Don’t mess with Texas — that’s the message Planned Parenthood is hearing loud and clear as they contend with being kicked out of the Lone Star state’s Medicaid program. Since 2015, Texas has been fighting to disqualify Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, when the undercover journalists from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) published evidence of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast scheming to violate federal laws by changing abortion procedures to procure “intact fetal cadavers” and selling the body parts of aborted children as “a matter of line items.”
But Planned Parenthood concocted all sorts of reasons why it should be allowed to keep raking in taxpayer funding, and five years of legal battles later, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an 11—5 ruling on November 23rd, 2020, that ultimately put the final nail in Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding coffin. The abortion behemoth was scheduled to lose funding on February 3rd but has already filed a last-ditch lawsuit and a Texas district judge temporarily blocked the state from withdrawing taxpayer funding.
The fact that Planned Parenthood is subsidized by taxpayers anywhere to begin with is mind-boggling. The abortion Goliath, according to its own annual report, kills 947 children a day. That’s analogous to four dozen kindergarten classrooms full of children, snuffed out by one catastrophically violent organization, day after day.
Sit with that thought for a minute, and then consider the fact that the organization takes in $616 million in annual taxpayer funding, all while openly and proudly butchering our children en masse.
There is no moral or rational explanation for the killing or for the taxpayer funding, and my home state of Texas has been contending with the schizophrenia of both for many years. Despite the legion schemes deployed by Big Abortion to thwart pro-life defunding efforts, Texas never backed down — and their persistence is a cause for hope to the rest of the nation.
The pro-life movement sometimes succumbs to a kind of federal myopia. We remember that abortion was unleashed on our nation by one Supreme Court decision that struck down pro-life protections in every state, but we forget that federal efforts are not the only way to undo the damage. In fact, state-by-state wins are our clearest path toward victory in the present climate, especially under the unprecedented hostility of the Biden-Harris administration. The defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas is a valuable reminder that state efforts matter. If we remain committed to winning battles at the state and local levels, the pro-life movement will hit critical mass in overcoming the abortion industry in matters of legislation and public opinion.
Speaking of public opinion, Texas’s move to protect taxpayers from the forced funding of Planned Parenthood is a smart, popular policy. Voters don’t support taxpayer funding of abortion — and make no mistake: funding Planned Parenthood is funding abortion. Planned Parenthood’s own president told The Washington Post in December that abortion is “a critically important part of what we do.” She said that calling abortion a small part of Planned Parenthood’s model is a way of “stigmatizing” abortion. “We are a proud abortion provider. We believe that abortion is health care... so I don’t like to marginalize it in that way.” Yet, in a new survey commissioned by Students for Life of America last month, the critically important voter bloc of 18- to 34-year-olds (Millennials and Gen Z) reported themselves staunchly opposed to funding abortion at home and abroad. Young voters opposed forced taxpayer funding of abortion in the US by a margin of 48 percent to 36 percent. Moves to expand abortion industry subsidies aren’t just immoral; they’re out of touch and tone-deaf. Texas got this one right.
Our government abolished the black slave trade, helped end the atrocities of World War II, and made huge strides toward Civil Rights for marginalized black Americans. Yet the same federal government today denies the human rights of an entire group of preborn people, sanctioning the slaughter of nearly a million innocent children every year. Something has gone horribly amiss, and it will take the grit and determination of millions of pro-life activists to right this wrong — especially under Biden and Harris. Texas is demonstrating that grit in seeing the termination of Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract to the end. Persistence and unyielding perseverance are a winning strategy for our movement. Don’t underestimate the power of a state, local community, or one person to make a difference in abolishing abortion. For Texas, the Fifth Circuit’s powerful ruling rested in large part on the evidence of Planned Parenthood’s wrongdoing in Texas provided by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). The CMP was spearheaded by one gritty young man — David Daleiden — who saw a crack in Goliath’s armor and went after it with everything he had. One state, one organization, and one man made a difference — and so can you.
Lauren Enriquez is Deputy Media Strategist with Students for Life of America and SFLAction, working from Texas for the organizations that have more than 1,250 groups in all 50 states.