By Zach Foster
One of the latest sessions of hand-to-hand combat in the arena of American politics is the recent butting of heads between Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day. This all started when the DNC Chair accused Congressional Republicans of declaring a “war against women” through efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood. What a glittering example of partisan bickering!
Realistically, Congressional Republicans have not declared a war against women, especially since many women in Congress happen to be Republicans. Realistically, militias in the Sudan have declared a war against women, demonstrated by shooting and butchering their husbands and children, raping them, and in many cases, maiming or killing them as well. Efforts in stopping federal funds to a non-government organization are not a war against women. Such casual use of such martial rhetoric is dangerous (case in point: the Arizona shooting).
The DNC Chair may or may not have noticed, but Congressional Republicans are making efforts to reduce funding for EVERYTHING IN THE BUDGET. These de-funding efforts are not meant to explicitly attack Planned Parenthood nor to wage a “war against women,” but to decrease the amount of funding allotted to every federal expenditure. These Republicans are not sexist; they simply have a problem with the fact that the country is FOURTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS in debt. Massive cuts are being made across the board. For the DNC Chair to accuse an entire group for sexism that isn’t there is nothing short or irresponsible behavior and outright lying.
The RNC Co-Chair proceeded to list off several actual concerns women today have other than Planned Parenthood, including high unemployment, maintaining a roof over their heads and their families’ heads, and gas prices. These are very real concerns and are probably much more prevalent in the minds of women than less important matters like a family planning charity. The RNC Co-Chair then blames these problems solely on Barack Obama (not surprising, since just about everyone in the RNC seems to have the President’s picture on their dartboards).
While Co-Chair Sharon Day was correct in calling for the DNC Chair to focus on important issues and not trivial ones, few would understand why the reduction (or even complete defunding) of Planned Parenthood would actually be beneficial. The number one reason is the national debt; the federal government simply needs to spend less, and by no means is Planned Parenthood the only organization whose funding is being reduced or cut. The second reason (the more logical one) is that the federal government simply needs to stop giving money to private organizations. Yes, a possible defunding will initially hurt and cause the organization some panic, but the organization needs to not expect government money during a time or historic debt, massive inflation, and economic recession.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Planned Parenthood’s funding does NOT come from the federal government. Federal funds account for less than a third of Planned Parenthood’s funding. More than two thirds of funding comes from donations from the private sector, and twenty-five percent of total funding comes from private individuals.
Planned Parenthood is a necessary charity organization. Contrary to right-wing propaganda, only three percent of the organization’s services are abortions. The author disagrees with abortion and believes that it is a crime against human life, but also recognizes that what a woman does with her body—even poisoning it to terminate a pregnancy—is her right and hers alone. The only reasons for supporting this charity are that contraception methods keep souls from being born to economically disadvantaged parents who can’t afford them, and more importantly, it keeps innocent souls from being born to downright irresponsible parents whose failure to raise a child will waste his life and throw away his future.
Planned Parenthood will have to cut back its operating expenses, but it will most likely be able to make up for the loss of federal funding through passionate appeals to the private sector. Because it is a non-government organization that upholds women’s freedom from government intervention in choosing whether or not they will use their bodies to give life, both the organization and its clients should be completely emancipated from the government. This is not a war against women. It is liberation.