Friday, May 6, 2011

Indiana, first state to vote against Planned Parenthood

On Wednesday, the Indiana House voted to approve a bill cutting all of the federal money that the state distributes to the organization Planned Parenthood. This bill will also ban any abortions that take place after the 20th week of pregnancy unless it endangers the woman’s life. Furthermore, any doctors practicing within the state would be required to teach patients that life begins at conception. While this bill was approved by the House, State Governor Mitch Daniels, who will be running for president next year, still has the capacity to veto it. In order to decrease abortion rates and avoid funding practices which they do not agree with, many conservatives are urging him to pass it. However, many others are insisting that he veto it so that marginalized groups will have greater access to the healthcare that Planned Parenthood provides. This organization is involved in family planning and not only provides women with abortions, but offers STD and cervical cancer screenings as well as breast exams. They assert that many women will be cut off from the aid that Planned Parenthood provides. On the other hand, conservatives affirm that any monetary funds given to the organization will in some way go to support abortion which they do not intend to do.
I found this particular article interesting as it relates to so many discussions that we have had about personhood in class. These officials assert that personhood, and life, occurs at the time of conception, which is in accord with many Christians perspectives. By defining life in this manner, this bill will have a profound impact on society, which is why it is such a controversial issue.
Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, no one should have to pay to support an act that is against their beliefs. While Planned Parenthood does provide a number of discounted services to underserved populations, it primarily performs abortions. To ask people who do not agree with abortion to pay taxes that support this organization is a violation of their beliefs. Furthermore, there are other means by which Planned Parenthood can acquire funding that would not require the support of people who do not agree with their practices.

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