Planned Parenthood has recently refused any Title X federal funds for family planning rather than be constrained from advising its clients about abortions or referrals to clinics who perform them. See here, here, and here. The sub-heading of the New York Times article linked to above said that, “Facing a Trump administration rule that forbids referrals for abortion, the organization decided to reject federal funds for family planning for low-income women.”
Well, all right, then. Planned Parenthood is standing on principle, rather than dollars. I can appreciate that. I have done the same. This raises some questions, though.
1. If Planned Parenthood (PP) can state that they would rather do without Federal dollars because that would restrict their ability to counsel for abortions, then what does that say about their core mission? Is it really about women’s health or more about referring women to abortion facilities? Is PP more concerned about women’s health in general or promoting a political viewpoint?
2. If PP can simply cut off that funding and state that they will do without it, then isn’t it apparent that they were overpaid to begin with?
3. What about the women who will suffer cutbacks and deprivations to their health as a result of this decision? Does PP care about them? Or is it more wedded to its primary objective—abortion on demand?
4. Why is PP using this issue as leverage to coerce taxpayers to subsidize something which they might find objectionable—if they had the choice? This is nothing more than guilt manipulation and it can be summed up as the selfish, childish demand–”If you don’t play the game my way, I’ll take my ball and go home.”
To be fair to Planned Parenthood, I am sympathetic to their stand on principle. If I were in their shoes, I would do the same thing. I have taken a stand on issues, right or wrong, in the past which cost me dearly. However, to be entirely consistent, they should simply stop taking any governmental funds and rely entirely on voluntary donations to support what they promote. If they can survive in the marketplace of ideas, then more power to them. My thought is, though, that they cannot and will not prosper unless the law supports and backs them up. Planned Parenthood needs to be very careful, because public opinion and the subsequent legal structure can change dramatically in a very short time, virtually overnight, if you will. What may be legal and prosperous today can be extremely problematic tomorrow.
Nevertheless, let’s take our victories where and when we can. This is one we can celebrate. Cheers!