MCFL Board Chairman to Legislators: Defund Planned Parenthood

Testimony in Support of Bill H.1181 (An Act Relative to State Funding of Certain Nonprofits), given before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, July 16, 2019

Chair Friedman, Chair Benson, ladies and gentlemen of the committee: my name is David Franks, and I am chairman of the board of Mass. Citizens for Life.

The Commonwealth should not be subsidizing powerful corporations whose quota-driven business has disparate and violent impact on the body politic.

The Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is responsible for almost 57% of our abortions, performing more than 10,000 last year.

The 1980 Supreme Court decision Harris v. McRae upheld the constitutionality of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds to pay for most elective abortions, but according to our Supreme Judicial Court’s 1981 Moe decision, there is somehow to be found in our constitution, drafted by John Adams, a “fundamental right” to abortion more radical than that imputed to the federal Constitution.

So. Our argument in support of defunding Planned Parenthood is not, today, an argument against taxpayer funding of abortion as such—though any government money going to Planned Parenthood commits the people to subsidizing a killing machine. Our argument is that Planned Parenthood is a uniquely bad actor, even amongst the other rough beasts of the abortion industry.

First, I am worried that Planned Parenthood is still caught up in the pandemic of sex abuse and sex trafficking. How many times has PPLM carried out its responsibility as a mandated reported of suspected abuse? I ask any representative of Planned Parenthood to submit data on whatever success it has had reforming itself.

Second, Planned Parenthood targets minority populations disproportionately.

The racial composition of Massachusetts is almost 79% white, and yet only 47% of abortions were performed on white mothers, while more than 20% of abortions were performed on black mothers, though comprising somewhat more than 7% of the population.

Why is it that the black abortion rate is more than three times the white abortion rate? History supplies at least one factor.

Justice Clarence Thomas in his recent concurring opinion in Box v. Planned Parenthood concisely lays out the eugenic history of Planned Parenthood. He quotes founder Margaret Sanger, who wanted to go beyond fellow eugenicists to focus “upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care for those who are born in health.”

And that’s still our problem. Rather than providing comprehensive social help to African-Americans, we offer death as a solution. Indeed, we do this to women and girls as such: before the crying evils that females endure in our society, we tell them, “Here, endure some more violence to fix things.”

Justice Thomas notes, “Some black groups saw ‘“family planning” as a euphemism for race genocide’ and believed that ‘black people [were] taking the brunt of the “planning”’ under Planned Parenthood’s ‘ghetto approach’ to distributing its services.”

That’s a voice from 1969, but our zeal for social reform does not burn as it did in the sixties.

You will hear that the sky will fall if Planned Parenthood is defunded. But to quote scholar Michael New, “The state of Texas defunded Planned Parenthood in 2011. Between 2011 and 2015, the last year for which data is publicly available: the minor pregnancy rate in Texas fell by 39 percent, the minor birth rate fell by 36 percent, the minor abortion rate fell by 53 percent. Additionally, during this time the overall abortion rate in Texas declined by over 29 percent.”

PPLM’s CEO makes over $277,000 a year. Planned Parenthood is a very efficient killing machine. It doesn’t need taxpayer help. African-Americans, people with roots in Latin America, women and girls, and our whole broken society deserve better remedies than eugenically conceived violence.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak.

Respectfully submitted,
J. David Franks, Ph.D.

[My great thanks to Helen Cross, the editor of MCFL’s excellent quarterly magazine, MCFL member Lee Crowley, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, and my good friends Tom Harvey (Massachusetts Alliance to Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortion), Michael New (associate professor of economics at Ave Maria University), and the inimitable Catherine Glenn Foster (president of Americans United for Life) for their invaluable help preparing me to give testimony.]


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  • PAtricia Whitty
    commented 2019-07-18 12:22:40 -0400
    Dr. Franks, thank you for your poignant testimony at the hearing on Wednesday. I appreciate your commitment to preserving life and being there for some of us who can’t. God bless you and MCFL for its continued work in Massachusetts. Sincerely, Patricia Whitty