One of the main measures included in the House and Senate bills to replace Obamacare is legislative language that would help to keep federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of abortions.
To protect the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that currently go to Planned Parenthood from being diverted to other women’s health clinics, a number of celebrities have joined in a series of campaigns designed to convince people to fight on Planned Parenthood’s behalf.
The most recent effort was spearheaded by Now This, which published a video featuring numerous high-profile Hollywood figures calling for people everywhere to call their senators to tell them they should continue funding Planned Parenthood.
Celebrities in the video include Judd Apatow, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Lawrence and Brie Larson.
“This is nothing more than a blatantly political attempt to do whatever it takes to attack women’s health and rights and take care away from the people who need it most,” the celebrities said.
At one point in the video, left-wing activist Gloria Steinem alleged, “The right to decide our own bodily future is the most basic of all human rights.”
“If Congress cuts funding to Planned Parenthood, millions of people will be left without access to birth control, life-saving cancer screenings and other basic care,” the celebrities said. “Many of them will have nowhere else to go for the health care they need.”
These dire warnings make it sound as though any effort to divert Planned Parenthood funding is going to destroy millions of women’s lives, but the truth is almost none of the arguments made by the video’s participants are factual.
First, there’s nothing “blatantly political” about the effort to defund Planned Parenthood. Tens of millions of people believe life begins before Planned Parenthood does and do not want the organization receiving taxpayer funds to indirectly support the 330,000 abortions conducted by the group each year.
Second, the celebrities’ arguments hinge on the assumption that life doesn’t begin sometime before Planned Parenthood conducts its abortions, because if it does, then the argument that defunding Planned Parenthood takes away rights would be utterly ridiculous.
Third, the evidence is overwhelming that Planned Parenthood’s operations are not geared toward “women’s health,” unless you define “health” as providing contraception and abortion. As Abby Johnson — a former Planned Parenthood director who now operates And Then There Were None, a group dedicated toward helping abortion clinic workers leave the industry — noted in January in The Hill, “there are over 13,000 non-abortion providing Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide whole health care to women and their families. And that number doesn’t include the tens of thousands of private and group physicians that accept government subsidy programs like Medicaid.”
“If Planned Parenthood were defunded, the $528 million in taxpayer dollars they … would be re-allocated to FQHCs — facilities that can actually care for all of the needs of women,” Johnson wrote.
“Planned Parenthood claims to offer a wide-variety of services, but they actually fall short in many areas,” Johnson added. “For instance, not a single Planned Parenthood facility provides mammograms, and Planned Parenthood employees say that they do not provide prenatal care.”
Moving Planned Parenthood funding to clinics that help women but don’t provide abortions is exactly what Republican leaders in Congress have repeatedly called for.
“We don’t want to effectively commit taxpayer money to an organization providing abortions, but we want to make sure that people get their coverage,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said at a town hall meeting in January, reports the Catholic News Agency and Lifesitenews.com.
“We believe that this can better be done by putting that money in federal community health centers,” Ryan added. “They are vastly bigger in network, there are so many more of them, and they provide these kinds of services without all the controversy surrounding this issue.”