PolitiFact’s Wisconsin branch at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently fact checked the claim that “Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion provider in the country” after it was iterated by Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) in a downhill meeting held April 30, 2017.
PolitiFact, typically known for having a bias in favor of abortion, examines the most recent comparative data available, reports from the Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood from 2014:
There’s no complete, centralized database that tallies abortions, much less breaks that number down by providers.
But there is strong indirect evidence backing Grothman’s claim.
Planned Parenthood self-reports that 323,999 abortions were performed at its facilities nationwide for the year ending September 30, 2015.
That represents 35 percent of the 926,200 U.S. abortions estimated for calendar year 2014, the latest year studied by the Guttmacher Institute, a research and advocacy organization whose survey-based data on abortions is widely quoted by both sides in the abortion debate.
Grothman maintains 49 percent of abortions are performed by Planned Parenthood. That’s because he uses the smaller base of 664,000 abortions — the figure reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is based on voluntary reporting.
Surprisingly, PolitiFact also notes that “Planned Parenthood’s abortion services grew rapidly between 2000 and 2015, rising by 127,000 procedures at a time when the total number of abortions nationwide was falling significantly,” and concludes the organization’s national network of clinics makes it by far “the undisputed leader when it comes to providing abortion services.”
Grothmann’s statement has received a “TRUE” rating from PolitiFact, the highest of the six ratings across the “Truth-O-Meter.”
PolitiFact is a creation of the Tampa Bay Times and garnered the St. Petersburg Times staff a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2009, following its coverage of the 2008 presidential election.