Planned Parenthood Ad Blasting John McCain on Contraception is False

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 25, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Ad Blasting John McCain on Contraception is False

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 25
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Planned Parenthood thought it had an excellent television ad against John McCain when it pieced together footage of the pro-life presidential candidate saying he wasn’t sure if health insurance plans that cover Viagra should also cover birth control for women.

The abortion business is running the commercial in several battleground states.

"John McCain is out of touch when it comes to women’s health care," Cecile Richards, president of the pro-abortion group, said at the time the group released the ad.

"Birth control is basic health care for women. But, John McCain ducked a straightforward question about whether he thinks insurance companies should cover birth control, like they do Viagra," she said.

However, it appears Planned Parenthood is ducking the facts.

The FactCheck organization at the University of Pennsylvania conducted background research on the ad and found Planned Parenthood’s own numbers refute the ad’s claims.

The Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, revealed in a 2004 report that "86% of the plans that insurance companies typically wrote for employers covered the full range of approved reversible contraceptive methods."

Just two percent of the plans offered absolutely no birth control benefits.

According to Jess Henig of FactCheck, three studies conducted between 1999-2007 show a coverage rate of 40-70 percent for Viagra.

That means anywhere from 16-46 percent of health care plans covered birth control methods but not the sexual drug for men.

"While it may be accurate to claim that there exist insurers who cover erectile dysfunction drugs and not birth control, it is not accurate to imply that this disparity is common," Henig wrote. "Planned Parenthood, a major advocate for reproductive rights, should know this."

Asked to provide proof of the information behind the claims, Planned Parenthood relied on out of date data.

It pointed FactCheck to a 2003 amendment to a Congressional bill introduced by pro-abortion Sen. Patty Murray of Washington to require health insurance plans to cover contraception and birth control.

Henig said information accompanying the amendment appears to cite a study from 1993.

"By the time the Murray amendment was written, that information was 10 years out of date. Now, it’s 15 years old and irrelevant, given Guttmacher’s more recent findings," Henig wrote.

Jill Stanek, a pro-life blogger, commented on the findings.

She pointed out that AGI also shows that 27 states "now mandate contraceptive insurance coverage, with some allowing for religious exemptions."

"Clearly anti-choice Planned Parenthood is working with political accomplices to force 100% contraceptive coverage for two reasons: it is a major benefactor and it wants to squash moral and religious opponents," she said.

"And since when has PP let truth get in its way?"


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