Cain: Planned Parenthood’s mission is 'planned genocide' of black babies
March 15th, 2011
05:24 PM ET
4 years ago

Cain: Planned Parenthood’s mission is 'planned genocide' of black babies

Washington (CNN) – Using unusually harsh words, a potential presidential candidate echoed some previous comments: claiming that Planned Parenthood’s original mission was to “help kill black babies before they came into the world.”

Herman Cain went on to say that the sexual and reproductive health care provider is carrying out its mission of “planned genocide.”

In response, the group said that Cain is using "inflammatory and divisive language based on race to achieve extreme political goals" of ending legal abortion.

Cain, an African-American and the first Republican to launch a presidential exploratory committee, made the comments Tuesday during a question-and-answer session at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank in Washington.

The purpose of the session was for Cain to talk about national policy.  He covered lots of ground: outlining his views on monetary policy, “fixing” the Federal Reserve, and overturning “Obamacare.”

His comments about Planned Parenthood come amid a debate in Congress over federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  Attached to the spending bill recently passed by the House is an amendment from Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana that denies the group funds.

Speaking to reporters and bloggers at the Heritage Foundation, Cain echoed a position expressed by many other Republicans.

“I support de-funding Planned Parenthood,” Cain said.  “Tactically how they [Congress] does it…I can’t tell you.”

Cain then explained the reason behind his stance.

“You probably don’t hear a lot of people talking about this,” Cain said.  “When Margaret Sanger – check my history – started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world.”

“It's planned genocide,” Cain claimed.

“It’s carrying out its original mission,” he continued.  “I’ve talked to young girls who go in there, and they [Planned Parenthood] don’t talk about how you plan parenthood.  They don’t talk about adoption as an option.  They don’t say, ‘Well, bring your parents in so we can sit down and talk with you, and counsel with you before you make this decision.’”

Planned Parenthood responded to Cain’s comments in a statement to CNN.

“Herman Cain is clearly out of the mainstream by supporting an extreme proposal that would bar Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving federal funds for any purpose, including for preventive health care, lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, HIV testing and STD testing and treatment,” said Veronica Byrd, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s director of African-American Media. “The care that Planned Parenthood provides benefits all women, especially African-American women who experience higher rates of illness.”

Byrd continued: “Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide affordable, health care to every woman who comes through the doors of one of our 800 health centers, regardless of where she lives, her race or ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, or income level. We are committed to providing every woman with a full range of high quality health care.”

As for the claim regarding African-American babies, Byrd cited a study that “found that fewer than one in 10 abortion clinics are located in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.”

Byrd did not respond directly to Cain’s words about its founder, Margaret Sanger.

But Planned Parenthood’s website heaps praise on her as a hero in the “fight for women’s health, rights and equality.”

It describes her as helping to open the nation’s first birth control clinic in New York, in 1916, at a time when women had far fewer societal rights and often bore multiple children because of widespread public opinion against birth control.

Sanger’s “mother had 18 pregnancies, bore 11 children, and died in 1899 at the age of 40,” the site states.  “Working as a nurse with immigrant families on New York's Lower East Side, Sanger witnesses the sickness, misery, and death that result from unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion. The clinic she opens provides contraceptive advice to poor, immigrant women, some of whom line up hours before the doors open.”

Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN


Filed under: Herman Cain • Planned Parenthood
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Really

    Herman Cain, your a pig. How dare you!!! Planned parenthood is a wonderful organization who helps thousands upon thousands of women. If you are so concern about abortions then you should be the first person to adopt these children. Nothing to say about that....! .Women and only women have the right to decide what is best for them. Planned Parenthood helps many women on many levels. Get off you soap box MR. and start adopting. Or shut your disgusting mouth.

    March 15, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Jack

    Planned Parenthood is also about promoting contraceptives. It is also about promoting good sexual hygiene and respsonible sexual behavior. Aren't these good things? We should try to have a "plan" in life. Just having babies for the sake of having babies –whenever–doesn't make any rational sense, does it? Besides, this is a woman's choice. Us guys should stay the heck out of it.

    March 15, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. payback

    ....As a black man myself.....cain, speaks like a FOOL...Planned parenthood's misson is to prevent unwanted children....Something the rightwing.. Like to harp on, about, black males, not being responsible in the care of their offspring. And having The federal government shouldering that responsiblilty. Also the TAXPAYERS.......If he's willing to take care of all the unwanted children. Let him have at it. DUDE.........................

    March 15, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Jon

    Annnnnnnnd he's no longer a serious contender for President. There goes that chance, GOP. Who else you got?

    March 15, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. seriously???

    Not that he was gonna get a Republican nomination anyway but... BYE BYE!!! SEE YA!!

    Way to keep the Republican crazy train movin' right along!!

    March 15, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. steven harnack

    So now the Republicans would have us believe that THEY are the defenders of minorities. Of course what is missing from the story is what they will do with these children that are born without any hope of a future. First they will deny the mothers any kind of a safety net, if that doesn't kill them off then they can build more prisons to put the survivors in.

    March 15, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Bruce

    Yeah...and the VW beetle was designed by A. Hitler too...that doesn't mean that we shouldn't import or buy the beetle. My point is that just because an idea is presented by a madman/woman does not mean it relates to the current mission or purpose of the organization. Smoke and mirrors people...move on...there's nothing to see here.

    March 15, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. aatami

    One word..........Idiot.

