Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-planned-parenthood-actually-does/2011/04/06/AFhBPa2C_blog.htmlBecause most of their funding goes towards those reliable twin pillars of evil, contraception and STD testing. Oh, and abortion is legal.
It all comes down to an ideological debate on both sides. Pro-life Republicans think that abortion is taking innocent lives so obviously they don't want federal funds going anywhere near abortions. Pro-choice Democrats think that it is the mother's right to choose so therefore the benefits of Planned Parenthood far outweigh the costs. If Democrats did not have pro-choice ideals then they would never want Planned Parenthood to be federally funded (assuming they don't value women's health over human lives). So yes, this is a pro-choice vs. pro-life debate with ideological stances on both sides. Budgets are full of ideals. President Obama's budget shows that he favors the ideal of big government. Making decisions about where to make cuts and what is essential to fund is very ideological.There are lots of things that are legal but that doesn't mean government should support them I think people fail to understand the pro-life view. If you view abortion as taking life then this is not something that can be compromised, just like Democrats feel that women's health cannot be compromised.
But you're totally ignoring the fact that funding doesn't go towards abortion. Republicans are just trying to make a statement about their views even though defunding PP would probably make the number of abortions go up.Also, I think what makes this different is that Planned Parenthood is already federally funded. Maybe if the Democrats were trying to put new funding for PP into a budget, it would be a different issue. But I think Democrats feel that they have already compromised enough on this budget (basically giving into the cuts Republicans originally asked for). This issue clearly has nothing to do with spending.
There's also the claim of fungibility.
The issue of fungibility would seem something better suited to be resolved in the courts, no?
Megan, I understand and respect the pro-life point of view, but I don't think it has a place in this debate. PP offers a wide variety of services, most of which aren't abortion. Abortion rates probably would go up if poor women didn't have a reliable place to get advice on birth control products. Yes, they provide abortions also, but as Ryan's chart points out, that is a very small part of their business. The government money being funneled into PP is being used on other things, not abortion, and that is mandated and enforced by law. Yes, if you take away all of their funding, they probably couldn't give abortions any more, but that's because you've taken away 90% of their business, so their business would cease to exist. But it is stupid to take away all of their beneficial services that make up a majority of their business, just because they provide abortions without the help of any federal funding.
Also, this PP debate has nothing to do with funding the federal government. The right's social policy preferences shouldn't be a prerequisite for funding the government. Congress can have this debate, but a government shutdown shouldn't be hinged on whether PP gets funding or not.
Also, I just want to point out that PP has received federal funding since 1970 (and was signed into law by Nixon). The right had 40 years to defund them and will have many opportunities to do so in the future OUTSIDE of the budget debate.
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