In fiscal year 2011, Planned Parenthood completed 333,694 abortions. Other services (Family Practice Services, Adoption Referrals) only accounted for 57,529 of the services provided by the non-profit agency. I wish I could say congratulations are in order; quite the opposite actually. For an organization that often claims abortions are only a small percentage of its services, Planned Parenthood sure does perform a lot of abortions. The increasing infanticide performed by this organization is shocking yet culturally normal.

What makes Planned Parenthood’s record worse is the fact that in the same year, they received $542 million from government sources. Or should I say, from taxpayers’ pockets, whether they support abortion or not. That’s $1,622 for each abortion. It’s one thing to oppose legalized abortion. It’s another to be forced to pay for a procedure with which you morally disagree. We live in a society where taxpayer funded murder is common place and inescapable. Unfortunately, no amount of protesting or marching has seemed to change that.

What we truly need to combat abortion is a cultural change. The March for Life and picketing outside abortion clinics are great, but are unable to place a large dent in the crystalized culture which allows abortion to be the norm. We need a combination of activism and cultural education if we want to eradicate legal abortion and forced taxation. Large businesses like Hobby Lobby have been in the news lately for refusing to pay for the Obamacare contraception mandate, and for good reason. Anytime someone is forced to do something which violates their religious and moral belifs, outrage is necessary. However, where’s the outrage for the thousands to babies murdered by abortion? Where are the “appreciation days” for women’s clinics which refuse to perform abortions or pro-life agencies? They exist, but culturally are unfortunately far less relevant than days designed to support businesses with chicken sandwiches or delicious fries. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully in support of backing businesses who refuse to stand up with liberal policies, but the lack of similar outrage regarding abortion is shocking. Even if someone is apathetic towards the practice of abortion itself, I can’t see why outrage about the fact that its funded partially by taxpayers is not larger.

NewAmyLutzIconThis is why the answer is cultural, in this case. I find abortion shocking and disgusting, but what I find more shocking is its position as a cultural norm. We’ve become a society that no longer values life because the culture of death is so prominent. Complacency is not an option when thousands of abortions take place each year, at the taxpayers’ expense mind you. We need to become a nation that once again values life and its fragility. This starts in the home where parents must teach their children to value life and understand that “you only live once.” No, I don’t mean YOLO, which emphasizes recklessness and disregard for morals. I mean understanding that you only have one life to live and it’s important to value every second as a moral, upright person. Be grateful, in 2011, 333,694 babies were denied that chance.

Step one in starting to revolutionize the culture is to defund Planned Parenthood. Trust me, they’ll be fine. I hate to admit it, but there are enough liberal feminists out there to keep the organization running for a while. However, when people have the choice to give money to Planned Parenthood, don’t you think it’s more likely that they will put their money where their heart is? The remainer of the fight, and the majority of it, takes place on the cultural front. Like I said, this starts with the family. Take action as an individual to value your own life and teach others to do the same. We can only hope that this ripple will change the culture of death once again into a culture of life.

Amy Lutz | Saint Louis University | @AmyLutz4