Written by Dillon LaRue Rountree Staff Writer
Planned Parenthood’s funding is among today’s most contentious political issues, with politicians on both sides of the issue taking passionate stances. The question is simple, should the government fund Planned Parenthood? The answer is similarly simple, absolutely not. This is for three reasons. First, Planned Parenthood is principally an abortion provider, it is what differentiates them from the countless other womens’ health care providers. Secondly, it has arguably violated numerous federal laws. Thirdly, providing them any funding at all is de facto funding of non-emergency abortions, a violation of federal law.
Planned Parenthood supporters may trumpet the claim that only three percent of all services is abortion, but this number is misleading. It equates an abortion as equal to providing contraception, or an STD test. This is why when one looks at Planned Parenthood revenue, abortions make up a third of all income from services, despite only being three percent of “services”.
Many also claim that an attack on Planned Parenthood is also an attack on women’s’ healthcare. Planned Parenthood clinics only number 665, compared to over 13,000 women’s health providers in the United States. The only real difference is that these other clinics often do not provide abortions. Claiming defunding Planned Parenthood will hurt access to women’s healthcare is akin to claiming getting rid of McDonald’s will mean no one can get a hamburger.
Additionally, there have been numerous allegations that Planned Parenthood is violating at least three federal laws regarding the sale of fetal tissue, altering abortions to harvest fetal tissue, and administering partial birth abortions. It is hard to justify the continued federal funding of an organization that is possibly violating serious federal laws.
According to the Hyde Amendment, it is illegal for federal funds to be allocated to abortions. While technically no funds were given to Planned Parenthood by the government (which make up approx. two thirds of their budget), by allocating funds to the largest abortion-giving company in the nation, the federal government is funding abortion by letting Planned Parenthood allocate additional funds to abortion services. In essence, it is simply a legal run-around to funding abortions.
Whether or not one is pro-life or pro-choice is immaterial to this debate. The fact of the matter is, Planned Parenthood should have never been funded by the federal government, because it is—and will continue to be for the foreseeable future—an abortion agency. Instead of funding abortions in a legal run-around, such funding could be allocated to countless other womens’ health providers that are located throughout the country.