Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Defunding Planned Parenthood

Over the course of my life the issue of abortion has run a course from slightly supporting its use and easy availability to indifference to where I am now. I am pro-life with some qualifiers. Although I do firmly believe that life begins at conception abortion “privileges” is the law of the land and until such things change, it should be available. However, I do believe that when future generations look back on us through the prism of history there will be great shame. Abortion has extinguished 50 million lives in the past nearly 40 years. I also do not believe that abortion should be used as a form of birth control.  Planned Parenthood does supply low income women with means for birth control such as condoms, but they also consider abortion under the banner of “reproductive rights”. But one place I do draw the line is using my tax dollars in any fashion to fund abortions.

A couple of weeks back Mike Pence (R-IN) sponsored a bill in the House to basically defund Planned Parenthood. Pence has been a long-time supporter of overturning Roe v. Wade and his bill was in response to the taping of what could be considered less than honorable actions (illegal?) by some staff members at Planned Parenthood clinics.  The bill was able to pass the House mostly along party lines (WA was down the part line).  Now the bill goes to the Senate where it faces a pretty stiff challenge from the democrat majority.  PP gets about $300 million for the government, which is about one-third of their annual budget. This Title 10 money is not used to fund abortions directly.

PP is rallying in DC this week to try and convince members of the Senate to defeat this bill. Elaine Rose is the chief executive of Planned Parenthood Votes! Washington and is in DC with other supporters of PP and legal abortions. In an article in the Seattle Times she said that defunding PP would deny health care to millions of women who are low income, stating that 60% of users of PP in Washington State have no other health care providers.  But one other thing she said kind of stuck in my craw:

The GOP’s agenda “is not at all a fiscal argument,” Rose said.  What the Republicans ultimately want is they don’t want birth control.

What an absolutely asinine statement to make. As a Republican and a conservative I want birth control. I certainly do not mind that PP provides birth control to its patients (condoms, the pill, etc.). But I do have a problem when people consider killing the unborn a method of birth control.

I do like the idea of defunding PP as a way to try and take abortion out of the equation. With about a third less money in their annual budget, PP will have to make some hard choices. Do they continue to fund “normal” means of birth control by cutting back on their advocacy for abortion? Or is PP so ideologically tied to abortion that they will cut back on their clinical work that provides these normal means of birth control?

I do not have a large issue with my tax dollars being used as a means of funding birth control methods for the low income. I also have no trouble with my tax dollars going towards education, whether it be abstinence or “this is what happens when birth control is not used”.  What better way to lift people out of poverty than to provide them with the means of preventing pregnancy when they don’t have the means to support the new born. But I do not consider abortion as a form of birth control just because a person is too lazy to insist on their partner using a condom or the pill.

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