Planned Parenthood’s Great Big Enormous 3% Lie

Stephen Brashear/ Getty Images North America / AFP
Stephen Brashear/ Getty Images North America / AFP

A woman walks into a Planned Parenthood clinic wanting to know if she’s pregnant, and if she is, can she get an abortion.

She may receive a number of services including a pregnancy test, an RH Type test, an ultrasound, an antibiotic, some birth control pills, the morning after pill, and “other tests as needed”—oh yes, and an abortion.

Note that all these “services” are directly related to just one patient getting an abortion. Yet, Planned Parenthood counts the abortion as only one service among 8 or more. When Planned Parenthood repeatedly claims that their abortion business is only 3 percent of their total activities, this is how they arrive at it:

They count a $300 abortion, or a $500 abortion, or a $1000 abortion in the exact same way they count a receptionist handing a condom to walk-in.

The 3 percent number is getting a strenuous new workout with the release of, so far, five videos showing Planned Parenthood medical personnel alternately picking through fetal body parts with tweezers and negotiating to sell them for a profit.

In Wednesday morning’s paper, a Washington Post reporter, specializing in “race, gender, immigration and inequality,” provided the latest unblinking recapitulation of Planned Parenthood’s easily debunkable claim.

Janell Ross reports, “All told, abortions comprise about 3 percent of all the services Planned Parenthood provides, according to the organization’s own data.” The key phrase in this and all other reports on this is “according to the organization’s own data.” Reporters tend to look no further than Planned Parenthood’s own assurances.

It is fairly easy to look behind the claim, however, and do it using “the organization’s own data.”

Planned Parenthood arrives at this percentage by dividing 330,000 annual abortions into 11,000,000 annual “services.” All “services” are therefore equal.

According to Jeanneane Maxon of Americans United for Life, Planned Parenthood’s annual report shows 12 percent of their patients are there for an abortion. That is derived at by dividing 327,000 annual abortions by 2,700,000 annual patients. But that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story because each of those patients receives multiple services directly related to the abortion. But even more than that, an abortion is the most expensive service Planned Parenthood provides.

According to Planned Parenthood’s own figures, they provide somewhere north of 320,000 abortions a year, that’s a third of all abortions performed in the United States. Again, according to their own numbers, a surgical abortion in the first trimester costs between $300 and $950. A chemical abortion costs between $300 and $800. Taking the lowest possible price for all 320,000 abortions, Planned Parenthood made $96 million a year on abortions alone. But that number is certainly much higher. This is not a trivial number, as the oft-repeated 3 percent is meant to imply.

The other big fib that Planned Parenthood leads with, and one that is endlessly repeated by their friends in the media, is that if Planned Parenthood is defunded, where will all those women go for their mammograms? Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards says this wherever she goes.

Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms. Lila Rose of LiveAction showed this by having people call dozens of Planned Parenthood facilities asked for a mammogram and being told every single time, “No, we don’t do mammograms” and then being directed to a local clinic that does.

No one has to take Lila Rose’s word for it though, according to a dossier prepared by Americans United for Life, “As recently as 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that no Planned Parenthood clinic is authorized to perform mammograms.”

As to the other services that might have to end were Planned Parenthood to lose federal funding, poor women can look to the thousands of Title X clinics in every state and in every major city. What’s more, some wonder why Planned Parenthood is needed at all with the advent of Obamacare because all these services, including contraceptives and abortion, are covered.

The good news for pro-lifers is that the vote in the Senate shows an increase in Senate interest in defunding the abortion giant. Professor Michael New points out that a similar vote was taken four years ago and then only 42 Republicans voted in favor and not a single Democrat. On Monday night, though the vote failed, a majority voted in favor, including 51 from the GOP this time as well as two Democrats.

It very well could be that Planned Parenthood’s lies are catching up with them.

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse.


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