The Tea Party (and the Tea-Party’esque Republicans) seem to want more abortions… or at least they want to create more unintentional pregnancies, increasing the demand for abortion services.
This same group, however, wants to defund the programs (Planned Parenthood and Title X) that are best equipped to provide education, contraception, and reproductive health services for women who have the highest risk of unintentional pregnancies.
Well over 60% of abortions are performed on women under the age of 30. Roughly half are performed on women with an annual household income less than $30,000. Planned Parenthood and Title X are huge providers of reproductive health services for this demographic, including cancer screenings, pregnancy tests, STD treatments, menopause treatments, tubal ligations, and low-cost contraceptives.
The reason the Tea Party wants to defund these programs, presumably, is because these programs can potentially present information about (and, in the case of Planned Parenthood, perform) abortions. Title X cannot perform abortions or recommend abortions. Roughly 2% to 3% of Planned Parenthood visits involve abortions. That leaves a whopping 100% of Title X services and 97% of Planned Parenthood services dedicated to other reproductive health care services… services that have a direct impact on whether young, low-income women get unintentionally pregnant.
Even setting aside the incendiary issue of whether abortion is a medical procedure or an abomination, defunding Planned Parenthood and Title X is a completely absurd position to take for a group that, to its core, opposes the very existence of the abortion procedure.
The reason it’s absurd? Opposing the programs that provide low-cost contraceptives and sexual health services is effectively promoting increased unintentional pregnancies, thereby increasing the demand for abortion services.
The best way to lower the rate of abortions isn’t to outlaw abortions. That would just make them dangerous. The best way is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. That can be accomplished, in part, by providing affordable contraceptives and sexual health education to the women who have the highest risk… which is exactly what Planned Parenthood and Title X do. Defunding these programs is simply a big “thumbs up” for abortions and a big “thumbs down” for women’s health.
…and that would be an abomination.