For liberals, organizations like Planned Parenthood are a means of empowering underserved individuals to improve their family health by reducing family size. For conservatives, Planned Parenthood is considered a front to indirectly fund abortion with taxpayer dollars. After a two and a half year investigation by the Center for Medical Progress into the practices of Planned Parenthood, which included a secretly filmed interview with Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services Deborah Nucatola, efforts to defund Planned Parent will gain traction as its apparent selling of tissue makes it a politically unsavory organization.
What made the Nucatola video so unsettling was her treatment of the aborted “fetal tissue” and “body parts” as a commodity. There may be a Constitution right to an abortion while there are limited cases where abortions are medically necessary, but an abortion is always tragic. Abortion providers must remember aborted fetuses are not medical waste to simply be discarded or recycled. Ethics exist, after all, to force medical professional to consider the implications of their decisions and the services they provide. Mentally framing aborted fetuses as garbage thoroughly negates the very purpose of discussing ethics.
That said, it is never wise to make a public policy decision based on an emotional response. Emotions can guide our thinking, but public policy must be well considered and build on logical conclusions. Using the Nucatola Video and the emotions it provokes to force the defunding of Planned Parenthood only undermines the need for sound public policy debate. With that in mind, the United States has already had a debate on using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. Because the use of taxpayer dollars would force Americans to support a practice many deem immoral, we do not see it as an appreciate use of public funds.
Furthermore, it is important to understand the educational and contraceptive services provided by Planned Parenthood are valuable to the communities they serve. Government, however, should focus on funding organizations that provide broader healthcare services. After all, it is important to look at the need to address one’s reproductive health as a part of one’s overall healthcare needs. As such, contraceptives and educational services provided by Planned Parenthood need to be administered as part of an individual’s comprehensive healthcare.
Considering the fact that “Obamacare” now requires insurance providers to cover the full cost of contraceptives and all US Citizens to have insurance, the need for organizations like Planned Parenthood have been greatly diminished. Consequently, Planned Parenthood funding should be diverted to community health centers. Diverting the federal funding dedicated to Planned Parenthood into our community hospitals could help bring down overhead, thus allowing more services to be funded while giving uninsured patrons access to free contraceptives in multiple locations. It would also help cover the uninsured.
Meanwhile, mental health services, as one example, are seriously underfunded. It would be great if more taxpayer dollars could be used to treat depression and prevent suicide. Instead of passing out condoms and pamphlets, the talented professionals of Planned Parenthood should be addressing the broader needs and education of the community by also tackling issues like healthy living and heart failure. Without taking into account the shocking revelations of the Nucatola Video, government funding that goes to Planned Parenthood should be used to provide for the same reproductive services as well as the broader healthcare needs of the community.
We, the People, need to force policymakers and healthcare professionals to make this a reality. We need lean government built on efficiency, not “small,” broken government built on political whims. Planned Parenthood is an organization of the pre-healthcare reform world. Moreover, there are many reasons people are against Planned Parenthood and many reasons why people support Planned Parenthood, but all sides can come together to spend taxpayer dollars far more wisely in order to provide better healthcare to more people in need.
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