Undercover videos released earlier this summer documenting Planned Parenthood's practice of selling aborted baby parts has brought the country's largest abortion provider under fire. From hearings on Capitol Hill to floors of state legislatures, the videos have sparked new debate not only about the nature of abortion itself, but about the appropriateness of using tax dollars to fund them.
Planned Parenthood and the myriad of pro-abortion groups that make up the Big Abortion lobby in this country are excellent when it comes to one thing -- perpetrating myths that far too many people for far too long have accepted as gospel truth.
Here are just 5:
1. Planned Parenthood provides free abortions and health care for low-income families.
False. Planned Parenthood does not offer free abortions or a discount for them, and a first trimester abortion costs a whopping $1,500. In fact, Planned Parenthood does not provide any health care services for free, unless one qualifies after a strict proof of income assessment. Instead, it charges for all health care services and only provides discounts on non-abortion health care, depending on income level. As an alternative to Planned Parenthood, 9,000 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and 4,000 rural health centers offer free and discounted health care services.
2. Planned Parenthood provides mammograms.
False. Not a single Planned Parenthood facility offers mammograms, nor do they have a mammogram machine. The Washington Post recently debunked this myth as well. On the other hand, FQHCs, which offer health care for lower-income families, do, in fact, provide mammograms at two-thirds of their facilities.
3. If Planned Parenthood is defunded, lower-income women will have nowhere to go for healthcare.
False. Actually, Planned Parenthood does not offer free health care, only offers neonatal care at 8% of their facilities, and does not offer any mammograms.
As an alternative to Planned Parenthood, the 9,000 FQHCs nationwide offer health care for lower-income women, including prenatal and post-partum care, prenatal services, clinical breast exams, thyroid function test, among other health care services. Also, Obria Medical Clinics in Southern California provide health care for lower-income women as well.
4. Only 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides are abortions.
False. Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecil Richards, during a congressional hearing on September 30, 2015, neither confirmed nor denied that 86% of the services it performs are abortions. Planned Parenthood self-reports and unbundles their services to distort what services are offered. For example, if Planned Parenthood performs an STD test, hands out a contraception pack, and performs an examination all in one visit, these are considered three different services. Yet, in comparison, Planned Parenthood would consider an abortion procedure just one service.
The Weekly Standard calculated that at least one-third of the services Planned Parenthood offers are abortions. Slate.com also stated that at least that much of the services Planned Parenthood offers are from abortions. Finally, the Washington Post reported that the 3% figure Planned Parenthood quotes is definitely a lie, garnering “three Pinnochios.”
5. Taxpayer dollars do not fund abortions performed at Planned Parenthood.
False. In a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal independent watchdog agency, in February of this year, it found that about half of the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood went to “family planning and reproductive health”—which is a phrase undefined by Planned Parenthood and has never been independently audited. While federal law does prohibit the funding of abortions with taxpayer dollars, the GAO did not make specific findings that taxpayer dollars were not used to perform abortions. We are forced to accept Planned Parenthood’s claim at face value that no taxpayer dollars fund abortions as part of their “family planning and reproductive health” services. Finally, even if taxpayer dollars do not directly fund abortions, they do so indirectly—“money is fungible, and every dollar in taxpayer funding allows Planned Parenthood to use its other funds to finance abortion.”
Kathleen Bravo is the CEO of Obria Medical Clinics, a provider of high-quality reproductive health care services, operating five licensed community medical clinics in Southern California. Learn more: Obria.org.
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Planned Parenthood responds: The Truth about Planned Parenthood: Essential Community Health Provider for All