That name inevitably evokes a knee-jerk reaction from all who hear it. For some, it is an organization providing needed health services to men and women, while to others it is a force perpetuating one of the greatest moral crises of our time.
In the wake of calls by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to cut all governmental funding to this group, those who adhere to the former view are decrying these lawmakers as furthering their social agenda under the guise of economic policy.
Furthermore, they are accusing House Republicans of cutting a much-needed source of cancer screenings, mammograms and HIV treatments for poor and minority communities, and they point to the fact that no federal funds directly support abortions provided in Planned Parenthood clinics.
So, why would anyone want to defund this group? The answer is simple.
It lies in the organization’s name: Planned Parenthood.
It is obvious this group is not simply providing medical services to those in need but in reality is advocating a specific social agenda. According to Planned Parenthood’s last available year-end report, the organization spent more than $100 million alone furthering “sexuality education” and other “public policy objectives.”
This fact should be deeply disturbing to every American, not necessarily because of the views Planned Parenthood espouses but because governmental money is being used to subsidize a private organization that advocates social policies with which so many Americans disagree.
The fact that government funds are being used to subsidize the lobbying of governmental officials for specific policies and more governmental funds is anathema to our very system of government.
Every governmental dollar Planned Parenthood receives is a dollar of its privately raised money it does not have to spend.
Every governmental dollar Planned Parenthood receives is a dollar that helps artificially prop up its ideas in a marketplace that appears ready to reject them.
Are we comfortable with our federal government subsidizing the ideas of an organization that was founded by a woman who supported eugenics and favored “family planning” as a way to weed out the undesirables among us, especially considering that most of Planned Parenthood’s activities take place in poor and minority communities?
If Planned Parenthood’s sole objective is to help those in need, let it continue to offer cancer screenings, mammograms and HIV testing. If it does that while advocating only for more funds to pursue these purposes, few would reject funding the group.
However, that would defeat the organization’s very purpose of advocating for “family planning” solutions.
Economic and social policies are inextricably intertwined.
That is exactly why if Planned Parenthood supporters want to continue advocating their social policy objectives, they must do it on their own dime.
Zack Smith is a first-year law student. His column appears on Mondays.