Planned Parenthood President Misleads on Its Own Abortion Stats

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 18, 2011   |   10:45AM   |   Washington, DC

The president of the national Planned Parenthood abortion business misled readers of a Texas publication in a new interview where Cecile Richards purposefully underestimated the size of the abortion business.

Responding to the national drive to revoke its taxpayer funding, Planned Parenthood has engaged in a concerted effort to take attention away from the fact that it has become the nation’s biggest abortion business – doing roughly a quarter of all abortions in the United States annually. Its officials have aggressively promoted the non-abortion services Planned Parenthood provides and essentially ignored abortions, which constitutes about one-third of its annual income.

In an interview with the Texas Tribune, Richards spent several minutes promoting family planning and other health services — so much so that the reporter pressed her to talk about abortion.

“What you haven’t talked about yet is the abortion services Planned Parenthood provides. What do those numbers look like?” the reporter asked.

Richards admitted, “In 2009, Planned Parenthood provided 22,560 abortions in Texas. If you want that stat in context, in 2007, Planned Parenthood provided 24.6 percent of the 80,886 [abortions in Texas that year].”

Then, shifted to a national scope, Richards inaccurately represented Planned Parenthood’s own figures.

“We see 3 million patients each year across the country. For 97 percent of them, we provide preventive care. Three percent are abortions. That pretty much holds true from state to state,” she claimed.

But Paul Pauker of Live Action, the group that recently released several undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials willing to help alleged sex traffickers by getting abortions for underage victimized girls, says Richards is misconstruing the numbers her own organization put out earlier this year.

“According to  Planned Parenthood’s own Fact Sheet, current as of February 2011, Richards’ claim is untrue,” he said. “Planned Parenthood provided 332,278 abortions in 2009, or in other words, 11% of Planned Parenthood’s three million patients got abortions.”

In the interview, Richards responds to the effort to cut its taxpayer funding and says, “To eliminate the nation’s largest family planning provider would be the worst thing you could do.”

Pauker takes issues with that as well:  “Actually, no. To eliminate the nation’s largest abortion provider would be one of the best things you could do to prevent an abortion. But Richards is deliberately misrepresenting the situation because eliminating state and federal funding for Planned Parenthood is the issue. And Richards admits that Planned Parenthood will continue even if government funding is cut.”

Pauker also says Richards, in the interview, tries to mislead the public into thinking that Planned Parenthood is the only provider of health care for some people.

“For so many places in the country, if there isn’t a Planned Parenthood provider, there isn’t any provider,” she laments.

He responds: “A defense of abortion wouldn’t be complete without a sob story, of course, and Richards doesn’t disappoint. Manipulating emotions is a skill she uses well. The fact that there are almost 7,000 federally qualified health centers across the country is conveniently ignored.”