LifeNews reports that the proposed stimulus plan includes a provision allocating money to Planned Parenthood for its contraceptive services … and predictably anti-choice activists are voicing concerns:
A Clinton-era program allows states to seek a waiver to offer Medicaid “family planning” services — including people who are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. If they seek the waiver, the federal government matches the state funding with $9 for every $1.
On Friday, when the House Energy & Commerce Committee considered the congressional Democrats’ spending bill, the committee eliminated the waiver requirement.
As a result, all 50 states will now offer Medicaid “family planning” services (including contraception) with the federal government offering the same $9 to $1 match. Although the money doesn’t fund abortions directly, it goes to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, which would otherwise have to spend its own money on contraception.
Pro-life advocates say the governmental funds frees up Planned Parenthood dollars to promote and perform abortions that it would otherwise have to spend on family planning.
This does not seem all that remarkable, and when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi about it yesterday, she provided a rather coherent explanation:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?
PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.
Now, people can differ about whether or not this sort of thing counts as “stimulus” but the fact that the federal government is giving money to states to help cover the costs of their programs at a time when they are facing massive budget shortfalls seems pretty self-explanatory, as does the idea that allowing families to make informed decisions about having children (and avoid unexpected pregnancies) ultimately ends up saving money for both states and the federal government.
But then again, I’m not Bill Donohue, who sees this as proof that Pelosi, Obama, and the Democrats hate children:
“Looks like the Democrats have abortion and contraception on the brain. Last week, President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on federal funds being used to promote and perform abortions overseas. Now we have Pelosi arguing that the way to balance the budget is not by cutting expenditures, but by cutting kids. Her comment matches up well with what Obama said during the presidential campaign about comprehensive sex education: speaking of his own daughters, he said that ‘if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.’
“We have reached a new low when high-ranking public office holders in the federal government cast children as the enemy. But at least it explains their enthusiasm for abortion-on-demand.”
Over at TPM, Elana Schor explains that, once again, this is much ado about nothing.
UPDATE: The Christian Defense Coalition likewise weighs in:
Christian Defense Coalition calls Speaker Pelosi’s decision to add contraceptives to the economic stimulus package bigoted, racist, elitist and anti-child.
This policy would lay the foundation for racism and eugenics because it would seek to reduce the number of children to the nation’s poorest economic groups, which tend to be persons of color and other minorities.
Speaker Pelosi’s actions are even more troubling and hypocritical when one realizes she herself has five children. Perhaps she thinks they have more value because they are white European children.