Planned Parenthood is showing its support for a group of Maine grandmothers promoting abortion rights led by the daughter of a longtime associate of Margaret Sanger.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) April 26, 2017
“Grandmas for Reproductive Rights” (GRR) engages in letter-writing to legislators and joins rallies at statehouses to protect abortion-on-demand.
“There is something about grandmothers doing this, working with this and caring, because it’s not for us at this point,” said the group’s founder, Judy Kahrl, according to CBS affiliate WGME. “It is for our daughters, our sons, our grandsons, our granddaughters.”
Kahrl, 81, said she and other women of her generation, who view abortion as women’s health care, recall the days before Roe v. Wade, when abortion was illegal.
“I think women are waking up to how threatened this kind of care is,” she said. “Every legislative session there’s a bill submitted to restrict women’s access.”
LifeNews.com notes a report in the Bangor Daily News explaining that Kahrl’s father, Clarence Gamble, maintained a longstanding association during the 1930s with eugenicist Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. His work with Sanger reportedly led to the establishment of clinics and research projects.
Kahrl is also the great-granddaughter of James Gamble, the co-founder of Procter & Gamble.
“I grew up with all this talk and activity,” Kahrl said. “It was known in our family as ‘Daddy’s Great Cause.’ … He was very concerned about population explosion in the poorest countries of the world and wanted people to know they could do something about it.”
Kahrl says that measures such as parental consent laws that require young girls to obtain their parents’ permission prior to abortion and those requiring abortion clinics to maintain the same health and safety standards as other outpatient clinics – all are medically unnecessary and threaten women’s abortion rights.
“Whenever any subordinate group gains power, the dominant group pushes back,” she said. “We see this backlash happening now against the black community, and we see it happening against women.”
Kahrl said GRR’s mailing list is growing, and she is hoping to start additional chapters in other states.
“I had a totally different picture of what my years would be at this point, but I just have to do this and I think the others feel the same way,” she said.