In the course of less than a year, the world’s most notorious abortion provider and promoter has suffered towering blows from the Trump Administration and the Ninth Circuit Court, bringing the withdrawal of what is called “Title X” Funding. But don’t try to explain that to the heads and promoters of Planned Parenthood. Instead of admitting that, indeed, getting other people’s money to fund their life-ending agenda might, possibly, maybe, be a questionable act, the organization and its pop media fans are publicly painting Planned Parenthood as heroic, and, get this, standing up for free speech against an authoritarian federal “gag rule.”
Thanks to a White House proposal from last year, a March, 2019 Trump Administration policy change, and two recent 9th Circuit Court rulings that have allowed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the change, upwards of $60 million annual dollars will no longer go from the taxpayers, to the feds, to Planned Parenthood as part of the 40-year-old “Title X” program spitting out federal grants like Pez for so-called “family health care”.
And, yes, the insulting way Planned Parenthood tries to latch on to the image of “family planning”, and the way in which collectivists have successfully hidden the taking of human lives behind that deceptive “curtain” term is duly noted.
What are left fallow in this fertile learning ground are three key observations.
First, one should acknowledge that President Trump has delivered. Early in his presidential campaign, Trump promised to stop federal money from subsidizing the world’s largest abortion provider and outsourcer.
Of course, his HHS move to do so was challenged in court, but Trump has emerged victorious, which is shocking, given the leftist leanings of the 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Amend that. It’s almost shocking.
The Court merely read the Title X law as it was written, and, as John McCormack notes for National Review, the 1970 Title X grant process mandates:
None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.
And since Planned Parenthood blurs the lines between itself and the “outside” abortionists to which it often refers “patients”, we see the second big point to take away.
PPs lame excuse that when it refers women to “outside” abortionists it is merely employing free speech clearly is belied by its financial connections to abortion providers all over the map. And this is an abrogation of the Title X rules, which McCormack rightly observes:
In short, the 'gag rule' isn’t really a 'gag rule.' Planned Parenthood is free under the regulation to provide abortion counseling, but it doesn’t want to separate its contraception business from its abortion business, as required by the statute establishing Title X.
It’s quite clear. Yet dinosaur news outlets continue to whisper in our ears that, somehow, Planned Parenthood is fighting for “free speech”, that it’s a paragon of virtue, and that, once more Trump and anyone who should have the temerity to want their neighbors to be free to not fund abortions are the malefactors.
Which brings us to the final point, a larger one which seems to be lost in the fog of the abortion war and the propaganda spread by so many, mostly on the leftist side.
The larger point is that all of Title X is unsupportable on a constitutional basis. There is nothing whatsoever in the US Constitution that grants the Congress the power to take people’s money in order to shell it out for anything “social”, be it the overtly unethical provision of abortion, a discussion about abortion, or even a seemingly innocuous and politically coddled federal grant to offer handouts for “newborn health visits”. The conversation could be about stuffed animals, the money could be spent on vitamins – the ethics are no different. The hard and fast rule, the line in the sand, is supposed to be a line in concrete. If Congresspeople want to spend other people’s money on handouts and programs they think are wonderful, they have no constitutional power to do so and must amend the document.
In fact, it goes further than that, deep into the psychology of real choice, and economics. If politicians want to show “America cares” about something, they need allow each person to keep his money and spend it on what he or she finds worthwhile.
As a result, the current flurry of feather-rustling over the Planned Parenthood defeat serves to not only tell us things about the rhetoric of the organization and its pop media flacks, it hands us something even more important: an understanding that even the more innocuous aspects of Title X are not only blatantly unconstitutional, they steal opportunities for people to show what they really care about, to show how they, as individuals, care.
For more than forty years, this multi-leveled system of federal deception about “charity” and “care” has been operating. Now, as one part of it – the Planned Parenthood portion – is defunded, and Planned Parenthood claims it is going to no longer try to get any of the Title X funds, even when it isn’t connected to the abortion providers, we can see the larger picture. It may not be as immediately ugly as the feds taking money to fund the killing of human beings, but it’s important to recognize the unethical nature of it as well.
And hope for its dismantling.