De-Funding Planned Parenthood Should Unite Social, Fiscal Conservatives

Opinion   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 7, 2011   |   5:10PM   |   Washington, DC

At a time when Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and some other conservatives are advocating putting social issues like abortion on the back burner so monetary issues like jobs and the economy can take center stage, two conservatives have united on a common theme.

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, have combined forces to write a new opinion column at National Review. The thrust of their message is that social conservatives who prefer pushing abortion limits and fiscal conservatives who want to cut spending and lower taxes can join together to support de-funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

For economic and social conservatives alike, Rep. Mike Pence’s Planned Parenthood defunding amendment is a defining moment. Planned Parenthood must be privatized. Economic and social conservatives agree — this one is non-negotiable.

Of course, they are absolutely right. Planned Parenthood deserves to lose its massive federal funding on moral grounds because of its status as the biggest abortion business in the nation and because of video footage showing abuses ranging from helping sex traffickers get abortions for the young girls they prey on to avoiding statutory rape reporting laws.

Norquist and Dannenfelser continue:

When the House of Representatives voted two weeks ago to end federal grants and contracts for Planned Parenthood, it was doing more than merely expressing congressional revulsion against a notorious and scandal-plagued organization. It was deciding that American taxpayers should not be saddled with even more outrageous debt to fund an extraordinarily wealthy nonprofit.

As a consequence, what is now at stake in the funding fight over the nation’s largest abortion business is not just a dispute over social policy. It’s not even just a dispute over an organization that has been a sacred cow for decades. It’s about a whole herd of sacred cows. In fact, it’s about the whole farm: If a new Congress elected on a pledge to halt skyrocketing spending and deficits can’t cut the gold-plated panjandrums at Planned Parenthood, it can’t cut anything.

They say the federal de-funding effort comes at a time when states are having to tighten their financial belts.

Across the country, courageous Republican governors are doing the right thing and taking on tough budget fights. They are asking government workers to pay more for their pensions and health-insurance plans. They are laying off public employees, reducing the number of patrol cars and fire crews, and cutting basic services. Leaving Planned Parenthood at the federal trough, under lobbying pressures that are a fraction of what the Left has thrown at conservative state legislators, sends up a white flag of surrender that will signal the beginning of a fiscal rout.

They also say cutting Planned Parenthood funding should be an issue for Tea Party activists on both moral and fiscal grounds.

Planned Parenthood is a prime cut for reasons that should matter to conservatives on other grounds. Over the past few years, as the investigative group Live Action has documented, Planned Parenthood has shown it will accept donations offered up on racist grounds. They routinely fail to obey the law on statutory rape reporting. And now we know that their clinics across the country will condone and cooperate with child sex trafficking. We ask again: If a sparkling new Tea Party Congress won’t cut off this bunch, what will it cut?

Mike Pence’s battle is not just another social-issue skirmish. It’s a test of economic and budgetary seriousness.