Saturday, April 09, 2011

It Depends On How You Define "Services"

So the latest argument against those, like myself, who oppose taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is that abortion only makes up 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's offered services. As you might be able to see in the table graphic I've embedded (click it for a larger view) of all the services offered by Planned Parenthood, 70 percent are allegedly directed toward providing contraception and screening for sexually transmitted diseases. These figures are from 2009 and were generated by Planned Parenthood.

In taking a closer look at the table, however, one notices a couple of curious and questionable things. Unlike the other listed categories like "Contraception" and "STI/STD Testing and Treatment," the abortion category contains only one activity. Also, I'm willing to bet the activity of abortion does not include the distribution of abortifacients, like RU-486.

It's also unclear what exactly Planned Parenthood means by "Reversible Contraception Clients." Does it mean the number of visits by individuals seeking contraception, or just the individuals? If a woman goes to Planned Parenthood and obtains birth control pills and condoms during the same visit, is she counted as just a female Reversible Contraception Client?

So even if it's true that only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's activities involves abortion services, the claim is, at best, misleading. The claim ignores the fact that in 2009, Planned Parenthood performed over 330,000 abortions nationwide, a disproportionate number of which probably involved American Blacks, and that abortion services alone were responsible for approximately 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's income revenue. For an activity that's allegedly just 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's offered "services," that's pretty significant. Indeed, one would be justified in concluding that abortion is Planned Parenthood's proverbial bread and butter.

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