Although Cecile Richards had argued that women would lose access to healthcare if Planned Parenthood loses its taxpayer funding, women would certainly have access to healthcare if Planned Parenthood is defunded. Women have access to all of the non-abortion services that Planned Parenthood offers at thousands of federally qualified health centers that are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia, and pregnant women can obtain abortions at abortion providers that are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood in 45 states and in the District of Columbia. In addition, other healthcare providers that are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood would fill in the void that might result if Planned Parenthood is defunded. Furthermore, the truth that women would not lose access to healthcare if Planned Parenthood is very obvious to many Americans, including some who support abortion rights and including some of the supporters of Planned Parenthood.
Why would Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards falsely claim that women would lose access to “basic family planning [such as] mammograms” if Planned Parenthood is defunded? She would say this in order to prevent Planned Parenthood from losing its taxpayer funding and to increase the profits of Planned Parenthood, even though this lie is obvious to some of the Americans who support Planned Parenthood. In addition, Cecile Richards might also be saying this in order to persuade women of childbearing age to obtain these services at Planned Parenthood clinics instead of unaffiliated providers so that these women will turn to Planned Parenthood for abortions in the event that they become pregnant. Moreover, Planned Parenthood might be making this false claim in order to subsidize its abortion services.
Planned Parenthood should be defunded by the federal government, even if some individuals believe that they should still receive taxpayer funding, for the following reasons:
- Women can obtain every service that Planned Parenthood offers at providers who are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood in 45 states and in the District of Columbia.
- Women can obtain all of the non-abortion services at unaffiliated providers in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia.
- Planned Parenthood has already fraudulently received government funding that it was not legally entitled to receive from state and federal governments.
- Planned Parenthood clinics have billed Medicaid for non-abortion services that were rendered to women who have undergone abortions at Planned Parenthood.
- Planned Parenthood will steer pregnant women who obtain non-abortion medical services at Planned Parenthood clinics towards having an abortion because abortion is their primary source of profit and revenue.
- Planned Parenthood contributes millions of dollars to the political campaigns of pro-abortion politicians in order to protect its taxpayer funding and its abortion business, whereas most of the other providers that provide the same non-abortion healthcare services do not contribute the large sums of money that Planned Parenthood does to political campaigns.
- Unlike most other providers that provide the same services as Planned Parenthood, approximately $400 million of private donations are donated to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates every year.
- Even though Planned Parenthood is primarily in the business of performing abortions and its primary source of revenue is from the abortions performed at Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood also misrepresents itself as a comprehensive women’s health provider.
- Planned Parenthood has been involved in the harvesting of body parts obtained from babies that have been aborted at Planned Parenthood clinics, and Planned Parenthood has illegally profited from the sale of fetal body parts to researchers.
- An increase in the amount of taxpayer funding that Planned Parenthood receives does lead to an increase in the number of abortions being performed at Planned Parenthood abortion clinics.
- Defunding Planned Parenthood will reduce the number of abortions that are performed at Planned Parenthood clinics.
- If Planned Parenthood is defunded and if the taxpayer funds go to other federally qualified health centers that do not perform abortions, more women would be able the same non-abortion medical services that are currently provided by Planned Parenthood.
- Some of the federally qualified health centers provide essential medical services that are not even offered at any of the Planned Parenthood clinics, including but not limited to mammograms, prenatal care, and endometriosis treatment. A more complete list of services that Planned Parenthood does not provide can be found here.
The United States Supreme Court has already decided that taxpayer funding of abortion is not required under the United States Constitution in the Maher v. Roe, Williams v. Zbaraz, Harris v. McRae, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, and Rust v. Sullivan decisions. In addition, Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution prohibits the United States Treasury from funding abortion providers unless such funding is in accordance with appropriations made by the United States Congress.
Here are the conclusions that the United States Supreme Court arrived at with respect to taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States:
- “The Equal Protection Clause does not require a State participating in the Medicaid program to pay the expenses incident to nontherapeutic abortions for indigent women simply because it has made a policy choice to pay expenses incident to childbirth” (Maher v. Roe).
- “Financial need alone does not identify a suspect class for purposes of equal protection analysis” (Maher v. Roe).
- “A State is not required to show a compelling interest for its policy choice to favor normal childbirth” (Maher v. Roe).
- “Since it is not unreasonable for a State to insist upon a prior showing of medical necessity to insure that its money is being spent only for authorized purposes, the District Court erred in invalidating the requirements of prior written request by the pregnant woman and prior authorization by the Department of Social Services for abortions” (Maher v. Roe).
- “The funding restrictions of the Hyde Amendment do not impinge on the ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment held in Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, 168, to include the freedom of a woman to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy” (Harris v. McRae).
