Mystery of California Abortion Funding Revealed

SACRAMENTO, CA, May 21, 2010 -- The California Catholic Conference has untangled the complexities of abortion funding in the California State Budget.

Annually, the California Catholic Conference asks the Legislators to examine their priorities when making funding decisions in the state budget. The Governor proposed elimination of the CalWORKs, a reduction in state funding for SSI/SSP-programs for the elderly, the blind and disabled-while retaining the funding for Family PACT which goes to family planning institutions, like Planned Parenthood. Although that money doesn't actually pay for abortions-abortions are funded through Medi-Cal-it does keep those organizations financially sound.

Family Planning organizations and their supporters justify the expense by claiming that Family PACT services are beneficial to the financial health of the state. For this claim, they rely on studies such as the April 2010 report from the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California San Francisco entitled "Cost-Benefit Analysis of the California Family PACT Program for Calendar Year 2007."

The study compared the cost of providing publicly-funded family planning services through the Family PACT Program with projected public sector expenditures which would have occurred in the program's absence. Using those parameters, the claim is made that during 2007, there were 296,000 pregnancies averted, which would have resulted in approximately 133,000 live births. They further extrapolate that each "non-birth" to a female PACT client saved the state $6,557 in medical, welfare and other social service costs for a woman and child from conception to age two and saved $14,111 from conception until age five.

Using these grim statistics, the calculation results in the grand total public sector cost-savings attributable to Family PACT female clients in 2007 was $1.88 billion from conception to age two, and over $4 billion from conception to age five. Meanwhile, the Family PACT Programs' total service expenditures in 2007 were $437.3 million.

The bottom line projection then is that by reducing public health and welfare expenditures resulting from "unintended" (their term) pregnancies, every dollar spent on Family PACT saved the public sector $4.30 from conception to age two and $9.25 from conception to age five. There you have it. Give us $1 in your budget and we'll save you either $4 or $9 in the future!

The priorities of our Governor and Legislators are definitely askew when we make the judgment that non-children save the state money! Children-and their mothers-are not meaningless enities. The problems lie in priorities-and to judge the very existence of people as a problem is clinical, chilling and cynical. We have to be better than that. We need to remember that people are never the problem-people are the solution!

Published with permission of the California Catholic Conference.

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