Cutting Off Planned Parenthood IS About “Ideology”

Just recently, Arizona joined Kansas, North Carolina, and Texas in cutting off all funding to Planned Parenthood. For Governor Brewer, it is a simple matter of “common sense”, respecting the repeated desire of the majority of Americans to be exempt from funding abortion with their tax dollars. For pro-life advocates, it is about scoring another direct hit against the largest symbol of “abortion rights” in the United States. Here is how Planned Parenthood sees it, however:

“Many in the legislature will never know what it’s like to feel a lump in their breast and have to worry about the cost of a doctor’s visit,” said Bryan Howard, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Arizona.

“This is the reality with which many Arizona women are faced, at the hands of a legislature determined to reduce access to prevention care while pursuing its ideological political agenda,” he said.

Why should those of us who are pro-life deny it? We are pursuing an ideological political agenda, as of course are they. Our ideology, if you really want to call it that (and I typically don’t), is that every human being has a right to life from the moment of conception until the moment of death. Some of us differ on whether or not, or under what circumstances, a human life may be justly taken, but we all agree that the killing of innocent children inside or outside of the womb is a grave moral evil and cannot be tolerated by a just and humane society. This is an “ideological political agenda” worth pursuing, and I’m not ashamed to say so. Without respect for human life, society will degenerate into something more cruel and callous than the jungle.

Having said it, however, it must also be said that Planned Parenthood presents us with a false choice: accept our network of abortion mills as legitimate, or women everywhere will suffer. Let us kill children with impunity, or watch your women die from easily preventable illnesses! However did the world and the women within it survive before Planned Parenthood emerged as the sole guardian and guarantor of “women’s health”?

The truth is that there is no reason whatsoever why abortion must necessarily be tied to the other medical services that PP provides. There are pro-life groups within and outside of the Church that are prepared to offer such services.  The nightmare scenario constantly offered by PP is nothing but a giant fallacy. And while I am not really a fan of taxpayer money being used for anything other than the legitimate functions of the state, if such funding IS going to be used to fund health clinics, there is no reason why it can’t be used to fund those that don’t butcher children for profit. When PP is a state-funded monopoly (or at least when the attempt is made to establish it as such), of course they can argue that their sudden absence would mean a setback for some women who depend upon them. But there is no reason why PP has to remain a state-funded monopoly. Where there is a demand, there will be a supply. Where there is competition, there will be lower prices. And where there is charity, there will be compassion for those who truly cannot afford to pay. In this case, money that would have gone to PP is simply going to other health clinics that do not provide abortions.

 

11 Responses to Cutting Off Planned Parenthood IS About “Ideology”

  • Bonchamps: This is beautiful. “However did the world and the women within it survive before Planned Parenthood emerged as the sole guardian and guarantor of “women’s health”?

    The truth is that there is no reason whatsoever why abortion must necessarily be tied to the other medical services that PP provides.”

    Bryan Howard of PP says so much when he conflates the killing of babies and “a lump in a woman’s breast” as “prevention care.” Intellectually and practically dishonest.

  • When Roe approached the Supreme Court seeking legal sanction to destroy the other sovereign person in her womb, she acknowledged that the other person was not a blob of cells, not a tumor, not an unwanted pregnancy but an unwanted human being. The human being unborn became the ward of the court subject to protection. The Court claimed that it did not know if the unborn was a person deserving of protection. The court must give the benefit of the doubt. The Court cannot claim to bestow life and unalienable rights upon the sovereign person still in the womb as does article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights of the united Nations.
    UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
    Official Document
    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
    Our Declaration of Independence says that persons are endowed with unalienable rights by “their Creator” after being “created equal”, and are secured the blessings of Liberty by Divine Providence.
    Our tax dollars may not be used to deconstruct our Declaration of Independence.

  • Bonchamps – Are you familiar with Jonah Goldberg’s new book? It’s called The Tyranny of Cliches. The main point is that the Left depicts itself as pragmatic and its opponents as ideological. The Right is perfectly willing to admit to its ideology.

    I remember Michael Medved making a similar point. Once he was appearing on the Today Show. The guest in front of him was a Hollywood type who was talking about her career, and her “humanitarian” work: the nuclear freeze movement. That’s when it hit him: the left always wins these kinds of conversations, because they depict themselves as humanitarians.

  • I heard about the book, Pinky.

    I have to say, though, that the right has its fair share of cliches as well. And I wasn’t particularly thrilled about one of the cliches I saw in early blurbs about the book. Apparently we shouldn’t think that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”; that’s an apparently bad left-wing cliche. Except I think that one happens to be perfectly true.

