Leftists are trying their very hardest to convince the public that funding Planned Parenthood is not funding abortions. They desperately want us to believe that defunding Planned Parenthood would have no impact on the harvest and sale of unborn baby body parts. The following is a representative leftist argument. Hold your nose for a bit because the logic here stinks:
Imagine you are in line at the grocery store. The customer in front of you buys a can of beans with a SNAP card. You buy a bottle of wine and pay with cash. Then the next person in line angrily accuses you of wasting taxpayer money by buying alcohol with food stamps.
You’d probably be confused. The argument against you is that because the grocery store accepts food stamps from some customers, and because money is fungible, then you, by osmosis, have paid for your wine with food stamps.
Sounds stupid, but that’s the exact argument that Republicans are using against Planned Parenthood.
She’s right about one thing. That does sound stupid. Let’s try to unpack her logic. In her scenario, the store is Planned Parenthood offering both cans of beans (women’s healthcare) and wine (abortions). Who are the purchasers? One is a welfare recipient getting free healthful food (women’s healthcare). The other is a taxpayer, I must assume, who pays for both the SNAP benefits through his taxes (women’s healthcare) and his own wine (abortion) with his own money.
That’s where the whole thing goes south, really. If no one purchased wine at a store, guess what? It would cease to be offered. And if you cannot afford wine at a store, they don’t have programs available to help you purchase it. And the third guy in line doesn’t have to pay the store to exist if he doesn’t like the fact the store is selling wine. He can walk out.
There’s also a big difference between the federal government paying the store so that it can offer free food, and the government giving money to individuals to buy food. For instance, if Planned Parenthood were funded the way SNAP benefits work, each poor woman in need of healthcare would be given vouchers for healthcare services. That woman could then bring that voucher to any women’s healthcare provider. That’s the way SNAP works. Apparently, this author doesn’t get how big a difference that is.
A closer Planned Parenthood/grocery store scenario would work like this:
The civil government gives millions of dollars a year to a grocery store chain so that particular grocery store chain can provide healthful food to the poor. The civil government is clear that none of its money can be used by the grocery store to purchase, stock, or sell wine. But the grocery store still sells wine. Some of that wine is discounted if you might have trouble paying full price, as long as your income is low enough, by the way. The grocery store starts giving away so much free and/or cheap wine, it has trouble paying rent and salaries. So it asks the civil government to give it more free food money, and it asks for private donations as well, all in the name of healthful food for the poor. Then it finds that a few select corporate-sized customers don’t really want just wine. They would also like crack cocaine. When the grocery store finds that crack cocaine has a much higher profitability than wine, the grocery store starts selling crack cocaine on the side to select buyers (you know, because some of the grocery store owners want Lamborghinis).
Then some undercover reporters release video evidencing the fact that the grocery store is selling crack cocaine. The public says, “Hey! We are fine with paying for healthful food, but we don’t want to give money to a store that also sells crack cocaine. Because we think crack cocaine is wrong.” Then some leftist idiot comes in and tells all the worried citizens that none of their money goes to funding crack cocaine. All their dollars go to purchasing healthful food for the poor.
Then why not just give the money directly to the poor, and let them shop wherever they want? Hence, SNAP benefits. You’re not funding the store. You’re giving money for food directly to the poor. The fact is that abortions are cheap and widely available because Planned Parenthood can afford not to be paid full price for abortions. It can afford to do this simply because it gets so much federal and private funding for “women’s healthcare.”
An even better comparison would be to say that Planned Parenthood is more like the first person in line at the store than the store itself. Planned Parenthood is the one on SNAP benefits, not the one who owns the store. And the same problems abound there. Taxpayers who fund food stamps are essentially funding whatever else welfare recipients buy with their own money. That’s not an unreasonable concern. If you are an alcoholic, and I buy your food, what are you going to spend your extra money on now? Alcohol. And I did help you purchase it. There’s no way around that. It’s the main reason why many believe that welfare recipients should be drug-tested. Because whatever money a person doesn’t have to spend on one thing can be used for something else.
The main issue is not what Planned Parenthood spends its government money on. The main problem conservatives have is that Planned Parenthood spends its own money killing babies. I don’t want to give money to an organization that kills babies. It’s that simple. Imagine you know a guy who regularly hires hit men to kill babies (but he promises it is less than 3% of what he does with his life—the rest of the time he’s an all-around good guy). Let’s say this guy tells you he needs money in order to pay the hospital bills for his five-year-old girl, who has leukemia. Sounds like a worthy cause. He promises he won’t use any of the money you give him to hire hit men. “Not this money,” he says. “All this money is for my daughter.” Yeah. No. I won’t give money to a person who hires hit men. Period. He should be taking all of his “hit man money” and spending it on his daughter. Then he won’t even have to ask me for money.
And let’s go back to the stinky-logic-leftist-straw-man scenario for a moment. Let’s talk about that third person in line. You know, the one who doesn’t think federal money should be given to support a store that sells “evil” wine. The third person doesn’t think wine should be for sale at all. So guess what? That third person leaves the store.
That is the option conservative taxpayers are fighting for. The option to leave the store if we don’t like what the store is selling. The third person in line would merely say, “I won’t shop here as long as you sell wine, which I find objectionable.” Do we have that option? Can we refuse to pay taxes to an organization which hires hit men to kill babies, but claims it also offers valuable healthcare services to women? No. We can’t.
The leftists have it quite wrong. They think conservatives are barking at the wine-purchaser. We’re not. We’re barking at the store. And we’re barking at the civil government which pays the store rather than helping individuals directly. By paying the store directly, the civil government has forced us all to subsidize abortions. No matter what Planned Parenthood might be doing with its government money, what it does with its own money should still have an impact on whether it gets federal funding.