It's that time of year again. Republicans have introduced a bill that will ban federal funding for abortion procedures and Democrats have gotten all up-in-arms because this will put funding for birth control at risk because they have threatened to cut off all funding to Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organization which supplies millions of women and girls with vital and necessary birth control.
Every year this happens: if there is a sitting Democratic President and a majority Republican Congress, Congress passes the bill and the President vetoes it. If there is a sitting Republican President and a majority Democratic Congress, Congress passes the bill and the President vetoes it. If both the President and Congress are Republican, Planned Parenthood relies on private funding until Democrats come back into power and unwittingly, Republican representatives increase the abortion rate by decreasing access to birth control and driving up the rate of unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. If both the President and Congress are Democrat, Planned Parenthood gets its funding, Right-to-Lifers are up-in-arms protesting louder than ever and tend to take to the Supreme Court. Year after year after year after year. Same story. Year after year after year after year. And every year, it's the same tone of outrage and shock on both sides.
I have a proposal that would SOLVE the problem once and for all.
Planned Parenthood should become two separate non-profit family planning organizations.
- One should supply birth control family planning services as it has done since its conception in 1966.
- One should focus on the termination of pregnancy and be completely privately funded.
This would do several necessary things.
- It would allow Republicans to Save Face. Which is necessary in any compromise. Republican voters need and use low cost and free birth control and family planning services, such as Planned Parenthood provides, as much anyone else. By dividing into two different organizations Planned Parenthood becomes an organization that gathers the support of the masses, rather than divides the support of the masses.
- This measure stops asking the Religious Right to surrender their religious convictions about abortion. Which is not only unfeasible and is never, ever going to happen. It's also blatantly an unfair request. Planned Parenthood and political conviction cannot trump God. Not even the Supreme Court can trump God. One of the primary foundations of this country is Freedom of Religion and these people are entitled to it. They are entitled to believe that conception begins at birth and to destroy it is wrong. They are entitled not to be harassed for this belief. They are entitled to stand up for their convictions. They are entitled to fight for the unborn. If Planned Parenthood divides into two separate organizations — one that performs termination and one that does not, they allow the Religious Right to hold fast to their religious conviction that termination of life is profoundly wrong and allow them to withhold their support of such a thing, while allowing them to simultaneously support the birth control and family planning arm of Planned Parenthood. It's a win-win for the Religious Right AND Planned Parenthood AND every woman and girl in this country.
- This measure would provide a soft middle ground for the swing voter like myself who is growing increasingly uncomfortable with many forms of abortion due to the increased availability of birth control methods, the viability of younger and younger babies living outside the womb, the lack of social stigma of unwed and divorced mothers, the increased social and career status of mothers, the invention of the morning after pill and various other reasons.
- It's an achievable compromise and frankly, this country is due for a compromise that works. We're all sick to death of the same old crappy arguments that go nowhere. We're sick of the revolving door of the same bills, the same Supreme Court arguments, the same political battles and the same Pundit cable battle cries.
This solution is simplicity itself. And that's exactly why it might work.
Woman Up Planned Parenthood. You've been fighting the good fight for women and girls for 45 years. We need you. We need you as much now as we ever did. But, we need you to look your opponent in the eye and be the bigger person. With this compromise women and girls win. Republican women and girls win. Democrat women and girls win. Religious Right women and Girls win. Pro-choice women and girls win. All women and girls win. Sometimes, the person who is willing to suck up their ego and give a little is the one who wins in the end.
More from living