Politics & Policy

Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Need Our Taxes

Planned Parenthood logo at a clinic in Boston, Mass. (Reuters photo: Dominick Reuter)
The baby abattoir gets plenty of money from private sources, and Congress can redirect the public funds to other health-care centers.

What the government giveth, the government almost never taketh away, and that’s what Planned Parenthood has been counting on.




Planned Parenthood is an industrial-scale baby abattoir responsible for more than 300,000 American deaths annually and a degradation of human dignity on the order of Josef Mengele, and the urgent issue of the day is whether it should be privately or publicly funded. Democrats are for the latter. Republicans are of the more modest opinion that if you want to slaughter your child in utero, you should have to pay for it yourself. That is what would happen if congressional Republicans succeed in defunding Planned Parenthood, which they currently plan to do as part of the process of dismantling President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Planned Parenthood is the recipient of more than $500 million annually in taxpayer dollars ($528.4 million in fiscal year 2013–14), or about 40 percent of its annual revenue. Under the Hyde amendment, the organization is technically prohibited from using this money to finance abortions. In reality, the amendment simply provides a $500-million cushion atop which Planned Parenthood can conduct its slaughterous business — and the technical separation of funds depends entirely on Planned Parenthood being scrupulous in its accounting, which it isn’t, to put it mildly. (It’s worth noting, too, that the most recent Democratic presidential nominee promised to end the Hyde amendment, which was an admirably honest middle finger to well over half the country.)

Since the business of abortion is unseemly, Planned Parenthood justifies its reception of public munificence by insisting that the taxpayer subsidies are necessary to guarantee “women’s health” or to provide “reproductive health care,” the latter a vague constellation of services that range from pap smears and cervical-cancer screenings to dismembering babies. It goes conveniently unremarked that it was not conservatives who bundled those services together. No one forced Planned Parenthood to marry its cancer-screening and other services (which conservatives have been happy to fund through other institutions) to a morally dubious practice that the vast majority of Americans finds wretch-inducing.

It goes equally unremarked that Planned Parenthood is the happy beneficiary of extraordinary private largesse. In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in November, for example, celebrities such as Katy Perry and Amy Schumer encouraged their social-media followers to donate to Planned Parenthood “in Mike Pence’s name.” John Oliver used his HBO show (which has an across-all-platforms audience somewhere in the single-digit millions) to do the same. In September 2015, children’s author Daniel Handler gave Planned Parenthood $1 million.

Such things go unremarked because Planned Parenthood’s desire for public funding has nothing to do with money, of which there is plenty available, deep-pocketed liberals being easy to come by. Its real aim is to impose a radically refashioned vision of society on anyone who, for any reason, might prefer something different. Planned Parenthood, with its roots in early-20th-century eugenics, is the keystone institution in the progressive social movement that has set about to overthrow the notion that religious doctrine, cultural custom, or even biological fact might impose upon a person some duty they cannot shake off.

The party of Science! conveniently ignores the biologically indisputable fact that abortion involves two bodies, not one.

So it is that the party of Science! conveniently ignores the biologically indisputable fact that abortion involves two bodies, not one, professing instead that there is a magical moment at which a human being becomes a “person” with a constitutionally protected right to life. Prior to this, the dogma goes, that person was an indeterminate clump of cells with no moral status. Why it is that all enwombed clumps of cells unfailingly transform into human beings rather than hedgehogs, grapefruits, or iPods is apparently another of those abiding and unfathomable mysteries, like the origin of the cosmos or the material state of Jell-O.

Abortion is, in other words, the respite of the selfish, the escape hatch by which to avoid a cumbersome responsibility. It is a technological “solution” to the “problem” of life. The government — and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and anyone who is against waging “war” on women — needs to fund it not because it is unaffordable but because everyone needs to endorse the type of person who wants to be able to abort her child, the type of person who wants to be duty-bound to nothing and no one except herself.

#related#Those who would welcome this reimagining seem to be oblivious to, or heedless of, the consequences, which are not restricted to mother and child. The violence of abortion severs the bonds between generations, denying the responsibilities we owe to those past and those to come, and it severs the bonds that join a community, denying the responsibilities we owe to those we live alongside. Abortion is the decision to cut oneself off from the world. Are the loneliness and pain that accompany it really so mysterious?

Over the past year, particularly strident abortion advocates have begun encouraging women with the exhortation “Shout Your Abortion,” a PR campaign in which spiritually wounded mothers publicly boast about killing at least one of their children. This is abortion advocacy at its most vicious, attempting to turn self-destructive violence into liberating triumph.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers do not have clients; they have victims. Defunding is the least of what they should face.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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