Planned Parenthood is back in the news for the very worst reasons. While it should not be a surprise to anyone with half a brain that they do this sort of work (selling the parts of aborted babies – in case you missed it), it ought to at least nudge those Catholics who support candidates who wish God’s blessings on PP to think twice about doing so.
But all of this has reminded me that for all the righteous, conservative outrage at Planned Parenthood and the political establishment that supports them, it is these same conservatives who are ever so willing to sidle up to the anti-immigration reform members of the Planned Parenthood family. Don’t know what I’m talking about?
If you follow the immigration debate you’ve probably heard of the Federation for American Immigration Reform or FAIR. Given the name of the group, you might think that they are for immigration reform, but you’d be mostly wrong. They’re for a kind of reform which amounts to mass deportations and severe restrictions on any future immigration for anyone.
Take a look at FAIR’s candidate questionnaire for instance. A prominent Catholic has used this questionnaire as a litmus test for her support for Republican candidates. The test boils down the complexity of immigration reform to three basic questions. Is a candidate for or against (1) amnesty; (2) increasing the number of guest workers; and/or (3) increasing the overall level of immigration? Only if the candidate stands against all three ought he or she get our vote.
So FAIR isn’t just against illegal immigration. FAIR won’t be satisfied until we drop all immigration down to the “traditional rate” of 300,000 a year. They say that their interest is in the American worker, but concern for labor is just the game they play to get you to think they care about people. In truth, FAIR is all about population control. Taking a look at their founders and board members tells the true story.
The Population Bomb
FAIR was founded in 1979 by a man named Dr. John H. Tanton. Tanton’s journey began with Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book The Population Bomb, which predicted brutal, world-wide starvation in the 1970’s and ‘80’s due to overpopulation. It doesn’t matter to Tanton or to Ehrlich that the latter’s predictions didn’t come true. In fact, Ehrlich still believes he’s right and insists that he didn’t go far enough in his predictions. No, they both believe that the environment is still in danger because there are just too many of us pesky humans, and we need to do something about that now.This concern for the environment led Tanton to become deeply involved in the population control movement from then on. So involved was he that in 1975 he was elected the national president of the organization Zero Population Growth (currently called Population Connection), which was inspired by Ehrlich’s book.
Now, as the 1960’s marched along, contraception became cheaper and more available, and abortion became legal in 1972. The birth rate in America fell below replacement levels by the late 1970’s. The Zero Population Growth movement had succeeded. Tanton understood then that the new frontier for population control was immigration. It was for this reason that he founded FAIR.
His was not a new tactic. The eugenics movement in America had already tried this earlier in the 20th century. For instance, the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Restriction Act was shaped in part by Harry H. Laughlin, one of the founders of the American Eugenics Society (wikipedia article). As a result of that act, immigration was severely capped for all nations but especially for places like Poland, Italy, and the Balkans. Why? According to Laughlin there were too many unfit people living in those nations.
So none of this is new. Tanton and his friends at FAIR are just the latest version of eugenicists seeking to curb immigration. So let’s meet some of those friends.
The Eugenics Crowd
Garrett Hardin (pictured above second from the left) was an environmentalist and a founding board member of FAIR. He was also a member of the American Eugenics Society and buddies with Dr. Alan Guttmacher, once president of Planned Parenthood as well as vice-president of the Eugenics Society. Hardin was one of the key figures who helped Guttmacher and others legalize abortion. Of the many shocking things Hardin wrote, here is just one of his choicest:
“To survive, rich nations must refuse immigration to people who are poor because their governments are unable or unwilling to stop population growth.” (“Living on a Lifeboat” Bioscience. 24:294)
Immigration must be curbed so as to dissuade poorer peoples from continuing to have children. For Hardin the point is not the rule of law. He was against legal immigration too. The whole point was saving the environment and changing the “breeding habits” of developing nations. This ideology is the foundation for FAIR. Hardin died in 2003, but FAIR is no less eugenicist today. Especially given who still advises them.
Donald A. Collins, Sr. is formerly a long-time member of the board of directors of FAIR, but is currently the co-chair of the advisory board. He is also a founding member of the International Services Assistance Fund, which promotes the research and development of female non-surgical sterilization. He is a founding member of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood. Collins also helped found the International Projects Assistance Service which manufactures a portable abortion device that can be smuggled into nations where abortion is illegal. He is, in short, a man who has dedicated his life to developing and distributing contraception, sterilization and abortion products all around the world.
