This artist is drawing all the buildings in New York (for posterity, OCD).
In “Tax Dollars Shouldn’t Fund Abortion,” (Opinion, Oct. 15), Charmaine Yoest states that the Capps Amendment “would make abortion coverage a part of the public option, funnel tax dollars to private health plans that cover abortion, and ensure that every area of the country will have at least one health insurance plan that covers elective abortion.” Ms. Yoest worries that the federal government is poised to enter “the business of funding the destruction of unborn human life.”
We’re already there. Planned Parenthood performs sixty-two abortions (305,310 abortions in 2008) for each adoption it facilitates. And the lion’s share of the cost of those abortions comes directly from taxpayers’ pockets.
Planned Parenthood survives on tax dollars and government subsidies – subsidies that pay directly into this abortion giant’s operating fund. In the 2007-08 fiscal year, $350 million in “government grants and contracts” – those are our tax dollars – padded these controversial coffers.
This is not a question of “choice” versus “life.” Federal funding for abortions does not require mere moral considerations when dealing with private decisions. Instead, this begs a discussion of the very purpose of government and the role it should play in our lives.
Whatever individuals think about abortion, we all recognize that this topic is controversial. For the government to treat such a controversial topic –to fund this controversial practice! – disregards those fundamental protections of private decisionmaking.
Government exists to protect those fundamental freedoms inherent to its citizenry. Whether or not our government permits citizens to make the kind of “choice” at issue in abortion discussions should incite discussion. Whether the federal government should rob Peter to pay for Pauline’s choice should not.
Timothy Geithner is a one-man Laffer curve.
Thanks though for finally admitting that big public programs require big public funding.
Call me naive. I always thought Planned Parenthood was subsidized with private donations. In fact, I suspected PP was the one great example of an organization where the left drops their donation dollars.
It turns out I’m right, but not in the way I thought. Whew! For a second there I thought I was seeing Democratic charitable dollars at work! As usual, it turns out to be taxes:
[Planned Parenthood] took home $85 million in “excess of revenue over expenses” (a nifty way of saying profits) and had an operating budget of over $1 billion for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, according to its latest annual report. Included in that budget was $350 million in “government grants and contracts” (an equally nifty way of saying your tax dollars). An increase in the number of abortions performed helped fuel the profits…
Now, with a White House that has promised to funnel unprecedented amounts of taxpayer dollars into the abortion industry, Planned Parenthood has even more reason to rejoice. Despite its political and economic gains, however, the group is still attempting to walk the public relations tightrope by making ample use of lies, damned lies, and statistics…
Maybe Obama views the abortion industry similarly to AGI — too big to fail.
I agree with a lot of this article’s shock at massively-subsidized provider of sixty-two abortions to every one adoption (!), though I do have to defend the role PP plays for young adults. Many college women rely on the organization as a discrete source for information and supplies. PP’s policy of respecting young women and establishing exactly which methods of communication (e.g., “Can we call your house?” and “Will your parents intercept this mail?”) is a godsend to responsible-but-private young people with limited options.
Planned Parenthood also offers a sliding-scale for payment based on the client’s age, income, debt status, and services. Discretion would be impossible without permitting younger women some price forgiveness, but making everyone (including broke teenagers) pay something ensures that even those teens consider what they’re doing, act responsibly, and take both their choices and the consequences thereof seriously. Effectively, PP puts the adage that “if you’re too immature to obtain your own condoms, you’re too immature to engage in the activities that require them” to use by forcing clients to think responsibly about their decisions.
Views on “choice v. life” aside, it’s one thing to subsidize students’ condoms with adults’ hormone profits, but quite another to funnel huge swaths of government money into an “abortion machine.” Whatever happened to Rust v. Sullivan? I thought we decided that on the state level, while people retain their Roe v. Wade right to choose, they do not have a right to the government subsidizing their choice. What a wild play on Federalism that state level “laboratories” have decided that all choice is important, including the choice of those who disagree w/ the “Choice”-ers, while the national level has obliterated even an option out of contributing to that huge 62:1 ratio.
I take serious umbrage w/ this de facto practice that abortion is the kind of public good — hardly “non-rivalrous” or “non-excludable”! — that government should provide.