More on Planned Parenthood - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
More on Planned Parenthood

Ben Smith flags a CNN poll showing that Americans oppose defunding Planned Parenthood 65 to 35 percent, and concludes that Planned Parenthood is “winning,” successfully branding itself as a women’s health provider rather than an abortion provider. 

The Weekly Standard‘s John McCormack makes a persuasive argument that the CNN poll’s wording skewed the results. In fact, the CNN poll shows greater support for funding of Planned Parenthood than an intentionally skewed poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood did. 

If the CNN poll wording reflected that the controversy over federal funding for Planned Parenthood is related to the organization’s provisions of abortions, it likely would have far less support for the funding. 

In other words, for public policy purposes, the characterization of Planned Parenthood is important. On Friday I argued that Planned Parenthood should not be allowed to minimize how important abortions are to its operations. While there’s no doubt that Planned Parenthood does more than simply provide abortions, abortions are the most significant element of their business. 

There are two more facts about the centrality of abortions in Planned Parenthood’s operations to consider. One is that our best, back-of-the-envelope guess is that abortions account for over a third of Planned Parenthood’s “Health Center Income” — that is, income other than government aid and donations. The other is that Planned Parenthood has a far greater “market share” of abortions than it does for other, less controversial services. For instance, while Planned Parenthood provides fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of all tubal sterilizations and roughly 1.7 percent of all pap smears in the U.S. (based on Planned Parenthood data), they provide more than 25 percent of all abortions. 

Previously, I noted that Planned Parenthood downplays the importance of abortions among their activities by bundling abortions with other procedures. Some have objected that even accounting for bundling, only roughly 10 percent of the organization’s procedures are abortions. Well, in my view a business that performs abortions on one out of 10 female patrons and collects over a third of its revenue from abortions is an abortuary, for the same reason that a store that sells bikes to one out of 10 customers and gets a third of its revenue from bike sales is a bike shop. 

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