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Response to Criticism of Adirondack Pregnancy Center

I am deeply troubled by some of the misinformation presented in a recent Guest Editorial and a letter to the Editor, both demanding that the Adirondack Pregnancy Center not be allowed to open in Saranac Lake.

With 15 grandchildren in the area who may someday face heartrending and difficult choices, my wife and I support the Adirondack Pregnancy Center. Prior to moving to Saranac Lake 25 years ago, we were involved with the Friendship Pregnancy Center in Morristown, NJ. I believe it will be a significant asset to Saranac Lake and the surrounding region.

Through State mandated sex education in schools and the outreach of Planned Parenthood, it seems unlikely that any expectant mother would be unaware of the availability of an abortion.

Pregnancy Centers like Adirondack Pregnancy Center do not provide abortions as an alternative to pregnancy. Instead, they offer education regarding all the varied options a woman has. While they do not arrange adoptions, they do provide resources for a woman who choses that option. They do provide parenting training, assist a mother in finding and getting to suitable pre- and post-natal medical care. They assist a woman in finding and utilizing programs like WIC and other social services.

When we were involved with the Friendship Pregnancy Center, my wife would teach expectant young mothers how to shop for nutritious meals, how to stretch a food dollar, and how to shop for quality clothes at secondhand stores.

It’s true that you can find studies on the internet that claim that women suffer no consequences, physical or emotional from having abortions. There are also many that indicate just the opposite. I will not take up space here to list links to such studies. Pregnancy Centers offer comfort and counseling for women who are dealing with post-abortion issues. Some of those involved with these Centers have experienced the trauma caused by having an abortion. They can empathize in a non-judgmental and compassionate way.

The accusation the Pregnancy Centers like the Adirondack Pregnancy Center are somehow racist is downright bizarre. It seems beyond contrived. The facts are that Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger, who despite revisionist history that tends to negate this, was a well-known proponent of eugenics with strong anti-black views.

The eugenics movement was based on “improving” the human population via “controlled breeding” to increase desirable traits and illuminate less desirable traits. This movement become popular among the intellectually elite in the 1920s. Under Adolf Hitler, Germany embraced eugenics and the result is well known.

“For these elites, eugenics was a tool to promote the reproduction of those considered mentally, physically, and racially “superior,” and to prevent the reproduction of the “inferior.” Birth control and abortion-excellent tools for genetic manipulation-were intimately tied to the eugenics movement from the beginning. In fact, Sanger advocated for contraception and sterilization as eugenic tools. In a 1950 letter to Mrs. Stanley McCormick, Sanger wrote: ‘I consider that the world and almost our civilization for the next twenty-five years, is going to depend on a simple, cheap, safe contraceptive to be used in poverty-stricken slums, jungles, and among the most ignorant people. Even this will not be sufficient, because I believe that now, immediately, there should be national sterilization for certain dysgenic types of our population who are being encouraged to breed and would die out were the government not feeding them.”

The “dysgenic types” or undesirable people to whom Sanger refers included especially African Americans-a group Sanger called “the great problem of the South,” and “the group with ‘the greatest economic, health and social problems.'” In 1939, Sanger launched the Negro Project to disseminate birth control throughout Southern black communities. She wanted black ministers involved, noting, “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.” (1) The many forced sterilizations of African American and Native American girls and women is one of the America’s dirty secrets of the 20th Century, but eugenics is much older. The Egyptians practiced it with the children of Israel prior to the Exodus, to diminish the Hebrew population.

Although African Americans make up about 13% of the population in the US, they obtain roughly half of the abortions provided by Planned Parenthood. The organization has been successful in carrying out its founding principles.

Planned Parenthood’s ties with the eugenic movement remained long beyond Sanger’s involvement. Alan Guttmacher was a president of Planned Parenthood and vice president of the American Eugenic Society at the same time. A careful study of the history of the organization and the writings of its leaders will prove to any honest mind that it was founded and continued as a racist organization.

The Adirondack Pregnancy Center’s services are offered freely regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or economic standing. To imply that it is “racist” is downright absurd and dishonest.

The Adirondack Pregnancy Center is non-political; in fact, its’ status prevents it from involvement in politics. It will not be out protesting in front of Planned Parenthood. It will not prevent mothers from getting abortions. It will not degrade or shame those who do. While Christian, it is non-denominational. It is not a tool to increase any church’s membership. It is a true non-profit and will never make any money off the people it serves.

The Adirondack Pregnancy Center will provide education on all pregnancy options and give ongoing support no matter decision a mother makes.

Keith Gorgas lives in Saranac Lake

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