Activists are making claims about what Planned Parenthood does, and the veracity of some of these have already made headlines. Congress is expected to vote today on a resolution that would eliminate any federal funding for Planned Parenthood or its affiliates. Federal funds that currently go to Planned Parenthood (and any other organization) cannot be used for abortion, but it is Planned Parenthood's role in providing abortions that have made it a target of pro-life legislators. After Senator Jon Kyl said abortion is "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does," his staff said that the remarks were "not intended to be a factual statement." Here are what two groups—Planned Parenthood and the Family Research Council—are telling supporters.
Claim 1: Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.
Planned Parenthood offers fewer factual claims than its opponents, but a common factoid in discussions on the role of abortion in the organization's work is Planned Parentood's statement that abortion makes up a small fraction of its health services. The key phrase in this statement is "health services." This is not the same as percentage of its budget or number of clients. In 2009, Planned Parenthood conducted 332,278 abortions. This is three percent of the 11 million services it provided. Clients, however, often receive multiple services. A woman receiving a yearly gynecological exam would likely be counted as one of the 900,000 pap tests, 800,000 breast exams, and other services. Planned Parenthood had 3 million clients, making women receiving an abortion around 10 percent of its clients.
Claim 2: Barring Planned Parenthood health centers from providing care through ...