by Max Brantley
Maintaining a federal role in contraceptive care for low-income women is a far more moral, empathetic and fiscally responsible approach to the problem of unwanted pregnancies than simply condemning abortion — notwithstanding conservative principles of personal responsibility and limited government. If every woman who wanted reliable contraceptive care got it, irrespective of income, we should expect that abortion services would substantially decrease. This would not only reduce government spending on Medicaid — a dollar spent on contraceptive care is associated with a $2 to $6 reduction in health care costs — but, more important, avert the tragedy and anguish involved in abortion. And it would empower women to decide for themselves when they want to have children, advance their education or pursue career opportunities.
Couple of problems:
1) The author, Juleanna Glover, says Republicans oppose the Title X spending because so much goes to Planned Parenthood (though NOT for any abortion-related services). Her solution is to punish Planned Parenthood for offering a legal medical service by refusing Title X money to any organization that provides abortion. It's not clear who'd step into the significant void if Planned Parenthood's free speech and association was so abridged and it was forced out of family planning funding if it chose to continue to provide a full range of women's health services.
2) For many Republicans, Planned Parenthood is a useful foil. These Republicans oppose "free birth control pills," too — rabidly. See the current fight on providing a full range of preventive care to women, including pills, as the Obama admininistration has required.