Planned Parenthood actually instructs its supporters to "treat tough questions as general issues and don't respond to specifics." There's a good reason for that. It's because Planned Parenthood's talking points bear little resemblance to the truth.
With each successive undercover video, America is learning more and more about the depraved practices of its number-one abortion provider. But, Planned Parenthood isn't about to give up its $500 million government subsidy without a fight. So, it's continuing to twist the truth and to perpetrate narratives it knows are false.
Below are five of its most commonly repeated myths — and why you shouldn't believe any of them.
Myth 1: Abortion makes up only 3% of Planned Parenthood's services.
Planned Parenthood frequently claims that abortion comprises only three percent of its services. The claim is false and has been debunked repeatedly, including by the Washington Post's FactChecker.
Planned Parenthood arrives at the misleading figure by itemizing all the services surrounding each abortion, and then counting each one as a separate service. Rich Lowry, writing for the New York Post, points out the absurdity of Planned Parenthood's accounting:
"By Planned Parenthood's math, a woman who gets an abortion but also a pregnancy test, an STD test and some contraceptives has received four services, and only 25 percent of them are abortion. This is a little like performing an abortion and giving a woman an aspirin, and saying only half of what you do is abortion.
"Such cracked reasoning could be used to obscure the purpose of any organization. The sponsors of the New York City Marathon could count each small cup of water they hand out (some 2 million cups, compared with 45,000 runners) and say they are mainly in the hydration business.
"Or Major League Baseball teams could say that they sell about 20 million hot dogs and play 2,430 games in a season, so baseball is only .012 percent of what they do."
Planned Parenthood also counts the 330,000 abortions it performs each year the same as all the minor services it provides. So, even though abortion is much more costly and time-consuming than simply giving a pregnancy test, Planned Parenthood counts both as a single service and weighs them equally.
According to Lifenews.com, Planned Parenthood made a minimum of $98 million from abortions in 2010. And according to the watchdog group STOPP, that amounted to 51% of Planned Parenthood's total income that year. That's 17 times greater than three percent.
Myth 2: Planned Parenthood provides services women can't get anywhere else.
Pro-abortion activists try to protect Planned Parenthood's federal funding by claiming that the organization offers essential medical care for women that they can't get anywhere else. Would ending the $500 million in federal funding hurt women's health care? No. In fact, it might improve it.
Planned Parenthood's 665 affiliated clinics provide birth control, basic health screenings, and, of course, abortion. But there are more than 13,500 community health centers that provide comprehensive care to millions of uninsured, unemployed or low-income Americans — the same group Planned Parenthood says will be hurt if they're de-funded. Bills to de-fund Planned Parenthood would transfer funding to these health centers, actually expanding access to care.
Myth 3: Planned Parenthood provides women with mammograms.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood have long claimed that the organization provides mammograms — but they don't, and never have. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Planned Parenthood doesn't operate a single mammogram machine.
Instead, the clinics offer breast exams — the same that are offered in any federally qualified health center — and refer patients to other doctors for mammograms.
The organization's president Cecile Richards was forced to admit the mammogram myth during testimony to a U.S. House committee investigation Sept. 29, but that hasn't stopped people from repeating it.
The pro-life group Live Action created this video to help expose the "mammosham."
Myth 4: The undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood's practice of harvesting and selling body parts are doctored.
If you've seen any comments on social media about the Center for Medical Progress's undercover videos, you've probably heard the false argument that the videos are fraudulent, doctored, or "highly edited." In fact, the White House was one of the first sources of these accusations.
Planned Parenthood also hired a Democratic opposition research firm to investigate the videos. While they claimed there were "deceptive edits," they admitted that the filmmakers didn't invent dialogue. An independent forensics team hired by the Alliance Defending Freedom also recently determined that the videos are, in fact, "authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing."
However, if you're still not convinced, you can watch the full undercover footage, consisting of many hours of video, which the Center for Medical Progress has also released.
Myth 5: Babies aren't born alive in abortions.
One of the most disturbing revelations in the undercover videos is the fact that Planned Parenthood sells "intact" fetuses. This suggests that babies are born alive and then killed and harvested for parts. One video even included eye-witness testimony from a worker who harvested a brain from a baby with a beating heart.
When confronted with questions about babies born alive in botched abortions, Cecile Richards told the House Oversight Committee that she's "never heard of such a circumstance happening." This is odd, since two women who survived being aborted, Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, testified before the same committee just weeks before. Ohden also said she had contact with 203 other abortion survivors, and offered letters from some of them as evidence to the committee.
Perhaps Richards should stop spending so much time concocting myths and begin listening to those who are actually telling the truth.