One woman’s opinion on Planned Parenthood

I have to share this link, from Real Fit Mama, for two reasons:

  1. It’s so well done.
  2. It’s written by a woman and, as a man, I feel I lack a certain authority on the services offered by Planned Parenthood.

The House of Representatives voted recently to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that has long drawn the ire of conservatives because it provides abortion services. It would be really easy to dislike Planned Parenthood if that was all they did – which it’s not. The cut eliminates, according to ABC News, “about $330 million through the end of September for preventative-health services, including federal funding for contraception and cancer screenings, at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.”

ABC points out that they’re already prevented by federal law from using federal dollars for abortion services. The cuts, then, take away money for, among other things, family planning and birth control. It’s a curious attack being launched by the Republicans. “We want to stop a clinic from doing something that is legal, so we’ll cut off funding to programs that would help them lessen the need for that legal thing we want to stop.”

As Maria Sparks points out in her post, this will – among other things – lead to more unplanned pregnancies and more families eligible for and in need of government assistance, and we know how those on that side of the aisle feel about government aid. It reminds me of a Ben Kweller lyric: “The fetal girl seems to be much more important / Than the baby girl that’s born…”

But again, I’m a dude. I’ve never used the services offered by Planned Parenthood. Here’s a female who has used the…you know…female health services offered by Planned Parenthood and that’s given her an educated take on what Planned Parenthood means beyond abortion. Please read what she has to say.

–QCFM

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13 Comments

  1. Since a “dude” can’t be trusted on matters of Planned Parenthood, I asked my wife to read your post and RealFitMama’s. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she worked many years as a doctor’s technician in an OBGYN office and has had her share of working with the poor and disadvantaged as far as women’s services are concerned.

    Her response, “There are many organizations who provide free or reduced women’s healthcare who don’t kill children and force everyone else to give money to a cause they have a moral objection to. Just sayin’….”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Absolutely true, and those places don’t deserve to have their funding cut, either, based on someone’s moral objections – say, an opposition to the promotion and use of contraception.

      As for forcing everyone else to give money to a cause they have a moral objection to, I’ve heard this argument before and I find it interesting. I think there are probably lots of people who pay taxes and object to where the money goes. Some people might object morally to wars or the death penalty, but their tax money goes to pay for that, too. We have the Hyde Amendment, which is designed to prevent certain federal monies from funding abortion. Maybe we can add riders to that amendment to prevent certain federal monies to funding wars or enforcing the death penalty?

      • You’re comparing apples and oranges. Wars and the death penalty are both government functions carried out by government officials who ultimately answer to the people. Planned Parenthood does not.

        Government functions are what we have entered into a society and gave up some of our natural rights to enjoys the benefits of. Having a moral objection to government functions have an out through our elected officials. These two videos explain the way American society was intended to be structured better than I could possibly do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I

        Once elected officials take our money and give it to a private organization, it’s called usurpation. I can’t force you to give to a private organization just becuase I think it’s a worthy cause, therefore government shouldn’t be able to force you to do so on my behalf.

        Also, let’s say you have a business taking care of dogs and cats and needed $200 to operate it, but only have $100. You could either fully take care of one or the other, or only take care of $50 worth of dogs and cats each. If I gave you $100, but told you not to use it to take care of cats, wouldn’t it still fully fund both portions of your business?

        If Planned Parenthood needs money to fund both its abortion services AND women’s health, and the government restricts its funding to the women’s health portion only, doesn’t that free up more money for abortions?

  2. That type of usurpation happens all the time, though, right? Like faith-based initiatives, for instance. I’m not arguing it’s right or it’s wrong, it just is right now. If we’re giving money to a private organization for Service A, why not give money to another private organization for Service B, provided both services are legal?

    • Just because it happens all the time, doesn’t make it right. I too am having a hard time thinking of a private “right-wing” organization that receives federal money, but I’m sure there is one, and it’s one that I oppose having to fund through taxation.

      Usurpation of my natural rights is wrong no matter who does it and, like you just said, it’s a very slippery slope. If you’re going to take from people to give to this one, why not that one, and that one, and that one…… They’re all worthy causes in someone’s eyes, they’re just not the proper function of government and shouldn’t be funded through tax money. If they’re truly worthy, they should be able to exist through private support shouldn’t they?

