Should taxpayer money support Planned Parenthood?


Fact Box

  • Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case, passed that access to safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right.
  • Planned Parenthood offers many services including birth control, abortions, STD and HIV testing, cancer screening, well-woman exams, vaccines, PrEP and PEP, pregnancy services, transgender services, vasectomy and sterilization, condoms, and more. 
  • Planned Parenthood is based in New York City but has a network of 53 affiliates nationwide that operate more than 600 health centers and provide a wide range of safe, reliable health care services that reflect the diverse needs of their communities. 
  • It receives about a third of its revenue from government health services reimbursements and grants, such as Medicaid and Title X.
  • The morality of early abortions has long been debated by humans, questioning the difference between late-term abortion and infanticide. Planned Parenthood has been labeled as a primarily abortion center by many, which is why taxpayers are sensitive over the organization’s purpose. 

Stephanie (No)

It is essential and only right that taxpayer money goes toward common welfare issues that benefit as many as possible, rather than to Planned Parenthood (PP), an organization perpetuating the willful termination of life inside the womb. Regardless of whether someone is pro-choice or pro-life, terminating a pregnancy is undeniably controversial. Forcing individuals to fund abortion-related drugs and services through taxes is unethical.

PP supporters claim it provides other healthcare services, yet tests, such as cancer screenings, have significantly decreased over the years - 'by 50 percent' since 2005. The organization, which is 'the largest provider of abortions in America,' 'performs one in three abortions in the U.S.' while failing to provide adequate alternative services related to pregnancy. The annual 2018-2019 report revealed 'abortions made up 95% of PP's pregnancy resolution services, while prenatal services, miscarriage care, and adoption referrals accounted for only 2.7% (9,798), 0.6% (2,236) and 1.2% (4,279), respectively.'

While 'federal funding is not allowed to go toward abortions,' financially assisting PP with other services enables the company to allocate funds towards abortion. PP has enough money and needs no additional funding. It's 'the largest single recipient of federal funding for family planning,' which increased $53 million between 2018 and 2019 when it 'reported excess revenue of 244.8 million.'

Moreover, PP is involved in numerous scandals and questionable behavior, excluding its candidacy for taxpayer funding. Some include requiring practitioners to meet 'abortion quotas,' its involvement in 'financial fraud,' fighting laws that protect abortion-survivor babies, failing to aid in combatting 'child sex trafficking,' and selling fetal body parts for profit.

Jennifer (Yes)

Because of Roe v. Wade, U.S. women have achieved a clear path to reliable reproductive health services, including abortion. Defunding this vital organization would not only deprive millions of economically marginalized women of these services but defy the spirit of settled law.

The SCOTUS majority decision in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case affirmed women's rights to terminate unwanted pregnancies. So, defunding PP would run counter to constitutionally supported law. What defunding advocates ignore is how PP's federal funding is guided by Title X, as established in 1970, during the Nixon Administration. The legislation funnels funding to relevant organizations to pay for contraception and other reproductive health services to women of limited means. Trump's administration has endangered Title X protections by applying a gag rule, prohibiting doctors from referring women for abortion services due to their privately held religious beliefs.

This brings into question the Hippocratic Oath, sworn by all doctors. The lynchpin of the oath is the exhortation, 'first, do no harm.' A doctor who places religious belief over patient need is doing precisely that – harm.

The World Medical Association's Declaration of Geneva compels members to affirm the statement – 'I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient.'

The administration is moving forward with the gag rule as of last year. This will create gaps in reproductive health services for a projected 4 million American women. Yet, 80% of Planned Parenthood's operations are dedicated to the prevention of pregnancy. Removing funding for PP, when so many rely on its services, would indeed not be lawful. 

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