The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: Taxpayer Money Should Not Fund Planned Parenthood

2 min read

Staff Writer

Once again, Congress has established an impending deadline to sort out differences of opinion on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Conservatives fight to reduce federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood could certainly be seen as public service.  It currently provides things that are important to the community such as education, STD testing and birth control.  The point of tension arises when abortion is brought into the picture.

Abortion, to the frustration of many (mostly conservative) Americans, is legal.  However, by funding this non-profit organization, are we not endorsing its initiatives, including encouraging women to get abortions?

According to the Planned Parenthood website, only three percent of their health services are abortion services. If a woman makes the decision to get an abortion, then I do not want to be funding it.

At the very least, there should be a stipulation on government gifts to ensure they are not used for abortions.  The American people work hard and have a good portion of their pay taken to support the items decided on right now.

According to the Planned Parenthood annual report from 2009, a whopping 33 percent of their operating costs come from government grants, which are second only to the revenue from the health centers themselves.

The government rarely gives any funding without some sort of stipulation along with it.  The problem with simply providing a stipulation is that it would simply free up funds in other areas that could be allocated for abortive procedures.

Therefore, the best way to discourage abortion in the organization is to withhold or limit funding such a politically volatile organization.  Again, I do think that Planned Parenthood has some legitimate purposes, but those same purposes could be attained other ways.

The government gave Planned Parenthood a total of $363.2 million in 2009 according to Planned Parenthood’s annual report.  It is inconceivable that the government is allocating that kind of money for an organization with such practices that are still highly debated.

I think it is natural to have an opinion on how that money is spent, particularly when it comes to the difficult moral question of abortion.  An abortion, in almost all cases, is an elective surgery.

Even if the law is currently to protect the right to make an individual decision about abortion, why is it too much to expect the financial responsibility to fall upon the person making that decision?  America is all about individual rights, why not a little more individual responsibility?