Sen. Jon Kyl’s False Claim About Planned Parenthood

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Jon Kyl

During the budget debate, Congressional Republicans have targeted Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) even took to the Senate floor to claim that well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is provide abortion services. That is a lie and Kyl couldn’t care less. In what must be some kind of spin setting record, Kyl said his remark was “not intended to be a factual statement.” So he lied intentionally.

Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970 and abortion services are funded exclusively by private donations.

A few months ago Live Action, an anti-Planned Parenthood organization that uses surreptitious videotaping and manipulative editing for media and political campaigns, targeted Planned Parenthood. A well organized counter-campaign ensured that the story got the zero traction it deserved.

But this isn’t about abortion.

Planned Parenthood spends 35% of its budget on contraception as shown in this chart:

Contraception is very effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies, the dominating reason for abortions. Contraception prevents abortions hence, Planned Parenthood prevents abortions. Strangely, social conservatives are opposed to contraception even though it prevents abortions.

If abortion is the great evil that the Religious Right claims, then contraception would seem a logical solution to reducing this great evil. Since the Religious Right doesn’t support this reduction of evil, this isn’t about abortion. It’s about control of the uterus. Planned Parenthood helps women control their own uteri, that is their sin.

Kyl and the Republicans are using Planned Parenthood as a political bargaining chip. They find something the Democrats care about, target it, threaten to cut funding, and trade that chip for funding cuts elsewhere. This gives the appearance of compromise.

H/T: Ezra Klein, Steve Benen, Think Progress.

27 thoughts on “Sen. Jon Kyl’s False Claim About Planned Parenthood”

  1. I think the big use of the abortion issue is fundraising.

    I found the following statistics on one website called

    Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.[1] Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.[2]
    • Forty percent of pregnancies among white women, 69% among blacks and 54% among Hispanics are unintended.[1] In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. However, between 2005 and 2008, the long-term decline in abortions stalled. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.[2]
    • Each year, two percent of women aged 15-44 have an abortion;[2] half have had at least one previous abortion.[6] At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45[4], and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion.[5]

    • Eighteen percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are teenagers; those aged 15-17 obtain 6% of all abortions, teens aged 18-19 obtain 11%, and teens under age 15 obtain 0.4%. [6]
    • Women in their twenties account for more than half of all abortions; women aged 20–24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and women aged 25-29 obtain 24%. [6]
    • Thirty percent of abortions occur to non-Hispanic black women, 36% to non-Hispanic white women, 25% to Hispanic women and 9% to women of other races. [6]
    • Thirty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions identify as Protestant and 28% as Catholic.[6]
    • Women who have never married and are not cohabiting account for 45% of all abortions.[6]
    • About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children.[6]
    • Forty-two percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level ($10,830 for a single woman with no children).
    • Twenty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes between 100-199% of the federal poverty level.* [6]
    • The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.[7]

    • Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use.[8]
    • Forty-six percent of women who have abortions had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. Of these women, 33% had perceived themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy, 32% had had concerns about contraceptive methods, 26% had had unexpected sex and 1% had been forced to have sex.[8]
    • Eight percent of women who have abortions have never used a method of birth control; nonuse is greatest among those who are young, poor, black, Hispanic or less educated.[8]
    • About half of unintended pregnancies occur among the 11% of women who are at risk for unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives. Most of these women have practiced contraception in the past.[1,9]

  2. Given that Barry Goldwater was an amateur radio operator, station call sign K7UGA, I imagine he would not recognize the Republican Party today because it has made so very little progress along the conservative path Goldwater favored.

  3. “I don’t think Barry Goldwater would recognize the Republican Party.”

    You sure got that right, raff.

  4. Kay,
    I live about 45 minutes from Rockford and I voted for Anderson. The Right uses the abortion issue to rile up the religious crazies. I don’t think Barry Goldwater would recognize the Republican Party.

  5. My education has only recently been completed.

    There is no choice.

    There is no freedom.

    There is no freedom of choice.

  6. “I believe in freedom of choice.”~Anderson

    and that’s why I believed in John Anderson 🙂

    “Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.” (Proverbs 3:31)

  7. @ Kay

    WOW, Thanks for that great moment from the 1980 campaign! I was just coming into political awareness then, and I was impressed with Anderson at that time, particularly because he was quite clear on this and other issues. As always seems to be the case, the Right’s “St. Ronnie” does not come off well when the light of history is shined on his words. Great post.

  8. My father was a pro-choice Republican. While I wasn’t thrilled about the rationale for his stance, at least he was reasonable. And honest.

  9. I grew up in a Republican stronghold, Rockford, Illinois.

    I cannot remember ever hearing a single Republican there talking about the evil of abortion. They were against the bad democrats from Chicago and against unions. I remember people arguing about John Kennedy and teacher’s unions. We were Protestant.

