During last night’s Republican presidential debate Donald Trump repeated the oft-stated claim that abortions constitute just 3 percent of the business the Planned Parenthood abortion company does.
Here’s what Trump said:
As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I’m pro-life. I’m totally against abortion, having to do with Planned Parenthood. But millions and millions of women — cervical cancer, breast cancer — are helped by Planned Parenthood.
So you can say whatever you want, but they have millions of women going through Planned Parenthood that are helped greatly. And I wouldn’t fund it.
I would defund it because of the abortion factor, which they say is 3 percent. I don’t know what percentage it is. They say it’s 3 percent.
However, even the pro-abortion Washington Post admits the 3 percent number is “a big lie.” The Post concluded that Planned Parenthood is “misleading,” “using meaningless and incomplete comparisons to make their argument, and the public should wary . . . .”
To arrive at that 3 percent figure, Planned Parenthood does some fudging and misdirection. Planned Parenthood depreciates the role abortion plays by defining its “services” in such a way that it avoids accounting for their time and expense. A single pregnancy test is designated by Planned Parenthood as a “service” and thus given equal weight to a far more time-consuming and expensive surgical abortion procedure, another Planned Parenthood “service.” Likewise, each pack of birth control pills is considered a service and carries the same weight in the calculation as an abortion.
The Washington Post Fact Checker notes:
When all services are counted equally, abortion procedures do account for 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s total services.
But there are obvious differences between these services. For example, a first trimester abortion can cost up to $1,500, according to the Planned Parenthood Web site. Yet an emergency contraceptive pill costs around $45 and a urine pregnancy test costs around $10 at a pharmacy. An abortion is a different type of procedure than a vasectomy, or testing for sexually transmitted infections or diseases, or a vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV), and so forth.
While each service is listed separately, many clients received multiple services. A woman may get a pregnancy test, birth control and a pap smear, but she would be counted three times, once for each service, in the annual report.
“Such cracked reasoning could be used to obscure the purpose of any organization.
The sponsors of the New York City Marathon could count each small cup of water they hand out (some 2 million cups, compared with 45,000 runners) and say they are mainly in the hydration business.
Or Major League Baseball teams could say that they sell about 20 million hot dogs and play 2,430 games in a season, so baseball is only .012 percent of what they do.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood want to use its health services as leverage to preserve its abortions, as if you can’t get one without the other.
Of course, this is nonsense.”
Cutting through the blatant factual distortions painted by Planned Parenthood’s deceptive 3% figure, WaPo uses Planned Parenthood’s own statistics
to expose the abortion giant’s lies. It notes that according to Planned Parenthood’s own data, “patients who received abortions would account for 12 percent of total patients,” and “abortions comprised 14 percent of [Planned Parenthood clinic] visits.”
The Washington Post Fact Checker continues noting, as I have in the past, that looking at Planned Parenthood’s abortion revenue could paint a far better picture of Planned Parenthood’s true business model:
Typically, this calculation is made by taking the number of abortions, multiplying them by the average cost of abortions advertised by Planned Parenthood clinics, and dividing the figure by the organization’s total non-government health services revenue [clinic income].
The main Planned Parenthood Web site says first-trimester abortions can cost up to $1,500. Some affiliate clinic Web sites provide a range of costs: a Western Pennsylvania clinic lists $390 to $1,090 for abortions, and first trimester abortion is priced at $515 in Arizona.
It explains that while “advocates and opponents of abortion rights have calculated somewhere between 15 percent [of total revenue] and 37 percent [of clinic revenue]” comes from abortion, “[d]epending on which price you use, you can even get up to 55 percent.”
That’s 55% of Planned Parenthood’s clinic income coming from abortion. I’ve previously calculated this at 51% of its clinic income. It’s clearly grown in recent years.
In the end, the Washington Post gives Planned Parenthood’s longstanding 3% claim three Pinocchios (out of four), which according to its rating standard means that the claim is a “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”
The 3 percent figure that Planned Parenthood uses is misleading, comparing abortion services to every other service that it provides. The organization treats each service — pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control — equally. Yet there are obvious difference between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine (or even blood) pregnancy test. These services are not all comparable in how much they cost or how extensive the service or procedure is.
As the Washington Post notes, “Planned Parenthood could end the speculation–and Pinocchios–by providing a more transparent breakdown of its clients, referrals and sources of revenues.” It is the one with all of that data – data that likely flies in the face of Planned Parenthood’s bogus propaganda.
But of course Planned Parenthood won’t do that (and in this case when given the chance, refused to do that). Planned Parenthood has been caught in a lie and Donald Trump pushed the false statistic further.
“Planned Parenthood is America’s number one abortion seller, and the three percent figure is a myth propagated by Planned Parenthood itself,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox.
The pro-life attorney added: “It’s also a myth that Planned Parenthood offers comprehensive health services for women. Anyone saying Planned Parenthood does mammograms, for example, is actually accusing it of violating federal law. It does not offer any mammograms because it isn’t even licensed to offer them. In addition, community health clinics across the nation that do provide comprehensive services for women outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1. The truth is Planned Parenthood makes millions off American women and taxpayers while funding politicians to keep its revenues coming. In the end, American women—and American taxpayers—don’t need Planned Parenthood at all, especially given that it continues to be rocked by scandal after scandal after scandal.”