly at poor immigrant women; a Harlem clinic was opened in the 1930s. In the late 1930s, Sanger began an effort to bring the clinics to the rural south, in what was called “The Negro Project.”

Sanger recruited a who’s who of black leaders to support the effort and, in letters to the project’s director, urged that white men who were outsiders should not run the clinics. She said the effort would gain more credibility with greater community involvement, given natural suspicions.

 “The minister's work is also important and he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach,” Sanger wrote in a letter in 1939. “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.”

In that context, the sentence, while inartfully written, does not back up Cain’s claim. (We received no further evidence from the Cain campaign.)

Cain's claim that most Planned Parenthood facilities are located "in the black community" is even more false, Kessler writes:

Cain also claimed that 75 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clinics were built in African American communities. That is clearly incorrect historically, but is that true today?

Tait Sye, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, said that 73 percent of Planned Parenthood’s 800 facilities are in rural areas or what are known as Health Professional Shortage Areas, defined as areas with “too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty and/or high elderly population.” In other words, clinics are opened in areas of medical need.

Clearly, not all of these would be in minority areas, so Cain’s figure is obviously much too high. Indeed, the Guttmacher Institute — which supports abortion rights — earlier this year calculated that fewer than one in 10 of all abortion clinics (totaling about 1,800 in 2008)  were located in predominantly African American neighborhoods.

Black women do have much higher abortion rates than white women, but that is linked to the fact that they have much higher rates of unintended pregnancies — not where clinics are located.

That also seems to shoot down Chapman's thesis that Cain's false claim "seems to be indirectly confirmed" by the higher rate of abortion among blacks.

Chapman also drops a reference to "Dr. Alveda King" even though, as we've documented, her doctorate is honorary and not an earned title.

Is it too much for Chapman to publish the truth about Cain's claims? Given that Cain is a personal friend of his boss, Brent Bozell, probably so. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT

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