Fact-Checking Claims about Planned Parenthood
Claim 2: With this money, Planned Parenthood claims it performs "benevolent services." However 97.6 percent of the "services" they provided for pregnant women in 2009 ended in the abortion of the women's children, and only 2.4 percent involved prenatal care or adoption referral.
Planned Parenthood does not report how many pregnant women enter its clinics. The statistics are based on Planned Parenthood's report of three types of services that must apply to pregnant women only: abortions, prenatal care, and adoption referral. Other women may enter the center for a pregnancy test or other health services (which would mean the abortion percentage is inflated). The number of prenatal and adoption referral cases could be counting the same women twice (which would mean the abortion percentage is deflated).
Claim 3: Income from abortions constitutes 37 percent of their total profit!
False. Thirty-seven percent of Planned Parenthood's revenue comes from its health centers; potentially one-third of this health center revenue comes from abortion. Planned Parenthood does not list revenue from specific procedures, but pro-life activists estimate that around 10 percent of the organization's revenue comes from abortion. In other words, pro-life groups' best guess is that around one-third of one-third of the revenue comes from abortion. Further, health center money from abortion would be deemed revenue instead of "profit" since Planned Parenthood is a non-profit and because it would calculate profit as income minus expenditures.
Claim 4: The abortion giant performed fewer than 20,000 other services in its last reporting year—including zero mammograms. All while performing 332,278 abortions.
False. The number of "20,000 other services" comes from Planned Parenthood's report of 19,796 primary care clients. The same report lists over 11 million services, including 1.8 million cancer prevention or screening and nearly 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases.
Claim 5: The nonprofit organization had income over expenses of $85,000,000 in 2008, and $63,400,000 in 2009. It reports some offsetting investment losses—but welcome to the club.
True. However, while FRC acknowledges investment losses, it does not mention that in 2009 this meant a net loss of $4.9 million for Planned Parenthood. The organization reported a profit in 2008, but the rate was about the same as for FRC that same year.
Claim 5: Its annual budget today exceeds $1 billion. The money would be better served going to Title X recipients who do not have abortion as their central product.
It is not clear how FRC defines a "central product." Whether measured by revenue, clients, or services, abortion is not Planned Parenthood's most common service.
When the vote is taken today, legislators on both sides of the issue are very likely to repeat many of these claims. In the end, however, it may matter little whether abortion is Planned Parenthood's "central product" or a very small part of what it does. For pro-life groups, the ultimate goal is to eliminate any funds to groups that provide even one abortion. Planned Parenthood is the first--and largest--target. Today's votes are will be harbingers for how this fight will play out during the remainder of this congress.
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When Life Begins | Do laws defining personhood help the unborn? (October 25, 2010)
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