George W. Bush outraged pro-abortion groups by blocking federal funds to international groups that provide abortion counseling. But is support of abortion subsidies really a consistent pro-choice position?
The National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood and the other usual suspects were outraged when, after only two days in office, George W. Bush issued an executive order blocking federal funds from going to international family planning groups that perform abortions or provide abortion counseling. But is supporting government-funded abortion really a consistent pro-choice position.
In a column for the Wall Street Journal, Cathy Young argues that federal funding for abortion is wrong “both as a matter of principle and as a matter of strategy.”
As Young writes,
The most powerful pro-choice argument is that a woman’s decision about something so personal as whether or not to bear a child should be free from governmental interference. A fundamental belief in individual rights has led a majority of Americans, however uncomfortably, to support legal abortion, at least in the early stages of pregnancy. But asking the government to finance abortion is a very different matter.
In fact it is absurd for pro-choice activists on the one hand to argue that an abortion is essentially a decision that must be solely left to a woman and her doctor, but then drag the rest of us along into the doctor’s room by demanding we open our wallets to subsidize other people’s choices.
If a woman wants to have an abortion, I have no problem whatsoever with that, but I do have a problem when NOW and Planned Parenthood says I should be required to pay for abortions.
This sort of hypocrisy highlights one of the main problems at the core of big government feminism. On the one hand we are told that women are independent and capable of making their own decisions, thank you very much. In the next breath, of course, NOW and others inform us that women’s independence can only exist so long as women have access to a whole bevy of government programs.
Which is it — are women independent creatures or are they wards of the state?
Personally, I don’t think Bush went far enough. He should have forbidden all federal funding of abortion, period. That’s the only consistent pro-choice position.
Choice Yes, Subsidy No. Cathy Young, The Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2001.