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Don't give tax money to abortionists

An open letter to the Bloomington City Council

By Scott Tibbs, May 5, 2002

Dear City Council members:

On May 1st, I went to City Hall to see who was applying for the Social Services Fund grants for 2002. It was no surprise to find that Planned Parenthood of Central and Southern Indiana has applied for money again. Each of the last three years, I have lobbied this body to reject subsidies for Planned Parenthood, and each of the last three years you have voted to give PP the tax dollars of Bloomington citizens.

I am writing you this letter to again implore you to reject any subsidy for the local branch of America's #1 abortion provider. I believe abortion is the violent taking of an innocent human life, and I oppose having tax dollars go to abortion providers for any reason. That the money will not go to subsidize Planned Parenthood's abortion services does not change my objection to any funds being given to PP by my elected representatives. No matter how much "good" Planned Parenthood claims it will do with the subsidy they are asking you for, no amount of "good deeds" done by PP can erase the fact that they snuff out innocent human life in the womb.

According to a report by STOPP International, PP performed 197,000 abortions in the year 2000. STOPP estimates that PP has performed over 2,800,000 abortions from 1977 to 2000. Closer to home, Planned Parenthood operates an abortion clinic on South College Avenue in Bloomington. Every Thursday, babies die only five blocks from where the City Council makes its policy decisions.

Planned Parenthood certainly does not need a taxpayer subsidy from the Bloomington City Council. In fact, PP is awash in money. The STOPP Web site further reports that in 1999, Planned Parenthood reported an "income in excess of expenditures" of over $120 million! (That is quite a bit of profit for a "not-for-profit" group.) Two years ago, that figure was about $60 million and last year it was over $35 million. Certainly, an organization with that much money at the national level can afford to send money to local affiliates without having them beg for corporate welfare.

The source of the money you give to Planned Parenthood is irrelevant. As the city's fiscal body, you are responsible to the citizens of Bloomington for how you spend the money you have regardless of where that money comes from. None of the money you spend belongs to you; it belongs to the people of Bloomington, who you were elected to serve.

I am sure that many of you consider yourselves "pro-choice". If this is the case, a vote against giving Planned Parenthood the money you are entrusted with should be an easy decision. If you are truly pro-choice, you will respect the deeply held views of your pro-life constituents and not give our money to the abortionists on South College. Being "pro-choice" should not simply mean allowing for the "choice" to destroy pre-born human life. A true "pro-choice" position would respect the choice of pro-life people to not support abortionists against our will.

Of the nine members of the City Council who have voted to give Planned Parenthood taxpayer dollars the past three years, I am most disappointed in the Republicans on the City Council, District 2 Councilman Jason Banach and District 5 Councilman David Sabbagh. You two represent a political party that is largely pro-life, yet in the last three years you have voted to give Planned Parenthood $8,394 of your constituents' money. I don't expect the seven Democrats on the City Council to oppose giving public money to Planned Parenthood, though I was pleasantly surprised when District 4 Councilman Jeffrey Willsey changed his vote from 2000 and voted against giving Planned Parenthood taxpayer dollars last year. But I would hope that Republican elected officials would be a little more responsible with the money you are entrusted with. As a Republican, I am saddened by your votes on this matter.

Councilman Sabbagh, you are running for State Representative in District 60. Why should pro-life Republicans support you in November when you have voted to give our money to the abortionists on South College? It is one thing to support legalized abortion, but it is another to give abortionists money entrusted to you by your constituents. The odds a November victory are not in your favor to begin with, and yet another vote to give the people's money to Planned Parenthood will not encourage pro-life Republican voters like myself.

I ask all nine of you to reject Planned Parenthood's request for money this year. The last three years, the vote was complicated by the fact that you were voting yea or nay on the entire funding package. But this year, you can make sure Planned Parenthood's request does not make it to the final version of the bill. As a citizen of Bloomington and a voter, I implore you to do this.

Thank you for your time, and I will be carefully watching your vote on this matter.