Planned Parenthood Victory Over Radical Right Komen Agenda
As colleague Jason Easley reported, the Republican Senate threw the attempted defunding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) against the wall Monday, and it didn’t stick. Pounding their bibles and relying on purely misleading and highly edited junk videos, far right anti-abortion activists, their elected congressional sycophants and whatever billionaires responsible for funding the series of sneak-videos, came up on the short end of a test vote to pull around $500 million from PPFA clinics throughout the nation, and by extension, the world. The final tally was 53-46 in favor of derailing Democratic stalling; 60 votes were required.
The most valuable resource that unearths the truth of the matter is to be found here at FactCheck.org’s highly researched revelations of the so-called PPFA misdeeds. The supposedly most damning video under the FactCheck heading of “Unspinning the Planned Parenthood video” is exposed as a sham. The site demonstrates with irrefutable clarity, that the manufactured clinic discussions are rife with innuendo, half-truths and outright misrepresentations. It’s digital dung!
Here’s what you will never know about PPFA if Republicans are your only source of information. By the organization’s own statistical measure, PPFA has been around over 97 years. It’s the go-to national source for poorer women and a growing number of men. The majority of those served qualify under federal poverty guidelines. That is to say that PPFA takes care of more poor people than any other similar organization. 80% of patients meet or succeed 150% of federal poverty level.
Nearly 3 million women and men visit one of PPFA’s 700 clinics annually. Support partners see another 725,000 mostly needy in 10 developing countries. In the United States, male clientele has increased by 83% between 2002-2012. Over 50 million people visit the PPFA Website per year.
Services do indeed include abortion, in addition to birth control (including the morning after pill), general health care, HIV testing, LGBT services, men’s health care, pregnancy testing and services, STD testing, treatment and vaccines and women’s health care.
A service not generally included is federally funded abortions. ThinkProgress points out that Federal sources tap into Title X money and Medicaid. Medicaid can only fund emergency procedures in the case of rape, incest and a threat to the mother’s life. As for Title X, if the organization is involved in family planning, no fed dollars. That’s it, and has been for almost 40 years!!! The Department of Health and Human Services verifies the process.
Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl claimed on the Senate floor a few years ago, that “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does” is providing abortion services. Even after that absurd number was shot down by Factcheck, he came back with a retort that was almost as ridiculous: “This remark was not intended to be a factual statement but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions in taxpayer dollars, does subsidize abortions.”
So, how many abortions are actually performed in-clinic by PPFA, including the abortion “pill?” It depends on who responds to that question. PPFA says roughly 3% and nobody has disproved that percentage; The actual number of abortions included in the PPFA annual report for fiscal year, 2014 was 327,653, roughly the same as the prior fiscal year. The percentage funded by the feds would be comparatively miniscule. PPFA received 41% of its revenue from the feds according to the Washington Post. The dollar total was $528.4 million. Roughly $600 million comes from other sources to round out the budget.
Where do potential voters stand on the issue? A recent Gallup Poll might give an early hint given we’re still about a year-and-a -half shy of the presidential election. The issue is a big deal to 19% of those polled. Republicans characterize themselves as pro-life by a 69-27 margin, Democrats reverse to pro-choice, 67-28 and Independents split the difference; 46% pro-choice and 45% pro-life.
Here are some non-hypocritical numbers to consider. Three in ten American women will have had an abortion by age 45. Republican estimates stand at 50 million abortions since Roe V. Wade in ’73. All other factors, notwithstanding, women are having abortions. Nearly every woman has used contraception in her child-bearing lifetime. The most ineffective is the so-called rhythm method. One out of four times, it doesn’t work in the first year. Most other contraceptives have a 1 out of 15 failure rate. The number of women that have used contraception exceeds 99%. So, for every evangelical purporting to follow every syllable of the good book, a sizable percentage of them are lying. Every statistic you wish to examine indicates that responsible and continuous use of contraceptives would have a profound impact on the number of abortions.
How wearisome it is to believe almost nothing out of the mouths of Republicans. And we have to listen to 16 of them for at least the early months of the upcoming race for that party’s presidential nominee.