Responding to the push to defund Planned Parenthood, President Trump recently offered the abortion giant an informal deal: if they stop killing babies for money, they can keep their federal funding.
“As I said throughout the campaign, I am pro-life and I am deeply committed to investing in women’s health and plan to significantly increase federal funding in support of nonabortion services such as cancer screenings,” Trump said Monday in a statement to the New York Times.
Planned Parenthood executives rejected the deal, saying that federal funds do not currently pay for abortions. While this claim is probably true, strictly speaking, it is also true that the federal funding they receive allows them to use non-federal money for abortions. In other words, while federal funds may not be used for abortion directly, said funds do provide indirect support for Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices.
Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, added “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept. Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.” Presumably by “patients” she meant the ones who aren’t ripped to pieces or poisoned to death by Planned Parenthood staff. We are, however, unclear on what she meant by “values”.
For pro-life conservative Americans who have repeatedly demanded that the government withdraw federal funds from Planned Parenthood, this move may be an encouraging sign that defunding may be the next step. In fact, a House Republican bill to replace the Affordable Health Care Act released Monday night includes a provision for withdrawing federal funds from Planned Parenthood.
From an abolitionist perspective, this is somewhat akin to a sheriff offering a known pedophile a tax break if he’ll stop molesting children, or telling a known axe murderer he won’t be fired as long as he agrees not to murder anyone with an axe from here on out. Obviously the appropriate response to these crimes would be arrest, imprisonment, or the death penalty. Likewise if Trump views abortion as the murder of children, an executive order banning all abortion and commissioning federal troops to arrest violators would be much more appropriate than attempting a backroom deal with Planned Parenthood.
Furthermore, the fact that the federal government is feeling the pressure to defund Planned Parenthood only strengthens the abolitionist argument that the people ought to demand abolition instead. If the unified voice that has echoed across the land, insisting that no American tax dollars be used to murder children, would insist just as adamantly that the government cease to allow the murder of innocent children, then the pressure applied to federal officials would be just as effective, if not more so. As abolitionists frequently point out, abolishing abortion would be the best, and perhaps the only, truly effective means of defunding Planned Parenthood.