Analysis

Misinformation 101: Democratic Senator claims abortion is only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s budget

Kirsten Gillibrand

In defense of Planned Parenthood, supporters claim that abortion is only “3%” of the organization’s “services.” Planned Parenthood itself makes this claim; yet it’s been proven false, again and again. In a previous article, I detailed how the 3% claim just doesn’t add up – based on Planned Parenthood’s own numbers.

As Live Action President Lila Rose stated:

Planned Parenthood’s claim that abortions constitute “only 3 percent” of the organization’s services is a complete farce. The abortion giant performs 17 times more abortions than prenatal services. And, as Rich Lowry of the New York Post writes, “Only Planned Parenthood would think saying that they only kill babies 3 percent of the time is something to brag about.”

But now, the 3% claim has taken an even stranger twist. Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is speaking out about Planned Parenthood, stating that only 3% of the abortion giant’s budget involves abortion.

Even a cursory look at Planned Parenthood’s annual reports prove this to be patently false information. Of course, Gillibrand still refuses to watch the undercover videos revealing Planned Parenthood’s lawbreaking activities, so maybe she is also refusing to look at the annual reports for herself.

Gillibrand claims:

And, only a very small part of their budget goes to abortion services. 97 percent of their budget is focused on basic health care. Anyone who wants to defund Planned Parenthood, wants to defund health care for women across the United States.

Ok, first, let’s just clear up the big lie that “anyone who wants to defund Planned Parenthood wants to defund health care for women across the United States.” Maybe this is yet another thing that Gillibrand refuses to actually, you know, read, but the Senate bill introduced by Joni Ernst would have defunded Planned Parenthood, but kept all the money for women’s healthcare.

The money would have simply – and wisely – been transferred from Planned Parenthood’s coffers to organizations that truly meet women’s health care needs, without performing abortions.

These organizations include federally qualified health centers and community health centers, which already serve ten times the number of people Planned Parenthood sees (over 27 million per year vs. Planned Parenthood’s paltry 2.7 million). The locations outnumber Planned Parenthood’s, at more than 9,000 to Planned Parenthood’s 669.

Ok, so please, Senator Gillibrand, let’s at least give our fellow women the accurate facts. Defunding Planned Parenthood is not the end of women’s health care. It’s the moving of all the same money from an abusive, deceptive organization dedicated to profiting off of women to organizations that meet widespread medical needs without killing children.

And that’s a fact.

Now, as to abortion being only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s budget. If you look at Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 annual report, you will find these numbers:

  • In one year, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions.
  • In the same year, 23% of its revenue came from “non-government health services,” to the tune of $305,300,000.

And if you look at Planned Parenthood’s own website, you will see:

Nationwide, it can cost up to $1,500 for abortion in the first trimester, but it’s often less. The cost is usually more for a second-trimester abortion. Costs vary depending on how long you’ve been pregnant and where you go.

Now, we know that Planned Parenthood records revenue from many abortions as “non-government” revenue. Despite the complete fungibility of money, they claim that no taxpayer dollars are used for abortions. We also know that some of this “non-government” revenue could include pregnancy testing, STD testing/treatment, and birth control that people pay for with cash or insurance.

Of course, it’s only federal money that is not supposed to pay for abortions. A number of states – California, for instance – directly pay for women’s abortions. So the money Planned Parenthood is making off abortion in these states would actually be placed under government revenue, an entirely different category.

Suffice it to say that, thanks to Planned Parenthood’s undetailed record-keeping, it’s difficult to determine exactly how much of Planned Parenthood’s budget is dedicated to abortion. It is completely fair to assume, however, that a very large chunk of that $300.5 million in “non-government” revenue comes from abortion – especially when we consider Planned Parenthood’s inclusion of state-funded abortions in a separate category, as well as its refusal to count abortifacient emergency contraceptives as abortion, and its own admission that first trimester abortions can cost $1500.

So no, Senator Gillibrand, Planned Parenthood’s budget is far more focused on abortion than you are telling women. The percent is far closer to 23% than 3%. If abortion were really only “3%” of Planned Parenthood’s budget, it would have to charge just over $104 per abortion. 23% of the budget takes Planned Parenthood to roughly $900 per abortion – which is still well below the only price it quotes women online, and doesn’t even take second trimester and late-term abortions into consideration.

Planned Parenthood is dedicated to providing abortions on demand, and to making money off doing it. Perhaps it is time for Senator Gillibrand to actually read annual reports and watch investigative videos before she speaks.

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