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Archive for Monday, February 12, 2007

More states provide funding for anti-abortion counseling

February 12, 2007

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— In an experiment that's opening a new front in the culture wars, a growing number of states are paying anti-abortion activists to counsel women with unplanned pregnancies.

At least eight states - including Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania - use public funds to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers, Christian homes for unwed mothers and other programs explicitly designed to steer women away from abortion. As a condition of the grants, counselors often are barred from referring women to any clinic that provides abortions; in some cases, they may not discuss contraception either.

Most states still spend far more money subsidizing comprehensive family planning, but the flow of tax dollars to anti-abortion groups has surged in recent months, as grants took effect in Texas and Minnesota.

The trend alarms abortion-rights supporters, who assert that the funds would be better spent - and would prevent more abortions - if used to expand access to birth control. But to anti-abortion activists such as Nancy McDonald, the funding is practical and symbolic, a way of putting the state's stamp of approval on their work.

"It's a subtle thing," said McDonald, who runs five crisis pregnancy centers in south Florida. "But people seem to think if you're affiliated with the state, you must be good."

In Texas, the state reduced grants to a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Austin - and began sending some of the money instead to the Catholic diocese a block away.

There, counselors can collect $1.05 in public funds for every minute they spend encouraging women and teens not to abort.

Crisis pregnancy centers have received tens of millions of dollars in the last six years from the federal government, mostly to support abstinence education.

On the state level, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Texas approved funding in 2005. Louisiana, Missouri and Pennsylvania have longer-running programs. Arizona and Kansas have offered one-time grants to anti-abortion groups.

But the vast majority of states still send grants to Planned Parenthood - in amounts that dwarf the funding for anti-abortion activity. Last year, Planned Parenthood received $80 million from states, plus another $200 million from the federal government.

Tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood do not pay for abortions; they cover birth control, gynecological exams, cancer screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

Comments

bunnyhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

how is this NOT a violation of federal law??? only because all of our protections to personal freedom have been destroyed in the past 8 years. WAKE UP!!!!

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

Since we're all about playing with and massaging the numbers today, let's look a bit deeper at scenebooster's link from PP:

617,000 -- Estimated number of unintended pregnancies averted by Planned Parenthood contraceptive services each year

293,000 -- Estimated number of abortions averted by Planned Parenthood contraceptive services each year

That's 910,000 times the DS&C procedure was NOT used.

Admittedly, I'm stumped by that second number. My guess is that they're referring to abortions averted through the use of "morning-after pills," "Plan B" etc.

Just for fun, let's add all those numbers together, including all the abortions that STRS is claiming...

617 + 293 + 450 = 1,360

1.36 million little babies running around, assuming that all these unwanted pregnancies make it to full term, with trouble-free deliveries.

If 617,000 of those are averted by contraception... that means that PP's contraception program has an effectiveness rate of roughly 45%. Emergency contraception takes care of another 21.5% of those unwanted pregnancies.

So... out of all those unplanned pregnancies... PP is able to avoid the DS&C almost 67% of the time.

What kind of effectiveness does "abstinence-only" claim? Obviously, a girl that never has sex will never have to worry about pregnancy... but if she decides to engage in intercourse, how will that abstinence-only pamphlet help her out? Some sort of "barrier method," perhaps? Fold the pamphlet up into a diaphragm shape?

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

jonas, get yer head out of yer arse! Evil abortion doctors don't have "costs"

All their evil tools and skills are provided by... SATAN!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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staff04 7 years, 2 months ago

"Posted by Dambudzo (anonymous) on February 12, 2007 at 9:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

More meddling from the christians.

When will they learn to leave liberal women alone?

If liberal women can't control their own body, do we really want their unwanted offspring running around?"

'Cause lawd knows, conservatives don't have kids that get knocked.

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jonas 7 years, 2 months ago

"Okay. Let's deduce. 9% of 5 million clients annually is 450,000 abortions per year. 450,000 suctions; dialations and curretage procedures; and dialation and extraction procedures at X $500 a pop = $250 million per year.

Pretty profitable that abortion business, huh?"

Actually, in order to determine profitability we would need to have the necessary costs involved. Can you go find those for us?

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, STRS. Didn't mean to stress you. I know it takes a while.

Take your time.

What's the fate of a few more babies while you get your act together? It's only a couple hundred per day.

