The Right Reason for Not Funding Planned Parenthood.

The best reason not to fund Planned Parenthood is never mentioned in the newspapers. (Could it also have been overlooked in the briefs?)

Numerous undercover investigations have shown that Planned Parenthood prefers money to the interests of women. But even without that evidence, it would be unwise to entrust pregnancy prevention and pregnancy counseling to Planned Parenthood as long as it is profiting from abortion. No organization that is supposed to prevent pregnancy, or counsel pregnant clients on their options, should be making money from a particular post-pregnancy outcome, i.e. abortion. Fair and neutral pregnancy prevention and counseling will be much more likely with organizations or agencies that do not have such a built-in conflict of interest. (German constitutional law, for example, requires the separation of abortion counseling from abortion provision, and South Dakota has wisely moved in this direction recently.)

The above rationale should easily withstand both constitutional and regulatory challenges, for it focuses solely on benefits to clients, not on the pros or cons of abortion.

Richard Stith

Richard Stith teaches at Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana, where he was recently named the first Swygert Research Fellow in recognition of his scholarship. Professor Stith received both his law degree and a doctorate in ethics from Yale University. From Harvard and from the University of California, Berkeley, he holds degrees in political theory. Besides teaching law, Professor Stith has served as director of the Program in Biomedical Ethics at St. Louis University School of Medicine. He currently serves on the Advisory Council of the National Lawyers Association and on the Board of Editors of the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW. Professor Stith has taught and published on comparative law and legal philosophy in Spain, India, China, Ukraine, Chile and Mexico. In 2001, he became the first U.S. professor to be designated by the European Commission as teacher of a Jean Monnet Module (on the law of the European Union). He is a consultant on the Academic Council for the doctoral program in law at the Universidad de Los Andes in Chile, where he directed doctoral seminars during the summer of 2004. Professor Stith is a member of the national boards of University Faculty for Life and of Consistent Life, and of the Mirror of Justice blog. He has been a speaker at national, state, and international right-to-life gatherings and has presented pro-life testimony by invitation before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution and to state and foreign legislative committees. Among his recent publications: “Location and Life: How Stenberg v. Carhart Undercut Roe v. Wade” in William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law 9 (2003): 255, and “The Priority of Persons: How our Common Humanity can Ground our Individual Dignity,” International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2004): 165. His website: