New Survey: 55 Percent Say They Were Unaware Planned Parenthood Performed Abortions

Daniel Doherty

4/30/2013 7:30:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

C’mon are we really surprised? Question: When was the last time you heard a spokesman for the nation’s largest abortion provider say “abortion” and “Planned Parenthood” in the same sentence? I don’t think I ever have. After all, Planned Parenthood’s rhetoric is finely tuned and clothed in euphemism. Put simply, the organization rarely -- if ever -- publicly states on record they perform abortions; they stand for “choice” and “women’s health” and “reproductive rights,” remember? And, evidently, this linguistic sleight-of-hand seems to be paying off:

Half of Americans don’t know Planned Parenthood does abortions — let alone that it is the biggest abortion business in the United States.

That figure comes from a new Polling Company survey that the firm conducted for the National Right to Life Committee. It found that a substantial majority of registered voters say that they are familiar with Planned Parenthood and a majority has a favorable impression of the abortion giant.

But that favorable opinion might change if Americans actually knew Planned Parenthood is an abortion company. However, the same poll found that a majority did not know that Planned Parenthood performs abortions.

“The polling reflects the results of Planned Parenthood’s campaign to publicly minimize and obfuscate its involvement with abortion.” said David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., National Right to Life Executive Director.

O’Steen told LifeNews that his organization’s poll found 88% of respondents said that they were familiar with Planned Parenthood, with 41% saying that they were very familiar and 47% saying that they were somewhat familiar. Forty percent said they knew someone who had received services at a Planned Parenthood. Although 63% said that they had a favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood, including 38% of those who identified themselves as pro-life, 55% of those polled did not know that Planned Parenthood performs abortions.

One would hope that anyone who cares about “life” issues would know at least two things: (1) abortions are routinely performed in many of Planned Parenthood's clinics and (b) the organization receives hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to carry out these “procedures.” In other words, if you pay taxes -- as many of us do -- you’re contributing in some way to extinguishing innocent human life. An outrage. Meanwhile, the fact that more than half the general public is completely oblivious to these two salient facts is in many ways a constant reminder how much work pro-life activists have cut out for them.

I wonder: If more people actually knew what went on in many of Planned Parenthood’s clinics (they clearly don’t, according to the survey above) would they still support and vote for candidates who stand with them? President Obama recently asserted that Planned Parenthood isn’t "going anywhere.” And maybe he’s right. But as pro-life activists continue to shine a light on what goes on in some of our nation's late-term abortion clinics, one wonders how much longer the public can tolerate such unadulterated evil.

UPDATE: An insightful reader emails to inform me that the same survey found that 50 percent of pro-life respondents were also unaware that Planned Parenthood performed abortions. Wow. Somehow I completely missed this yesterday and I apologize. My post has since been updated to reflect this important and shocking statistic.

UPDATE II: Exit question via the same reader: If so few people know what actually goes on inside Planned Parenthood clinics, what does that say about the organization in general and their successful campaign to obfuscate what they do?