Collins is also an Anti-Catholic with a capital ‘A.’ He sees the pro-immigration reform movement in the U.S. as a plan by the Vatican to infiltrate our country with Catholics and further control the government by placing more Catholics in government, more Catholics on the voter rolls and more Catholics on the Supreme Court. Like the know-nothings before him, Collins is determined to remove Catholic influences from every major field. Unless, of course, those Catholics agree with him about contraception and abortion.
Collins is not just any board member either. His involvement with FAIR has been decades-long and he has made membership on the board a family effort. Collins’ son, Don Collins, Jr. is currently the chairman of the board. Also a member of the board of directors is Collins’ current wife, Sarah Epstein, whose entire life, like the life of his previous wife, has been steeped in the population control and eugenics movements.
Sarah G. Epstein’s father was Dr. Clarence James Gamble, heir to the Procter & Gamble soap fortune (wikipedia article) and close collaborator with Margaret Sanger founder of Planned Parenthood. In 1947 he helped found the Human Betterment League of North Carolina with James Hanes (yes, of Hanes clothing). The League was involved in forced sterilization of men and women of poor, unintelligent and/or minority backgrounds in order to “relieve” welfare in the state of North Carolina from the burden of having to care for such drags on human progress. That state ended the program in 1977 but didn’t apologize for it until 2002.
The fact that Epstein grew up in a family that didn’t seem to have a problem with forced sterilizations might explain why Epstein had this to say about China’s one-child policy in a letter to the editors for the New York Times:
“I think the Chinese have developed one of the most humane and rational population policies in the world. No one is forced to have an abortion, and all are encouraged to limit families. We can learn for our own future. Allowing any pregnant Chinese couple to gain asylum here on assertion of fear of forced abortion at home . . . makes a mockery of our asylum law. . . . Let us work out a rational population policy for our own country and respect policies of other countries that are dealing humanely with the critical need to slow population growth.”
“Encouraged to limit families”? China’s one-child policy has indeed involved forced abortions. Ms. Epstein should have known that before she referred to it as “humane.” But what we also see in this quote is that for these radical eugenicists immigration policy is intimately tied up with population control. Whether its Laughlin, Hardin or Epstein, they all want to keep people out of the U.S. because to do otherwise would be to encourage life in poor countries, and life is dangerous to the environment.
Epstein has followed her father’s example in more ways than one. A long-time member of the Planned Parenthood board for Metropolitan Washington, she is an emeritus director for Pathfinder International, which was also founded by her father. Today, it is one of the leading providers of abortions internationally.
Speaking of the international abortion industry, Epstein is also a former board member of The Population Institute which seeks to make abortion more available here and everywhere. Indeed, when she wrote her above letter to the editor, she did so as a member of the board of advisers to the Population Institute. Their Public Policy Advisory Committee includes well-known pro-abortion advocates like Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Olympia Snowe and Ted Turner. Their International Advisory Committee includes none other than Paul Ehrlich, one of the originators of this modern wave of population control.
Alan N. Weeden is another member of the board of advisors who has been a long-time member of the board of directors of FAIR. He is the president of the Weeden Foundation which was founded by his father, Frank Weeden. The Foundation exists in order to research ways population increases effect biodiversity and thus negatively effects the environment. So what sort of stuff does the Weeden Foundation fund? According to their website, within the U.S. they have worked to expand abortion clinics and promote “immigration reduction.” For the past decade they have focused their international work on efforts “designed to liberalize abortion laws within Latin America.”
Towards that international work, the Weeden Foundation helps fund Catholics for Choice, a pro-abortion group of “Catholics.” They explain that Catholics for Choice helps to promote and expand access to abortion for women in Latin America. In 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2013 the Foundation granted Catholics for Choice $20,000. Since last year they increased their support to $25,000 per annum.
The Weeden Foundation also funds the Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA. That’s significant because those two organizations were also founded by none other than John Tanton, who has a penchant for founding and funding organizations in order to network different efforts. Let’s look at that network.
