Jeb Bush would rather you forget that his grandfather helped found Planned Parenthood

Can you name any historical figures who helped Planned Parenthood kick off its first fundraising campaign back in 1947? If you first guessed some progressive liberal icon, you’d be wrong.

Can you name any historical figures who helped Planned Parenthood kick off its first fundraising campaign back in 1947? If you first guessed some progressive liberal icon, you’d be wrong.

The die-hard public pro-life bona fides of George W. Bush and his brother and current GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush are undeniable. Jeb has repeatedly said that he would defund Planned Parenthood if he’s elected, and it’s been a promise he’s been making long before the Center for Medical Progress launched their viral undercover video campaign attacking the non-profit, claiming the organization was “selling baby parts.”

But a little known fact — first resurfacing in a 2005 article in SFGate — reveals that the grandfather and father of the last two Bush presidents, Prescott Bush, was the treasurer of the organization in its early years.

But even then, supporting a woman’s right to control over her own reproductive system was politically dangerous.

The political repercussions hit hard. Prescott Bush was knocked out of an expected victory for a Senate seat in Connecticut in 1950 after syndicated columnist Drew Pearson declared that it “has been made known” that Bush was a leader in the “Birth Control Society” (The old name of Planned Parenthood had been the Birth Control Federation of America.) Recall that contraceptives were controversial in those days — and remember that a constitutional right to use them wasn’t established until 1965, when the Supreme Court affirmed an implied right to privacy in Griswold vs. Connecticut.

Prescott Bush won a Senate seat two years later, and his son George and daughter-in-law Barbara continued to support Planned Parenthood even after George’s election to Congress from Texas. In fact, he was such an advocate for family planning that some House colleagues gave him the nickname “Rubbers.”


Letter from George H.W. Bush to the President of Planned Parenthood (1972)

But as the GOP moved further to the right, George H.W. had to follow and he began to take a more public stance against abortion as he geared up for a White House run.

By the time he was Ronald Reagan’s running mate, Bush had to bow to Reagan’s demand that his vice president embrace the call for a constitutional amendment against abortion. At that point, the die had already been cast for Jeb and Bush.

[AI, Reason.com] Featured image via The Boston Globe



  1. Avatar


    August 7, 2015 at 1:05 am

    His grandfather Prescott Bush also did business with the Nazi’s while knowing full well what they were doing. He ended up getting his assets seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act.


  2. Avatar

    Patricia Hansom

    August 7, 2015 at 6:02 am

    When planned parenthood was founded it was not the abomination it is now. It was about sex education and birth control. Abortion was still illegal and really unthinkable. It was truly planned parenthood, how not to become pregnant, not how to be irresponsible and avoid the consequences by killing your own children!

  3. Avatar

    Daniel Guillot

    August 7, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    The FALSE and heavily doctored video is a PHONY. JUST LIKE the one that was done by James O Keef on ACORN,,and it is being perpetrated again this time Planned Parenthood will be the victim of a hate campaign from the Christian right,,,and serve the same purpose of the James O K eef phony film what ever happend to that ?…
    James O’Keefe Pays $100,000 To ACORN Employee He Smeared …

    Mar 8, 2013 – James O’Keefe – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey) RememberJames O’Keefe?
    James O’Keefe Pays $100,000 To ACORN Employee He Smeared …

    Mar 8, 2013 – James O’Keefe – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey) RememberJames O’Keefe?

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  5. Avatar


    August 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Why would anyone be surprised that the man was a eugenicist?

  6. Avatar


    August 9, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Planned Parenthood hasn’t always promoted abortion. They used to focus on birth control alone. So, maybe the Republicans have moved right on the issue, but Planned Parenthood, along with the Democratic party, has moved left. Most people don’t have an issue with contraceptives and that’s not the source of the latest controveray.

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    Dale Johnson

    August 9, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    I am pretty sure Planned Parenthood was not selling baby parts for Lamborghini’s & $$ in those days….
    just a hunch

  8. Avatar

    Susan Nelson

    August 10, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Dumb s-it!

  9. Avatar

    Susan Nelson

    August 10, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you Daniel. I made the connection between the two witch hunts as well. Hopefully Planned Parenthood has more support on so many levels that will prevent it from the fate of ACORN. On the other hand, you get too powerful and get too much done and you catch hell from the right wing. Well too bad, they lost gay marriage so now it’s time to get whatever they can…thus this crap.

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    Bob Bruman

    August 11, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Sadly I don’t want to forget that Jeb Bush. 🙁 He looks like a nice kid. I hate to think he is really gone.

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    Joe R

    August 12, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Abortion wasn’t “unthinkable” when Planned Parenthood started. It just was illegal. That meant that women who wanted to terminate their pregnancies had less safe choices. Richer women could go to a doctor who performed abortions illegally. Poorer women would try to do the abortion themselves or go to someone who did not have professional qualifications. The campaign for abortion rights started in part because women were dying in back alley abortions. If you are an advocate for fewer abortions, it makes sense to support Planned Parenthood offers access to birth control.

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    Scrynt Cauldein

    August 12, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Yes… Prescott sure laid some solid groundwork for “H-dub”, “the shrub”, and “Jeb!”, didn’t he?

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    August 12, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    “Promote” abortion? They provide abortion; it’s 3% of what they do. They don’t promote — ie, try to talk anyone into — abortion.

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    August 14, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Yes a lot of young men have gotten out of the responsibility of parenthood. Shameful very shameful. These young men need to be held responsible for the lives they help create.

