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Trump’s Planned Parenthood Restrictions Seem Fair Enough

Donald Trump is bringing in some further restrictions upon what Planned Parenthood – and others – can do with the Federal funding they receive. And if we’re honest about it the restrictions seem fair enough. This is so whether you’re like me and against the basic idea of abortion or are over there with near everyone else and in favour of the availability. For it’s worth noting what the actual restrictions are going to be.

It’s already true that federal funds to be used for health care and family planning more generally cannot be used directly to perform abortions. That must be covered by private sources of funds. The rule change will, really, just say that the federal funds cannot be used to pay the overheads of abortion services either.

The administration is reviving a Reagan-era regulation — which has been derided by pro-choice activists as a “gag rule” — that would ban federally funded family planning clinics from discussing abortion with women or sharing space with abortion providers.

Technically, federal funding can’t go to abortions — but women’s health organizations worked around that provision since the 1970s by formally referring patients to abortionists, who are often located within the same clinic walls, the Weekly Standard reported.

The Reagan administration introduced regulations to end that blurred line, but it was tied up in court for years.

Even after courts sided with that Reagan mandate, ensuing Democratic and Republican administrations didn’t enforce it.

Enforcing current law is hardly the end of the Republic:

The elected officials asked that the new regulations remove the forced abortion referral for Title X grantees but also that they call for a “physical separation of abortion activities from Title X service sites and separate personnel.” The reason for the physical separation is to ensure complete financial separation between American tax dollars and abortion related activities. After all, a majority of American taxpayers oppose taxpayer funding for abortion.

The peoples’ money gets spent as the people wish. Seems a fair enough point to me.

But again do note what is being said here. Those federal funds cannot be used directly for abortion right now. They are used indirectly by defraying the overheads of having abortion services available. Yes, this really is true, there’s a certain minimum size to the overhead of running an office doing anything. Combine two services and you’ve cut and thus shared that overhead.

But perhaps the best argument in favour of it being fair enough is this complaint against the idea:

“This is an attempt to take away women’s basic rights, period,” said Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “Under this rule, people will not get the health care they need. They won’t get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even general women’s health exams.”

That’s not an outcome nor even an implication of what is being proposed. It’s just a general rant at any change to the current system. And that’s a pretty good indication about the proposed change itself. There is no specific argument against it. There’s that marginal one in favour of it, that separation of monies according to taxpayer preference. Well, why not then?

By the way. If the argument is that the ban on the use of federal funds to share facilities is going to decrease the availability of abortion then we’ve got to equally agree that the use of federal funds to share facilities pays for abortions, doesn’t it? Against current law?

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6 years ago

The “Hyde Amendment,” which provided that taxpayer money cannot not be used for abortions, has been in US law for decades. The current battlefield is the chronic effort to evade it, by leftie advocates who ignore that every dollar paid to Planned Parenthood for its “overhead” frees up one overhead dollar to be diverted toward abortions — and toward its notorious advocacy for the Democratic Party. Trump has made comparable changes via Executive Order to constrain the use of foreign aid. It would be nice if the Republican Party called off its effort to make abortion completely illegal (such as… Read more »

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