By Raizy Neuman, Website Manager
*This article has been edited to clarify the sources for some arguments by including source links under the words “video” and “marketing/calculation method” and the parenthetical phrase: “the following argument is based on the logic discussed in the above cited video.”
Before beginning this article, I looked through the YU Observer’s website to see if anyone had discussed Planned Parenthood before. Written approximately a year ago, the most recent article is one titled “Planned Parenthood: Myth Vs. Fact.” I found that this article seems to cite a fallacy from Planned Parenthood themselves, one which I’d like to examine.
The article quotes Planned Parenthood’s 2017-2018 Annual Report, claiming that “only 3.4 percent of the 9.6 million services provided by Planned Parenthood in 2017 were abortions.” In actuality, Planned Parenthood is misleading the public to believe that this is their truth. Here are the facts: Planned Parenthood performs over 320,000 abortions per year, which comes out to about one abortion performed every 97 seconds. If one were to divide the one abortion per 97 seconds by Planned Parenthood’s 2.5 million patients each year, this would come out to every 1 in 8 of its patients getting an abortion. Not 1 in 33, as they would like the world to believe.
To solve this clear public relations problem, Planned Parenthood came up with a way to minimize the number of abortions they present to the public. To get to 3.4%, they divide the number of abortions they perform by the number of overall services they provide (i.e. just about anything a patient does upon walking into their clinics, which they call “discrete clinical interactions”), and they weigh all of these services equally (see page 24, footnote 10 of the above cited Annual Report). This means that they are counting a breast examination, the act of handing a woman a contraceptive, and an abortion each as the same level of “service,” with no regard to the cost or effort required for each one.
This manifests in the following scenario (the following argument is based on the logic discussed in the above cited video): if Jane walks into a Planned Parenthood clinic for an abortion today, let’s say that in the process she receives a pregnancy test, an ultrasound (as these are necessary for the abortion to be obtained), birth control on her way out, and the actual abortion. Planned Parenthood, regarding all of these as individual “services,” would thereby count the actual abortion as 25% of what they provided for Jane today. These services combined are what make up the 9.6 million services cited in their Annual Report. Using this math, even if 100% of women who walked into Planned Parenthood received an abortion, Planned Parenthood would still present their data as abortions being only 25% of what they do.
This Planned Parenthood marketing/calculation method would be the equivalent of saying that an ice cream store that sells ice cream with 9 additional toppings can no longer be called an ice cream store, because ice cream is only 10% of what they sell. While not technically false, this is a preposterous claim, and yet Planned Parenthood gets away with it because not enough people are fact-checking. They hide these numbers from the media in order to mislead the public into believing that they are a largely non-abortion focused corporation, while the opposite is in fact true.
When Planned Parenthood says that they are devoted to “women’s reproductive rights” they are apparently covering up their actual goal, which seems to be to abort as many babies as possible. In 2015, for every 160 abortions they performed, they gave only one adoption referral (see page 30 of its 2014-2015 Annual Report). In addition, Planned Parenthood claims to provide ultrasounds for the purposes of “prenatal care.” The facts remain, however, that their ultrasounds are used predominantly for abortion purposes. They won’t even show the images to the mother, because seeing one’s baby could spark feelings of doubt, which would potentially go against the corporation’s abortion agenda — therefore, only the staff has access to the screens, and they won’t print a picture. With an acclaimed racist, eugenicist woman like Margaret Sanger as their founder, source of core beliefs, and hero, one can only expect such data.
One may ask, though, why they even bother trying to hide it? Why should it matter to them if the public has direct access to their numbers? Well, aside from standard public relations ideals, Planned Parenthood is prohibited by federal law (through the Hyde Amendment) from spending any of its government funding (i.e. taxes) on abortions. With their “3.4%” cover-up, Planned Parenthood has given themselves the leeway to spend their 500+ million tax dollars a year on their other so-called “96.6% of services,” which ultimately function toward abortion.
Planned Parenthood need not be afraid of “pro-lifers,” conservatives, or religious anti-abortionists. Planned Parenthood should be afraid of those of us who care enough to know the truth.
For additional information, see: