Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), who has four adoptive children of African American, Hispanic, and Native American descent, said on Friday that Planned Parenthood "was created for the sole purpose of killing children that look like mine."
“Like the pro-slavery forces who invaded Kansas, the pro-abortion forces in Washington and elsewhere want us to believe that abortion is not murder -- that being born is worse than death, that the unborn baby is property, not a person," Huelskamp said at the 2012 Values Voter Summit, where vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) also spoke.
Huelskamp criticized Obama and the Democrats for wanting to fund Planned Parenthood, adding, "I am incensed that this president pays money to an entity that was created for the sole purpose of killing children that look like mine -- a racist organization, and it continues specifically to target minorities for abortion destruction. Shame on this president and shame on that party.”
Planned Parenthood is often accused of being racist because its founder, Margaret Sanger, was tied in the early 1900s to the eugenics movement, which discouraged mentally disabled people and people with hereditary diseases from reproducing. A number of race-baiting billboard campaigns have cited the disproportionately high incidence of abortions among black women as further evidence that Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion rights proponents are targeting minorities, although statistics suggest that economic circumstances more likely account for the disparity than race does.
Planned Parenthood was not immediately available for comment on Friday, but has unequivocally denied accusations of racism. The family-planning provider sponsored the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival in August, one of the largest African-American entertainment and cultural events in the U.S.
“African Americans have higher rates of many preventable diseases, including cancers, diabetes, heart disease and sexually transmitted infections,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood, said in August. “Planned Parenthood wants to help African Americans get and stay healthy, and the Essence Music Festival is a terrific place to engage with and educate people about how to live healthier lives."
Update: 4:18 p.m. --
Veronica Byrd, director of African-American media for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said Huelskamp’s inflammatory attack against Planned Parenthood is "wrong on the facts" and "unacceptable."
“Planned Parenthood condemns racism or discrimination in any form. It is not what we stand for or work for," she said. "Rep. Tim Huelskamp cannot possibly understand the complex decision for a woman who is considering whether to raise a child, choose adoption or end a pregnancy. That decision should be made by a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health care provider."
She added, "It is simply unacceptable for those who oppose safe and legal abortion to use inflammatory and divisive language based on race to push an ideological agenda."