I can’t imagine a better story to support my contention from yesterday that the federal government should not be funding medical research than this story:
Federally funded “pregnancy resource centers” are incorrectly telling women that abortion results in an increased risk of breast cancer, infertility and deep psychological trauma, a minority congressional report charged yesterday.
The report said that 20 of 23 federally funded centers contacted by staff investigators requesting information about an unintended pregnancy were told false or misleading information about the potential risks of an abortion.
The pregnancy resource centers, which are often affiliated with antiabortion religious groups, have received about $30 million in federal money since 2001, according to the report, requested by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.). The report concluded that the exaggerations “may be effective in frightening pregnant teenagers and women and discouraging abortion. But it denies the teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice.”
It’s not essential to take the specific topic of abortion out of this debate. Like it or not, abortion is legal in America. If the federal government should be funding science, or not funding science for moral rather than constitutional reasons, does it not have the obligation to tell the truth? Or is the truth, as based on evidence, too inconvenient to fit with a specific political agenda? Just like I don’t want my tax dollars paying for circumcisions, religious Americans probably do not want their tax dollars paying for abortions. This isn’t a complicated argument. Keep the government checkbook out of science.