I see that the Senate is voting to defund Planned Parenthood. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand they do heaps of good. On the other hand, many people have a very serious moral problem with their tax dollars being used to pay for abortions. And whether you or I agree with them or not, there is a very valid question as to whether or not the government should ever pay for abortions.
I find myself in a very odd position regarding this issue, in that I have a foot in both camps. My own stance is that I strongly support every woman’s right to choose for herself, and I also strongly think that taxpayer money should NOT be spent on abortions. The issue is too volatile, too divisive, and too personal for government involvement.
To illustrate this, consider another highly volatile and polarized issue. Think about how a sector of the taxpaying public would react if the US government decided to start spending money to buy handguns for private citizens. Gun opponents would be tearing their hair out, and properly so, demanding that the government stop funding gun purchases to buy handguns for private citizens.
Here’s my bottom line:
The fact that something is legal, or even that it is a right which is protected by the Constitution, does NOT necessarily mean that taxpayer money should support it.
Call me crazy, but just as I think the US Government shouldn’t buy guns for private citizens, I also think the US Government shouldn’t buy abortions for private citizens. Those are personal choices that for me absolutely shouldn’t be funded by taxes.
However, I have a simple solution to the Planned Parenthood problem. Planned Parenthood should spin off the part of the organization that is involved in performing abortions. Call the new organization something related, perhaps “Planned Choice”. It would be a totally separate organization.
Then Planned Parenthood could have its government funding restored, and they could get back to doing what most of their time and money is currently spent doing, which is providing a wide variety of prenatal counseling, information and solutions. This is a wise investment of taxpayer funds, because preventing problems early is cheaper than dealing with them later.
People have told me that the new “Planned Choice” organization would be without funds. I doubt this, because of the large amount of public support for Planned Parenthood. I think that it would not be difficult to raise private funds for “Planned Choice”, given the issues at play. Announce the decision in advance, ask for subscriptions or regular monthly donations, it should not be difficult to find donors.
In closing, I invite everyone to cut each other some slack on this issue. My conclusions and choices may be very different from yours, but I assure you that just like yours, my conclusions are the result of long deliberation and contemplation of the issues …
In consideration of that, please do your best to constrain your comments to this proposal about Planned Parenthood. This is not the place to decide the underlying questions about abortion—they are far too complex and personal to be settled on the web. I’m just looking for a way to move past the current impasse regarding Planned Parenthood in such a way that we can allow the government to keep funding the valuable reproductive health services it provides.
Best to everyone,
Just like always, I politely request that if you are commenting please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING, so we can all see just what you are referring to.