The website Politifact recently went after a LifeNews.com article that exposed Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ plan to force his state taxpayers to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Oddly the factcheck was issued over a year after the initial publication.
The fact-checker rated it “mostly false” by arguing, in part, that Planned Parenthood is not an abortion business.
The February 2019 article began with the headline, “Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers Wants to Force Residents to Fund Planned Parenthood Abortion Business.” It recently came to Politifact’s attention after a “Recall Tony Evers” Facebook group shared it and Facebook flagged it as “false news” based on the erroneous factcheck.
The article exposed the pro-abortion Democrat governor’s plan to restore funding to the nation’s largest abortion provider through a “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies” initiative in 2019. The plan would have given $28 million in taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups in Wisconsin. However, it did not pass in the final state budget.
Politifact claimed the article was misleading on several points. First, it argued that most of the money would not have been used for abortions, even though LifeNews never claimed it would.
According to the fact check:
State law only permits money going toward abortions when a woman is a victim of sexual assault or incest, or if the abortion is necessary to save her life. Funding is also permitted if the woman has a preexisting health condition and the procedure would “prevent grave, long-lasting physical health damage to the woman.”
But this means the money could have been used to abort some unborn babies. What’s more, if Evers’ plan had passed, it also would have indirectly supported the killing of even more unborn babies. Money is fungible, and Planned Parenthood could have used that additional money for services directly related to abortions.
Politifact also did not like the “abortion business” description that LifeNews used for Planned Parenthood.
It cited numbers from the abortion chain’s annual reports to misleadingly claim that abortions made up only 3.5% of its services. Therefore, Politifact concluded, it cannot be an abortion business. Never mind that the liberal Washington Post debunked the 3% claim several years ago.
“… Planned Parenthood is still the largest provider of abortions in the United States,” the fact check asserted. “But to call it an abortion business is a stretch, as the organization provides other services far more often.”
But Planned Parenthood is primarily an abortion business, and its own leaders have admitted as much. In 2019, former CEO Leana Wen told BuzzFeed News that abortions are Planned Parenthood’s “core mission.”
“First, our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care,” Wen wrote on Twitter.
Other former Planned Parenthood employees have said the same thing.
Still more evidence of its abortion focus came earlier this spring when, as the coronavirus crisis began to break, some Planned Parenthoods announced that they would be open “for abortion services only.”
A closer look at Planned Parenthood’s annual reports also reveal a focus on abortion. According to a recent Heritage Foundation analysis of its annual reports since 2006, Planned Parenthood has been doing more abortions and fewer actual health services. Its cancer screenings are way down, and even its contraception numbers have been dropping steadily. These drops in services are not for a lack of funds. The abortion chain has posted record $1 billion-plus revenues in the past several years.
Unfortunately, it appears that many fact checkers of today are not as focused on delving deep into these matters to find the facts as they are on settling for surface information that confirms what they believe to be true.