    March 15, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Don

    Planned Parenthood is probably one of the most non-racist organizations you are going to find. It also does very valuable work for women.

    Yes, women. Is that what Mr. Cain really has a problem with?

    March 15, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Bill

    All aboard! The GOP lunatic train is now leaving the station.

    March 15, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. Karma6338

    Herman Cain is an idiot. I thought this guy had some sense...but alas, he opened his mouth. It was at a Planned Parenthood where I found out I had Sickle Cell trait.

    March 15, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    I'm white and went to Planned Parenthood as a young adult because I was under-insured by my employer and had a family history of cervical cancer. Because of the access and affordability of Planned Parenthood's clinic, my pre-cancer diagnosis at 27 was caught early enough for me to have successful cervical surgery (and I've since had all normal exams, knock wood).

    The Planned Parenthood clinic I went to was filled with information about taking care of your body, protecting it from disease, being responsible for your own birth control and if you should get pregnant, what to do to take care of yourself and your baby to have a successful pregnancy. There was also information about post-partum classes, parenting seminars and community support and help for young families.

    I think Mr. Cain is delusional in thinking that somehow Planned Parenthood is out to commit genocide against African-Americans. His desire to be president has made him compromise his intellect and morality.

    Pretty pathetic what these GOPers are willing to do in the name of seeking the Republican presidential nomination ...

    March 15, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. shoegazer

    You've come a long way baby........

    March 15, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Mikey

    Another GOP nutcase. How surprising! The question is, what does Planned Parenthood do for society? What is the end result of its activities? There are tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands FEWER abortions every year becasue of access to birth control becase of PP. Mothers and babies are healthier. Poverty is reduced. Fewer poorly cared for and hungry children due to better education and birth control. Less social problems. Fewer young adults in trouble or in prison. Savings of hundreds of millions of dollars due to less welfare, fewer prison inmates, and fewer health issues.

    What morons want to defund Planned Parenthood? The stupid among us are going to be out downfall.

    March 15, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Jamie

    Amen Mr. Cain. About time a republican isn't scared to stand up and speak the truth.

    March 15, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Steve in Denver

    Are you trying to out crazy Bachmann? You're well on your way.

    March 15, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. CAIN't

    Give me a break you fool. A Barack Obama you are NOT, Two words: You Lose

    March 15, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. edinatlanta

    The scary part is he's a mainstream Republican

    March 15, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. Regis990

    I love the anti abortion crowd...they're are real good at telling us what's wrong, evil, genocide, etc... But when you ask them about cases of rape, incest, danger to mother's life they don't say too much.

    March 15, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Cain's got this 'in your face' type of approach to politics. The Rehugs are playing him like a violin; using him for entertainment purposes. "Look at the strong Black man full of verve and conviction, willing to put in more than a full day's work in Congress and pushing us to do the same........he's NOT going to make it in our Party either". But gosh he sounds just like the whole lot of you, except that he's better! He took a real person, and a true statement and spun it into Black genocide. He's got me running to the archives lookig for confirmation one way or another and that's a heluuva lot more than your other idiots Palin, Bachmann, and the rest ever made me do. They were so God-awful hyperbolists that you KNEW they were lying. This guy Cain, not so much. Hmmm.

    A word to the wise Rethugs: THIS ONE doesn't look like he'll go quietly into the night like Mushmouth when you're done with him. I'd suggest that you don't give him too much rope as he's likely to try and hang as many of you of as he can get his hands on with it. Wink, wink, you betcha!!!

    March 15, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. Marcus

    If his opinions about the founder of PP are right or wrong does not matter.
    Her work, and how it was developed until it reached its current level of daily achievements are the parts that matter.
    What exactly PP does for the American women that goes there looking for affordable help?
    What are the services offered (besides the only one that matters for the bible-thumpers)?
    Take a look at Gandhi for instance, he was a racist, more than once he stated his views of the black race as 'inferior', and that did not prevented him from being a great man (although this and a few otherssaspects of his personality are generally forgotten by his supporters) who helped his country in a way that few could believe that it would be possible.

    March 15, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Yes, women. Is that what Mr. Cain really has a problem with?"

    Actually, no. Applying the same sort of warped, inbred and self-serving illogic and race-baiting that Cain is applying, what Cain really has a problem with is that he feels there simply aren't enough deadbeat babydaddies failing to support and help raise their children...not to mention the lack of parentless children being raised by financially unprepared single mothers in the world. The guy is a mouthpiece buffoon for corporate America, which simply wants poverty ramped up and the incidence rate of people finding themselves in financial traps increased so they have to atke what corpoarte America is willing to give them in order to survive on consumer debt products and can find no way out, no way of reaching the surface and no way of fighting back.

    March 15, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  23. Oodoodanoo

    Well, this is an argument that will resonate with both black members of the Tea Party.

    March 15, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. The unsub

    I can hear a lot of feathers being ruffled.

    March 15, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. Captain Morgan

    Isn't is sad? The GOP wants to destroy Planned Parenthood and they want to force people to bring unwanted children into this world. And the kicker? Republicans defund everything that helps Americans in need. But they love to spend money on wealthy people and Wall St. So in essence, republicans are destroying all of America to make a better world for their wealthy, elitist friends. Use the power. Use your vote to get them all out of office. They hate our president because he is black. Day after day, they make lies up about Obama. Vote against any republican.

    March 15, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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