Sixteen-year-old tween-heartthrob Justin Bieber said in an interview this week with Rolling Stone, “I really don’t believe in abortion. It’s like killing a baby?” (Yes, that was said as a question). What about in cases of rape? Bieber responded, “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason.”
Thanks, Biebs, for your stunning insight on something you obviously know nothing about and will never have to personally deal with for biological reasons.
As Roe v. Wade is whittled down to a twig, even statements from a 16-year old coming out with a 3-D movie called “Never Say Never,” are not benign. Bieber, maybe unknowingly, is adding sound bytes to a scary political conversation that could affect women across the United States – the war on Planned Parenthood.
According to statistics from the Guttacher Institute, Planned Parenthood performed 328,300 abortions in 2008. But those abortions made up only 3 percent of the patient services that Planned Parenthood offered that year. State and federal funding given to Planned Parenthood is though Title X, a U.S. government program dedicated to providing family planning services for those in need. But Congress doesn’t allow any of that money to be spent on abortions, so Planned Parenthood pays for those services itself.
And if Republican Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, who is leading the fight against Planned Parenthood, gets his way, all of the governmental funding for Planned Parenthood will dry up. And by all, I mean all.
“What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?” Pence asks. Why, Pence, I will counter your question with another question: “What is more socially irresponsible?” (Also, it is VERY fiscally irresponsible to get rid of Planned Parenthood. Medicaid costs would go through the roof).
No funding means no pelvic or breast exams, no safe-sex counseling, no infertility counseling, no birth control, and no access to dozens of other services Planned Parenthood provides for 1.85 million low-income women across the country. Not to mention that it will significantly raise Medicaid costs.
With 154 co-sponsors for his bill, Pence is closer than ever to getting his legislation passed. Republicans may have the House, but thankfully the Democrats still have control of Congress, and Obama would veto any such bill.
It is easy for Pence, with no uterus, to take a strict moral position on abortion when he will never face the risk of becoming pregnant. But how many more illegal abortions, in back alleys and unsanitary rooms, would result from undermining Planned Parenthood?
Justin Bieber is obviously no expert on reproductive rights. But statistics show that a large percentage of his tween-girl audience, screaming as he sings “Baby” at Madison Square Garden, will need the services of Planned Parenthood at some point in their lives, even if they don’t know it yet.