Cecile Richards seems to enjoy playing the martyr. With the threat of Planned Parenthood defunding looming, scores of media outlets have been quick to run puff pieces, touting the so-called health care services that “millions” of American women rely on.
Amelia Harnish interviewed Richards for “Refinery 29.” The two women slammed the Trump administration for even considering slashing Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding. And of course, Richards and Harnish got rather creative with their facts.
“[W]hy does the current administration care so much about hurting this particular organization?” Harnish asked. “Abortion, of course,” she continued. “But abortion makes up just 3% of what Planned Parenthood does.” This is utterly and completely false, a statistic that was invented using creative math. Even The Washington Post and the liberal Slate slammed the 3% claim as “misleading” and “the most meaningless abortion statistic ever.” Yet Planned Parenthood’s defenders keep on using it, likely because they know that if they say it enough, people will eventually just assume it’s true.
Richards then had the gall to claim that complain that the Trump administration is trying to end access to health care. “This actually has nothing to do with abortion services,” she said. “Ironically, all of the healthcare services that this president is now trying to end access to are preventive health care.”
Actually, it has everything to do with abortion. If health care was important to Richards, then Planned Parenthood could keep their taxpayer funding. President Trump offered them a deal, saying that if they stopped performing abortions and focused solely on health care, the organization’s half a billion dollars of taxpayer funding each year would remain in place — with the possibility of receiving even more funding. Cecile Richards refused. Instead, she argued that abortion (like the common method in the video below) is “vital” to their mission.
So to all the women in the United States, keep that in mind: for Planned Parenthood, abortion is vital — so important that it’s worth forgoing taxpayer funding that would allegedly allow them to provide actual health care. The actual health care itself? Not so vital.
What kind of health care does Planned Parenthood claim to provide, though?
“For the very first time in history, a president has proposed a budget that would prohibit a specific healthcare provider from providing care in any program funded through Congress,” Richards claimed. “And so it’s not only blocking patients — more than a million-and-a-half that come to us every year who are on Medicaid — from coming to us for preventive health services, but it also blocks the participation of Planned Parenthood in things like HIV prevention grants. We do a lot of work to do detection and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.” Richards then argued that Planned Parenthood does “a lot of work helping survivors of sexual assault and giving them the treatment that they need.”
Finally, she pointed out Planned Parenthood’s role in sex education: “It also would block us from participating in sex education programs,” Richards complained. “We’re the single largest provider of sex education in the country.”
Interesting she should mention that. What kind of sex education does Planned Parenthood provide, exactly? A Live Action investigation exposed the kind of dangerous practices Planned Parenthood’s counselors recommended to young girls, an example of which can be seen in the video here:
In the SexEd investigation, it was found that Planned Parenthood promotes dangerous and abusive sexual practices to teenagers, like playing with feces, drinking urine, and experimenting with bestiality. Counselors frequently promoted BDSM, encouraged minor girls to break the law by visiting sex shops, and told them to watch porn to get ideas. Teenagers were also advised to experiment with whipping, choking, and asphyxiation, urged to try “toys” like horse whips, ropes, and clamps, and advised that sexual practices that leave welts and burns are acceptable.
But sure — Planned Parenthood is exactly who the nation should be relying on for sex education.
On top of all this, there is the reality that Planned Parenthood is simply not a legitimate health care provider, no matter how many times Richards tries to claim that they are. “Planned Parenthood just celebrated their 100th anniversary, and we’re proud that we’re now providing healthcare to 2.5 million people every year. We’re going to continue,” she said. “I think the real question here is: What happens to the 1.6 million people who currently come to us for health care, if the Trump administration and Congress says to them they can’t go there anymore?”
Well, it’s worth pointing out, first and foremost, that when it comes to health care, Planned Parenthood only serves a very small percentage of women. This is because they perform a very small percentage of health screenings — less than 2% of all breast exams, less than 1% of all Pap tests, and less than 2% of all cancer screenings for women. Prenatal care is practically non-existent, with the expert advice given to pregnant women who don’t want abortion being to go use Google. They also provide a tiny number of adoption referrals each year.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood is vastly outnumbered by comprehensive health clinics across the nation,which includes federally qualified health care centers, community health centers, and county health offices, all of which provide legitimate, comprehensive care…care Planned Parenthood itself does not provide. There are literally thousands more of these clinics than there are of Planned Parenthood facilities, where very little health care is actually provided.
The reality is that, under Cecile Richards, health care at Planned Parenthood has steadily decreased. Abortion, however, has increased each year, even as Planned Parenthood sees less patients.
“So that’s really what we’re fighting for: How do we ensure that people will continue to get coverage in America, and continue to get health care,” Richards said. Well, there’s a pretty simple solution to that: we could stop funding Planned Parenthood, America’s Abortion Corporation, and put that money towards actual health care providers instead. If the battle is really to ensure that American women get access to health care, then defunding Planned Parenthood would be a pretty big step in the right direction — no matter what Cecile Richards says to the contrary.
Editor’s Note: All op-eds are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the official position of Live Action.