While ‘fact-checking’ Congressman Duffy, PolitiFact misses the point…again

Sean Duffy

PolitiFact advertises itself with the slogan, “Fact-checking U.S. politics.” But what the group does all too often is share its own opinions while deceptively dismissing the valid points of politicians it would rather not agree with. It quibbles over words and terms instead of honestly evaluating the points being made.

Case in point: Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy.

On January 24, 2017, Rep. Duffy released a statement, announcing his sponsorship of the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act. This bill would allow states to prevent their taxpayer funds from going to organizations and facilities that commit abortions. States would continue to use Medicaid funds to provide preventative, prenatal, and other healthcare services for women and their families. Rep. Duffy stated:

New evidence reveals that abortion providers like Planned Parenthood do little other than provide abortions. If a state wants to take taxpayer money that would have otherwise gone to a disreputable organization like Planned Parenthood and instead transfer it to non-controversial community centers that provide women’s health, they should be free to do so.

Exactly one month later, on February 24, 2017, PolitiFact decided to criticize Rep. Duffy’s statement, calling it “false and ridiculous” and deeming it a “pants on fire” claim. Under the guise of “fully evaluat[ing]” Rep. Duffy’s claim, PolitiFact said it needed “to get a sense of the relative frequency of the abortions Planned Parenthood provides and how it compares to other services,” stating, “there are different ways of measuring that.”

Conveniently, PolitiFact glosses over the measurements that would reveal Planned Parenthood for exactly what it is and exactly what Rep. Duffy was indicating it is: America’s Abortion Corporation. PolitiFact was sure to mention the provably-deceptive claim by Planned Parenthood that abortions are “only 3%” of its “services.” Even the Washington Post gave this false statistic “Three Pinocchios,” and the liberal media outlet Slate called it “the most meaningless abortion statistic ever.”

To its credit, PolitiFact did mention that the 3% claim has its critics and that the calculation doesn’t acknowledge the obvious difference between handing out a condom and committing a D&E abortion — which Planned Parenthood invalidly equates:

Critics and some observers have questioned whether the 3 percent figure accurately reflects the proportion of abortion services at Planned Parenthood centers. That’s because the calculation used to arrive at the number doesn’t distinguish between types of services, their cost or complexity. In other words, one abortion is counted the same as providing a contraceptive or pregnancy test.

But that’s where PolitiFact goes wrong. Instead of further explaining why the 3% measurement is misleading, it conveniently moved on to a different measurement, in its attempt to discredit Rep. Duffy. Here, for PolitiFact’s benefit, is an actual analysis of that 3% claim:

What Rep. Duffy was communicating is the truth that Planned Parenthood has an unquestionably obvious focus on abortion. PolitiFact refused to look at the market share numbers, which would have indicated the clear abortion focus of Planned Parenthood. At a time when U.S. abortion numbers have reached an historic low, Planned Parenthood’s abortion market share continues to reach huge proportions:

And yet, during this same period of time [when U.S. abortion rates dropped significantly], Planned Parenthood’s market share of the nation’s abortions has only increased, solidifying its position as the Abortion Corporation of America. From 2000 to 2011, Planned Parenthood increased its abortions from 197,070 to 333,964.

Its marketshare shot through the roof.

In 2000, Planned Parenthood had 15% of the abortion market, but quickly left this behind to embrace a solid third of the market at 32% in 2011.

According to recently updated numbers from the Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood’s own annual report, Planned Parenthood has now risen to 34.9% of the U.S. market share for abortions. In fiscal year 2014-15, Planned Parenthood committed 323,999 of the nation’s approximately 926,200 abortions. (Sources and further explanation is available here.)

While PolitiFact would rather attempt to make Planned Parenthood look impressive by listing the number of pregnancy tests and packets of birth control it gives out and the number of cancer screenings it performs, it misses the dismal market share numbers that serve to prove Rep. Duffy’s point. Leaving aside the fact that a woman can get an accurate pregnancy test for $1 – $10 without even stepping foot in a Planned Parenthood — or for free at a pregnancy resource center — it’s obvious that Planned Parenthood’s focus isn’t on real healthcare for women. In recent years, Planned Parenthood’s “prenatal services” have dramatically dropped, and it rarely provides any semblance of prenatal care to women whatsoever, often turning them away if they don’t want an abortion.

Planned Parenthood performs a mere 1.8% of clinical breast exams, 0.97% of Pap tests, and 0% of mammograms reported in the U.S., and the numbers behind those statistics are all explained here. Planned Parenthood commits abortions on one out of every eight patients — and this eight patient number includes men and women beyond reproductive age. Planned Parenthood tells women it can’t provide them with an ultrasound unless they commit to an abortion. Additionally, Planned Parenthood gives out one adoption referral for every 160 abortions, and yes, Planned Parenthood counts a referral as an equal “service” to an abortion.

Every 97 seconds, Planned Parenthood is committing yet another abortion. Some of these are late-term abortions on viable babies, and many of them are D&E abortions, described by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino in the video below:

So, next time, PolitiFact, let’s focus on the real point being made instead of propping up deceptive information peddled by Planned Parenthood and its allies. The real point is that Planned Parenthood is America’s Abortion Corporation, and it’s past time such a corrupt and inhumane organization was removed from the support of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

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