Commentary by Steven W. Mosher and Colin Mason
November 8, 2010 (pop.org) – It will come as no surprise to learn that Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards believes that government-funded health care should pay for all birth control, including abortions. After all, since much of this funding would flow to Planned Parenthood, America's number one abortion provider would profit mightily from such a policy.
Of course Richards is smart enough not to say that PP wants to devour our money as well as our children. Instead, she trots out the lame argument that eliminating people will somehow save us all money.
Appearing on the “Bill Press Show,” the Planned Parenthood honcho claimed that “birth control is one of those issues that actually saves the government money.” She went on to say that “we actually feel that covering birth control is not only the right thing to do for women, it's good for women, it's good for their health care, but it's frankly good public policy. An investment in covering birth control actually in the long run is a huge cost savings because women don't have children that they weren't planning on having and all the sort of attendant cost for unplanned pregnancy.”
We at PRI regard Richards's views not only as self-serving, but also as short-sighted. Children do indeed cost money to raise — as every parent knows — but they grow up into productive citizens who produce wealth, pay taxes and, on the whole, leave America a better place than they found it.
If you crunch the numbers, as we have, you will find that the average American baby born today will contribute several million dollars to the economy over his or her productive lifetime. Oppose this to the hundred-odd thousand dollars or so that it will cost to raise the child to adulthood, and you see just how valuable an asset these tiny human beings really are.
Planned Parenthood is an offensive organization because it not only advocates the wholesale destruction of defenseless human beings, but also actually carries out hundreds of thousands of such lethal acts each year in its hundreds of abortuaries. Now it wants us to subsidize, through Obamacare, these immoral acts, telling us that they are saving us money by doing so.
No one denies that it costs money to raise children, of course, but those who do so are making a fundamental investment in the future. Children grow into adults, who not only contribute to the GDP by entering the workforce, but also contribute, using their own special gifts, to creating families, communities, and societies. To view babies solely as economic liabilities, as Richards does, is not only dehumanizing; it makes no economic sense whatsoever.
Now Cecile Richards would probably respond that she doesn't want to eliminate all children, only those that are “unplanned.” But how does one define “unplanned?” If your parents were not planning on conceiving a child in a particular cycle, does that make you unplanned? Does Richards not know that an element of chance enters into any conception, meaning that it takes up to twelve months for a couple of average fertility to conceive a child? Or is she focused on aborting all single mothers, as they do in China? I don't know about Richards, but I was unplanned and, therefore, by her simplistic calculations, should have been eliminated as an unnecessary expenditure.
Planned Parenthood's position is all the more nonsensical because the very government health care that Richards promotes so fervently can only be paid for by taxpayer funds. And every single taxpayer starts life in a mother's womb.
Last spring, Nancy Pelosi tried to add hundreds of million of dollars in birth control funding to the so-called “stimulus package” using these same arguments. We opposed this move in interviews with FOX and other media. At the end of the day, her amendment proved too much even for many Democrats to stomach, and it was rejected.
People are not just liabilities, they are assets. In fact, they are the ultimate assets. And they all start out as babies.
Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute.
Colin Mason is the Director of Media Production at Population Research Institute.
This article reprinted with permission from the Population Research Institute.