Published by the Hoosier Project, 07-01-2001
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Pro-life Hoosiers should not be
Those who advocate legal access to abortion often talk in glowing terms about the right to "choose". They contend that government should stay out of the abortion question, with witty catch phrases like "keep your laws off my body" and "keep the government out of the bedroom."
forced to subsidize abortion
If "pro-choice" advocates actually believed that government should not be involved in the abortion issue, perhaps there would be room for some common ground between the pro-life and pro-choice camps in America. But clearly, many of those who call themselves "pro-choice" are anything but.
Someone who is truly pro-choice would stand by the position that abortion is an individual decision to be made by the woman, her doctor, her family, and her spiritual advisor, with the ultimate decision falling upon the pregnant woman. A pro-choice position would argue that nobody should be forced into having an abortion and that nobody should be forced to participate in abortion if they do not wish to.
But millions of pro-life Americans don't have a choice in whether to participate in abortion or not, because our government has decided for them that they will fund abortionists whether they like it or not. Planned Parenthood, one of America's leading abortion providers, received a total of $143 million in federal funds in 1998 alone, $52 million of which came from Title X funds. This, of course, does not count taxpayer subsidies Planned Parenthood benefits from at the state and local level. In 1999, the City of Bloomington gave Planned Parenthood $5,000 for a "medical examining table", and on June 20 of 2001 the City Council gave PP another $1,400.
Planned Parenthood is not a struggling organization in dire need of assistance from government. In 1998/99, PP's revenues exceeded its expenditures by $125 million! That's quite a hefty profit for an organization that officially has "not-for-profit" status.
In addition, Planned Parenthood is a political group. PP lobbies government at every level on their issues. Just last year, PP lobbied the Indiana legislature against a state license plate to support Crisis Pregnancy Centers. A few years ago, "pro-choice" advocates in Florida bitterly opposed the creation of a "Choose Life" license plate, with the absolutely silly argument that such a message would encourage anti-abortion terrorism. Only a "pro-choice" mind would think that a "choose life" message could encourage one to cause death.
When the Republican Congress took office in 1995, they talked about "de-funding the Left", referencing how many Leftist groups receive your tax dollars and then lobby the government for their issues, subsidizing one side of a political debate over another. If for no other reason than this, we should demand that our tax dollars cease to go to Planned Parenthood.
Is this what "pro-choice" is about? I certainly didn't have a choice in whether I paid federal income taxes the last twelve years, at least if I didn't want to spend time in a federal penitentiary. As someone who opposes abortion and works to end it, I find it offensive that I am forced to fund the very activity I so deeply oppose. Millions of others feel the same way.
Let's be honest here. Many of those who claim to be "pro-choice" are not. They are pro-abortion. We've seen it in Indiana, with pro-abortion legislators like House Floor Leader Mark Kruzan (D-Bloomington) opposing Pharmacist's Conscience legislation that would allow pharmacists to refuse to participate in a chemical abortion. Kruzan may whine on the radio about how he is not pro-abortion and how unfair it is for letters to the editor to label him as such, but forcing people to participate in abortion IS a pro-abortion position.
Americans have been asked to respect the "choice" of women regarding the abortion question, but it's hard to respect someone calling for "choice" when they deny the other side the very thing they want for themselves. Perhaps it's time for pro-lifers to demand they be given a choice too.