Sure, Pro Choice activists will mock, in strongly worded Facebook posts, that Herbert’s action was mostly ineffectual since most of Planned Parenthood’s money comes directly though the federal government. Further, what money does pass through state agencies is primarily for sex ed and STD prevention.
In fact, perhaps the best defense that Planned Parenthood has put up is that they provide women with other services in addition to abortion (does abortion even qualify as a service?). Perhaps the best rendition of this argument came out of Funny or Die, where women expressed mock shock that they were able to perform routine medical services in Planned Parenthood clinics.
It’s like someone shouted “SQUIRREL!” and hoped no one would notice that the argument had nothing to do with the Planned Parenthood’s abortions. It is little more than a straw-man argument.
The fact is that few people have a problem with Planned Parenthood as a safe place for “rape victims to go for follow-up testing.” Planned Parenthood services that “reduce teen pregnancy” are a good thing. It would be hard to find anyone that opposes these services (well, maybe there are some, but they are not mainstream).
But let’s be honest: none of the attacks (“Cutting off funding is pointless/illegal/hurts women!”) against Herbert’s action address what the constant stream of Planned Parenthood videos is demonstrating: that Planned Parenthood abortion practices are dehumanizing and barbaric.
It is because Planned Parenthood as an organization has been for a generation the face of abortion nationwide that many are concerned. Planned Parenthood may perform useful women’s health services, but it has become the poster child for abortion procedures and, of late, for selling those aborted remains for medical research, sometimes even while there is evidence that the aborted child is still alive during dissection or may have been alive during the abortion procedure.
Americans–and humanity–has long since decided that no matter how much good a person, a company or an organization accomplishes, it does not justify certain violations of the law, of society’s norms, or of morality. A thousand rights cannot correct some wrongs. Just as the federal government should not be funding any organization with connections to ISIS, the Mafia, South American drug cartels, or the Klu Klux Klan, so federal funding should not flow to any organization that conducts abortions and plans and organizes its services so as to maximize the use of the human remains from those abortions.
Herbert recognizes this, and he denounced Planned Parenthood’s links to abortion services, even perhaps while recognizing the futility of the action.
If Planned Parenthood is so committed to women’s services, it should recognize the inherent conflict that its ongoing relationship with abortions creates and should spin-off its abortion clinics. Focus on just the services that it claims are the main thrust of its mission. Leave the killing of the unborn to others.
Meanwhile, Herbert should get credit for taking action, something that is all too often lacking in the political games of committees, investigations, and public denunciations.