Opinion

Blatant judicial tyranny blocks Utah Planned Parenthood defunding

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The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny, and it is useless for the innocent to try by reasoning to get justice, when the oppressor intends to be unjust.

– “The Wolf and the Lamb,” Aesop’s Fables

It is now beyond dispute that the abortion lobby has embraced tyranny—not just tyranny over helpless children, but the belief in violating any and every legal principle that stands between them and their selfish wants. They have always embraced judicial activism to insulate abortion from a disapproving electorate, but in recent years they’ve grown more and more brazen in trying to steal more and more aspects of the issue from the decisions of the people, and rejecting any appreciation that voters, legislators, and governors have any rights within their own jurisdictions to make decisions that differ from more pro-abortion parts of the country.

On Tuesday, a panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals engaged in such tyranny by voting 2-1 to grant a preliminary injunction against Utah’s efforts to cut off $272,000 in federal tax dollars to Planned Parenthood. Utah Governor Gary Herbert had ordered the defunding in the wake of PP’s ongoing baby parts scandal.

Because Utah’s Planned Parenthood clinics were shown to be operating lawfully, the ruling states, it is reasonable that Herbert was targeting the reproductive-health organization for its abortion services and pro-abortion advocacy efforts, in violation of constitutional protections for speech and association.

“In particular, we conclude that a reasonable finder of fact is more likely than not to find that Herbert, a politician and admitted opponent of abortion, viewed the situation that presented itself by release of the CMP videos as an opportunity to take public action against PPAU, deprive it of pass-through federal funding, and potentially weaken the organization and hamper its ability to provide and advocate for abortion services.”

One scarcely knows where to begin dissecting this paper-thin pretext for forcing taxpayers to support the abortion industry.

First, whether Utah’s Planned Parenthood centers participated in criminal organ trafficking is irrelevant. The fact that the broader organization did, and that Planned Parenthood Federation of America clearly has no interest in holding accountable the ones that did, is more than a sufficient basis for concluding the entire organization is untrustworthy, and that tax dollars for women’s health are better spent through organizations without any appearance of impropriety.

Second, it is beyond asinine to suggest any violation of Planned Parenthood’s First Amendment rights. Aside from the Constitution not containing any right to murder a child, punishment means taking away someone’s rights. Did Utah order Planned Parenthood’s own money be taken away? No; he ordered that other people’s money stop being funneled to them—other people whose money was going to PP without their express consent. To suggest Planned Parenthood was “punished” in any constitutional sense of the term implies a constitutional right to the property of others.

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Indeed, by Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox’s count, “in the last two decades or so, about 9,000 providers [were] excluded from Medicaid.” What percentage of those cases were unconstitutional, in abortion advocates’ view?

Third, because Planned Parenthood has no constitutional right to tax dollars, no special circumstances were needed to cut them off, meaning that defunding them just because Herbert is pro-life and they’re pro-abortion would be perfectly lawful anyway. Political offices make political decisions; that’s what they’re there for! Are we supposed to believe the original judgment that Planned Parenthood deserved tax dollars wasn’t at least as political?

It’s a deeply perverse handle on Civics 101 to embrace unelected judges making decisions from personal ideology yet demand elected governors completely disregard value judgments.

Or, it would be if they really believed either proposition. The truth is, pro-aborts simply have no other governing principle than whatever’s advantageous at the moment.

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