Where we’ve been:
Having seen in #2 that there is ample reason to believe that Planned Parenthood’s leaders are involved in illegal activity, and having acknowledged in #1 that anyone breaking the law must be held accountable, we now take up the question of punishment. Who should be punished, and how?
It is clear, for example, that any doctor caught altering the abortion procedure for the purpose of preserving organs should be held accountable; likewise, any particular individual selling fetal organs at a profit must be made to pay the penalty.
But the argument being made by the Center for Medical Progress, and such Senators as Joni Ernst and such Representatives as Diane Black, is that this is a systemic problem. That is, Dr. Nucatola and Dr. Gatter are not simply admitting what they are, personally, willing to do.
They speak for Planned Parenthood, in a leadership capacity. They speak for the way things are, organization-wide.
Consider also, that Planned Parenthood has not denounced the words or actions of either of these leaders, but has only apologized for their “tone.” PP’s President, Cecile Richards, says they would take swift action over any wrongdoing, but there have been no reported repercussions for the relatively straightforward admissions of illegal activity.
Therefore, if Planned Parenthood does not discipline its own employees, and if the problem appears to be systemic, it is only fitting that the organization, as a whole, is punished.
The bills that have been proposed as a result of the CMP videos act to withdraw federal (taxpayer) funding from Planned Parenthood. They do not actually shut down PP, nor dry up all of their funding, nor prohibit them from continuing to do abortions, nor prohibit anyone else from doing abortions.
Rather, if an organization is to be held accountable for violating federal law, it seems reasonable to deny them federal support. One does not pay the mugger for the privilege of being mugged.
This is, as far as I can tell, straightforward and fair. After all, any taxpayers who are especially supportive of PP’s mission can always donate more money to the organization. There would not be any restriction on this.
Moreover, the bills introduced by Rep. Black and Sen. Ernst would redirect the $500+ million to other, (one presumes) equally worthy women’s health centers. So, taxpayer money would continue to support women’s health at exactly the same rate as now. The only difference is that different health centers would benefit from that money, rather than the single health center that enjoys it all now.
In summary, one large women’s health organization, which we have reason to believe is engaged in illegal activity, would be denied taxpayer funding; 9,000 other women’s health organizations, which we have reason to believe are providing legal services to women, would benefit from a collective windfall of $528 million.