, ,

As it became clear that none of the other candidates was going to take her down, she turned her fire on the Republicans, portraying them as dangerous extremists and saying, “They don’t mind having big government to interfere with a woman’s right to choose and to try to take down Planned Parenthood. They’re fine with big government when it comes to that. I’m sick of it.” That line earned Clinton her biggest cheers of the night. ~ From a New Yorker article on the Democratic primary debate by John Cassidy

When Republicans try to remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood, how does that illustrate a position that supports big government? Republicans are not trying to “take down” Planned Parenthood. They have been consistent in one policy position: eliminate federal funding for abortions, no matter how the funds are delivered. They have never declared they want to “take down” a privately funded Planned Parenthood.

Clinton’s declaration that she’s sick of Republican inconsistency on this issue builds on Democrats’ charge that Republicans plan a war on women. For their part, Republicans recognize the tension between their opposition to abortion, and their general opposition to government interference in private decisions. There’s nothing hypocritical about the tension, recognizing it, or working around it. Given the conflicting goals of protecting a family’s right to choose, and reducing abortions to a minimum, eliminating federal funding for abortions is a reasonable position.

If federal funding for abortions exists now, that does not mean any recipient of those funds is entitled to it. They were not entitled to it when the funds were first granted. Withdrawing funds now does not violate any contracts or obligations that extend into the future. Yet Democrats treat any reduction of funds for causes they favor as an attack on the funds’ recipients.

That is plainly not the case. Government grants funds when a majority favors it. The same government can remove those funds when the original majority disappears. Republicans currently hold a majority in the nation’s legislature. If Hillary Clinton declares she is sick of Republican efforts to reduce federal funds for abortions, she may as well say she is fed up with democracy.

Related article