Opinion

Defunding Planned Parenthood does not mean defunding health care

On Monday, The New York Times reported that President Trump has proposed maintaining funding for Planned Parenthood – if the abortion business ceases its abortion operations.

In a statement to the Times, Trump explained:

As I said throughout the campaign, I am pro-life and I am deeply committed to investing in women’s health and plan to significantly increase federal funding in support of nonabortion services such as cancer screenings[.] … There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services.

The offer, although unofficial, has been rejected by Planned Parenthood officials. “Let’s be clear, federal funds already do not pay for abortions,” said Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.”

Despite Planned Parenthood’s attempts to portray itself as a needed provider of “critical health care services,” the fact remains that Planned Parenthood is an abortion business – a big one – and that defunding Planned Parenthood does not equal taking away health care.

Planned Parenthood is Not a Quality Health Care Provider

First, Planned Parenthood is not exactly the place to go for quality care. Recent investigations have caught Planned Parenthood pretending to provide women’s services it does not, refusing to provide ultrasounds to pregnant women unless they agree to an abortion, and requiring facilities/incentivizing employees to hit abortion quotas. The reasonable person, even if pro-choice, would likely agree that this sounds a whole lot more like shady big business than quality health care for women.

Planned Parenthood is Not Necessary for Women

But even if these disturbing facts about Planned Parenthood were never exposed, the abortion giant’s portrayal of itself as the only – or at least the most important – game in town in regards to women’s health is straight-up bogus. Women do not need Planned Parenthood, but for the sake of keeping the cash rolling in, Planned Parenthood tries hard to convince women, voters, and government officials that it is very needed. (This, despite the fact that federally qualified health centers and community health centers that serve low-income and minority women and their families outnumber Planned Parenthoods around the nation 20 to 1.)

FQHCs and CHCs do all the true health care work for women that Planned Parenthood does. The only different “service” Planned Parenthood provides – and the one Laguens is calling “critical” – is abortion, which is described below by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino:

Planned Parenthood is Not Essential for “Options”

Supporters of Planned Parenthood frequently contend that defunding Planned Parenthood is taking away options. For example, a recent Huffington Post article on defunding the abortion business begins with the line: “It’s just taking away people’s options.” But defunding Planned Parenthood isn’t about taking away options; it’s about replacing them with more and better options that don’t involve the government funding constant corruption, dishonest “care,” and big-business abortion with our tax dollars.

One obvious solution is redirecting funds from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive care clinics for women, which provide essential health services – without the abortions and scandals Planned Parenthood is famous for. Comprehensive care clinics currently outnumber Planned Parenthood locations by nearly 20 to 1, and many of them offer mammograms – something Planned Parenthood does not provide, despite some rather notorious and misinformed claims to the contrary. So defunding Planned Parenthood could mean funding clinics that are more numerous and offer additional essential services, but somehow this is taking away options?

For Planned Parenthood, it’s About Abortion and the Money

Sounds to me as if Planned Parenthood is just trying to say whatever is necessary to maintain funding for itself, regardless of how it actually compares to other organizations on care, accessibility, and services provided.

As senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom Casey Mattox told The Daily Signal, “Planned Parenthood is really a small part of the national health care picture in America.” While supporters of Planned Parenthood enjoy pointing to the fact that transitioning health care can present challenges, this is in no way a convincing argument that Planned Parenthood should continue to receive taxpayer dollars despite constant scandal, or that transitioning to funding more and better health care options would not be worth the challenges.

Through all of Planned Parenthood’s canned phrases and outrage, it becomes clear that this really isn’t about health care for it. It’s about abortion. And it’s about money. Defunding Planned Parenthood could mean more options – better options – for women’s health care across the nation. It’s time we gave women the health care they deserve, not the health care Planned Parenthood wants to shove on them.

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