When Arizona Senator Jon Kyl falsely claimed that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions, he caused a fact-checking firestorm. Upon learning that Planned Parenthood, in fact, only performs an abortion 3% of the time, he infamously stated that his false claim wasn’t intended to be a factual statement, sparking an internet frenzy in which people would type a false statement and then use the hash-tag #notintendedtobeafactualstatement. But Republicans successfully got their false claim into the Congressional Record and then tried to defund Planned Parenthood on the national level. Now a state representative in Pennsylvania is pushing the same false claim.
Pennsylvania GOP state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is the sponsor of HB 2405 The bill is designed to strip state funding away from Planned Parenthood. The bill of course is detestable; after all, it takes crucial funding from a women’s health organization that provides breast cancer exams, pap smears, contraceptives, and multiple other health services for millions of women. But the problem is Metcalfe’s accusation that Planned Parenthood performs an abortion every 95 seconds.
According to Metcalfe:
Across the United States, Planned Parenthood performs an abortion every 95 seconds on 91 percent of all the pregnant mothers that walk through their doors. For every one adoption referral made by America’s largest abortion-on-demand provider, 391 babies are aborted. Each year, Planned Parenthood aborts more than 320,000 innocent lives and over 16,000 of those abortions occur in Pennsylvania. Regardless of their position on abortion, Pennsylvania taxpayers must no longer be forced to subsidize the loss of innocent lives. In reality, women in Pennsylvania will be healthier and the children safer when we permanently defund Planned Parenthood and its anti-family agenda. I encourage every taxpaying Pennsylvanian to contact his or her respective state lawmakers and demand an end to all state funding for Planned Parenthood through final passage of the Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priorities Act.”
Metcalfe is claiming that 91% of all pregnant women who walk into Planned Parenthood get an abortion, but that is simply a lie. And even if it were true, abortion is a perfectly legal medical service. Not one cent of taxpayer money pays for abortion. That’s federal law. But Metcalfe’s claim is utterly false. Abortion only comprises 3% of all the medical services provided by Planned Parenthood. I think Metcalfe’s real target here is contraception which is what Planned Parenthood provides far more often. In fact, it’s the number one service provided by the organization.
Contraception, of course, prevents pregnancy, which is why Republicans object to women having access to it. Across the country, Republican controlled legislatures have made any and all efforts to severely restrict access to contraception, even going so far as to allow employers to deny their own female employees contraception coverage. Arizona actually attempted to allow employers to fire women who use contraception and Kansas passed a law allowing doctors and pharmacists to deny women contraception. The war on contraception is perhaps the biggest part of the Republican war on women. Republicans consider contraception tantamount to abortion, even though the great majority of contraception merely prevents pregnancy from occurring, which in turn prevents abortion. No unplanned pregnancy, no abortion. But Republicans fail to see that distinction because they are so obsessed with ending women’s reproductive rights.
This obsession stems from the conservative male belief that women should be submissive to men and that only men should get to decide what women do with their bodies. But last time I checked, women are American citizens who are guaranteed the right to privacy and personal liberty by the Constitution. Coercing Pennsylvanians to pressure their representatives based on a lie is plain wrong and indefensible. Republicans are so obsessed with ending the 3% of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood that they are willing to lie about the facts and destroy women’s health services all together.
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation tried to strip funding from Planned Parenthood because of abortion, it caused a national outrage that bolstered donations to Planned Parenthood, while destroying the reputation of a world renowned breast cancer fighting organization. Why? Because Komen was willing to eliminate funding that provides crucial cancer screenings for women in their blind effort to end the 3% of abortions provided by Planned Parenthood each year. Just as Komen’s reputation was destroyed, Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl Metcalfe’s reputation and career should also be incinerated. He not only wants to kill Planned Parenthood funding that helps women, he’s making up a lie to justify it.