Cultural Revolutions

Title X Funds

Title X funds to "family planning" clinics that dispense abortion counseling were prohibited last summer as a result of the Rust v. Sullivan U.S. Supreme Court decision, which single-issue organizations indignantly denounced. It is ironic that the very people who claim that government should stay out of abortion decisions are the very same people who want government to pay for them. Their outcry prompted Congress to overturn the ruling and fund such clinics. As President Bush contemplates a veto, multi-issue taxpayers would like to inquire: do these clinics really deserve federal funds?

For starters, the full-page newspaper ads and expensive, five-color fundraising letter distributed by the chief recipient of these funds, the Planned Parenthood Federation, might tempt the average taxpayer to just say no. Without a doubt, tax dollars have freed millions of private dollars raised by this special interest group (using its tax-deductible status, another subsidy) for slick marketing campaigns to lobby Congress and the public. But further investigation reveals the real reason these groups call the Court's decision the "gag rule": they gagged when they realized how many millions of dollars they would lose if the ruling were not overturned.

Planned Parenthood, which led the charge against the decision, is the preeminent example. In 1987, Planned Parenthood's annual report revealed...

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