Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics (Planned Parenthood Edition)

In a Washington Times op-ed, Denise Burke of the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life called Planned Parenthood of Indiana an “abortion-saturated” organization and suggested “women's health care isn't [Planned Parenthood's] cause -- it's abortion.” However, only about 3.5 percent of Planned Parenthood of Indiana's total services in FY 2010 were abortions.

Wash. Times Op-Ed Pushes Falsehood That Planned Parenthood Primarily Provides Abortions

Wash. Times Op-Ed: Planned Parenthood Is “America's Abortion Mega-Provider” And “Deceptively Attempts To Position Itself As A Critical Provider Of Basic Health Care.” From a September 29 Washington Times op-ed titled “American women don't need Planned Parenthood: Women's health care isn't their cause -- it's abortion”:

The controversy over Indiana's 2011 law prohibiting all health care contracts with and grants to Planned Parenthood provides an instructive case study. Faced with the loss of millions of dollars in Medicaid and other government funding, Planned Parenthood made the calculated decision to divert attention from its record in the state and instead accuse Indiana officials of conspiring to deny women access to basic health care. Specifically, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards claimed the law would “take away health care from thousands of women.”

Inherent in this ploy is a disingenuous effort to position the organization as an irreplaceable provider of well-woman exams, Pap smears, sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests and other basic care to women. Unfortunately for Planned Parenthood, the facts tell a very different story.

According to its own statistics, Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana serve less than 1 percent of the state's Medicaid patients while providing more than 50 percent of the state's abortions. Obviously, the overwhelming majority of Indiana women are getting their basic health care elsewhere and avoiding the abortion-saturated Planned Parenthood.


Moreover, recognizing that 70 percent of American taxpayers do not want their tax dollars paying for or subsidizing abortions, Planned Parenthood is determined to present a different (and demonstrably false) image to the American public. The organization's self-serving propaganda cannot overcome the facts: It is not “America's health care provider.” It is America's abortion mega-provider. And American women don't need Planned Parenthood. [The Washington Times, 9/29/11]

Majority Of Planned Parenthood's Services Are Non-Abortion Medical Treatments

Abortions Accounted For 3.56 Percent Of Planned Parenthood Of Indiana's Total Services In FY 2010. Planned Parenthood of Indiana reported that it performed 5,580 abortions out of 156,547 total “procedures provided” in FY 2010, meaning that 3.56 percent of its procedures were abortions.

[Planned Parenthood of Indiana Annual Report, 2010]

Nationwide, Planned Parenthood Health Centers “Focus On Prevention” Of Unintended Pregnancies

Planned Parenthood Nationwide: “Three Percent Of All Planned Parenthood Health Services Are Abortion Services.” From Planned Parenthood's website:

Our Work

Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention: 83 percent of our clients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood services help prevent more than 612,000 unintended pregnancies each year.

Planned Parenthood provides nearly one million Pap tests and more than 830,000 breast exams each year, critical services in detecting cancer.

Planned Parenthood provides nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.

Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs to nearly 1.2 million young people and adults each year. [, accessed 9/30/2011, emphasis original]

Washington Times Has A History Of False Attacks On Planned Parenthood

Wash. Times Has Repeatedly Falsely Equated Planned Parenthood's Use Of Emergency Contraception With Abortion. A January 22, 2010, Washington Times article claimed that, after Hurricane Katrina, “Planned Parenthood offered free emergency contraception ... to terminate pregnancies.” On January 26, 2010, the Times published the assertion that the “number of abortions” in FY 2008 could rise "[i]f we include emergency contraception kits." However, health experts noted that “emergency contraception ... has no effect once a pregnancy has been established.” [Media Matters, 1/26/10]

The Washington Times editorial pages repeatedly hyped the hoax videos put out by Lila Rose and her group Live Action that allegedly exposed a “cover-up of child sex trafficking” by Planned Parenthood.

  • Wash. Times Op-Ed: Video Is “Cold, Hard Evidence Of...The Lengths To Which Planned Parenthood Will Go To Sell Abortions To Women -- And Girls -- Of Any Age.” In a February 2 op-ed in The Washington Times, Steven Ertelt, editor of the anti-choice website, wrote that the videos depict “cold, hard evidence of the mentality behind the abortion industry and the lengths to which Planned Parenthood will go to sell abortions to women -- and girls -- of any age.” [Media Matters, 2/4/11]
  • Wash. Times Op-Ed: GOP Must “Hold The Funding Bill Hostage Rather Than See Money Go To The Nation's Largest Consortium Of Child Killers.” In a February 22 Washington Times op-ed, anti-choice activist Randall Terry hyped Live Action's hoax videos and advocated for defunding Planned Parenthood by using the political battle over government funding bills “as a 'teaching moment' to expose the evils of Planned Parenthood (such as protecting pedophiles and pimps) as well as highlighting the warped ethics of the senators who support Planned Parenthood.” [The Washington Times, 2/22/11]
  • Wash. Times: Planned Parenthood “Facilitate[s]” Child Abuse And Does Not “Fulfill Their Obligation To Report” Abuse To Authorities. [The Washington Times, 3/2/11]
  • Wash. Times: Politicians Who Do Not Vote To Defund Planned Parenthood “Have Betrayed The Unborn.” In a March 10 Washington Times op-ed, Randall Terry told GOP politicians: “We expect you to defund this criminal syndicate, and to not pass a Continuing Resolution unless it completely defunds Planned Parenthood and all child killing in Obamacare.”[The Washington Times, 3/10/11]