Nothing to worry about...

Don't sweat it.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm still trying to put my two brain cells together, Agnostick. Remember?

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

I could be wrong about the cost of PP abortions, though. Maybe they're cheaper than the for-profit docs out there.

Still, at $350 per grisly procedure, it's $157 million annually.

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

And how do you suggest we stop this "disgusting, filthy shame," STRS? What constructive ideas do you have to reduce the number of abortions?

I've made my case, many times. What can you come up with?

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

I used the statistics from your PP link. It's all there.

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scenebooster 7 years, 2 months ago

"Okay. Let's deduce. "

Um, do I need to point out to you that your "deductions" do not constitute "factual support"?

Either back up your statements with citations, or list your statement as opinion (which at this point is what it is).

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

"Because they don't have to, and it's not your business."

I know that's not how you really view taxpayer subsidization programs, is it? I, for one, demand greater transparency than what you'll settle for. You should expect more.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

"How about some factual content to support what you're saying?"

Okay. Let's deduce. 9% of 5 million clients annually is 450,000 abortions per year. 450,000 suctions; dialations and curretage procedures; and dialation and extraction procedures at X $500 a pop = $250 million per year.

Pretty profitable that abortion business, huh?

Add another $280 million per year from outraged (or ignorant) taxpayers and you have DOUBLE PP's annual budget. Abortion is easily the second largest line item on PP's income statement.

It's a disgusting, filthy shame.

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jonas 7 years, 2 months ago

"Posted by SettingTheRecordStraight (anonymous) on February 12, 2007 at 10:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why, oh why doesn't PP's website tell us how many abortions it performs each year?

Why won't they tell us how many abortions they've performed since 1973?

Why won't they tell us how much in revenue they bring in from "abortion services"?"

Ready for it?

Because they don't have to, and it's not your business.

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

This information really wouldn't even help reduce abortions. The only way to reduce abortions is to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and the way to reduce those is by encouraging abstinence, making birth control available, and

Oh wait, I'm using logic. That's a worthless tactic here. Sorry, never mind.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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scenebooster 7 years, 2 months ago

STRS - you've made a claim, but havn't even attempted to back it up...

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

Why, oh why doesn't PP's website tell us how many abortions it performs each year?

Why won't they tell us how many abortions they've performed since 1973?

Why won't they tell us how much in revenue they bring in from "abortion services"?

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

See, STRS? You post mindless, unfounded crap like this, and then get all pizzy when I call you on it?

"And if PP wants to see abortion become more rare, why don't they design 'homes for unwed mothers and other programs explicitly designed to steer women away from abortion?'"

Okay STRS, here's an experiment for you:

1) Stick a finger into your left ear, deep into your skull. Try to find a brain cell.

2) Now stick another finger into your right ear, and dig around on that side, see if you can find another brain cell.

3) Got a cell on each finger? Good! Now, let's see if they work: Try to bring your fingertips together, back behind your eyeballs, rub 'em together, and see if you get a spark!

PP does provide abortions, yes... but they also provide 1) educational materials and 2) birth control.

You claim PP makes its money off of abortions. If that's even remotely true, wouldn't it be bad business for them to hand out condoms? Wouldn't that be like a guy from RJ Reynolds saying "Hey, if you want a pack of smokes, I'll give 'em to you--but first, read these pamphlets on 'The Health Risks of Smoking'. And try some of these nicotine patches and nicotine gum, too. Then, maybe you won't want to smoke at all, and you won't need the cigarettes."

Truthfully, I'd like to see links from BOTH of you guys, STRS and booster. I think others would, too.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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scenebooster 7 years, 2 months ago

"Why? Because, next to involuntary taxpayer contributions, performing abortions is how PP makes its money!"

How about some factual content to support what you're saying? As I posted earlier, 91% of PP's clients DO NOT have abortions...so you're positing that PP relies on 9% of its customer base to "make its money"?

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

And if PP wants to see abortion become more rare, why don't they design "homes for unwed mothers and other programs explicitly designed to steer women away from abortion"?

Why? Because, next to involuntary taxpayer contributions, performing abortions is how PP makes its money!

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

"I have a HUGE problem with government money being funneled into 501(c)3 religious organizations. The more federal money these organizations get to support their crisis pregnancy work, the less of their own money they have to dump into it."

That is exactly why I don't want taxpayer money used to fund Planned Parenthood.

