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.