Fact Checking Christianity Today on Planned Parenthood’s Abortions

Opinion   |   Jeanne Monahan   |   Apr 19, 2011   |   11:26AM   |   Washington, DC

Last week on the day that the House and Senate were set to take a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood, Christianity Today writer Tobin Grant authored a “fact checking” piece on the debate over tax funding for America’s primary abortion provider. The author dedicated much of the article to “fact checking” one of Family Research Council’s pieces about the abortion giant.

Grant quoted a recent alert (the alert was actually from Family Research Council’s sister organization FRC Action) that stated “Income from abortions constitutes 37 percent of [Planned Parenthood’s] total profit” Grant wrote that this statement was “false.”

In this case, the statement should have been more explicit to read: “Income from abortions constitutes 37% of Planned Parenthood health clinic revenue.” According to Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report, health clinic income was $404,900,000. The Planned Parenthood website indicates that abortions cost between $350-950, depending on method and location. If one were to use $450 as a very low estimate for abortion cost, revenue of 332,278 abortions would equal $149,525,100, which would be roughly 37% of the clinic revenue. So, when it comes to revenue from Planned Parenthood clinics, and not including government funding and other sources of donations, a huge percent of its revenue comes from abortion.

Grant additionally quoted FRC Action’s statement in the same alert that “The abortion giant performed fewer than 20,000 other services in the last year.” The “fewer than 20,000 other services” is referring to primary health care clients, as indicated in Planned Parenthood’s latest fact sheet. The number of clients reached for these basic health needs is a very small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s services. In the words of Susan Wills writing for the American Thinker, this number reflects “an insignificant part of the total of 11.4 million services nationwide.” Additionally, Planned Parenthood’s overall service reports are not transparent and lead to confusion and deception. A former employee of Planned Parenthood has stated that service-counting was manipulated by a system called “bundling.” In other words, if a woman visited a clinic once but received 12 months of family planning, the clinic would bundle and tally this as 12 services. On the other hand, if the office visit was for abortion care, three visits related to one abortion would be counted only once.

Therefore, the service numbers are not accurate but rather communicate misinformation and downplay abortion.

The remainder of Grant’s article is spent trying to nuance other dark facts about Planned Parenthood, including the reality that out of all services for pregnant mothers, 97.6% are abortions or that Planned Parenthood does no mammograms as they recently have claimed or that the organization made over $85 million in profits in 2008.

Grant does not mention the fact that Planned Parenthood fosters statutory rape according to the release of recent undercover videos. The videos show at least some of Planned Parenthood affiliates accepting human trafficking as a legitimate enterprise according to these same videos. Nor does he point out that similar undercover videos show that, again, at least some, Planned Parenthood clinics are willing to accept donations by people who want the money to pay for the abortion of minority babies.

No statistical slicing-and-dicing should diminish this sad reality nor that abortion harms the mother, and deprives society of the gifts of the unborn, nor the indisputable fact that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortion in the nation. While we accept any attempt to ensure our statements are accurate, it would be helpful if a similar effort were made to an abortion business so plagued by unethical mis-conduct and misleading claims.

LifeNews.com Note: Jeanne Monahan is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council.