During the Republicans’ first attempt to “repeal and replace ObamaCare,” the issue of federal funding for Planned Parenthood came up because defunding was included in the bill, the American Health care Act. In response, the New Jersey star-Ledger editorialized that Trumpcare's Rx: Unwanted babies and no health insurance. Calling the defunding a “forebodding” development, the Star-Ledger writes:
We all know how this goes. When women lose access to reliable contraception, they have more unplanned births, and the children they can't support end up needing Medicaid and other government services.
The same Medicaid that's being savagely cut. Millions of poor women will be kicked off health insurance under Trumpcare, and the President's budget also slashes many other programs that help support poor families.
He's forcing women to have unwanted children, then telling them they're on their own. But make no mistake: We'll be paying for this one way or another - in emergency room, welfare, prison and other costs.
I’m not sure why it matters whether we taxpayers are forced to pay for poor women’s healthcare through “insurance” or Medicaid.. But, that aside, I left these comments, edited for clarity:
First, let me state at the outset that federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be stopped, but only if the same defunding applies to all like “social services” and charitable organizations such as Crisis Pregnancy Centers and the range of institutions funded under Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (formerly GW Bush’s “Faith-Based Initiatives”). If, as the star-Ledger claims, “Planned Parenthood can't survive on private donations,” then it shouldn’t survive. Neither should any like organization. No government has the rightful power to fund private institutions by force of taxation what private citizens wouldn’t voluntarily give to on their own. But, as a matter of fairness—not to mention equal protection of the law—unless the Trump Administration is willing to end all similar funding, Planned Parenthood should not be singled out for defunding.
Which brings me to another point. The Star-Ledger complains that Trump would “maintain federal funding if Planned Parenthood stopped offering abortions or any such referrals,” calling this an attempt “to strong-arm Planned Parenthood into refusing the option to all women.”
Welcome to the world of government funding. Government funding is tyranny, plain and simple. The government takes our money by force of taxation, then returns it for one thing or another but with strings attached. Just look at Obama’s education policy, which offers funding to the states, but only if they adopt his Common Core curriculum. Why isn’t that strong-arming? The Left loves government funding, but apparently only when it gets to set the terms.
The Star-Ledger shouldn’t be crying crocodile tears over Trump’s Planned Parenthood tactics. It’s just the Left’s chickens coming home to roost. His defunding policy would not equate to “forcing women to have unwanted children.” Abortion would still be as legal as before. No one would be forced to carry a pregnancy to birth. Trump’s cuts would not “cut off women's access to life-saving care and their right to make their own reproductive choices.” What it would do is stop forcing unwilling taxpayers to pay for women’s abortions. Trump’s defunding effort would not stop anyone from legitimately accessing contraception or abortion services. It would merely stop women from using Planned Parenthood to access other people’s earnings against their will.
One final observation: The Star-Ledger warns that “We'll be paying for [Planned Parenthood defunding] one way or another - in emergency room, welfare, prison and other costs.” Leaving aside prisons, which is an apple tossed into a conversation about oranges, why is that? Because the government itself forces us to. Why should that be? It shouldn’t. But that is the welfare state—the very thing that the Left chastises the Republicans for whenever it proposes the most miniscule cuts to. Talk about disingenuous! The Star-Ledger raises the specter of an expanded welfare state as a rationalization to stop Trump from threatening to cut back the welfare state. Hmmm.
As a consistent and principled advocate of individual rights, I will always “defend women's health and reproductive rights,” but never any alleged “right” to these or any other goods or services that others must be forced to provide. A right is a guarantee to freedom of action to pursue one’s values, not an automatic claim on other people’s wallets.
The Left's Double Standard on Women