Jaffe Memo

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The 1969 Jaffe Memo is an infamous tabulation of ideas for reducing the world's population, compiled by Planned Parenthood Vice President (World Population Division) Frederick S. Jaffe. The table was included in a memorandum written by Jaffe to Bernard Berelson, in response to a request Berelson made to Jaffe for ideas.[1]

The memorandum is presented neutrally, with very little repudiation of the ideas it lists. Instead, it calls for 'further study' on point after point. Defenders of Planned Parenthood insist that Jaffe was merely listing proposals that were made by others, implying that Planned Parenthood itself was not considering any of them. Critics counter that with copious illustrations where Planned Parenthood or its officials were actively engaged in such considerations. Because of documents such as these, questions with potential implications for the present day naturally surface: "Just what did Planned Parenthood decide?"[2]

Strictly speaking, what is known as the 'memo' is actually a table from a fuller memorandum. Ideas listed on the 'memo' include:

  • Restructuring family by altering the ideal family size
  • Compulsory education
  • Encouraging homosexuality
  • Adding fertility control agents to the water supply
  • Compulsory abortion
  • Compulsory sterilization
  • Discouraging home ownership
  • and others

Given the outrage inspired by the idea that anyone would ever consider such ideas, let alone contemplate carrying them out, it is understandable why organizations like Planned Parenthood would wish to distance itself from the memo.

The memo is available to read online.[3]

See also


  1. Jaffe Memo. Jaffememo.com. Retrieved on 2016-05-05.
  2. Jaffe Memo 'basis for discussion'. Jaffememo.com. Retrieved on 2016-05-01.
  3. Jaffe Memo as PDF Download. Jaffememo.com. Retrieved on 2016-05-05.