An Objective Look At Issues Without Idol-Worship

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Thoughts on Planned Parenthood

A friend of mine had a status decrying the fact that the House voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Here was my response:

The kind of mentality that you're bringing to the table is the kind of mentality that has led to this country's moral and fiscal bankruptcy. Everyone wants lower taxes, more spending, and a balanced budget. Everyone wants to cut some other person's favorite program, but not their own. Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too.

I agree that there are plenty of things that could be cut, and Planned Parenthood is one of them. Government has absolutely no business funding anything that does not have to do with personal security or national defense. And when it comes to political reality, Planned Parenthood is an EASY spending cut, unlike Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, TANF, the "Defense" budget, etc. Ultimately, the government will have to cut the difficult-to-cut programs too, but it has to start SOMEWHERE. And it's a lot easier to cut funding for a program which a lot of people find outright immoral, than it is to cut funding for a program like food stamps.

If Planned Parenthood is such a valuable organization (and I think it is), then it will survive in the free market. Planned Parenthood existed as an organization completely independent of government subsidization before and there is no reason why it cannot exist independent of government again. The fact of the matter is that Planned Parenthood only receives 1/3 of its funding from government grants and contracts. If 1/5 women have really visited PP, then clearly PP has a very good base of supporters from which it can ask for VOLUNTARY (as opposed to INVOLUNTARY and COERCED) donations. If one in five women have really found PP to be beneficial, then PP should have NO problem finding adequate funding for its operations.

Furthermore, a lot of Planned Parenthood's most valuable operations - e.g. abortions, provisions of contraceptives, and so forth - are already funded by the income that PP receives from their clinics (in other words, the money they charge for abortions &c.). So removing federal funding won't endanger the most important functions of PP. And the profits from these go towards funding their unprofitable operations like sex ed. So it all works out.

One last thing: The removal of federal funding for Planned Parenthood could remove it out of the political spotlight. It will undoubtedly give Planned Parenthood (and its donors) more freedom to control its operations. Whereas political pressure and threats to remove federal funding could have changed what PP has done in the past, now that it is free from federal funding it will have greater operational freedom. Being freed from the whims of pro-life politicians should be something that Planned Parenthood and its supporters should be rejoicing.