As Cecile Richards prepares to step down as the head of abortion giant Planned Parenthood this year, she's giving interviews to sympathetic news organizations as part of her ghoulish "farewell tour," including a chat with liberal New York Times columnist Gail Collins. In that conversation, Richards recalled a meeting she took with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner early in the Trump presidency, during which the couple proposed that Planned Parenthood stop providing abortions in exchange for more funding for issues like family planning. Richards rebuffed the offer, naturally, but Collins' description of why the overture was rejected is totally unsurprising yet usefully revealing:
Well, well, well. Planned Parenthood apologists frequently cite the organization's statistic that just "three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.” The point of this spin is to downplay the role abortion plays within the organization's revenue structure and core mission, and to cast Republican efforts to withdraw federal taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood as a weird, misplaced obsession. Richards and company much prefer that Americans view their group as an indispensable provider of women's healthcare (public relations posturing to this end has included habitually lying about cancer-related services provided), as opposed to a blood-stained abortion factory. Despite its ad nauseam repetition by abortion advocates, the "three percent" number is bogus:
This statistic has been rated false by left-leaning outlets, including Slate and the Washington Post. The claim rests on a deceptive tactic: calculating abortion procedures as a fraction of its “services” — defined by the group as “discrete clinical interactions” — rather than as a fraction of its clients. Take an example. A woman walks into a Planned Parenthood clinic. She takes a pregnancy test, meets with a counselor, and chooses to have an abortion procedure. While she’s there, she also receives an STI test and a breast exam and is handed birth control on her way out the door. Planned Parenthood would count each of these “discrete interactions” — six in total — as a service, so abortion would be only 16 percent of that woman’s visit.
Applying this method to an entire year of “services,” Planned Parenthood inflates its numbers to make abortion look like a vanishingly small part of what it does. The actual numbers in the report tell a drastically different story. Look, for instance, at how the 321,384 abortion procedures dwarf adoption referrals (3,889) and prenatal services (7,762). Planned Parenthood performed 83 abortions for every one adoption referral last year. And its prenatal services have dropped steadily every year since 2009, from over 40,000 that year to just under 8,000 last year. Hardly “comprehensive women’s health care.” What’s more, Planned Parenthood performs about one-third of annual U.S. abortions, making it the single largest abortion provider in the country, by far.
Here's how the pro-life activists at Live Action break down Planned Parenthood's statistical sleight of hand:
In addition, based on one recent analysis of Planned Parenthood's finances, it's estimated that at least half of the organization's non-government revenue (if not much higher) comes from from abortion. More than 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's overall revenue comes courtesy of taxpayers; the group receives roughly $500 million annually from government entities. In other words, Planned Parenthood knows exactly where its money comes from: Taxpayers and abortion. But in order to keep the cash flowing from the former income stream, the organization feels compelled to insistently diminish its reliance on the latter. But Collins' candid paraphrasing of Richards' response to initial overtures from the Trump administration reveals the real truth, perhaps inadvertently. Without abortion, Planned Parenthood would cease to exist, just as Facebook would close up shop if it lost access to the internet. That would be the inevitable outcome even if Facebook cooked up some cockamamie PR talking point that only three percent of its business activities were technically "online services." This sums things up rather succinctly:
Soon, Cecile Richards will move on from Planned Parenthood, leaving a legacy of death and scandal (see here, here, here, here and here) in her wake. As she departs, her Times tribute seems fitting, as it exposes the ludicrous claim that her abortion behemoth is merely an unfairly-maligned refuge for women seeking essential medical care. Let it forever be remembered that when presented with a choice between (a) receiving even more government funding in furtherance of genuine women's health services, and (b) maintaining her abortion business, Richards didn't hesitate, sniffing at the pro-healthcare offer as "naive." It seems as though that word most certainly applies to anyone who continues to view Planned Parenthood as anything other than a morally-bankrupt national abortion mill. Good riddance, Ms. Richards. I'll leave you with this Orwellian mother's day greeting: