Leah Barkoukis
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On the campaign trail last week Joe Biden said that Planned Parenthood “under law cannot perform any abortion.” The vice president was responding to Romney’s position that he would defund Planned Parenthood. The obvious problem with Biden’s remark is that it does – big time:  

Planned Parenthood itself has published fact sheets indicating that it did 985,731 abortions in just the three years from 2008 through 2010. These included 324,008 abortion in 2008, 332,278 abortions in 2009, and 329,445 abortions in 2010. […]

Biden may have confused whether Planned Parenthood can legally perform abortions with whether it can legally use the federal subsidies it receives to directly fund an abortion.

A Congressional Research Service report published on Aug. 28 said that the federal government gives Planned Parenthood about $66 million per year in Title X “family planning” grants. The law prohibits recipients from using Title X money for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. However, Planned Parenthood and other organizations that receive federal subsidies under Title X can take the federal money and do abortions at the same time as long use other dollars—not the dollars they got from the federal government--to pay for an actual abortion. [...]

“On the other hand, Title X critics argue that federal funds should be withheld from any organization that performs or promotes abortions, such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America,” said the report. “These critics argue that federal funding for non-abortion activities frees up Planned Parenthood’s other resources for its abortion activities.”

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Perhaps he may have been confused but doesn’t Joe Biden always say what he means?

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Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Assistant Editor at Townhall.com/Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography