It is simple common sense that when you support a piece of legislation, you are supporting what the bill will actually do. It doesn’t matter what your private motives are, or even what your long-term goals are. If you support a bill, you support what it will do.
This is relevant because another of those “common ground to reduce abortions” bills has been introduced in Congress, and a number of Catholics have announced their support for it.
This time, it’s the so-called “Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act.” (H.R.3312). The Pro-Life Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calls the bill “the Planned Parenthood Economic Stimulus Package of 2009″. I prefer the name the “Phony Baloney Common Ground Pretend to Reduce Abortion by Throwing Obscene Gobs of Money at the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, so They Can Flood the World With Contraceptives and Degrading Sex Education Act”. It’s a little long, but it captures the essence of the thing.
Like it or not, and regardless of their motives, here is what the backers of this bill are supporting:
- A requirement that all states pay for all abortions for low-income women through “family planning” and Medicaid programs — despite the fact that the clearest way to reduce abortions is to restrict public funding for them, and the best way to increase abortions is to pay for them.
- A massive increase funding for the federal Title X Family Planning Program — despite the fact that the bulk of this money goes to the largest abortion “provider” in the United States, Planned Parenthood, we already spend over $1 billion on this program, and Title X requires that teenagers receive contraceptives without parental knowledge or consent.
- Relying almost exclusively on contraceptives to reduce pregnancy — despite the fact that it has been documented that such a strategy does not reduce pregnancy or abortions, but rather increases them.
- Making family planning services a mandatory Medicaid entitlement in all states, and greatly expanding family planning eligibility under Medicaid — despite the fact that there is hardly a shortage of contraceptives in the United States (New York City’s Health Department gives out over a million free condoms each month!).
- Increased funding for indecent sex education programs that do more to corrupt the morals of minors than encourage them to abstain from sex until marriage. In fact, the bill doesn’t even mention the word “abstinence”, and it says absolutely nothing about reserving sex for marriage, but instead merely talks about teaching teens to “delay” sex (until when, senior prom?).
- Encourages even more grants to “nonprofit community” groups to do sex education — which is to say, throw more money at Planned Parenthood so they can sell more contraceptives and do more abortions when they fail.
Look, “common ground” is a nice place to be, and it’s encouraging that people want to reduce the number of abortions. Plus, the bill does have some good elements, such as support for adoption, expansion of prenatal and neonatal health care, and support for nutrition programs. But those good elements — without the bad stuff — are already present in a genuine pro-life bill that will likely result in real reductions in abortion, the “Pregnant Women Support Act”.
Remember, you have to look carefully at what it is you’re supporting. Good ends can never justify evil means. The “Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act” uses evil means, funds evil organizations, and is likely to have evil results.
No Catholic in good conscience can support such a bill.