Although the Senate has rebuffed the first attempt to fast track defunding Planned Parenthood, there will be more attempts.  The Republican controlled New Hampshire state government has already done so. There is more sound than light in the recent opposition of anti-abortion advocates to the edited secret tapes of Planned Parenthood officials. I would no more accept those tapes as proof that PP was responsible for wrongdoing than I would accept Jurassic World as proof that dinosaurs exist. Let’s try to clear up the issues.

  1. Defunding PP will not stop abortions. The information that PP provides about abortion is freely available on the internet.  If anything their counseling on contraception and that abortion is only one of the options available to women and couples, cuts down on abortions.
  2. Planned Parenthood cannot use federal money to fund abortions.  There is a federal law against that.  If PP did then someone could bring a court case against them.
  3. Planned Parenthood does not sell fetus parts for money. As a non profit with limited funds it only gets reimbursed for its handling fees when their clients legally donate their fetus parts for scientific research. Scientific research I might add that has saved lives and led to better treatment of all
  4. The federal funds that PP does receive are used to provide its clients among whom the poor are overrepresented. A denial of federal funds would disproportionately affect the poor and the health services available to them.
  5. According to NPR 97% of PP funding goes into things other than “abortion services.”
  6. Defunding Planned Parenthood is not an issue about abortion but about federal funding of women’s health care. It is an attempt to use abortion as a wedge issue to curtail federal spending. One Republican candidate (Jeb!) has already said publicly that we are spending too much on women’s issues.
  7. The Republican senators who are leading this charge know or should know all of the above, but are playing the anti-abortion advocates like a fiddle for their own political advantage. It is using them to stir up the Republican base. It is a calculated, hypocritical, and cynical move that turns sincere anti abortion advocates into political pawns.

No matter what your stand on abortion you need to see this attack on Planned Parenthood for what it is: a callous political move rather than an attack on abortion.


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