Bachmann Misleads on Abortion
Caught this from Rep. Michele Bachmann in an interview with Christianity Today:
Would you have supported a budget compromise that might keep federal funds directed towards Planned Parenthood? Or is that out of the question?
We do need to defund Planned Parenthood, a billion dollar a year organization. It receives fully one-third of their funding from the taxpayers. It’s important that this is an area, again, where a nonprofit–which Planned Parenthood is–seek their funding from private sources as opposed to the taxpayers. I’ve also been unwilling to vote for a budget that would include funding for Obamacare. Obamacare will be the first time in the history of the country that we truly have full taxpayer support of abortion, and I cannot go down that road.(Emphasis added).
Of course, there is no federal funding for abortion in the Affordable Care Act, but that hasn’t stopped opponents of the law like Bachmann from continuing to make such false claims. When pressed, they make what’s been called the fungibilty argument.
Conservatives claim that they object to funding Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services, even though they know that Planned Parenthood is barred from spending any federal money on abortion by a provision known as the Hyde Amendment, as well as numerous other laws. The truth is that they want to cut off funding for family planning services because they oppose contraception as much as they do abortion.
Nevertheless, they assert that funding should be cut because taxpayers are “subsidizing” abortion. Their argument is that money is “fungible,” meaning that every dollar the government gives Planned Parenthood for family planning services, STI and HIV prevention and treatment, and cancer screening “frees up” money for it to spend on abortion care. According to them, mechanisms to segregate public from private funds are mere “accounting gimmicks” and “funding schemes.”
However, when it comes to their pet projects, like granting government money to faith-based organizations, they suddenly have every confidence in a recipient’s ability to keep pots of money separate and only use government money for approved uses. For instance, there was no parallel attempt (nor should there have been) during health reform to prevent Catholic-affiliated hospitals and health plans from receiving money under the Affordable Care Act on the theory that it would subsidize their religious activities and violate the Establishment Clause.
Photo by Gage Skidmore.