Real Liberals Would Oppose Planned Parenthood Funding

Planned Parenthood building with the logo

U.S. Republican presidential contender Rand Paul said on Sunday he plans to continue his push to cut federal funding on the non-profit women’s health group Planned Parenthood over a dispute about treatment of aborted fetal tissue.

“I’m going to try to force a vote on this. I think the time is now to discuss whether taxpayer dollars should be going to such a gruesome procedure,” Paul, a Kentucky senator, said on Fox News Sunday. “People are outraged by this and I think the American people deserve to have a vote on it.” [Source: Thomson/Reuters 7/26/15]

Planned Parenthood should be defunded by the federal government. But not because of what the organization does. It should be defunded because government should not be forcing some citizens to pay for the reproductive needs of others. While birth control and abortion are, and should be, perfectly legal procedures which the government stays completely out of, the government has no business funding them.

Government exists for one reason only: To protect citizens from physical force or fraud.

Planned Parenthood claims it needs government funds to help poor or other women obtain birth control and abortions. This is not the government’s problem. Charities are free to raise funds to help poor women obtain abortions, or anything else they want or need. Government was never supposed to be a coercive organization requiring some to pay for the health care (or anything else) of others. This is where America got off course, and this is why our society and economy are progressively falling apart.

It’s true that some people sincerely consider abortion murder. They’re appalled by the practices of Planned Parenthood for that reason.

But the wider issue is what government should or should not be doing in the first place. Not just with abortion, but with all of health care; not just with health care, but with probably 80-90 percent of what the federal government currently (and coercively) funds.

Nobody should be coerced to pay for the health care of others, whether that health care is controversial, or not. It’s literally tyranny to force people to act against their conscience, particularly with a difficult and controversial matter such as abortion.

“Liberalism,” properly understood, means leaving people alone. A classical liberal — not the kind of faux “liberals” we have today — does not want government involved anywhere, other than in the prosecution of violent or fraudulent criminals, or foreign invaders or threats.

The tragedy and downfall of America does not reside in the fact that abortions take place, or that gay marriages take place, or that some people have a lot of money and property. Eliminating abortions and gay marriage will not fix America’s moral, cultural or economic decline. The downfall of America occurs because government is getting involved where it does not belong.

“Morality,” rationally understood, does not refer to sex or reproduction. Morality refers to being a self-responsible, autonomous, thinking and sovereign individual. Fixating on things like homosexuality and abortion as a means of defining morality is odd, inappropriate and bizarre.

Morality resides in the willingness and the character to use one’s brain and mind to take care of oneself, and develop one’s talents. Nothing is better for the self, or society, than the morality of individualism, because individualism implies self-responsibility.

I agree with Senator Paul and others who say we should defund Planned Parenthood. But I don’t agree that it’s because abortion is immoral. It’s because Planned Parenthood funding is unjustified, immoral and (by the original standards of the Constitution) unconstitutional use of force against peaceful and innocent citizens.

Keep abortion safe and legal? Absolutely. Protect the right of a woman to do with her body (including her uterus) what she sees fit. Stop forcing other people to pay for it.

If liberals do not wish religious conservatives to interfere with their rights, then get the government out of the abortion business — and the entire health care business, while they’re at it.

You have no case for demanding that others leave you the hell alone when you’re forcing them to pay for controversial things of which they disapprove. It’s a recipe for endless dissension and even civil war.

Grow up, America: All of you, liberals and conservatives alike.


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