Dr. Tanton founded U.S. Inc. in 1981 as a kind of umbrella organization meant to fund several smaller groups with similar interests. This approach allows him and his movement to do several things at once: (1) give a sense of large numbers to the anti-immigration movement, (2) approach the immigration issue from several angles at once and (3) pool resources and techniques. Though they are separate organizations, they are all either founded and supported or simply funded by U.S. Inc. and John Tanton.
According to its website, U.S. Inc. exists to “educate the public about the need for common sense immigration reform, the need to protect and conserve our natural resources, the impact of population on the environment, and the need to promote and preserve English as the common, unifying language of the United States.” It does this through numerous projects and by funding various groups that advance these efforts. This includes:
- The American Immigration Control Foundation (AIC Foundation) was founded in 1983 and has been funded by U.S. Inc. It’s head is John Vinson who’s been in charge since 1990. Astonishingly, Mr. Vinson has been associated with racist, white supremacist organizations.
- American Patrol/Voice of Citizens Together is a website for stories about how terrible immigrants are and is led by Glenn Spencer, who is convinced that immigration is a plot by Mexico to reconquer the U.S. His associations have been sketchy, and included some racist groups. The organization has been funded by U.S. Inc.
U.S. Inc. also funded California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR), which was founded in 1994 by Barbara Coe to serve as a co-sponsor for California’s controversial Proposition 187 (wikipedia article), or the “Save our State” initiative. Prop 187 was designed to deny social and medical benefits to undocumented women or their children. The idea was to remove any sort of incentive for illegal immigrants to come over to the United States. The result, however, was denying medical care to poor women who were already pregnant. The proposition passed in the 1994 election, but was killed by Gov. Davis in 1999. Ms. Coe died in 2013, but not before years of strange, passingly racist and conspiratorial statements about illegal immigrants. Eventually, she admitted to being a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a racist organization. More on that later.
- Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), founded in 1986 with John Tanton, has been funded by U.S. Inc. and exists to bring awareness of how greater population control is needed. It’s headed by Dick Schneider, who is also a board member of the Institute for Population Studies. On its website, one of its senior writers advocates for limiting child tax credits to one child and taxing families who choose to have more than one. On their board of advisors one finds John D. Weeden of the Weeden Foundation, and Richard D. Lamm, the former Governor of Colorado who is famous for having said back in 1984 that the elderly have a “duty to die” and “get out of the way” to “let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life.” John Vinson of the AIC Foundation is listed by CAPS as a Senior Writing Fellow. There are several incestuous associations here from within the network.
- Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) was founded by John Tanton in 1985 and is perhaps the best known of the organizations associated with FAIR and U.S. Inc. It is the research arm of U.S. Inc. and provides statistics and studies on immigration to news reporters and opinion makers. CIS is headed by Mark Krikorian who oddly has denied any connection between CIS and U.S. Inc or John Tanton in particular, though their connection is a matter of public record. In fact CIS and FAIR even share some board members.
- NumbersUSA was founded in 1996 by Roy Beck and John Tanton. It exists to educate the public on immigration and to change public policy so that all immigration can be lowered and held steady at the “traditional levels” which will allow for “assimilation” of new immigrants, whatever that means. Numbers’ board of directors includes Don Wheeden the Executive Director of the Weeden Foundation mentioned above. Also listed is Philip Cafaro who recently wrote a book pleading with progressives to get behind lowering immigration. The book was praised by CAPS.
- Population-Environment Balance (formerly The Environment Fund) was founded in 1973 in order to stabilize the U.S. population so as to “safeguard the carrying capacity of the United States.” John Tanton was a board member from 1980-1990 and they advocate for limited immigration. Tanton funded some of their work through U.S. Inc.
- ProEnglish, founded by John Tanton in 1994 and headed today by Robert Vandervoort, it is part of an effort to make English the official language of the U.S. Why this is important may become apparent later, but it should be noted that the effort is part of U.S. Inc.’s mission too. ProEnglish was founded only after Tanton was forced to step down from U.S. English, which he also founded. Among ProEnglish’s efforts is to keep any government documents or voting ballots from being translated into any language but English. Referring to it as “offensive,” in 2014 ProEnglish protested against Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ad featuring ethnically diverse Americans singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. Vandervoort has been associated with racist organizations.
- U.S. English, cofounded in 1983 by John Tanton and Senator S. I. Hayakawa it seeks to make English the official language of the U.S. It had and has broad-based support. Tanton was forced to resign in 1988 when a memo leaked to the media revealed Tanton’s distaste for Hispanics.
