As I have done for thirteen of the previous fifteen years, I attended the Bloomington City Council meeting last month to lobby the councilors not to give taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood. After several people spoke, including one man who gave a powerful speech about his own child, the city council voted unanimously to fund PP without any comment or attempt to justify the vote. In years past, they have at least attempted to justify their votes. Not this year.
This unanimous vote took place despite very disturbing testimony from one local resident who reported the findings of Indiana’s state health department finding numerous serious violations at the Bloomington Planned Parenthood “clinic.” One of those violations was patient files stored in an insecure location, a decade after the city council gave Planned Parenthood a handout partially to address secure file storage.
One of the excuses corporate welfare apologists have used in the past is that the social services funding recommendations are an “all or nothing” deal. The councilors can either vote for all of the grants or vote for none of them. Should the other organizations face a potential disruption in order to deny Planned Parenthood? But this has always been a disingenuous rebuttal to pro-life objections to giving a handout to Bloomington’s abortion mill.
The Monroe County Council, which has only been distributing social service grants since 2008, has found a solution to this problem. They vote on each individual grant one at a time. This allows councilors who oppose funding for certain organizations to vote their conscience while supporting grants to other organizations. This is one reform that should be implemented for the 2016 social services funding process.
It is clear that the city council does not care about the sincere objections of local citizens to being forced to fund an abortion mill. The bored, dismissive facial expressions and gestures of some of the councilors was plenty of evidence for that. In the 2015 city elections, the people of Bloomington should vote for diversity and vote for councilors who take citizen objections seriously. That means not voting for any Democrats.