Planned Parenthood and Grown-up Budgeting

April 9, 2011

Much debate took place around government funding to Planned Parenthood leading up to the prevented government “shutdown.” Many pro-lifers argued funding was going directly to fund abortions. Pro-choicers argued the federal money was separated from the money going to abortions. And budget hawks and libertarians argued government shouldn’t be subsidizing any of their services, regardless of the abortion issue.

Here are a few facts on the issue straight from Planned Parenthood itself:

  • Percent of Planned Parenthood revenue from government funding (FY 2008/2009) = 33% [source]
  • Abortion as percentage of all Planned Parenthood services (FY 2008/2009) = 3% [source]
  • Number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood every hour (2009) = 38 [source]

In short, some of the figures thrown around have been exaggerated while others not raised should be a little disturbing. However, two points should be raised.

Read the rest of this entry »

PolitiFact on Potential Federal Abortion Funding

July 16, 2010

Update on previous post: Since the news broke of federal-government funds going to pay for abortions in Pennsylvania, PolitiFact has tackled the issue.  Here is their take claiming the funds will not go toward “elective” abortions.

In the end, we’ll see if the “forthcoming regulations” actually address this issue.

Feds to Fund Abortion?

July 15, 2010

Remember when the passage of health-care ‘reform’ was in question earlier this year due to concerns that it would cover abortion? It eventually was passed thanks to the assurance from President Obama that no federal funds would go toward abortion.

Now comes this news:

Forget Barack Obama’s executive order to the contrary — the federal government will finance abortions in Pennsylvania. … $160 million in federal money will be used in Pennsylvania to finance a “high-risk insurance pool” plan that includes abortion — and those funds reportedly are available immediately.

Did anyone really think this wouldn’t eventually happen?

Will Abortion Funding Prevent ‘Reform’ Passage?

March 4, 2010

With talk of Democrats pushing through health-care “reform” legislation via the reconciliation procedure, perhaps one of the only forseeable steps preventing passage is the abortion funding issue. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has been making the media rounds in the last day or so stating that he and several other Democrats could not foresee voting for the Senate version of the bill without stronger language prohibiting any government money for the funding of abortion services.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI)

Versions of the now famous “Hyde Amendment” have governed the prohibition of most government abortion funding (only allowed under certain circumstances) for many years now, but Stupak and others fear that language in health-care reform could allow for funding in more cases. As I posted on last year, amendments adding stricter language to the Senate version of the bill were struck down. Stupak, however, was successful in adding an amendment to the House version of the bill restricting funding or subsidizing abortion services. However, the Senate version appears to be what lawmakers will attempt to approve (with some tweaks) in an effort to avoid further delay in passage.

Now it looks like the fate of health-care “reform” may be in the hands of pro-life lawmakers (especially Democrats). If this ends up being the key issue, will these lawmakers vote with their conscience or with their party leadership? Time will tell. Will this be enough to prevent passage? I’m, as always, cynical.

‘Sanctity of Human Life Sunday’

January 23, 2010

Tomorrow is “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.” My former Tampa Tribune colleague Sheryl Young has written a good summary of the purpose of the day and some important information regarding abortion for the online magazine The Underground here. A site with information on the day as well as useful materials can be found here.

Climate/Population Change

December 12, 2009

It seems some climate-change (now the more politically correct term for “global warming”)  alarmists believe population control is an answer to preventing what they view as a pending destruction of our planet. Examples include the following two articles:

Both cite China’s one-child policy, which has been criticized often over the years for leading to forced abortions and sterilization. But the statist mentality in China, and many other societies, persists. Whatever is best for the collective is what matters. Forget individual rights; we’ve got a looming global climate disaster on our hands! Oh, and forget data that may contradict that prediction, too.

Feinstein and Abortion Subsidies

December 10, 2009

Worried that proposed health-care “reform” measures would somehow divert your tax money to help fund abortions? Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) has this response to your concerns: “Please.”

In an interview with CNS News in which she was asked if it was morally right to use tax dollars from pro-life Americans to subsidize insurance plans that cover abortion, Feinstein argued the following:

Is it morally correct? Yes, I believe it is.  Abortion is legal, and there (are) certain very tragic circumstances that a woman finds herself in. Married, with an unborn baby that’s unable to survive outside of the womb, her doctor tells her it’s a threat to her health.  I think she ought to have a policy available to her.

When asked again, she replied with the following:

Please. We pay for a lot of things that we may or may not agree with, and taxpayers pay for it, for those things, as well.

So, her argument seems to be that since taxpayers already pay for many things they don’t morally agree with, it’s alright to add yet another item to that list. And that’s the logic of a statist. Nevermind the individual religious or property rights of the taxpayers — or the Constitution for that matter.

It might have been wise for the reporter to again follow up with the senator by asking her something like this: “Exactly which part of the Constitution permits Congress to take money from one American and use it to subsidize a medical procedure for another American?” A good guess would be that she would then either attempt to twist the wording and/or meaning of the Constitution to fit her objectives or just simply blow the question off.

She may want to take a tip from the playbook of her fellow member of Congress from California, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi replied with this gem when asked in October by a CNS reporter to explain what part of the Constitution gave Congress the authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”. She then shook her head. Her spokesman later reiterated the point with the following statement:

You can put this on the record. That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.

Moral of the story: Don’t question members of Congress; they know better than you. Forget the details of that pesky Constitution.

Blog Reference

October 15, 2009

Excerpts from one of my previous posts on unincluded abortion amendments in the Senate Finance Committee health-care “reform” bill were included in a recent post from Sheryl Young, one of my fellow former Tampa Tribune community columnists, at her blog “20-20 Faith Sight.” Thanks to Sheryl for referencing the information in my blog!

Abortion Amendments Voted Down

September 30, 2009

Adding further controversy to the issue of abortion and health-care “reform” was the rejection of two abortion amendments by the Senate Finance Committee today.

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (left) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (left) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley

The first amendment would have inserted stronger language making it clear that abortion would never be covered under government-subsidized plans. The second notched up opt-out protections for health-care providers who object to providing certain procedures like abortion because of moral issues. Both were voted down by the Committee 13-10.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the Finance Committee member who proposed the funding amendment, is arguing that the vote against the amendment leaves a worrisome ambiguity in the law that could lead to taxpayer funding of abortion. He also believes that the vote against the opt-out amendment leaves too much uncertainty in the legislation.

This only adds more fuel to the fire of concern that health-care reform will eventually lead to government-funded abortion, with or without a so-called “public” (read: government) option.

Does Obamacare Cover Abortion?

August 25, 2009

There’s been some controversy over whether or not Obamacare would fund abortions. Those on the right claim it will undoubtedly be the case, while those on the left (including President Obama) deny this claim as hyperbole.

In an effort to clear up the record, recently took a look at this issue. Among the site’s findings was this point concerning an approved amendment (in the House Energy and Commerce Committee) to H.R. 3200:

The Capps amendment does contain a statement – as we noted in an earlier article– that prohibits the use of public money to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. That would still allow the public plan to cover all abortions, so long as the plans took in enough private money in the form of premiums paid by individuals or their employers. The Capps language also would allow private plans purchased with federal subsidies (“affordability credits” for low-income families and workers) to cover abortion.

In sum, the site states that:

As for the House bill as it stands now, it’s a matter of fact that it would allow both a “public plan” and newly subsidized private plans to cover all abortions.

This is something to keep in mind when listening to the debates.

* In a related “fact check,” the site also notes that the claim that a person can keep their health insurance if they like it is not necessarily true!