By Scott Tibbs, June 16, 2017
City Council chambers was filled with abortion opponents and Planned Parenthood activists on June 14, as the city council once again gave Planned Parenthood a handout from the taxpayers' wallets. As expected, the corporate welfare passed 8-0, and the councilors showed that they are precious little snowflakes that cannot handle policy-based criticism. It was a truly pathetic display.
Planned Parenthood had their people out in force, as a group of people in pink shirts filled the front row. That was an interesting display for a grant that was always going to pass unanimously. About fifteen anti-abortion activists showed up too, including the President of Students for Life at IU. This was the first time since 2002 or 2003 that SFLIU had a representative there, so that was good to see.
Before the legislation funding PP was introduced, the City Council decided to split the funding into two votes. Dorothy Granger recused herself from voting on the funding for Shalom Center, since she is a paid employee of the organization. People have been calling on Granger to recuse herself from voting to fund Planned Parenthood, where she is a clinic escort. Splitting Shalom off for a separate vote but not Planned Parenthood was a nice big middle finger to the pro-lifers in the audience.
This is ridiculous. If the council can split the funding package into two different votes to accommodate Granger (which has never been done before) there is no reason that PP could not have been considered separately. While Granger is not legally required to recuse herself, it would nonetheless be a good move to embrace the highest ethical standards. Instead, Granger petulantly refused to recuse herself from using her position to fund the abortion clinic where she is an escort.
Other councilors whined that it was improper and "uncivil" to single out Granger to recuse herself. Steve Volan actually said that Granger's name should not even be used, but that she should be referred to as the council member from District II. This is completely absurd. If the councilors do not wish to be held accountable by name for their votes they should resign from office. It is an arrogant entitlement mentality unworthy of any elective office. I was stunned that Volan actually had the audacity to say that.
Once again, the council limited total comment time. This was done last year, and it is just as shameful now as it was before. The councilors are given a salary and offered health insurance benefits for this job, and part of this job is listening to constituents speak on matters of policy. If the council was worried the meeting would go too long, they could have easily scheduled the tax abatement report for a meeting with less on the agenda. Limiting speakers to two minutes each is reasonable, but limiting total comment time to 40 minutes is not.
Pro-life activists also opposed money for the "All Options" pregnancy clinic, because it has an abortion fund to help women pay to have their babies killed. All Options does not generate the same kind of opposition that Planned Parenthood does, but funding them is just as egregious.
The council pretended to not understand why anyone would oppose this particular grant to provide diapers, but this was disingenuous. They understand perfectly why people would oppose vouchers for private schools that enforce Biblical standards on sexual morality, even if the quality of the education for each individual child is good, and the same principle is at work here. Furthermore, diapers could easily be funded without giving it to an organization that pays for babies to be killed.
Planned Parenthood's grant was for STD testing (which could be done by another organization) and long acting reversible contraception. As I pointed out in my comments, giving birth control to underage teen girls is effectively a way to fund sexual abuse, as abusers can use the birth control to hide the abuse. This is exactly what was done to one of the anti-abortion activists in the audience when she was a teenager.
Of course, Bloomington's Planned Parenthood was caught on tape in an undercover sting operation trying to cover up sexual abuse back in 2008. The council knows what they are doing. They do not care.
The Democrats repeatedly spoke of how abortion is legal and how we all have a choice. Yes, abortion is unfortunately legal. But just because abortion is legal does not mean we are required to fund an organization that performs abortions or an organization that subsidizes abortions. The strong rhetoric about freedom of choice comes as the council is taking a very anti-choice action, forcing pro-life taxpayers top subsidize an organization we consider to be a moral abomination.
The most laughable moment of the night was when Volan whined that the use of the word "baby" regarding a "fetus" is judgmental language. So, any time a woman is pregnant and refers to her own child as a "baby" she is judging? Come on, this is crazy. This is snowflake culture taken to the extreme. It is one thing to argue that "fetus" is a better term, but to object to the word "baby" in that way is laughable.
The city council has a limited budget for the Jack Hopkins fund and the requests for funding are always greater than the budget for the fund. There is no reason that several thousand dollars needs to go to an obscenely wealthy international corporation when there are truly local charities that legitimately need the money. The city council needs to end this pro-abortion virtue signaling and stop wasting taxpayer money on political endorsements of abortionists. This farce needs to end.