Planned Parenthood Prez Gets Grant for Pro-Abortion “Catholic” Group

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 20, 2011   |   7:30PM   |   Washington, DC

The president of the Planned Parenthood Breton business is facing accusations she used her position on the board of directors of the Ford Foundation to enable a grant for a heretical pro-abortion organization that bills itself as a Catholic group.

The Ford Foundation gave a grant to “Catholics for Choice” to the tune of $300,000 to provide “general support to assist Catholic policy makers, groups that empower women of color and others disproportionately impacted by public policies that affect reproductive health care options.”

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was named a trustee of the Ford Foundation last February and chairs the board’s Finance Committee. Ford trustees serve six-year terms, and may be re-elected to the board for a second term. The 15-member board of trustees sets broad policy related to the foundation’s issue areas and geographic focus and oversees its investments and grants.

David Schmidt of Live Action, the pro-life group that exposed practices at Planned Parenthood like covering up cases of sexual abuse and helping sex traffickers arrange abortions for their victims, condemned the grant.

“Catholics for Choice is an organization that advocates for the right to abort one’s child — against established Catholic church teaching. While the organization has twice been condemned as a fraud by U.S. Catholics bishops but they boast a significant budget funded mostly by a select group of foundations,” he said.

Schmidt said he was not surprised that Richards steered the grant to “Catholics for Choice” given that the Ford Foundation’s finance committee is influential in determining the final recipients of grants.

“The Finance Committee shall assist the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities with respect to: reviewing and monitoring spending policy for the Foundation consistent with the Foundation’s long term goals; reviewing and monitoring the Foundation’s budget, including program and management appropriations and capital spending; and such other matters as the Board of Trustees may from time to time determine,” foundation documents say.

Schmidt said the donation puts Richards in the position of attempting to pressure the Catholic Church on abortion.

“Since it is established that Catholics for Choice (and the Ford Foundation via their funding) are working to change Catholic teaching, does Cecile Richards as a non-Catholic support this move to change Catholic teaching on abortion?” he asked. “Does Cecile Richards feel it is appropriate as a non-Catholic to try to advocate changing Catholic church beliefs? Does Richards feel it is appropriate to try to change the beliefs or Muslims or other faiths she is not a member of?”

When she was named to the Ford Foundation board, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America commented on Richards’ selection.

“This appointment helps expose Ford Foundation’s long-time radical work on population control,” she said.

“Cecile Richards joining the board of the Ford Foundation reinforces the concern that wealthy elites never ended their penchant for eugenics. Planned Parenthood and the Ford Foundation are two major players in the sordid history of population control. They both pioneered campaigns targeting poor minorities,” she continued. “They both represent rich and powerful people who, as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put it, believe that abortion is a solution to ‘growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.’”

“This alignment does not bode well for the poor and vulnerable who love life and need help to care for their young,” Wright said.

According to its Annual Report, the largest contributors in 2008 to the Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based legal group that is active in overturning pro-life laws in the United States and promoting abortion abroad, included the Ford Foundation.

According to its latest annual report, the pro-abortion  International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) includes the Ford Foundation as one of its largest backers.

Samantha Singson of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute has also noted that the international non-governmental organization Equality Now, a group that has spearheaded campaigns for abortion access in Poland and Nepal, “receives major funding from pro-abortion foundations including George Soros’ Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation.”

ACTION: Contact the Ford Foundation about its naming Richards to the board of trustees and its pro-abortion grants at