Gov. Gary Herbert's decision to stop distributing federal funds to Planned Parenthood has our "Political Insiders" split. The Republicans on our panel mostly agree with Herbert while Democrats and our readers think it was a poor choice.
Herbert made the decision to stop state agencies from distributing federal funds to the group after a series of controversial videos showing officials from Planned Parenthood describing how they sell fetal tissue for medical research.
Republicans who commented felt Herbert's order was a principled approach to the controversy while those who disagreed felt it was nothing more than a ploy designed to score political points.
Selected anonymous comments:
"The Governor is only concerned about votes. The medical needs of women and the poor are not important to him, getting re-elected is."
"It was a campaign ploy. (And I say this despite being against abortions.)"
"Planned Parenthood should not receive any taxpayer dollars."
"It is sad when people use emotion to make decisions. They are not true, intelligent or wise. They just feel like they are."
"Herbert's decision to define Planned Parenthood is dangerous for all the people who use this service. I used PP services when I was younger because I didn't have insurance. My health as a human being should not be jeopardized by someone who won't ever need it anyway. He is not 'speaking for Utah' he is speaking for his misguided moralistic views."
"Unless he decides to enforce scientifically/biologically correct sex education rather than enforcing abstinence-only courses. I fear the issue will only get worse with abortions. Just because you defund a place that offers safe legal abortions, doesn't mean abortions will stop. People will still find a way. I am disgusted by the decision Herbert has made. His decision was based on videos that we have no proof if they're real or fake. This action shows he cares more about his own opinions rather than the welfare of the state. He's showing marks of a very horrible governor and is showing that he does not even care about the people."
"I have been using Planned Parenthood since I was 16. It has provided me affordable healthcare as far as PAP smears, cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control pills. By denying federal funds, it is not preventing abortions, it's denying affordable health care for women and men."
"Hopefully these PP butchers will someday find themselves in a federal penitentiary where they belong."
"Supporting Planned Parenthood is evil."
"Planned Parenthood does not sell fetal tissue. All of the states who have taken the time to investigate have found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. Governor Herbert shouldn't get his news from Youtube."
"I love our Governor, and I know his principles. This was the wrong play."
"Planned Parenthood is a healthcare organization. Thousands of women do not have health care in this state, and the legislature's inexcusable delay in expanding Medicaid has made the problem worse. Women deserve affordable gynecologic care, which is what Planned Parenthood provides."
"The Guv's act was political to the core, done the day before the state Republican party convention and with an eye to pre-empt Jonathan Johnson's announcement that he was entering the race against the Governor. Really obnoxious. Really stupid. Really a disservice to the people of the State of Utah."
"We don't want blood on our hands. Funnel the federal tax funds to other women's health community organizations not engaging in the sale of aborted fetuses. Thank you for standing for what's right."
"He is playing a very dangerous political game that will end badly for Utahns."
"Uninformed decision making and political grandstanding at it's worst."
"Since our lawmakers have determined that we can't include proper human sexuality in our schools, Planned Parenthood is the only place that one can get a proper education."
"The fact that Planned Parenthood can be engaged in the illegal practice of selling human organs from aborted fetuses demonstrates that what it is that they have been killing all these years are innocent human beings. They should have been defunded a long time ago."
"Let's just ignore all the good PP does in favor of something it doesn't even do with government money – and throw not just the baby, but the entire family, out with the bathwater."
"Bad behavior should not be rewarded."
"There has to be a message sent that this activity by Planned Parenthood is not acceptable, and they will be held accountable."
"This may feel good but in Utah it only hurts low-income women who need help preventing STDs. It's just a political stunt."
"Taxpayer money should NOT go to such despicable acts by a group with such a blatant disregard for human life. Kudos to Governor Herbert for once again putting good public policy above politics!"
"This knee jerk reaction will please some of the right wing crazies (who happen also to be convention delegates) but it doesn't serve the people of Utah."
"Planned Parenthood should not get one dime of taxpayer money. County Health Departments can fill the contraceptive/STD treatment needs."
"That money goes to important things like education and STD treatment/prevention. It was a political move and was stupid. The videos are reprehensible, but that money has nothing to do with the videos."
"Governor Herbert is trading political points for women's healthcare."
"Gov. Herbert made the right call for the right reasons."