Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Debate Over Planned Parenthood Funding in Harvard Health and Policy Review

Harvard Health and Policy Review: In Response to Anderson and George: Why Funding Planned Parenthood Respects Life, by Priscilla J. Smith:

Priscilla Smith has authored a response to a recent blog posted in the Harvard Health and Policy Review by Ryan Anderson and Robert George entitled “Government Should Not Fund Organizations that Kill Innocent Human Beings.” Anderson and George argue that Planned Parenthood should not be eligible for public funding even if no federal dollars go to abortions because “No matter how beneficial the other services they provide may be to a community, their participation in the unjust ending of innocent human lives should prevent them from receiving any governmental funding.”

In response Smith points out that “arguments to defund Planned Parenthood are counterproductive and illogical, even from an anti-abortion viewpoint, because defunding would undermine safe attempts to lower rates of abortion,” and those seeking to reduce abortion should seek to increase, not cut off, funding of Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive services.

Smith suggests that Anderson and George’s opposition to Planned Parenthood reflects a broader opposition to contraception and non-procreative sex:

Moreover, while anti-abortion sentiment clearly fuels much of the authors’ antipathy towards the organization, the attacks on Planned Parenthood are part of a broader attack, an attack aimed at contraception in addition to abortion. This broad attack is grounded in moral opposition to non-procreative sex, and elevates concern for “preborn life” over concern for the health of born, living humans.

She warns that this view “leads to a loss of perspective on the relationship between unborn and born life [and] illogical and callous arguments, like those being made to condemn Planned Parenthood and remove a vital source of health care for many in need.”


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