Can you imagine the public outrage if the National Rifle Association was the beneficiary of taxpayers — using public funds to elect individuals who would promote gun rights, and oppose candidates who favor gun control?
To defend itself against efforts to defund the organization, Planned Parenthood uses two lines of reasoning. First, they say no tax dollars are used for abortions. Clearly this is not a believable argument. The second defense is that defunding Planned Parenthood would limit access to needed services for many women.
In a recent interview, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards stated: "Half of our health centers are located in underserved areas, like Lancaster, Pennsylvania."
The problem with her statement is that Lancaster is not an underserved area. In fact, there are ten public health facilities in Lancaster. This is the case all across the country.
My home state of Tennessee has four Planned Parenthood locations who compete for clients with 267 other federally qualified health centers in Tennessee, including local health departments. These other locations are perfectly capable of providing pap smears, breast exams, STD screenings, etc. — the limited, legitimate services offered by Planned Parenthood.
There are two differences between Planned Parenthood and the multitude of other facilities: health departments and public health centers do not provide abortions, as does Planned Parenthood; and the others provide extensive other primary care services.
Planned Parenthood does not provide comprehensive health care. This begs the question — what would the effect of defunding Planned Parenthood be?
No one who argues for defunding Planned Parenthood intends for women's health care to be compromised, or for women to have difficulty accessing necessary services. Ideally, these funds would be provided to centers that provide real women's health care and did not perform abortions.
Because at least a portion of the public funds used for Planned Parenthood support the infrastructure of the abortion industry, it follows to reason that if all the funds currently given to Planned Parenthood were devoted to women's care and none were used for abortion, then a greater amount of services could be provided to women. If local centers had additional funding, they could expand services locally.
To finish the story at the beginning: it was already too late for that woman's precious baby. Her tragic experience has been repeated over and over. I am only one of several dozen OB/GYNs in Middle Tennessee, yet I've seen three women betrayed by Planned Parenthood just in the past month.
Now the focus needed to be on meeting her needs and letting her know someone cares about her. I provided her with contact information for a local pro-life ministry that conducts post-abortive counseling for women, free of charge.
What if that local group had the ability to expand its health services to help more women?
When one considers these facts, the effort to defund Planned Parenthood and transfer those funds to other health centers becomes clear. Other facilities are better able to serve the real needs of women, improving access to health care across the country.
Reprinted with permission from Bound4LIFE