Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Budgeting 101: How Taxpayer Money Can Indirectly Fund Abortion

Gull Formation
Most people have a budget. They budget their income for expenses like clothing, food, medical expenses, etc. When they receive income, they set aside money for each of the different types of expenses. If an unexpected windfall of money is received, it can free up budgeted money to be used elsewhere. Consider the following scenario:

A husband and wife budgets $500 a month for college expenses for their daughter. They would like to budget money for medical expenses, but after setting aside the $500 for college expenses, there isn't enough money left over. At the beginning of the school year, they receive a government grant to help pay for their daughter's college expenses. When the grant is divided up over the 9 month school year, it equals $300 per month. If they apply the $300 towards their $500 monthly college expense budget, it frees up $300 that they can use to budget for medical expenses. 

Even though the purpose of the grant is to pay for college tuition expenses, does it not indirectly fund the couple's medical expenses? If the couple didn't receive the grant, they wouldn't be able to budget money for medical expenses.

Republicans in the House and Senate are currently trying to pass H.R. 217, which is a bill that would prohibit federal grants from being awarded to family planning organizations that provide abortion services, like Planned Parenthood. Opponents of the legislation claim that the federal grants aren't used to provide abortion services. They claim the federal funds are used to provide family planning services, such as the dispensing of contraceptives, cancer screenings, pregnancy tests, etc. Even if this is true, wouldn't the federal grants free up money that these organizations could use to fund abortions services? Of course they would. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. The less money organizations like Planned Parenthood need to spend on family planning services, the more money they have to spend on the abortion part of their business.

The purpose of H.R. 217 isn't to prohibit all family planning organizations from receiving federal grants. It would only prohibit grants from being awarded to family planning organizations that also provide abortion services. If the opponents of H.R. 217 are concerned that H.R. 217 will prevent Planned Parenthood and other organizations like it from providing family planning services, maybe they should try to convince these organizations to drop the abortion part of their business. Then they'll have nothing to worry about, right?   

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