March 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Reducing taxpayer subsidies to the nation’s largest abortion chain is “unethical” and constitutes “interference with the practice of medicine,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Leana Wen argued during a recent interview in response to the Trump administration’s latest effort to reduce her organization’s federal tax funding.
Last month, the administration finalized a rule that will require facilities providing Title X family planning services to be physically separate from those that commit or refer for abortions, bans Title X recipients from making referrals for abortion as a method of family planning, and redirects the money to Women's Qualified Health Centers that are not involved in abortions, which dramatically outnumber Planned Parenthood locations across the United States.
The move is projected to cut almost $60 million from the $563.8 million Planned Parenthood received during the most recent fiscal year, provoking intense anger among liberals and lawsuits from Planned Parenthood and the left-wing American Medical Association, as well as from 21 states and the District of Columbia.
Wen, who succeeded retiring Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards last fall, reiterated her opposition to the rule change during a recent interview published Wednesday by Austin, Texas NPR station KUT.
“For the nearly 2.4 million patients who walk through the doors of Planned Parenthood every year, they're not making a political statement,” she claimed. “They're trying to get health care. They're trying to get their breast and cervical cancer screenings, their STI/HIV test, birth control, the full range of reproductive health care. For so many of the patients that we serve, we are their only source of health care.”
“To me, as a physician,” the Title X rule change is “unethical and unconscionable,” Wen continued. “It is direct interference with the practice of medicine. It's what happens when politicians tell doctors what it is that we can say to our patients, and I worry about what this will do to patient rights.”
The Planned Parenthood head claimed that cutting her organization’s locations out of the program would lead to women “delay[ing] care” or “simply go[ing] without, and we've seen what happens right here in Texas. When politicians forced health centers to close, more than 30,000 women went without access to healthcare. That's what's at stake. It's about people's lives and our health.”
Wen did not address the fact that the funding for women’s healthcare would not simply disappear, but be redirected to facilities that provide tests, screenings, and more without participating in abortion. Furthermore, keeping taxpayer dollars from an organization involved in the United States’ most intensely controversial issue is not “unconscionable” to the 54 percent of Americans who oppose taxpayer funding of abortion as of January 2019.
Framing abortion as healthcare has been a central focus of Wen’s advocacy, though she does not grapple with pro-life arguments to the contrary.
“Health care” is traditionally defined as the treatment of physical or mental illness or injury, to restore or maximize an individual’s physical or mental well-being. Abortion, by contrast, is the intentional killing of one individual (the child) for the perceived benefit of another individual (his or her mother). The vast majority of even late-term abortions are not sought for health-related reasons, but for financial, relationship, lifestyle, or other personal interests.