But let’s not pretend that sex trafficking is Rose’s real concern. Her target is abortion. And if she is truly interested in reducing the number of abortions performed — something most people who label themselves pro-choice would agree is a worthy goal — targeting Planned Parenthood is precisely the wrong way to do it.
The group’s annual $79 million in Title X funds, now in the crosshairs of House Republicans, wouldn’t go to abortions, which already are barred from federal funding except in the case of rape, incest, or life endangerment — and which make up only 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood performs. Title X provides low-income women with breast and cervical cancer screening and STD treatment and prevention. And with contraception, which reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies that create a demand for abortion in the first place.
It would be nice if this debate could be re-framed from “abortion=baby killing! BAD!” into something slightly more nuanced and effective to protect women’s health. At the same time, if you want to lower the abortion rates in this country, which even as a pro-choice person I can say unequivocally is a good thing, then we have to start building a better sexual health program — one that is treated with the same seriousness as dental health, nutritional health, physical fitness health, etc.