    It soured me a little on the book. But I’m sure it makes plenty of fine points otherwise.

    I’d broaden the net a bit; the left portrays itself as scientific and the right as mired in backwards theological obscurantism.

  • This is why I always challenge left-wingers to provide coherent accounts for their moral positions. Science can’t prove that something is right or wrong.

  • Bonchamps –

    “I have to say, though, that the right has its fair share of cliches as well.”

    Goldberg would agree with you.

    “And I wasn’t particularly thrilled about one of the cliches I saw in early blurbs about the book. Apparently we shouldn’t think that ‘one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’; that’s an apparently bad left-wing cliche. Except I think that one happens to be perfectly true.”

    Blurbs are just as untrustworthy as cliches. The meat of an argument (if there is any) takes more than a few sentences. But let’s be honest; one man’s terrorist is not necessarily another man’s freedom fighter. Some terrorists oppose human rights and representitive government. The cliche is dangerous because it inhibits an examination of the specific terrorist’s goals. There are some goals that are compatible with civilization, but there are some that aren’t.

    Now, taking this a step further, I’m guessing (maybe incorrectly) that you don’t actually think that cliche is true; you just disagree with the people who oppose it on the grounds that you suspect that their opposition to it implies a more activist foreign policy. If you want to argue about foreign policy, fair enough. But accepting a cliche because you’re comfortable with its implications – or rejecting it because you’re uncomfortable – doesn’t address the question of whether it represents reality.

  • ” But let’s be honest; one man’s terrorist is not necessarily another man’s freedom fighter.”

    Who said “necessarily”? It just happens to be the case sometimes, depending on how one defines those terms.

    “Some terrorists oppose human rights and representitive government. ”

    And some cultures do not define freedom, justice, or goodness in terms of human rights or representative government. There is negative liberty; there is also positive liberty. Depending on your vision of liberty (and other things considered good often associated with it), you may well see someone fighting for a communist state or an Islamic regime to be a “freedom fighter” – especially if those goals are obstructed, in reality or by perception, by the direct or indirect involvement of another nation (even one that claims to represent and fight for liberty itself!). In that case they would be fighting for the freedom to determine their own destiny as a people, which may not include freedom as the once-Christian West understands it.

    “The cliche is dangerous because it inhibits an examination of the specific terrorist’s goals. ”

    I don’t think it is “dangerous.”

    “Now, taking this a step further, I’m guessing (maybe incorrectly) that you don’t actually think that cliche is true”

    No, I do think it is true, because it is a fact that people have different conceptions of freedom. Of course I think that the one offered by the Church and set forth in the Declaration of Independence is the highest conception of freedom, the true one, the correct one. But the “cliche” simply acknowledges that there are people who don’t think that way. So I do think it represents reality.

  • Some might argue that terrorism is just a military tactic too. But the word has a lot of negative connotations and few would describe a group whose goals and causes they considered just as a “terrorist” group. The Mujaheddin was a “terrorist” group fighting Soviet occupation; it didn’t prevent Ronald Reagan from saying that they were the equivalent of the founding fathers.

  • Re: necessarily
    You’re the one arguing that there’s an identity between one man’s terrorist and another man’s freedom fighter, so yes the word “necessarily” is apt. Either there are or there aren’t objective standards by which to identify terrorists and freedom fighters. Either justice is an artificial construct or it’s not. Based on your article I have to assume that you believe in objective justice. That’s why I assume that you don’t really believe that terrorism and freedom fighting are interchangable, or that a traditional understanding of right and wrong can be abandoned without serious ramifications.

  • I don’t want to quibble over semantics. At least not the semantics of “necessary.” Perhaps I misunderstood your intention with that word. Moving on to the substantive point:

    “Either there are or there aren’t objective standards by which to identify terrorists and freedom fighters.”

    I don’t think it is that simple. From a sociological point of view, both “terrorism” and “freedom fighter” can have very broad meanings. I don’t think acknowledging this means that I don’t believe in objective justice or abandoning a “traditional understanding of right and wrong.” The fact of the matter is that, in reality, there are actually some people who identify a given group as a terrorist group, and others who would identify the same group as freedom fighters. The “cliche”, as I see it, simply acknowledges this reality.

    Now if the cliche is employed with the intention of justifying moral neutrality in a given dispute, of course I would reject it. As a mere description of how things are, though, it is perfectly accurate.

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