As Cecile Richards prepares to step down as the head of abortion giant Planned Parenthood this year, she’s giving interviews to sympathetic news organizations as part of her ghoulish “farewell tour,” including a chat with liberal New York Times columnist Gail Collins. In that conversation, Richards recalled a meeting she took with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner early in the Trump presidency, during which the couple proposed that Planned Parenthood stop providing abortions in exchange for more funding for issues like family planning. Richards rebuffed the offer, naturally, but Collins’ description of why the overture was rejected is totally unsurprising yet usefully revealing:
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) May 12, 2018
Well, well, well. Planned Parenthood apologists frequently cite the organization’s statistic that just “three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.” The point of this spin is to downplay the role abortion plays within the organization’s revenue structure and core mission, and to cast Republican efforts to withdraw federal taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood as a weird, misplaced obsession. Richards and company much prefer that Americans view their group as an indispensable provider of women’s healthcare (public relations posturing to this end has included habitually lying about cancer-related services provided), as opposed to a blood-stained abortion factory. Despite its ad nauseam repetition by abortion advocates, the “three percent” number is bogus:
his statistic has been rated false by left-leaning outlets, including Slate and the Washington Post. The claim rests on a deceptive tactic: calculating abortion procedures as a fraction of its “services” — defined by the group as “discrete clinical interactions” — rather than as a fraction of its clients. Take an example. A woman walks into a Planned Parenthood clinic. She takes a pregnancy test, meets with a counselor, and chooses to have an abortion procedure. While she’s there, she also receives an STI test and a breast exam and is handed birth control on her way out the door. Planned Parenthood would count each of these “discrete interactions” — six in total — as a service, so abortion would be only 16 percent of that woman’s visit.
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