Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Hampshire PP's Priorities

In spite of the fact that New Hampshire has cut medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, they still seem perfectly able to function, as long as they remain in the highly profitable business of providing abortions.

See the story on Reuters.

Now, in every day life, people make choices about what is important to them when they decide how to earn and spend their money. A person who wants to make a six-figure income is not going to pursue a career as a school teacher. If someone decides that feeding her children healthy (if slightly more expensive) food  is of great importance because it reduces health problems and medical expenses, she will arrange her budget to reflect that priority, and elect to spend less money on something else. In short, we choose what allows us to survive in a manner that is as close to our ideals as possible.

The same is true of businesses and non-profits. Sell what works, spend on what is important.

Whenever anyone suggests cutting public funding for abortions, the response is always, "but they do so many other things!" and, "but they provide birth control, and that prevents abortions!" We are also told that Planned Parenthood of America only makes about 15% of their money from actual abortions.

The impression this gives is that Planned Parenthood is the only place where women can obtain reproductive health care. It also suggests that Planned Parenthood's first priority is making sure everyone gets her birth control pills and her annual pap smear, and that abortion is only a secondary concern. On top of that, it leads us to believe that profits from abortions do not make a significant contribution to their income.

Given the above impression, one would think that, if abortions were the least important and profitable  part of their services, they would be willing to confine themselves to birth control and health screenings in order to keep their public funding. Yet, they have not done so. Instead they continue to provide abortions, and scrap everything else, leaving one with the impression that abortion provides Planned Parenthood with the best chances of financial survival. So much for the idea that they don't make much money from that.
Furthermore, if Planned Parenthood really believed that things like pelvic exams, pap smears, and birth control pills were so essential to the survival and well being of women, they would find a way to provide them.  One would think this would be especially important if they really believed they were the only place for women to get pap smears and breast exams. They could, perhaps, use the money they make from those abortions which appear to be keeping them in business, despite the lack of public funds. 

Instead, they have eliminated their "other essential health services" altogether.

Just sayin'.

Ruler wave to: Live Action


aaf said...

Actually, it makes sense that they would cut other services. By law the government funds which they were receiving cannot be used to fund abortions. Therefore, unless their accounting and management system allows them to efficiently, and legally, redistribute their new lesser income then it would follow that the non-abortion services would be the ones that are initially cut.

As for cutting services to keep funding, I hardly think it's reasonable, or ethical, for a health care service provider to cut a particular service based off of it's perceived political popularity and how that may effect its funding. For example, I think it would be extremely unethical for a hospital to stop providing blood transfusions because the local Jehovah's Witness leaning government is threatening their funding over it.

Christina said...

We are told that these are essential, especially for low-income women. If this is true, and if it's unethical to cut a service because the State refuses to fund it, isn't it just as unethical to cut birth control and cancer screenings?

It's worth noting that blood transfusions and abortions hardly stand up under such a comparison, as the one is always done to save a life, often in emergencies, and the other is an elective procedure which ends one life and places another at risk from serious complications.

One is also forced to question the choice from a financial perspective. If they only make 15% of their income aborting children, how could they possibly stay open after getting rid of the other 85%? It doesn't make sense. Clearly, they make more from abortions than the published numbers suggest.

The Hyde Amendment applies to Federal funding. Some states (Washingon being the most notorious) do actually use their state medicaid funds to pay for abortions, thereby skirting the Hyde Amendment.