    I remember spending days hanging out at a Barry Goldwater campaign booth at the county fair, run by my best friend’s mother. She had tea parties for Republicans in her home while my friend and I player. I had a violent nightmare about living in the Soviet Union where there was blood running down the street. But not a word about abortion. I went once a week for two years to study religion in a church affiliated with the Lutheran Church of America and I don’t remember any discussion of abortion at all.

    Rockford Illinois was the district of presidential contender John B. Anderson. He debated Reagan. There are transcripts of presidential debates on-line. In that debate they were asked: “Cardinal Medeiros of Boston warned Catholics that it’s sinful to vote for candidates who favor abortion….Do you approve of the Church’s actions this week in Boston? And should a President be guided by organized religion on issues like abortion,…”

    Reagan ducked the issue saying “whether it is rightful, on a single issue, for anyone to advocate that someone should not be elected or not, I won’t take a position on that.”

    Anderson said ” Governor Reagan is running on a platform that calls for a Constitutional amendment banning abortion. I think that is a moral issue that ought to be left to the freedom of conscience of the individual. And for the state to interfere with a Constitutional amendment, and tell a woman that she must carry that pregnancy to term, regardless of her personal belief, that, I think, violates freedom of conscience as much as anything that I can think of. And he is also running on a platform that suggests a litmus test for the selection of judges – that only judges that hold a certain, quote, “view,” on the sanctity of family life, ought to be appointed to the Federal Judiciary, one of the three great independent branches of our Government. No. I believe in freedom of choice.”

    Reagan said “in the Republican platform, says no more than the judges to be appointed should have a respect for innocent life. Now, I don’t think that’s a bad idea….”

    Anderson framed abortion as a First Amendment Issue:

    “I also think that that unborn child has a right to be wanted. And I also believe, sir, that the most personal intimate decision that any woman is ever called upon to make is the decision as to whether or not she shall carry a pregnancy to term. And for the state to interfere in that decision, under whatever guise, and with whatever rationale, for the state to try to take over in that situation, and by edict, command what the individual shall do, and substitute itself for that individual’s conscience, for her right to consult her rabbi, her minister, her priest, her doctor – any other counselor of her choice – I think goes beyond what we want to ever see accomplished in this country, if we really believe in the First Amendment: if we really believe in freedom of choice and the right of the individual.”

  10. Here is Senator Brown’s response to the Republican Party’s war on women and their attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood … get past the first few seconds to the meat of his opoinion:

  11. If abortion is the great evil that the Religious Right claims, then contraception would seem a logical solution to reducing this great evil.
    …because life is a terrible thing to waste….
    The Country with the largest amount of $ spent on armament: The United States

    The Country with the largest amount of arms exports:
    The United States

    Kyl and the Republicans are using Planned Parenthood as a political bargaining chip.
    No, they are holding the government budgetary process hostage by utilizing an emotionally stimulating issue to their own advantage. This is the tyranny of selfish fear-based tyrants.

    They find something the Democrats care about, target it, threaten to cut funding, and trade that chip for funding cuts elsewhere.
    So, how about making it very clear what the Repugs care about….and educate the public accordingly;

    ‘the Pentagon’s budget emerges essentially unscathed in Ryan’s plan. ….The Pentagon’s base budget has nearly doubled during the past decade….the total amount that Americans spend annually on our military exceeds $700 billion…’~Rep. Ryan’s Budget Avoids Cuts to Military Spending [Cato org]

    This gives the appearance of compromise.
    very thinly veiled

    …but here is a juicy tidbit;

    Countries Spending Most on the Elderly;
    The US doesn’t make the top 10 list, and France is No. 1
    ~google for link


    Our Cowardly Congress

    April 9, 2011

    • Republicans are posturing against abortion in a way that would increase the number of abortions.

    Conservatives have sought to bar federal funds from going directly to Planned Parenthood and the United Nations Population Fund. The money would not go for abortions, for federal law already blocks that, and the Population Fund doesn’t provide abortions. What the money would pay for is family planning.

    In the United States, publicly financed family planning prevented 1.94 million unwanted pregnancies in 2006, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health. The result of those averted pregnancies was 810,000 fewer abortions, the institute said.

    Publicly financed contraception pays for itself, by reducing money spent through Medicaid on childbirth and child care.Guttmacher found that every $1 invested in family planning saved taxpayers $3.74.

    As for international family planning, the Guttmacher Institute calculates that a 15 percent decline in spending there would mean 1.9 million more unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 more abortions and 5,000 more maternal deaths.

    So when some lawmakers preen their anti-abortion feathers but take steps that would result in more abortions and more women dying in childbirth, that’s not governance, that’s hypocrisy.

    end of excerpt

  13. Oh what the hell…lie…lie..lie to get your point across… then say I was only kidding… by then everyone has bought the web of deception… Sounds like spin bites out of control…

  14. But I am sure that nasty, evil, librule media will have the decency to never bring this up when he appears on the Sunday chats. It would be so unkind to do that.

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