- The Social Contract Press was founded by John Tanton in 1990 and is edited by Wayne Lutton, who is part of the staff of U.S. Inc. The Press publishes work by Tanton and his friends on immigration, the environment, population control, anti-Catholic drivel and other issues. Lutton has been associated with racist organizations as well.
One may have noticed a recurring theme here, and that is the connection of some of these persons with racist organizations. I do not use that word lightly. I happen to think it is used too often and used to shut down debate and dialogue. Also, members of this network have stated publicly their desire to end racism. Frank Morris, a board member of FAIR and of CIS, is himself a black man. Nevertheless, the evidence for other more strident racism is hard to ignore.
Barbara Coe (Prop 187) admitted to being a member of and John Vinson (AIC FOundation and CAPS) and Wayne Lutton (Social Contract Press) have both been speakers at the Council of Conservative Citizens. The CCC’s own statement of principles states that they oppose
“the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples into the United States that threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime. We believe that illegal immigration must be stopped, if necessary by military force and placing troops on our national borders; that illegal aliens must be returned to their own countries; and that legal immigration must be severely restricted or halted through appropriate changes in our laws and policies.”
In case you thought that “non-European” doesn’t necessarily mean non-white, they go on to say:
“We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called ‘affirmative action’ and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.”
Later they state that they “oppose all efforts by the state and other powers to weaken the structure of the American family through [the] … mixture of the races ….” This is racism. This is white supremacist language through and through, and this is an organization to which Coe, Vinson and Lutton have linked themselves.
Then there is Robert Vandervoort (ProEnglish) who has supported the work of a group called American Renaissance. Again, on their own website, they list as one of their issues:
“One of the most destructive myths of modern times is that people of all races have the same average intelligence. It is widely accepted that genes account for much of the difference in intelligence between individuals, but many people still refuse to believe genes explain group differences in average intelligence. This blindness leads to futile attempts to eliminate ‘achievement gaps’ between the races and leads whites to accept the view that if blacks and Hispanics are less successful than whites, it is because of white ‘racism.'”
The obvious reason for that gap, then, is that blacks and Hispanics (including yours truly one would imagine) are on average innately less intelligent that whites. American Renaissance goes on to argue that “some of the most powerful writing in AR is by ordinary people describing their everyday experiences with non-whites. Each of these accounts is a compelling story about the continuing tragedy of multi-racialism.” Gripping stuff. Glenn Spencer has also been associated with American Renaissance since he invited their head to be a guest on his show.
In doing all this research for this post I could not but come to the conclusion that eugenicist racism is constitutive to this network. But of course, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Planned Parenthood, the population control Goliath of the U.S. was founded by this same ideology. Margaret Sanger had this to say in a letter to Dr. Clarence James Gamble, mentioned above, father of Sarah Epstein:
“There is only one thing that I would like to be in touch with and that is the Negro Project of the South….
“Miss Rose sent me a copy of your letter of December 5th and I note that you doubt it worthwhile to employ a full time Negro physician. It seems to me from my experience…that while the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts….
“The ministers work is also important and also he should be trained, perhaps by the [Planned Parenthood] Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want the 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.”
This letter from Sanger doesn’t admit, as some argue, that the Federation wanted to exterminate the Negro population, only that she didn’t want people to get that impression. She is clearly not above working with blacks in order to achieve her ends. Several black leaders and ministers (Martin Luther King, Jr. to name just one) supported her work. Nevertheless, the tone and the purpose of the letter is clear: get those ignorant black people on board with our plan. And the fact that in 2012 more black babies were aborted than born in New York City seems to confirm the fears of the “more rebellious members” of the African American community.
Sanger, Epstein, Collins, Tanton, Wheeden, Lutton, Vinson, Coe, all of them hold a diametrically opposed view on life than we. Catholics have rightly been condemning Planned Parenthood for its ghoulish practices this past week. But Catholics need to know that the same ideological children of Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger are funding these anti-immigration organizations. Yes, there is room for Catholics to differ on how to address the immigration reform that desperately needs to happen. But touting the work of CIS or NumbersUSA is not the way to do it. Don’t give these sons and daughters of Planned Parenthood any more legitimacy than they deserve.