Right Wing Media Figures Outraged Obama Used The Term “Women's Health” In Front Of Women's Health Group

Rich Lowry and Jennifer Rubin complained that President Obama used the term “women's health” and did not mention the word “abortion” while speaking in front of Planned Parenthood on April 26, despite the fact that abortions only make up a small portion of the women's health services that Planned Parenthood provides.

On the May 5 edition of Meet the Press, host David Gregory quoted a May 2 blog post by National Review editor Rich Lowry that appeared in Politico in which he wrote:

President Barack Obama was proud to become the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood last Friday. But not proud enough to utter the word “abortion.”


The unwritten rule is that when the left discusses abortion it is never called “abortion,” but always referred to as “health” or, more specifically “reproductive health” - although abortion is the opposite of reproduction and for one party involved, the opposite of health.

Gregory read text from the blog in which Lowry stated unequivocally that “the left” is substituting the term “women's health” for “abortion.” Gregory then provided MSNBC contributor and The Grio managing editor Joy-Ann Reid an opportunity to briefly respond to Lowry's question about why the president didn't mention abortion if it's “such a wonderful thing.”

Host Chris Wallace brought up Obama's speech to Planned Parenthood as well during the May 5 edition of Fox News Sunday. Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, responded by saying:

RUBIN:  I find his language so telling.  He won't even use the word “abortion,” he says “women's health.”  Can he not bring himself to say that we are talking about terminating pregnancies?

Despite the widely held, and repeatedly debunked, right-wing myth that the overwhelming majority of services provided by Planned Parenthood are abortion services, they make up a very small part of the services Planned Parenthood provides.  One in five American women has chosen Planned Parenthood for health care at least once in her life and according to Planned Parenthood's latest annual report, abortion services made up a mere three percent of the services performed in 2011, while 95% of the services provided included STD testing and treatment, cancer screening and prevention, and contraception:

During the segment, Wallace himself provided statistics showing some of the other women's health services provided by Planned Parenthood: