In the days leading up to the eleventh-hour budget deal reached last Friday, the Liberal Left was out in frenzied force, gnashing their teeth in opposition to GOP efforts to end public funding for Planned Parenthood. Democrats invoked their tried-and-true class warfare rhetoric, insisting that Republican opposition to the organization stems not from opposition to abortion, but from a deep-seated hatred of poor women and a desire to deny them basic, potentially life-saving medical care.
Unfortunately, the Left's propaganda campaign paid off. Planned Parenthood emerged from the budget negotiations unscathed.
While the unique pressures of these kinds of negotiations are understandable, it is extremely disappointing that the GOP caved on this critical issue. All rhetoric and hyperbole aside, it is a documented fact that Planned Parenthood is an ideologically-driven organization dedicated to advancing a radical pro-abortion agenda. When the organization and its supporters decry evil Republicans' attempts to deny critical "family planning" services to low-income women, they are not talking about adoption services or birth control – they are talking about in-clinic abortions, the abortion pill, and efforts to spread their anti-family, anti-child agenda to the women of the world. When they scream that abortion only accounts for 3% of Planned Parenthood's total expenditures, they ignore the fact that a whopping 98% of the services they provide to pregnant women are for abortions. Bottom line? It is incontrovertible fact that – whatever other services they claim to provide for women – Planned Parenthood is the single largest abortion provider in America and the single largest abortion promoter in the world.
Planned Parenthood repeatedly declares that abortion constitutes only 3% of the group's services. This clearly understates the centrality of abortion to Planned Parenthood's agenda and most significantly, to its bottom line. . . . [G]iven the 332,278 abortions the group reported in 2009, the money Planned Parenthood took in from abortion that year was at least $149.9 million, if they charged the going rate ($451) for the basic first trimester surgical abortion. That would represent, not 3%, but more than a third of what Planned Parenthood took in in clinic revenues for the entire year ($404.9 million).
The real number is likely to be much higher, with Planned Parenthood clinics advertising and performing considerably more expensive chemical and later surgical abortions. It isn't just a matter of their cornering the abortion market, though. Planned Parenthood is also a powerful political voice advancing the pro-abortion cause in the U.S. and elsewhere. Their political action arm has raised and spent millions of dollars to get "pro-choice" politicians elected. . . . They have lobbied Congress and state legislatures to protect their funding and to fight any policy that might threaten their abortion empire. In the courts, they have challenged the most basic, common sense legislation, such as right to know laws that defend the rights of women to medical information, and backed barbarities such as partial-birth abortion. They have interfered in the affairs of other countries, pushing them to legalize abortion.
To say that Planned Parenthood is committed to reducing abortions is to go against decades of evidence that shows otherwise.
For the approximately 51% of Americans who define themselves as "pro-life" then, the $100 million in federal funding Planned Parenthood receives each year is, quite literally, blood money. Detractors, of course, will say that this is nonsense, since the Hyde Amendment prevents Planned Parenthood from using any federal funds to pay for abortions. Such a line hardly merits a response, for as we all know, money is fungible. Many Liberals oppose publicly-funded school vouchers, for example, because some parents choose to use those vouchers to send their children to private religious schools. Regardless of whether their individual tax dollars were used in support of these activities, this is condemned by many on the Left as an unconscionable union of church and state. Similarly, gay rights activists recently called for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A restaurants because one of the franchise owners provided catering services for a marriage seminar that promoted an exclusively traditional view of marriage. Was revenue collected from gay customers used to finance the seminar? To the gay community, the question is irrelevant! All that matters is that one Chick-Fil-A restaurant, on one occasion, engaged in conduct that has been interpreted as anti-gay. No further explanation is needed.
(For a more potent example, imagine for a moment that the notorious Westboro Baptist Church received funding through the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for an inner-city soup kitchen. Would it be reasonable or legitimate to ask taxpayers to ignore the repugnant ideology and activities of the church on the assurance that their money is only being used to fund non-controversial portions of the group's work?)
The point is, when it comes to protecting innocent life, there is no room for obfuscation and no room for compromise. For those of us that believe abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent child, Hyde Amendment sophistry holds no book. As concerned as we are about the pathetic fiscal state of American government, we should be doubly-so about its moral bankruptcy. American conservatives expected more from their representatives in Washington.