Planned Parenthood’s Sterile Legacy of Extermination
By Christopher Manion, Ph.D.
Director, PRI’s Humanae Vitae Project
Some 35 years ago, Mrs. Alice du Pont Mills invited me to visit her in her expansive Virginia horse farm – several thousand acres of it – about an hour west of Washington.
At the time, I was Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Mrs. Mills was very concerned about the situation in Central America, where communist-inspired revolutionaries were creating chaos in several countries at the time.
Mrs. Mills was also an avid horsewoman. Since I had grown up around horses myself, I was glad to take the drive out into horse country, It quickly became clear that Mrs. Mills was not so interested in the warring factions of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador thousands of miles away; no, she had other fish to fry.
Mrs. Mills was worried. Ten years before, when the Vietnam war ended, some 10% of the Vietnamese population had become “boat people,” fleeing from communism and truly risking their lives – in fact, thousands of them died trying to escape.
Those refugees had to leave by boat, evading their Communist persecutors.
But there’s no ocean between the US. and Mexico – just the Rio Grande river.
Well, back then, some 100 million people lived between the Rio Grande and the Panama Canal.
And Mrs. Mills was dead set on preventing ten percent of them from coming to the United States. In fact, because there was no risk of dying in a hostile sea, she was concerned that the percentage might be significantly higher.
I didn’t know it until later, but Mrs. Mills was a longtime member of the National Board of Planned Parenthood. She was a generous supporter and even worked with local Planned Parenthood groups in Virginia.
That explains why she revealed to me a surprising fact that rather startled me: Mrs. Mills was also active in Mexico.
Aware that it was illegal to sterilize immigrants once they were in the United States, she told me that she contributed heavily to sterilization clinics that were on the Mexican side of the US – Mexico border.
There, the poor Hispanic women coming towards the United States could be coaxed – often with money – to be conveniently mutilated without any untidy legal consequences.
Arriving at the border after an exhausting trek through the Mexican deserts, Hispanic women would congregate in border towns while waiting to find a way to cross the border.
That’s where Mrs. duPont Mills came in. Her centers would offer a safe haven, a friendly team in a sea of strangers and uncertainty. And they offered “medical services,” always including the ultimate “safety” treatment – sterilization.
Safety indeed. Sure, the women could continue on into the States, where they would supply cheap labor. The key benefit was clear: they couldn’t reproduce. Thus, a great danger was prevented.
Mrs. Mills said this so matter-of-factly that she assumed that any American in his right mind would feel the same way.
As I took my leave, she generously showed me some beautiful paintings which, I remarked, I thought I had actually seen before.
No, she explained, I had seen only reproductions – everywhere. These were actually the gorgeous originals that her son-in-law, Jamie Wyeth, had painted. They were arranged in a hallway, not in a well-lit museum-style, as we walked to the door.
I knew that I was in the midst of old money. When we got to the lawn, I glanced off towards the barns beyond the pasture, turned down an invitation to visit the magnificent barns, and made my exit as cordially as I could.
Mrs. Mills died in 2002 ago at a ripe old age of 89. She was a generation younger than Margaret Sanger, to be sure – but Sanger lived until 1966, when Mrs. Mills was 54. If Mrs. Mills didn’t know Sanger personally, she undoubtedly knew that Planned Parenthood’s notorious foundress was a rabid racist and a grimly dedicated eugenicist.
Mrs. Mills was almost the personification of the highbrow super-rich Eastern secular elite (for the record, however, her obituary did state that she was an Episcopalian). She personified the searing-hot brand that P.J. O’Rourke had burned into the rump of the Population Controllers: “there’s just enough of me, and way too many of you.”
Margaret Sanger’s eugenics crusade targeted brown and black people everywhere – including Italians and Greeks and Spaniards, apparently.
Yes, she was the classic nativist. And she was not alone. Folks nowadays don’t know that the Ku Klux Klan boasted of many highbrows in its membership. One of them, Grand Cyclops Robert Byrd, went on to become Democrat Senate Majority Leader in the 1980s.
In today’s fervid atmosphere of epithets and allegations, we must recall that there really are racists among us. They come in all colors, and so do the objects of their hatred. The problem is not political, it is man’s fallen nature. The solution is not politics, it is the Gospel. We don’t cure a racist by hating him.
We cure him by teaching him how to love.