This article was originally posted as an op-ed at the Cincinnati Enquirer here.
This was written by Katherine Franklin, communications director at Ohio Right to Life.
U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett recently granted a temporary restraining order on the defunding of Planned Parenthood based on what appear to be contradictory and activist reasons.
"The Ohio legislature enacted (the law) for the purpose of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking to obtain an abortion," Barrett said in his decision. At the same time, he notes that the services Ohio lawmakers defunded have nothing to do with abortion. Indeed, the abortion lobby has repeatedly told the legislature that these funds are kept separate from their abortion practice. How, then, would the defunding law impact a woman’s efforts to obtain an abortion?
These two ideas – that the law impacts the “right” to an abortion and that the law deals with funds that have nothing to do with abortion – are at odds.
The combination of intentions and effects are in clear contradiction, evidence that the judge is imposing intentions and personal interpretations onto the bare-bones meaning of the law.
The true intention of the law was to protect the conscience rights of taxpayers like myself who do not want our dollars lining the pockets of America’s biggest abortion enterprise. Barrett’s order came nowhere close to guessing that – a clear sign that he is an activist judge who would prefer to fabricate and interpret intentions rather than facts.
As for conscience rights, Barrett appears to have a warped understanding of what they are. We are born with our conscience rights. They are not granted by the state, as, say, state dollars are. While the judge argues that we have jeopardized Planned Parenthood’s “free speech rights,” we have done no such thing. Planned Parenthood can shout the glories of abortion from the rooftops, and this law would not prohibit them from doing so. But they cannot do it on my dime. This is not a question of free speech for Planned Parenthood; it is a question of entitlement to taxpayer dollars.
Because Barrett knows that there is no constitutional right to taxpayer dollars he has inserted this presumed right into a real right, expecting “free speech” to carry the weight of his non-argument.
The Supreme Court has held that the alleged right to abortion “implies no limitation on the authority of a State to make a value judgment favoring childbirth over abortion, and to implement that judgment by the allocation of public funds.”
The only way Barrett can convince taxpayers otherwise is to use a doublespeak that creates a right where there is none, much as was the case in Roe v. Wade and abortion-on-demand.
In that notorious case, the Supreme Court fabricated the “right” to an abortion and determined that a 9-month unborn child can be aborted for any reason whatsoever.
In 2015, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions, all while receiving $553.7 million in taxpayer dollars. That accounts for 42 percent of its total revenue.
A Gallup Poll released at the end of May found that 47 percent of Americans believe abortion is morally wrong, as opposed to 43 percent who believe it is morally acceptable. As Americans remain relatively split on the issue (though favoring the pro-life stance), one might expect a judge to neutralize the debate by leaving the law to the people to decide.
Perhaps that is too much to expect when a panicked abortion lobby is losing its grip on the purse strings of the American people.