NYT columnist Gail Collins is upset because many Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood. But as usual with PP defenders, she whitewashed the problem. From her column:
Maybe it’s all part of a grand theme. Last month, they voted to repeal the health care law. This month, they’re going after an organization that provides millions of women with both family-planning services and basic health medical care, like pap smears and screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
Well, see—those are not the sticky wickets. Opponents of PP see two very real—and some would say, pernicious—problems with the group. The first is the millions of abortions they have performed, and the second is the hyper-sexualization (from the critics’ perspective) of teenagers through the organization’s sex education activities—which any child can access on-line. And lets add a third; the strong suspicion that PP covers up child abuse and statutory rape when it conducts abortions on minors. We had plenty of smoke about that hot potato long before the recent “sting” videos.
Collins says govt. money doesn’t fund abortions, which is true technically. But money is fungible, and the government largess can fund general expenses and the good stuff, leaving greater capacity for PP to perform abortions.
One can agree or disagree with defunding PP—I agree, and for other reasons, including budgetary, as well. But whatever one’s opinion, it is not a disreputable goal to want taxpayers out of shoring up an organization that mixes the sordid with the beneficent. And if it wanted to get out of the vortex of an ongoing public funding controversy, all it would have to do is stick to the things to which no one objects. Or pay for it all through private donations and fees for services.
PP should not be sacrosanct. I suspect that many believe it is—not for what the government technically funds—but precisely for what it doesn’t.