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    August 16, 2015 at 10:34 am

    For starters Patricia, abortion has been around since at the least the time of the early Romans. JSYK, Planned Parenthood is still a bout ‘how not to become pregnant’. It is the people bashing (and attempting to prevent) birthcontrol that are irrisponsible, not women that want contraceptives. Planned Parenthood is about FAMILY PLANNING, not about giving abortions. The name clearly spells it out. Terminaning an occaisional, accidental pregnancy is only a tiny fraction of what Planned Parenthood does. That is until people like you starting running around trashing them to support some political nonsense. Nonsense which is all rooted in false claims started by lying politicians, that fools believe. If you don’t like abortions, don’t get one. If you think bashing and trying to close Planned Parenthood is going to stop them, think again, people have been aborting for thousands of years. Planned Parenthood STOPS UNWANTED PREGANCIES, ergo stops abortion. If there are no unwanted pregnancies, there will be no abortions. Follow the reasoning I know it may be difficult for you, but it is easy if you try.

  16. Avatar


    August 16, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I shudder to think of what your idiocy brings upon those that are forced to be around you.

  17. Avatar


    September 19, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Abortion was never unthinkable I have witnessed the results of back room abortions 2 times in my life and never want a 3rd. Personally I am not in favor of abortion however I am in favor of a women’s right to choose. That is the issue women’s rights against the rights of a fetus.

  18. Avatar

    Daniel Guillot

    September 19, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    The IGNORANT beleif the the moment the sperm hits the egg it is atoumaticly a baby? NONSENSE that would be the same as saying one the first cancer cell develops in your body you are a corpse….

  19. Avatar

    Toby Powell

    September 19, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Really? ‘Abomination’. This kind of silly indignation is about the holier than though cheap grace mongers who wreak with hypocrisy. Shoe fit?

  20. Avatar


    September 19, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    The 3% you are talking about is NOT funded by Federal Money! The 97% is what everyone should be talking about. This is a great organization, who have helped millions of women with early cancer detection.

    Update on the film~the baby shown was from a miscarriage; the two people trying to purchase fetuses were ACTORS; Planned Parenthood does not sell “body parts, livers, hearts!!!

  21. Avatar

    Florida fed up

    September 19, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I call him Bush brat. That is what he is.

  22. Avatar


    September 20, 2015 at 1:36 am

    When the Republican Party was founded it was not the abomination it is now. It was about justice and ending slavery. Slavery was legal in many states but civilized people thought it unconscionable. It was truly about protecting human rights, and showed concern for the poor, the sick, the young and the old. Today its main concern is punishing women for enjoying recreational sex, as men have done forever, by limiting access to contraceptives and banning even medically necessary abortions, as well as forcing victims of rape and incest to carry to term. The concern for life apparently ends at birth, as Republicans have slashed assistance for women with children who are at risk of serious illness or chronic malnutrition due to poverty.

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    September 20, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Does everyone forget that he was the main proponent against Terry Schiavo?That woman that did not want to live if she were cognitively dead?That made the family suffer for years? His morality is in the gutter.How sad that the Bushes are nothing but liars,cheats,and self-serving bastards!Rallying cry of the Republicans! Smaller government! Yay!What are they doing in my bedroom? In my body? They want to control my life! Smaller government? When they want control of what we do in the privacy of our homes?wake up you idiots they want to control if you want to have fellatio or cunnilingus. Wow!missionary position only? Really? How many “family values” politicians are out there getting the horrible sex that they want but we can’t have it? They have to pay for it, but we poor stupid commoners do it for love.Are we truly back into medieval times where you are a whore or a Madonna?Aren’t you sick to death of republicans telling you what you can and can’t do?Meanwhile they are doing whatever they want. Why is it ok when they pay for whatever and we give it for love and we are the ones that are messed up?

  24. Avatar


    September 20, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I was thinking the same thing. It’s like most things that out live their usefulness. They start out with a just cause (like making birth control available) and devolve from there.

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    September 20, 2015 at 10:14 am

    So in your opinion, selling baby parts for profit is ok? I’m sure you are going to say that the people filming the video are the ones who encouraged it. But the fact is that if Planned Parenthood want already selling baby parts then they wouldn’t have been able to bring up the subject. It’s a know fact that PP has turned into abortion mills and 98% of business they conduct is for abortions. Now we find out they are selling the babies for profit and you still defend?

  26. Avatar

    Brent Jatko

    September 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    They’re not now, so what’s your point?

  27. Avatar

    Brent Jatko

    September 21, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I remember the Terry Schiavo fiasco. Others would do well to do so.

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  29. Avatar

    Chris Andoe

    September 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Some would greet this news with a pregnant pause.

  30. Avatar


    September 22, 2015 at 1:01 am

    That is a full-blown, liberal kook aid drinking lie.

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    September 22, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    97% of what Planned Parenthood does IS womens health. And not abortion. People are so easily led to believe the most illogical things, but you all go and hate PP, it is your right. I just hope that you lose.

  32. Avatar


    September 22, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    “Recall that contraceptives were controversial in those days”

    Yeah, well, thanks to the current crop of assholes in the Republican party, they’re controversial again. Only ten years since that article was written and already things are completely different. 🙁

  33. Avatar


    September 24, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Because they got caught. That’s like saying a mass murderer isn’t murdering now so what’s the big deal?

  34. Avatar

    H. Kathryn Lamat

    November 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    … but they AREN’T. They simply are not “held responsible.” It’s a futile goal, and the femmes are the ones left with a child to raise and a life upended, while the males skip off. Early abortion and contraception, including the morning-after pill, are the only rational answers to the problems. People fornicate. They fornicate rather indiscriminately when they are young. THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN TRUE, no matter the social prohibitions! It will NOT change until males cease believing they are entitled, or, as they prefer to call it, “driven” to fornicate at their pleasure. It is the height of insanity to continue to block femmes’ right to choose whether to be the host an embryo and eventually act as caretaker of a child – with or without the male.

  35. Avatar


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