Commentary

Posik: One Simple Reason Why We Should Defund Planned Parenthood

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Last week, social media was buzzing with yet another trending clickbait article, but this time, I noticed something very odd. “10 Reasons We Should Defund Planned Parenthood IMMEDIATELY” was being shared on social media by many of my left-of-center friends, which had me puzzled as to why so many of them would share an article with such a title.

The article gives ten satirical reasons why Planned Parenthood should be defunded, ranging from the organization being run by “feminazis” to saying that “unplanned parenthood is the backbone of every great society.” You can have your laughs, liberals, but I would like to offer some actual discourse on the topic at hand.

Planned Parenthood is a women’s health organization that is federally subsidized with $500 million annually in tax payer dollars. Planned Parenthood’s annual budget, however, exceeds $1 billion. While the federal government is the organization’s largest single source of income, the organization receives much more than that total in private contributions and non-government revenue.

Everyone on the right is riled up about the videos recently released by The Center for Medical Progress, which features Planned Parenthood representatives bartering with fake clients on the cost of purchasing the body parts of unborn fetuses. There has been much partisan debate about the validity of the videos and the legality of these transactions. However, the content of these disturbing videos isn’t even the foundation of the logical argument against Planned Parenthood.

Contrary to popular belief by many republicans, the money in federal subsidies Planned Parenthood receives annually does not fund abortions. The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, prevents federal dollars from being spent on this controversial medical procedure. The money that our federal government is granting Planned Parenthood provides other health services for women and families at their clinics. These services are vital for women, and their value is unquestioned. But, is the federal subsidy necessary for a women’s health organization that has the resources and capability to operate on its own?

Given the revenue it receives in private contributions and non-government revenue, the answer is plain and simple: no.

There is truly no explanation to why the federal government needs to allocate $500 million a year for an organization that could operate itself on a budget exceeding $500 million just in private allocations alone.

There are thousands of women’s health centers in the United States that do not have a sign above their door that reads “Planned Parenthood”, and those organizations do not receive excessive subsidies from the federal government to operate. So, what makes Planned Parenthood so special that it gets exorbitant amounts of money from the federal government on a yearly basis?

The answer to that question is another plain and simple response: nothing.

There is nothing that separates Planned Parenthood from any other women’s health organization in our country besides the fact that it is handsomely subsidized with tax payer dollars. Outside of Planned Parenthood, the doctors at other clinics are just as qualified, and the care you can receive is just as beneficial to your health. Additionally, those organizations are doing it without $500 million a year from the federal government.

There is absolutely no merit to our government allocating $500 million to a single women’s health organization, when thousands of others exist and operate without this funding. Not only should Planned Parenthood be defunded, the money that was previously allocated for the organization should be redistributed amongst the thousands of privately operated women’s health centers in the United States.

That seems like a much more fair and reasonable way to distribute $500 million for women’s health services. Give women’s health organizations in the private sector the resources to improve women’s health, rather than subsidizing one single organization that already has the funding and support to operate on its own.

I assume liberals would be keen to this idea, redistributing wealth from the 1% into the hands of those who truly need it.

The real reason liberals step up to the plate on this issue isn’t because they care about women’s health (or anything else other than your vote), it’s because Planned Parenthood is one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party and democratic presidential candidates.

Since 2000, Planned Parenthood workers and PAC’s have donated more than $25 million to democrats, including a $1.4 million ad against Mitt Romney in the 2012 election. That seems like an incorrupt way for a government subsidized organization to spend its money, doesn’t it?

As debate continues on the funding of Planned Parenthood, ask yourself whose interests democrats really have in mind – women’s, or their own?

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the director of communications at The Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) and the editor of The Maine Wire. He formerly served as a policy analyst at MHPC. Posik can be reached at jposik@mainepolicy.org.

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