Despite the surge in “fiscal conservatism,” there may be hope for social issues yet. In recent years, centrist Republicans and independents have been pushing the Party to abandon or de-emphasize social issues in favor of supposed broader voter appeal. Thankfully, some brave Republicans have been ignoring these voices and are taking strong steps against abortion across the country.
In the last several months, conservatives have focused their attacks on Planned Parenthood – the largest provider of abortions in the United States. Planned Parenthood provides roughly one quarter of the 1,200,000 abortions per year in the U.S. For years, Planned Parenthood has thrived on the back of the American taxpayer. In its 2006-2007 fiscal year, it received $336.7 million from government grants and contracts – roughly one third of its income.
It’s a wonder that tax dollars ever went to Planned Parenthood in the first place. Think about it: Abortion has been one of the most divisive political issues in the U.S. since it was first legalized in 1973. Yet the money of millions of taxpayers is taken by the government and given to the largest abortion provider in the nation. How did we ever get in this position in the first place?
Now all of that is changing. Eight states have recently blocked or reduced funding to Planned Parenthood. North Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, and now Wisconsin have moved forcefully against the organization. In some cases, Republican-controlled legislatures pushed through budget changes that cut all or some of Planned Parenthood’s state funding. In other cases, Republicans were able to find alternative means for de-funding the group, including altering budget priority breakdowns or, in the unique case of New Hampshire, using the state’s Executive Council to decline Planned Parenthood’s request for state contract renewal.
These efforts are just beginning, and it is greatly encouraging to see politicians who claim to be pro-life actually acting on their convictions. Of course, Democrats are pushing back. The Obama Administration has made strong statements that states cannot exclude Medicaid providers because of services they offer, and the Administration has threatened to strip all Medicaid funding from states that would block Planned Parenthood. In response to the fight, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt blocked the Indiana law in a preliminary injunction on Friday.
Democrats like to “reassure” pro-lifers: Medicaid funding can only legally pay for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or danger to a mother’s life. Otherwise, funds could only be given to Planned Parenthood for, say, STD testing, pap smears, contraception, and the like.
Anyone who has ever balanced even a basic home budget knows this line is simplistic. Additional funds coming in for one purpose free up other funds for other purposes. If Planned Parenthood receives more funding for STD testing and condoms, those donations free up money for other parts of their business, including providing abortions.
Planned Parenthood defenders often argue, “But abortions are only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s business – they primarily preach prevention and health.” That argument might be a bit more effective if Planned Parenthood actually encouraged safety and responsibility, but it does anything but that.
Planned Parenthood does not encourage responsible self-control – it passes out condoms and provides STD testing. Planned Parenthood does not help young mothers and encourage adoptions – it performed 332,278 abortions in 2009 while referring only 977 mothers for adoptions. For every one baby they helped to put up for adoption, they aborted 340 others. They actively encourage a lifestyle of sex without consequences or responsibility.
Americans have helped to fund this monster for too long. We currently abort one child for every four who are born – and Planned Parenthood is behind a quarter of those abortions. A recent Polling Company/WomanTrend poll revealed that the majority of Americans (54%) are opposed to giving tax dollars “for family planning services” to organizations that also perform abortions, with 43% strongly opposed. Clearly, America is not on board with this “charity.”
Even the pro-choice advocate should consider: Do you want the government to take money from your pro-life neighbor by force, and give it to the number-one provider of abortions in the U.S.? From your neighbor’s point of view, the government is taking his money and giving it to an organization that murders hundreds of thousands of people every year. Why would you want to force other people to fund something they think is murder?
Republicans in state governments are standing up for the principles they espouse, and their actions point to hope for the future. Public opinion has slowly been turning against abortion for some time, and now policy is beginning to follow. Perhaps our grandchildren will grow up in a culture that looks back on legalized and taxpayer-funded abortion as a tragic part of our history.