By Scott Tibbs, August 14, 2012
Planned Parenthood's last two requests for corporate welfare have been denied. Is this a fluke or a sign of common sense in local government?
For ten consecutive years between 1999 and 2008, Planned Parenthood went to city government to ask for a handout of the taxpayers' money. After not requesting a grant in 2009, PP got two more handouts from the Bloomington City Council in 2010 and 2011. Up though 2009, local pro-lifers had tried in vain to get the city council not to give PP a handout, with little success - and then it got worse. PP requested and got a handout from the Monroe County Council in 2009 and 2010. So now the welfare was flowing from both city and county government.
Then something very strange happened.
When PP requested a grant from county government last fall, they were not invited to present their case at the meeting where the other social service organizations explained why they needed a grant from county government's social services funding program. I attended the meeting and was surprised that Planned Parenthood did not present at all.
Then when PP requested another handout from the city for the 13th time in 14 years, I assumed it was a done deal. I would protest publicly as I always do, as would other opponents of this shameful corporate welfare. But when the council voted in June, it would pass 9-0, with even the one vote of opposition no longer on the council. Imagine my surprise when I discovered Planned Parenthood was not on the list of applicants getting money from the city.
This is certainly good news, not only morally but also financially. Pro-lifers oppose funding Planned Parenthood on moral grounds, but it makes no sense fiscally to fund PP. After all, Planned Parenthood of Indiana took in over $900,000 more than it spent according to its most recent annual report, and the city distributed $250,000 in 2012. Planned Parenthood's profit margin was over three times larger than the entire social services funding program.
So what does this mean? Is there a bit of sanity seeping into city and county government? For the last 12 months, that seems to be the case. We will see if it lasts, as the process for distributing grants via county government social services funding program should begin in September.