      Maria said in her original column that she took advantage of their income-based services. If she thinks they are such a worthy cause, when she can, shouldn’t she contribute so that someone else can then do the same? I think the left would support the “pay it forward” philosophy too wouldn’t they? Why must I contribute when I’ve not taken advantage of it and see somewhere else I think my money would be more effective? Maybe I have somewhere I need to pay it forward, but can’t because I pay so much in taxation.

      You didn’t say anything about my questions with the cat & dog business scenario…… Isn’t it impossible to say that money doesn’t assist in the performance of abortions in some way?

  3. Depends on how you define “left wing” and “right wing,” I guess. There are lots of federal dollars handed out to churches to sponsor faith-based initiatives. In fact, there’s a White House office dedicated to it.

    But that’s beside the point. I’m not supporting or defending government funding for private organizations. That’s the framework we have. If the government were bold enough to cut all funding to private organizations, that’s fine. But they haven’t, so why cut funding to Group A to perform Legal Service A, but allow Group B to promote Legal Service B?

    As for the dog and cat business…You could say it assists them in some way, the way giving money to churches for faith-based initiatives gives them more money to proselytize, or pay staff, or build new buildings. I guess it stands to reason, then, that the loss of funding will have a direct and major impact on the ability of those clinics to provide women’s health care.

    • “I’m not supporting or defending government funding for private organizations. That’s the framework we have.” It’s not the framework we have. That’s the point I’m trying to make. We’ve strayed so far from the framework that we’re doing things government isn’t supposed to be doing. If we would have remained within the framework, we would have this problem and MANY others we face today. Where in the framework does it allow the federal government to contribute to private organizations?

      “If the government were bold enough to cut all funding to private organizations, that’s fine.” So you would be in favor of returning to a constitutional form of government based upon natural law?

      I’m not sure what your point is on the faith-based initiatives and my scenario. The government using our money to fund them is wrong too. I think we both have agreed on that since the beginning. As for your point with my scenario about Planned Parenthood, I don’t get what you’re saying.

      I asked, “Isn’t it impossible to say that money doesn’t assist in the performance of abortions in some way?” and I don’t think you answered that. As far as it affecting their ability to provide affordable women’s care, (1) there’s alternative organizations who are already doing that and, (2) if they weren’t performing and funding the abortions, wouldn’t they be able to afford the women’s health services?

      • Correction: “If we would have remained within the framework, we wouldN’T have this problem and MANY others we face today.”

        Should have proof read that. Sorry.

  4. 1. I probably should’ve chosen a better word than “framework.” The point I intend to make is that is how our government currently operates and has for years. I’m not trying to dispute what you’re saying, I’m just pointing out that this is the way the game is being played.

    2. I have no opposition to returning to a constitutional form of government based upon natural law. None…as long as it is an honest move. I hear a lot of conservatives and Republicans who seem to use the desire to slice back government as a way of gutting programs they don’t like or are politically opposed to. It’s not a full commitment, just a way to cut out things they don’t like and keep the excesses they do.

    3. I think the hypothetical about federal money freeing up money to pay for abortion services is weak sauce. Sure, it could be used for abortions. Absolutely. It could also be used to remodel clinics, purchase new equipment, hire staff, print flyers, purchase contraceptives for distribution, pay for educational outreach, etc. etc. etc. It “could” go to a lot of things. That alone is not good enough reason, in my opinion, to pull funding.

    My point about the faith-based initiatives is a response to the argument some make about not wanting federal money to go to PP because it could free up money for abortion, which they object to. Those who believe in separation of church and state could just as easily object to funding that would free up money to support churches. Not a major point, just a sidebar.

    4. I personally don’t know what places provide free/reduced cost women’s health services beyond Planned Parenthood. Jordan Valley Health Clinic maybe? I also know nothing of PP’s financials, so I have no way of answering your last question, “if they weren’t performing and funding the abortions, wouldn’t they be able to afford the women’s health services?” I guess my take on it is this: Why limit people’s options when it comes to health care?

  5. 1) So because something is done that is illegal, but it’s been going on for years, we are supposed to accept it?

