Planned Parenthood's 3% Lie

97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are not abortion.

When the dim-witted Amanda Marcotte (trigger warning)


made this hysterical (and I use it in the sense of ‘hysteria’ because that is what the article exudes) claim:


But here is where it is not reality: All together now: 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are not abortion. Attacks on Planned Parenthood are, by definition, largely attacks on non-abortion services. Attacks on Planned Parenthood’s funding, regardless of claimed intent, are strictly attacks on contraception, STI testing/treatment, and cancer screenings.

she was simply furthering a huge like on behalf of Planned Parenthood, which is sort of the Established Church of the child-hating, man-hating, self-hating harpies that support that organization.

To further her claim, she refers us to a handy-dandy chart compiled by Josef Goebbel’s David Brock’s nasty little ‘non-profit’ Media Matters which purports to prove her point.

pp services

One understands Planned Parenthood’s angst over being thought of, first and foremost, as an abortion provider. The videos by Center for Medical Progress has shown that they are dishonest, money-grubbing hucksters who are cold and callous in their butchery of infant humans.

But is the 3% number true. Literally, maybe. But in terms of importance, the number is a lie.

In fact, Marcotte’s shrill and incoherent diatribe was too much even for a senior editor at Slate… which is not noted for being pro-life:

Amanda, it’s been so long since I’ve seen a reference to the claim that abortions make up only 3 percent of the services  that Planned Parenthood provides that I thought maybe they’d stopped trying.  It might not be a technically incorrect number, but it is meaningless—to the point of being downright silly— for several reasons. Not the least of which being that Planned Parenthood “unbundles” all of its services so that a pack of pills, an STD test and an exam are three separate services.


So if a woman presents herself at a Planned Parenthood clinic for the purposes of having an abortion and she gets tested for STDs beforehand and is given a bottle of aspirin afterwards this comprises three services.

Rich Lowry, at National Review, looked at the issue in detail:

Such cracked reasoning could be used to obscure the purpose of any organization. The sponsors of the New York City Marathon could count each small cup of water they hand out (some 2 million cups, compared with 45,000 runners) and say they are mainly in the hydration business. Or Major League Baseball teams could say that they sell about 20 million hot dogs and play 2,430 games in a season, so baseball is only .012 percent of what they do.

Planned Parenthood’s twisted conception of “reproductive health” doesn’t extend to the baby that has been reproduced. All you need to know about its priorities is that it only provides 19,000 “prenatal services,” which means that it performs roughly 17 times more abortions.

Every organization has a Unique Selling Proposition:

The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition .

Planned Parenthood’s is that it is an abortion provider to all comers at any stage of gestation — and the CMP videos seem to indicate that Planned Parenthood isn’t overly concerned about carrying out late term abortions even when it may not be legal to do so.


The other services it provides are available to women via their primary care physicians (Obamacare, donchaknow?) and public health clinics. These services are covered by insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Planned Parenthood’s involvement in providing them is superfluous and it only exists so that they are able to mask their true core business from public scrutiny.



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