Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Walmart makes 51% of its income selling lemonade!"

Alright, not really but imagine the following scenario: in light of the recent heat wave Walmart decided to open up lemonade stands right outside every store providing a cheap drink and tasty treat to dehydrated people.  A week later, Walmart reported that over all of its lemonade stands, 51% of the income came from lemonade, 39% from cookies, and 10% from lemon crumb bars.  The New York times headline the next day read "Walmart makes 51% of its income selling lemonade!"

I won't insult your intelligence by pointing out exactly how misleading that hypothetical headline is.
With that in mind, take a look at this real headline from LifeNews.com.

Planned Parenthood: 51% of Its Clinic Income Comes From Abortions


The article lays out results from a report put out by Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP) intended to combat the fact that 3% of Planned Parenthood's services are abortions.  If the name alone wasn't enough to raise skeptical red flags, a look at the site raises enough to cover Texas. Here's just a sampling so you get an idea of the source:
The STOPP Logo
Part of their "Plan to Defeat Planned Parenthood":
First, you must understand the basic underlying philosophies that drive Planned Parenthood's work. These are contained in Humanist Manifesto IILink
Oh no! HUMANISM! Run for the hill!

At least they're up front about their inspiration:
The basis for fighting Planned Parenthood follows the realization that Planned Parenthood supports ideas, philosophies and actions that are completely opposed to the Ten Commandments given to us by God. If people would live their lives according to those Commandments, Planned Parenthood could not exist. Thus, a large part of our work is to spread the word of God in our communities. To understand how to do this, we encourage you to read, and re-read often, the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 10Link
As to their views on sexuality, I think you can guess:
Planned Parenthood will ensure that sexuality is understood as an essential, lifelong aspect of being human and that it is celebrated with respect, openness, and mutuality. [stated goal from Planned Parenthood's 25 year plan]
So, there you have it, the primary goal of this self-proclaimed health organization is to teach people about the "joys of the flesh." Certainly, Margaret Sanger would have been proud to know that, 36 years after her death, the organization she founded was still pushing her primary philosophy as its major 25-year goal.
Yes, they are actually mad at the idea that sex should be considered a part of humanity.
I could go on but I think I'm kicking at an open door at this point.

Still, even a broken clock is right twice a day.  Let's examine the claims made in the report.
“Planned Parenthood continues to claim that abortion is three percent of its services in the 2010 report. By comparing the number of condoms, birth control pills, and other low cost items distributed to the number of abortions it commits, Planned Parenthood intentionally misleads the public and those in charge of providing government funding for its grisly business by painting a grossly inaccurate picture of what its business is all about,” the group says. Link
 I don't know about intentionally misleading the public.  Take a look at the chart from the 2010 report.

Abortions make of 3% of the services, but STOPP claims the number is deflated by including every condom and pill that PP hand's out.  Even if we do remove the entire contraception category, the total number of abortions rises to just 4.6%.  Still, they have a point that a small number of expensive services could account for a much larger chunk of income.
It adds: “By comparing PP’s abortion income with its clinic income, we get a much more accurate picture of Planned Parenthood’s business model. In 2010, Planned Parenthood’s abortion income was 51.5 percent of its clinic income.” Link
This is why I started with the Walmart example.  STOPP has removed everything that Planned Parenthood does that isn't related to abortion by just looking at clinic income.  They're ignoring the Walmart store and just looking at the lemonade stand.  Even then, the 51.5% figure is based on STOPP's own estimate.  I could not judge the veracity of the number because I couldn't find the original source, but I'll be generous and assume they're right for the sake of argument.

Now let's do a little math using only numbers that STOPP acknowledges.

(3%*10,943,609*$400)/$1,197,300,000 = 11% of PP income from abortions.

So, clearly the implication that a majority of PP's income comes from abortions is wildly misleading.  I've been incredibly generous and given STOPP as much advantage as the facts will allow and they still come out wrong.

That was the headline, but the article doesn't stop there.
STOPP says: “Taking into consideration the fact that Planned Parenthood provided prenatal services to a mere 5,398 women and adoption referrals for only 841 women, while PP committed 329,445 abortions, 98.14 percent of the women seeking pregnancy related care at Planned Parenthood are now sold abortions—up from 97.6 percent in 2009.” Link
They seem so surprised.  I'm not, because I actually read Planned Parenthood's about us page:
These health centers provide a wide range of safe, reliable health care — and more than 90 percent is preventive, primary care, which helps prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screen for cervical and other cancers. Caring physicians, nurse practitioners, and other staff take time to talk with clients, encouraging them to ask questions in an environment that millions have grown to trust. Link
Planned parenthood  doesn't do very much prenatal care because that's not their stated purpose.  Their focus is in preventing unwanted pregnancies and providing sexual healthcare.  Women get their prenatal care from their doctors, not PP.  Also, this 98.14% of women being sold abortions seems like another lemonade stand effect.  First of all, Planned Parenthood reports that 31,098 women received prenatal care in 2010 (nearly 6x the STOPP number).  Second and more importantly, by ignoring the 3,685,437 women provided with contraception, 1,596,741 screened for cancer, 1,113,460 given pregnancy tests, and 4,179,053 men and women screened and treated for STIs, STOPP is essentially saying "98.14% of women who came in to get abortions got an abortion."

They go on complaining about the lack of prenatal care for several paragraphs and then close the article with this:
“One of the cornerstones of STOPP’s plan to stop Planned Parenthood has always been to cut off its government funding. Planned Parenthood’s 2010 annual report underscores its growing reliance on government funding. Elimination of that funding will result in the collapse of the abortion giant. Government funding for Planned Parenthood must be attacked on local, state, and federal levels,” it concluded.
So again, STOPP's entire existence is predicated on destroying Planned Parenthood any way it can.  Great unbiased source you got there LifeNews.com.

Your thoughts?

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