On Planned Parenthood:
Over the past few weeks, several videos have surfaced about some of the activities of Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives about 500 million in taxpayer funds. I have not watched any of them, although I have gotten a synopsis. I don’t need to watch them, because nothing in them surprises me. I am a little confused as to why so many people are outraged as to the actions of Planned Parenthood (PP), since nothing revealed has been newsworthy. Planned Parenthood kills fetuses? Everyone knows that. They are cavalier about killing? So is everyone who kills thousands of people. They sell baby parts? Why wouldn’t they? The market is there, they have a supply, and it helps people in research. They alter the way in which they perform abortions in order to harvest most baby parts? Incentives work this way in all areas of life (although the discussion that should be happening about how this might break the Hippocratic oath is fascinating). Executives are rich and want more money regardless of ethics? All people want more money and most aren’t stopped by ethics, and executives are always rich. That PP gets half of its budget from our tax dollars? This has been happening for decades! None of this information is new!
Have you had your head literally buried in the sand? I am outraged at your new-found outrage. You are being played by a media cycle rather than your deep convictions, because your deep convictions would have manifested outrage decades ago.
I support the efforts by lawmakers (headed by Sen. Rand Paul, running for president) to defund PP. My support is on philosophical grounds, not outrage, and not these videos. I want PP to have its federal funding dropped for the following reasons:
1. PP received the lions share of federal money for “family planning services”. No government should be choosing winners and losers in a marketplace. The money should be spread around more equitably, allowing for competition in the marketplace so people get a better service.
2. PP is the largest provider of reproductive health services (according to their website, which is down due to a hack at the moment). The larger a bureaucracy, the less efficiently it interfaces with consumers (or in this case, patients). PP is, in my estimation, too large to provide the highest quality care to their patients, and we should be funding instead small to mid-sized firms.
3. PP lobbies extensively. I know it isn’t illegal, but it’s still corruption when an entity receives half their budget from the federal government and then spends millions to support candidates who will vote on that budget the following year. I find it distasteful wherever it happens (for left and right leaning organizations).
4. PP will still survive, because the other half of the budget comes from private donations (some very large companies donate a good amount) and patient fees. This isn’t an effort to kill PP, but to force it to fly for itself.
5. A majority of the American population thinks that some things that PP does and advocates for should be illegal, and I think it’s wrong to force Americans to give money to things they are morally, religiously, and ethically opposed to. We can give that money instead to a different Family Planning clinician network that doesn’t perform organ harvesting.
Those are my reasons for supporting the defunding bill. If you disagree with me, let me know why, and keep everything respectful. If you agree with me, even better. However, I want all of you anti-abortionists to wrestle with some questions with me before congress makes a vote:
1. If PP is defunded, who will step into the gap for the 1.5 million (my estimate) mostly poor women who will need basic reproductive services like cancer screenings? Where will the women or the charitable organization that takes PPs place get the money (because it won’t be the gov’t for a few years)? Will you donate or pay for local women to be healthy yourself?
2. If PP is defunded, these abortion and organ harvesting practices will not go away (PP is not the only organization to do this). Will you go back to your comfortable, un-outraged life simply because there aren’t videos on Fox News; blissfully ignorant of these practices? Or will you take to the streets, volunteer, write letters, whatever you have to do to make sure there isn’t a need for an undercover video expose again?
3. PP performs 300k abortions a year. So, 150k pregnancies a year that would otherwise have been terminated by PP will suddenly be wandering on the street. If you are anti-abortion, will you let these women rot on their own? Will you go out and befriend them? Will you love them, even having them over for dinner (what if they are single, black, and poor with four other kids)? Will you pay for their birth, should they choose to finish the pregnancy? Will you support, relationally and materially, the family for the next twenty years of that child’s life? Will you adopt the newborn child if the mother can’t take care of them? Will you financially support other families in your community who WILL adopt those children? If the mother, after all of that, STILL decides that she wants an abortion, will you drive her, even if it is out of state, and hold her hand so she doesn’t have to ride on a bus and go through that alone? Will you STILL love her and take care of her and have her over after her abortion?
If you can’t answer any of the questions in 3 personally, please think, pray, and discuss before you call yourself “Pro-Life” again. If you can’t answer these questions for the scale necessary (over 150k per year), then please re-evaluate all pro-life organizations you are a part of.
4. PP does sex education. I just watched an “undercover” video about some sex education (which was a crap attempt at a “gotcha” video), and was struck by one thing. This is the only place many young people have to go other than pornography to learn about sex. You can decry Planned Parenthood’s curriculum, but they are in the sex ed business because of the abdication of millions of parents to teach their own kids about sex. Child safety organizations (D2L) and educators state that kids need to be educated in an ongoing, age-appropriate manner starting as young as 5. Are you as a parent a safe place for your kids to talk to you about ANY sexual topic, regardless of how obscene and perverted you find it? What about the kids whose parents aren’t safe; where will they go to learn about sex? Are you willing to have conversations about sex with your neighbor’s kids? Are you willing to talk with the kids in the projects about sex?
If you are saying right now “It should come from the church!” then please, go ahead and walk into any church on Sunday morning and say “We as a church should be talking about sex” and see how fast everyone looks away and pretends you don’t exist. I think the church SHOULD be talking, and loudly, about everything sex, but I am decrying the utter failure of the church to engage the God-created sexuality of every human other than to quickly condemn it or tell people to save it until marriage, then move on to less scary topics. Let me be clear: The church should be talking all day every day about sexuality. I have no idea how to make the church start talking about it because the church is scared to death of sex and has abdicated its responsibility, resulting in generations of sexually confused church-goers and sexually suicidal non-church-goers. If you are against PP teaching sex ed, you need to have a comprehensive answer for who is going to teach kids about sex, both your own and those without engaged parents.
In conclusion, while I am not surprised by what has been revealed about PP, I support the efforts in congress to defund PP for mostly small government reasons. I challenge every American who calls themself pro-life or Christian to engage with the four lines of questioning I have posted here. Please be respectful of each other in the comments.