Earlier this week, a local media personality [who’s not well known outside of Houston] said the following to her social media followers about Trump’s administration:
It hasn’t even been 100 days and they’re killing the planet, wiping out science, racking up more debt, building a wall, deporting good people, waging a war on the poor and the elderly, making the rich richer, taking away women’s rights and marginalizing the LGBTQ community.
That’s quite a mouthful. Why stop there? Surely we could also blame Trump and his henchmen for the existence of spoiled food and bad romantic-comedies on TBS, right? Do you think they might also be responsible for killing J.R. Ewing?
Moving past the obvious fact that the Earth isn’t dead, science is still a thing, too. I’m hardly one to jump to conclusions, so I asked her: how did Trump’s administration take rights away from women? She told me: Trump’s threatening to defund Planned Parenthood.
Oh, I get it – this is about taxpayer-funded abortions. For a second there, I was worried we were actually at risk of losing women’s rights. Did I miss a news story or something? Nope, this claim that women are having their rights taken away is standard hyperbole. Last time I checked, Planned Parenthood does not have any lawmaking or regulatory authority. Women don’t get their rights from a taxpayer funded abortion clinic, do they?
Regardless of who’s giving out abortions and how much public funding they get, women are still legally allowed to get said abortions if they choose. Planned Parenthood isn’t the U.S. Department of Abortions. If Planned Parenthood goes away, that doesn’t mean abortions are now outlawed.
Here’s a more accurate, albeit less emotional explanation of what’s actually happening: the current administration campaigned on decreasing the budget for Planned Parenthood if the organization doesn’t halt its abortion on demand services. And this is exactly what millions of people (half of them women) voted for.
Regardless of how much funding Planned Parenthood gets, the right to get an abortion remains unchanged. In fact, Planned Parenthood isn’t the only clinic that provides subsidized or discounted abortions. How are women having their rights taken away if one single organization is being threatened with less funding (a cut which hasn’t even technically happened yet)?
The common response I get when I ask questions like this is more predictable than indigestion after a Taco Bell run: Planned Parenthood is more than just abortions. Yes. We’ve heard. There’s probably a bumper sticker on a Prius reminding tailgaters of that. Planned Parenthood reportedly provides many services beyond abortions. Interestingly enough, Donald Trump is also aware of this information and his administration said they are willing to fund those services as long as PP shuts down the abortion bit. If you’re arguing that women are losing rights because of less funding for Planned Parenthood, while simultaneously suggesting the organization does more than just passing out cheap [or free] abortions, you’re misconstruing what’s actually happening to fit your narrative, and that demonstrates an inconsistency in your outrage.
According to most reliable sources on the subject, Planned Parenthood gets about $530 million a year from taxpayers. The organization claims it doesn’t use public funds for abortion, but mounting evidence suggests otherwise. Last year, the LA Times proudly reported after Texas cut some funding to local Planned Parenthood offices, the birthrate went up. Now, you and I both know that in the world of scientific research, correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, but the LA Times editors don’t have time for that sort of logic.
The raw truth is, from several reliable sources, that Planned Parenthood is significantly invested in proliferating abortion-providing clinics. Former Planned Parenthood staffer Abby Johnson spilled that dirt and it’s more than most Hoovers can handle.
Even still, the left insists Planned Parenthood is doing more than just extractions and after-market sales. They want you to believe they’re fighting cancer and other diseases. In reality, Planned Parenthood actually performs less than 2% of all women’s cancer screenings every year.
Let’s assume for just a moment that all of this talk from the left about Planned Parenthood’s diverse menu of services is true. Let’s say that Planned Parenthood isn’t using one single penny of that $530 million in public funding on abortion related services, as they’ve claimed. Regardless of how the funds are actually distributed, if the public perception that Planned Parenthood is supplying taxpayer funded abortions is their biggest problem, and they’re now [potentially] going to lose funding because of this misconception, why doesn’t Planned Parenthood spin off the abortion line and give it a different name? In addition to the half a billion dollars that taxpayers supply, Planned Parenthood receives roughly $500 million a year in private funding as well.
No matter what you say, the left always goes back to the same argument: women need the health services that Planned Parenthood provides. But Planned Parenthood isn’t the only organization that supplies these services. The do, however, absorb an ample amount of public funding while simultaneously performing services with which many people have a moral objection.
Let us not forget, Planned Parenthood was created by a special kind of racist–another fact the left often denies [or keeps trying to toss down the memory hole].
But since they deny it, here’s a much needed reality check: Planned Parenthood was founded by a woman who strongly believed in the benefits of eugenics for black and/or poor people. Margaret Sanger, Hillary Clinton’s role model, proudly wrote that eugenics would be a great way to deal with “Racial problems” and “racial chaos.” Nazi Germany later embraced the movement with gusto. In the decades that passed, elements of the organized left attacked other factions for their misdeeds in this area as late as 2015.
No, leftists, the existence of Planned Parenthood is not detrimental to the future of our nation’s health system. If it went away, it would very likely be replaced by something less objectionable and not as historically misguided.
Ken Webster, Jr. is the host of Pursuit of Happiness Radio.