Free Association: Opinion: Sheldon Richman: Planned Parenthood, Social Peace, and the Libertarian Approach
This is going to sound strange coming from a Liberal, but I’m going to make a fiscally conservative, perhaps even classically liberal case for publicly funding Planned Parenthood. They serve low-income mothers and women who otherwise would have a very difficult time getting birth control and other women’s health care. Do people who call themselves Conservatives really want low-income women having more kids while they’re still collecting public assistance? Birth control is pro-life, because it prevents future Americans from having to live in poverty. Living with a single mother without the education and resources to raise their kids properly. Planned Parenthood is pro-life, because it provides millions of Americans with health care that they probably wouldn’t be able to get.
Tax-payer funding of Planned Parenthood means the Federal Government doesn’t have to create some new Federal agency to provide the health care to millions of American women who probably couldn’t get it anywhere else. It means a smaller Federal Government, fewer Federal workers, less Federal tax dollars being spent on these services, because they’re not being provided by the Federal Government instead. We’re not talking about taxpayer funding of abortions which are illegal anyway and I support that except as Sheldon Richman put it under extreme circumstances. Like going through the pregnancy would kill the mother. What we’re talking about is health care not including abortions for millions of American women who probably couldn’t get it otherwise.
I know the libertarian argument about this is not government’s business and that they should butt out of what goes on in the private sector. But tell me where does that system exist in the world so I could look at that and see how it works. If you don’t have government serving people and seeing to it that people who might not be able to get by without that assistance gets help that they need, then what is government for. What’s the point of having a public sector at all? Government is supposed to serve the people. Not direct them, but to see to it that we all have a good shot at making it in life on our own. And preventing unwanted pregnancies and women from having to raise their kids in poverty, is part of that public service.