The federal government has effectively stalled the fight to defund Planned Parenthood, so Texas has hatched a plan to strip taxpayer dollars from the abortion giant at the state level:
Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, sent a first-of-its-kind waiver to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on June 28 asking the agency to approve federal funding for a state-administered family planning program that excludes abortion providers and their affiliates from participation.
Furthermore, if the waiver is approved it could spur other states to follow suit:
If the Trump administration approves the request, Texas Right to Life legislative director John Seago said, it could set off a chain reaction of copycat programs in red states across the nation.
“For the majority of states that want to provide family planning services without sending taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry, that’s a win-win solution,” Mr. Seago said. “Republicans do want a strong network for women’s health services, and the prospect that you can do that while protecting life is something that I think a lot of states would jump on board with.”
Texas first launched the Women’s Health Program, now called Healthy Texas Women, in 2007. It was a initially a joint state-federal venture until CMS – under the Obama administration – declined to renew the program over the condition that it excluded the participation of clinics that “perform or promote elective abortion,” including Planned Parenthood.
Texas continued to fund the program with state dollars, but now Gov. Abbott wants help from the federal government – to the tune of $35 million per year.
Of course, liberals are against the idea. Kinsey Hasstedt, senior policy manager at the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, said:
“The loss of Planned Parenthood, the loss of these types of providers who really focus on reproductive health care and see a high volume of clients every year and do it well, runs absolutely counter to the intent of the program,” Ms. Hasstedt said. “We’ve seen in Texas that it really hurts women’s ability to access publicly funded contraceptive care in that state.”
Someone please tell me: what does restricting taxpayer funding for abortion have to do with contraceptive care? Contraceptive care is just a fancy way of saying “birth control” or “safe sex” – it’s what prevents pregnancy and disease from happening in the first place. That’s decidedly different from terminating a pregnancy. Planned Parenthood and other women’s health clinics can still effectively provide contraceptive care without also providing abortions. In fact, maybe the problem is that women’s health clinics aren’t adequately providing contraceptives in the first place. If they were, why would they be so defensive of abortion?
Probably because they just want a piece of the taxpayer pie:
“It is perplexing that the abortion advocates would be opposed to this waiver, because they are always highlighting the need for more funding of women’s health services,” [Seago] said. “It shows that their true purpose is really trying to get taxpayer dollars. They want a piece of the pie, and so they don’t like women’s health programs that don’t include them getting taxpayer funding.”
The crux of the issue is this: pro-life taxpayers should not be forced to surrender a percentage of their hard-earned incomes to clinics that provide elective abortion services. If private citizens want to donate their money to Planned Parenthood abortion funds, that’s their decision. But the government shouldn’t force taxpayers to fund something to which they’re fundamentally opposed. Period.