Robbing the Cradle: The Rockefellers’ Support of Planned Parenthood

As many Catholic Exchange readers may already know, some of America’s richest men are ardent supporters of Planned Parenthood and its allies. George Soros, worth a measly $4 billion, established the Program on Reproductive Health and Rights, which has given millions to pro-abort causes. Ellen Chesler, author of Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America, is director of the Soros-backed program.

Bill Gates, valued at $76 billion, has given $57 million to the United Nations Population Fund; almost $14 million to International Planned Parenthood; $4 million to the Population Council and millions more to other related causes. Ted Turner, valued at $7-9 billion, earmarked $1 billion from 1997 to 2007 for UN health and population control efforts and is reportedly “close to creating a new film and television production company committed to making documentaries about…ecological responsibility and population control.”

The David and Lucille Packard Foundation, possessing assets of $13 billion, is almost exclusively concerned with population control and similar issues. And finally, Warren Buffet, currently worth $28 billion, plans to dedicate almost his entire fortune, once he and his wife die, to—you guessed it — “population control.” Already, the Buffet Foundation has committed $20 million to IPAS (International Project Assistance Services), makers of the hand-held abortive suction pump; $2 million to Family Health International; and an additional $1.4 million to Planned Parenthood. The Foundation also has intimate ties with the Population Council, inventors of NORPLANT and holders of the U.S. patent rights to RU-486.

The largesse of these contemporary cradle-robber barons, however, fails to measure up to the granddaddy of them all: John D. Rockefeller. Accounting for time and inflation, Rockefeller would be worth an astounding $200 billion today. Founded in 1913, the Rockefeller Foundation’s vaguely stated mission is to “promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world.” For both John D. and the Foundation, “well-being” was defined primarily in a physical and economic sense. Unfortunately, Rockefeller thus approached the problem of global poverty as if he were a shepherd caring for his flock.

For Rockefeller, the proper care of sheep — or, in this case, sheeple — requires nothing more than an equalization of supply with demand. If supply — i.e., food, water and space — cannot meet demand, supply must be increased and demand must be decreased. The Rockefeller Foundation has used this two-pronged approach to great effect. The supply shortage has been addressed by improving the quality of life for many through advanced medical practices and increased crop yields. The demand problem has been solved by culling the herd via birth control and abortion.

“Our Cause”: Sanger and the Rockefellers

From its inception, the Rockefeller Foundation was at the vanguard of the birth control movement. One of the Foundation’s first official acts was to take over and expand the Bureau of Social Hygiene. The Bureau had been founded two years earlier by Rockefeller “Junior,” with the stated intention of investigating the evils of prostitution. In 1913, the Foundation formally took charge of the Bureau and gave it the task of conducting “research and education on birth control, maternal health, and sex education.” “Cettie,” Junior’s mother and John D’s wife, eagerly furthered the project by giving $25,000 to “promote instruction in social hygiene for female students around the country.” At least as early as 1924, under the leadership of Katharine Davis, the Bureau began funding Margaret Sanger’s proposal for birth control clinical studies by the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau.

The Rockefeller family also took a very personal interest in Margaret Sanger’s activities, as the following excerpt from a September 1930 letter to Abby Rockefeller, Jr.’s wife, reveals: “I wish you could come down and visit us some morning or afternoon in the near future. I know how you may hesitate to do this thinking of publicity, etc., but I wish to assure you that nothing of the kind would happen… The object of this letter, however, was not to tell you my woes, but to thank you for your help and your fine interest, and to tell you how much I appreciate it at this particular time.”

Apparently, this friendship between Sanger and Rockefeller only grew stronger throughout the years. As Abby’s biographer notes, “Margaret Sanger was one of the last of her friends in Arizona to see her [before Abby’s death].” After Abby’s death, Sanger wrote to Rockefeller Jr., to express her condolences: “It was such a joy to me to have had a nice laughing talk with Mrs. Rockefeller the morning you left for New York. I felt then how fortunate you and your children were to have had good rich years of her…care and companionship… her silent backing of our cause gave me great confidence through the years of darkest night.”

The Rockefeller Foundation, to this day, continues to provide significant support to Planned Parenthood. The International PP Medical Bulletin, for example, is primarily underwritten by the Foundation and is even linked to the Rockefeller Foundation website. The Foundation has also sponsored New York University’s Margaret Sanger Papers Project. Most importantly, the Rockefellers determined the very tenure of U.S. and international discussions about birth control and abortion. First, through funding population research and control initiatives at prestigious universities, such as Harvard, Baylor, Case Western Reserve, Chicago, the University of Chile, Columbia, Cornell, Hacettepe University in Turkey, the University of Michigan, North Carolina, Princeton, Tulane and the University of Washington. And, second, through the establishment of the Population Council, the world’s first truly global population control foundation.

(Jameson Taylor is a writer at HLI. This article courtesy of HLI Reports, published by Human Life International.)

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