Bush doing more harm than good

As one of his first acts in office, George W. Bush banned all federal funding for Planned Parenthood organizations outside the United States. His reason was that these organizations give abortion counseling and assistance, with private money. So already we can see the shape of what is to come from the Bush administration.

These organizations do not use our tax money to perform abortion, or to give abortion counseling. This is done with private money. Instead what is provided is birth control and pregnancy prevention. I repeat: Tax money goes to contraception, not abortion.

In the third world countries where the now-destroyed Planned Parenthood organizations are active, access to contraception is desperately needed. Starvation is rampant, due in large part to the explosive birth rate. More children are being born than can be fed or cared for.

In many of these nations women have too little control over their bodies as it is now. This measure only takes away some of that priceless self-determination allowed by the choice of whether or not to bear a child. In a matter of years the full consequences of this painfully foolish choice are going to crash down hard.

The most painfully ironic part of this is that while cutting funding may seem like a way to reduce the number of abortions, it is likely to have exactly the opposite result. People are still going to have sex. Without access to birth control there will be far more unwanted pregnancies. The higher number of unwanted pregnancies will lead to more abortions.

One major difference will be that now the abortions will not be performed by experienced professionals. Instead the result will be unsanitary, unregulated abortions performed by unqualified individuals. In this situation it is far more likely that the woman will die as well.

The children who are born because of the lack of birth control face a life that most Americans could never imagine. Because of the population explosion in nations where resources are already stretched to the breaking point, many of these children will never get near adulthood. Instead they will die because of inadequate food and medical supplies or simply be left to die in infancy by parents who have no other choice.

In truth, cutting funding is not and never was about trying to reduce the number of abortions performed. This is a gift to the far right from which Bush draws much of his support. It is a policy made to appease the extreme anti-abortion sects of this country.

If it was argued that this was a case of not wasting taxes on something that is not an American concern, I could almost swallow the line. Except this is a matter of great interest to our very national security. If that does not make sense, imagine a world filled with starving people. Hunger makes people desperate, nothing is a greater threat to national security than a nation of people with nothing to lose.

What is really frightening is what this could indicate for the future of reproductive rights inside our own shores. Planned Parenthood clinics are needed in this country as well.

Hopefully this is the only action of this kind Bush has planned. Unfortunately this could be only the first step in a long and painful walk to a place our nation does not want to go.

When Bush was elected it was feared that Roe v. Wade could be in danger. That was one of the most terrifying parts of his election. Now I wonder if Griswald v. Connecticut is also at risk. You should remember that one from your high school government classes.

Shutting down or starving out Planned Parenting in hopes of ending abortions is no more effective than closing one’s eyes and hoping for the best in a traffic jam. It is not a solution to ignore a problem. In this case it is only going to lead to more tragedy than it could ever hope to reduce.

While I am no great fan of abortion, I feel that it is the woman’s right to choose the destiny of her own body. No control is more basic than the control of one’s own body. The recent ending of funding to overseas Planned Parenthood is not about abortion. It is about who has the power, then again what else is abortion about?

Contact David W. Storie at [email protected].