Vail Daily letter: Taxes not funding abortion
August 5, 2015
In response to Mr. Smith's letter about funding for Planned Parenthood, printed Wednesday: No one can say you are wrong for how you feel about the issue of abortion. It is a very highly emotional and personal matter that almost everyone has an opinion about. However, I feel that it is important to have a few facts straight.
You are right that Planned Parenthood has received $528.4 million in government funds in the last fiscal year making up 41 percent of their revenue, but federal money is not used to fund abortion services. That has been banned by law since 1976. The money that is spent on abortive services has indeed come from other funding sources: Private donors, foundations, and service fees charged.
Only 3 percent of services provided are related to abortions, not the 90-95 percent that you feel is more accurate. The organizations revenue use can be broken down more precisely into 9 percent cancer screening and prevention, 42 percent sexually transmitted disease testing for men and women, 34 percent contraception, 11 percent other women's health services (not abortion related), 1 percent other (per Planned Parenthood's financial year 2013-2014 annual report).
If the government decided to defund Planned Parenthood it would make STD testing, cancer screenings, and contraception less available to people who need it and can't afford it elsewhere. It may actually wind up costing taxpayers more if you consider the cost of treating preventable cancers, STDs, and the expense for unintended pregnancies for people without the means to care for a child.
We must all make up our own mind about the information we see in print and on videos, but I hope this information offers facts from the other side of the coin. Your tax dollars are not funding abortion services; they are going to help prevent other health issues for women and men without the means to go elsewhere.
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