- “Although Congress has opted to subsidize medically necessary services generally, but not certain medically necessary abortions, the fact remains that the Hyde Amendment leaves an indigent woman with at least the same range of choice in deciding whether to obtain a medically necessary abortion as she would have had if Congress had chosen to subsidize no health care costs at all” (Harris v. McRae).
- “The Hyde Amendment does not violate the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment” (Harris v. McRae).
- “The regulations do not violate a woman’s Fifth Amendment right to choose whether to terminate her pregnancy. The Government has no constitutional duty to subsidize an activity merely because it is constitutionally protected and may validly choose to allocate public funds for medical services relating to childbirth but not to abortion” (Rust v. Sullivan).
The United States Senate should pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015 (S. 582), because the United States Supreme Court has already decided that the taxpayer defunding of abortion being proposed under this act is constitutionally permissible as a result of the Harris v. McRae and Rust v. Sullivan decisions. In addition, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers should not receive taxpayer funding because these providers are primarily in the business of performing abortions, because abortion is the primary source of revenue for these providers, because the business model of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers is fundamentally different from healthcare providers who are not in the business of performing abortions, and because the majority of abortions that are performed at Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are clearly medically unnecessary to begin with.
While prohibitions on taxpayer funding of abortion providers have previously been determined to be constitutional by the United States Supreme Court, the abortion industry might attempt to get these laws declared unconstitutional through the federal courts on the grounds that these laws would lead to the closure of many abortion clinics in the United States and on the grounds that many of the abortion-seeking women would be deprived of the ability to obtain a legal abortion in the United States as a result of the prohibition of taxpayer funding of abortion. Additionally, these abortion providers might make the argument that these laws were enacted as a means to prohibit abortion in the United States, despite the fact that these laws do not prohibit physicians from performing otherwise legal abortions that were not paid for with taxpayer money. Finally, the United States Supreme Court should continue to uphold laws that prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion, even in the face of attempts to get such laws declared unconstitutional by the abortion industry, because upholding these laws would respect established legal precedent on the issue of taxpayer funding of abortion, because the government has various legitimate interests that justify prohibiting the taxpayer funding of abortion, and because the United States Treasury has an obligation under Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution to not fund abortion providers unless permitted through appropriations enacted by law.
Today is the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases, both of which enabled abortion-on-demand to be legal in the United States during all nine months of pregnancy. Over 57 million unborn children have been killed as a result of legal abortion in the United States since abortion-on-demand was legalized nationwide during all nine months of pregnancy on January 22, 1973. The debate over whether abortion should become illegal in the United States is far from over, despite what the United States Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton 42 years ago.
The United States House of Representatives is currently proposing two major pieces of pro-life legislation. The first major piece, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization on the grounds that unborn children can feel fetal pain at that stage of pregnancy. The second major piece, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, would prohibit federal funding of most abortion procedures, would prohibit federal funds from being used for abortion coverage under healthcare plans, and would require full disclosure of any abortion coverage under any healthcare plan provided pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Obama is likely to veto both of these pieces of legislation if these pieces of legislation pass in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. In addition, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection act would probably be challenged in federal courts if it becomes law because of opposition to this piece of legislation by the abortion industry and also because this law might not meet the health exception requirement under the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton rulings.
The United States Supreme Court should uphold Texas HB 2, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in the second special session of the 83rd legislature and signed into law on July 18, 2013, because the intent of the law is to protect women who are undergoing abortions from the dangers of abortion procedures and also because the Texas Legislature did not intend to prohibit abortion providers from performing legal abortions at abortion clinics that meet the standards required under HB 2. In addition, the United States Supreme Court should also rule that prohibitions on late-term abortion and partial-birth abortion are constitutionally permissible in every circumstance, even when the an abortion has been determined to be necessary for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. Both of these actions would benefit American society, would lead to a reduction in the overall abortion rate, and would lead to decreased demand for abortion in the United States if the United States Supreme Court upholds HB 2 and rules that prohibitions on late-term abortion are constitutionally permissible in every circumstance.
In addition to prohibiting taxpayer-funded abortions and prohibiting late-term abortions, more needs to be done to help women who are in unplanned pregnancies to ensure that these women will not resort to abortion and to ensure that their children are taken care of after birth. Improving access to prenatal care for women who are in unplanned pregnancies through healthcare providers that will not pressure them into undergoing abortions will encourage these women to choose life, will reduce the demand for abortion, and will lead to more healthy babies being born. In addition, providing assistance to low-income women and improving access to adoption placement assistance for pregnant women who do not want to raise their unborn children after birth will reduce the demand for abortion.