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

[insert the same thing I've always written about reducing abortions here--who gets pregnant, how we can reduce unwanted pregnancies, safety nets, yadda yadda yadda]

I don't have a problem with state money going to fund people who want to encourage these "crisis girls" into having their babies and giving them up for adoption.

I have a HUGE problem with government money being funneled into 501(c)3 religious organizations. The more federal money these organizations get to support their crisis pregnancy work, the less of their own money they have to dump into it. That frees up more money for... oh... maybe political activities? Phill Kline singalongs and the like?

If these religious organizations are going to take the government handout, then they need to rescind their 501(c)3 status and pay taxes like the rest of us--doubly-so if they're going to be active in the political scene (like writing LTEs to the local paper about how "Candidate Jane Doe is unfit for office because she's pro-choice."

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, STRS: I just wanted to see what it was like to write while looking through paranoia-colored glasses.

Can't say I'll miss the "respect" (assuming it was ever there in the first place), as I never really have cared much for theocratic extremists, myself. I mean, anybody who automatically assumes that all taxpayer money to fund "family planning" is dumped straight into abortion clinics isn't really thinking with a full deck to begin with.

I will admit, though, that I haven't given this the "thoughtful commentary" approach this morning. I'll take a stab at that... next...

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

"Read: STRS doesn't mind killing babies--(s)he'd just rather do it after their born, so (s)he can hear their pitiful, mournful cries."

Agnostik, I just went from respecting you because of your usually-thoughtful commentary, to viewing you as an immature nuisance. Please, don't respond to my posts any longer.

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Dambudzo 7 years, 2 months ago

More meddling from the christians.

When will they learn to leave liberal women alone?

If liberal women can't control their own body, do we really want their unwanted offspring running around?

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

"Planned Parenthood receives more than a quarter of a billion dollars annually FROM TAXPAYERS, and we're supposed to believe that those dollars don't enable it to provide abortions?" Read: STRS and those like him would rather load up the welfare rolls with unwanted and abandoned babies.

Read: STRS and those like him would like to see the aborted first-trimester fetuses in trashcans... replaced with crying, shivering, kicking newborns placed in trashcans out in the freezing cold.

Read: STRS doesn't mind killing babies--(s)he'd just rather do it after their born, so (s)he can hear their pitiful, mournful cries.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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scenebooster 7 years, 2 months ago

Well, STRS, a visit to the PP websites states that only 9% of PP's clients have abortions, so if both PP and the author of this article state that taxpayer dollars don't fund abortions, than what (other than your opinion) do you have to prove otherwise?

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

The author writes, "Tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood do not pay for abortions."

But the biased author intentionally neglects to inform readers that Planned Parenthood is the LARGEST ABORTION PROVIDER in the country.

Planned Parenthood receives more than a quarter of a billion dollars annually FROM TAXPAYERS, and we're supposed to believe that those dollars don't enable it to provide abortions?

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 2 months ago

"Most states still spend far more money subsidizing comprehensive family planning" Read: taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and its abortion clinics.

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scenebooster 7 years, 2 months ago

"But people seem to think if you're affiliated with the state, you must be good."

Is that right? 'Cuz I seem to think it's the exact opposite of that...

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jonas 7 years, 2 months ago

"More states provide funding for anti-abortion counseling"

Hmmm. . . . sounds reasonable. No one wants more abortions.

"At least eight states - including Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania - use public funds to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers, Christian homes for unwed mothers and other programs explicitly designed to steer women away from abortion. As a condition of the grants, counselors often are barred from referring women to any clinic that provides abortions; in some cases, they may not discuss contraception either."

Oh, okay. NOW we have a problem.

"Crisis pregnancy centers have received tens of millions of dollars in the last six years from the federal government, mostly to support abstinence education."

Oh, well, as long as it's going primarily to a method that doesn't, has never, and will never actually work, then great, what do we need our tax dollars for anyway?

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Cait McKnelly 7 years, 2 months ago

When oh when are these people going to realize that abstinence education DOES NOT WORK???? As long as 15 years ago I lived in a small town in SW Missouri where it was the common thing for high school girls to have a baby. I was pregnant myself at the time and half of my Lamaze class was under the age of 17. The one high school senior in my group was there for her SECOND baby. Believe me folks, statistics have gotten WORSE.

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