    2) You are saying you would be in support of a politician who advocates removing all public funding of private institutions but not one who does so one at a time. But in the last post we had a discussion, you said you were for the guy who compromises, who isn’t an adherent to a strict ideology and instead is willing to come to the middle. You even said you would vote for the guy who got a little done through good ideas, even if you may not necessarily agree with those ideas, versus the guy who has an idea that looks like it is his strict ideology and has very slim chance of ever getting done because he’s not charismatic enough. There are those making those proposals to remove all public funding of private institutions. Look up Alan West’s statements. So because this one action of removing public funding from one private institution is not all publicly funded private institutions at once you oppose it, but if it were all at once, you would oppose it too? When would you not oppose it?

    3) You say “weak sauce”, but then admit that it frees up their money to perform the abortions. Calling my argument “weak sauce” while conceding the point? Giving them money and saying it can only be used to pay the electric bill, still allows them to use the money they would have used to pay the electric bill for what we say they can’t use the money for. In the private sector it’s called money laundering. Government makes it legal for just them.

    4) I had to defer to my wife again for your last point. From her, “Off the top of my head, just for southwest Missouri; Pregnancy Care Center, Jordan Valley HC, Doctor’s Hospital, St. John’s, Cox, and Skaggs all provide free or income-based women’s services. There are many more, but that’s just from memory. We had a multiple-page list of clinics and organizations for women who needed the free or income-based services.”

    There’s no limits to women’s services, just public money going to a private institution and it shouldn’t be that way, like many other private institutions receiving federal money. The left decries the free market until you try to limit one of their public funded institutions, and then the say something like “we need more options!”

  6. 1. Wait…Is this a hypothetical, or are you calling our Presidents and Congressmen and women who have allowed this to happen criminals?

    2. I think if our government ever pulled funds from private groups, incrementally would be the only way to go. I don’t have a problem with that. I’m saying I oppose people who say they want to shrink the size of government because that’s what the founding fathers intended, but really just want to wipe out programs they dislike while continuing to support and fund programs they do. There’s a big difference between the two.

    Make no mistake, Michael: This is a GOP attack on Planned Parenthood. Period. This is not the Republican party returning to its conservative roots, to get closer to what the founding fathers intended.

    I can’t vote for hypothetical candidates, so when I go to cast my ballot, I have to deal with what’s on that piece of paper in front of me. There are plenty of times when I can only choose between a Republican and a Democrat, and I have to have some way to decide which one I’d rather vote for. Often that means voting for someone who will do what it takes to get work done, even if I have less in common politically with that person. Maybe you just leave it blank, but I don’t.

    3. If you’re saying “Pull funding because government shouldn’t fund private groups,” fine. If you’re saying “Pull funding because that group might use the money to provide a legal service I don’t like,” weak sauce. Republicans are arguing the latter, not the former. They are after Planned Parenthood.

    4. JVCHC has received federal grants. Pregnancy Care Center gets state tax credits. Doctor’s Hospital is now non-profit Ozarks Community Hospital, done in part so they could become eligible for federal grants. Let’s pull their funding, hope they survive, and rely on for-profit health centers who do not rely on any sort of government funding to handle the patients who rely on Medicare, Medicaid, or free/reduced fee health care. Deal?

    • Sorry for the delay. Life gets in the way….

      1) The constitution is the law of the land right? So if something is done that is unconstitutional, it’s therefore illegal. It doesn’t mean prison time or anything like that, just that it needs to be corrected and our check and balances used to ensure it doesn’t happen again. It occurs every time the President veto’s something or the Supreme court declares something unconstitutional.

      2) I honestly don’t care what someone’s intent is if their legislation returns us to our constitutional roots, just that it does. Maybe that’s the difference between you and I. You’re concerned about why someone does something, and I am concerned whether or not it’s right.

      I never leave my ballot blank, and often end up voting for less than my ideal candidate, but we’re human, I don’t expect everyone to agree on everything. That’s why we have laws and constitutions and such. Everyone knows what the rules of the game are and they’re not supposed to change in the middle of the game or be ignored.

      3) Again, you’re arguing what their intent is. I’m arguing what the effect of the legislation is. If it returns us to a constitutional form of government, with or without “weak sauce”, I’m in.

      4) Agree completely with this. We can discuss the constitutionality of Medicare, Medicaid, etc. in another post. 😉

  7. This cracks me up. Yes, the “why” is important to me. My wife has told me for as long as we’ve been dating that I’m too idealistic. Guilty as charged.


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