The narrative commonly pushed by Planned Parenthood is that abortions only account for a tiny percentage of the services they provide; typically, the statistic cited is 3 percent. However, a pro-Planned Parenthood op-ed recently published in The New York Times went off script and inadvertently admitted that, regardless of percentages, abortions are central to the organization’s functioning.
Titled “Sex, Trump and Cecile,” the article by columnist Gail Collins recounted a meeting that occurred between retiring Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner. Trump’s daughter and son-in-law had met with Richards last year in an effort to bridge the gap between the Trump administration and Planned Parenthood.
“The couple proposed that Planned Parenthood simply give up abortion services, and then let Jared lobby Congress for more family planning funding,” wrote Collins. “It was a little like suggesting to Mark Zuckerberg that he could get past his business problems if he dropped the part about being on the internet.”
Huh. Now, the internet is absolutely central and critical for Facebook to operate. Thus, in this liberal columnist’s eyes, abortion must be central and critical for the operation and functioning of Planned Parenthood. This definitely veers away from the typical rhetoric.
It seems as if Richards views abortion as critical to Planned Parenthood as well. She recently gave her own take on the Trump-Kushner meeting in an interview, explaining, “I guess I was just shocked at how naïve they seemed.” This, once again, does not fit the Planned Parenthood narrative. If abortions make up such a tiny percentage of organizational services that they should be ignored in the grander scheme, why not stop providing them in exchange for expansion of family planning services?
Collins went on to argue that Planned Parenthood is all about “family planning.” In her eyes, such planning includes abortion at “its very roots.” The rest of the op-ed went on to praise Richards, favorably remember Margaret Sanger (the racist founder of Planned Parenthood who advocated for eugenics), and bash the Trump administration.
Planned Parenthood supporters would love to have their cake and eat it too. Either the 3-percent statistic holds true (which, in utilizing the organization’s own methodology of tracking such figures, it does not) or it is false. Either abortion is just one service among many Planned Parenthood offers, or it is central to what it does. Both sides cannot be true — yet the Left continues to act as if that is the case.
Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0