The Wall Street Journal reports that anti-choice activists have renewed their call for federal, state and local governments to stop granting money to Planned Parenthood. This is nothing new. However, they do have a new reason for why the government should contribute to increasing the number of unplanned pregnancies in the United States:
Abortion opponents are pressing state and local governments to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, arguing that the nonprofit group has plenty of cash and shouldn’t be granted scarce public funds at a time of economic crisis.
We have previously reported on the fact that women pay more for the exact same health coverage as men, health insurance companies often don’t cover contraception in their prescription plans, and that plans to revive the economy aren’t yet reflecting an investment in the industries in which most women are employed. If women aren’t receiving quality, low-cost reproductive health care at places like Planned Parenthood during this economic downturn, it is a near-certainty that the unplanned pregnancy rate will increase – the complete opposite of the professed goal of anti-choice groups.
And the services that Planned Parenthood provides with government funds aren’t even for abortions. (The Hyde Amendment has a hand in this.) The services provide millions of women and men across the country with free or low-cost contraception, sex education, and annual gynecological exams, among other things. Government funds account for fully one-third of Planned Parenthood’s budget. If this funding were taken away, our neighbors and friends would suffer needlessly and not only be more vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies, but also reduced access to STI screenings, cervical cancer tests, or sex education.