One of the justifications that anti-choice activists are using to try to “de-fund” Planned Parenthood is talking point that any dollar that goes to the group is promoting abortions. Money is fungible, they argue, so by giving the group federal funds to promote sex sex, provide contraception or health screenings, it frees up other money that can then go to abortions, indirectly supporting “taxpayer funded abortions.”
It doesn’t matter that many of the clinics getting funding don’t even provide abortions. It doesn’t matter that those who do keep entirely separate accounts and open their records to the government to prove that the federal funds are spent exactly on what they were allocated to cover. If one cent goes to Planned Parenthood, that’s a taxpayer going against his or her moral conscience and funding an abortion.
So why is money not “fungible” when it comes to crisis pregnancy centers?
The American Independent reports on the vast amount of state and federal taxpayer dollars being spent on crisis pregnancy centers across the country. Not only are the centers actively promoting religion by thrusting a “relationship with Jesus” onto the women who enter — many of whom believe they are entering a local reproductive health clinic located in the same or an adjacent space as the center — but the centers themselves are practicing religious discrimination during their professional and volunteer hiring process, too.
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Like other crisis pregnancy centers, the Rapid City Care Net seeks to prevent abortions by offering women a combination of free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, a “24 hour hotline,” and medically dubious “abortion education” (its website claims that “a number of reliable studies have demonstrated connection between abortion and later development of breast cancer”).
The Rapid City center is not alone. On its website, the facility says it “submits to the affiliation guidelines” of the national Care Net organization, which supports more than 1,100 explicitly Christian crisis pregnancy centers. Care Net requires that at each center, “those who labor as pregnancy center board members, directors, and volunteers are expected to know Christ as their Savior and Lord” and that “all board members, staff, and volunteers of the center agree with the Care Net Statement of Faith.”
And it’s not just Care Net. Across the country, crisis pregnancy centers that refuse to hire non-Christians are receiving taxpayer funding and other forms of government support.
The federal grants many of the CPCs received, according to the TAI report, were mainly for “capacity building.” But if those who oppose abortion get to “defund” a group that provides abortions because of “fungible” funding, why can’t those who oppose government promotion of religion get to do the same?
“Saving babies,” promoting Christianity, and spreading medical lies go hand in hand in CPCs across the nation. How intertwined are these? Just take a look at Stanton Health Care, the CPC that provided the “live ultrasounds” in the Idaho capitol last month, and is located next door to the Boise Planned Parenthood affiliate.
“Planned Parenthood is not happy that Stanton is right next door because they’re losing clients and they’re going to lose money,” [center owner Brandi] Swindell said. “And Planned Parenthood is all about selling abortions.”
But for those at Stanton, where all the staff are Christians, this isn’t just about stopping abortion.
“It is our heart and our hope for women to choose life for their babies and that then they’d choose Jesus for their lives,” Swindell said.
Government-funded conversions? When do we get to opt out of that?