Countless “white lies” are the building blocks of Planned Parenthood’s façade.

So Planned Parenthood tries to walk a “fine line,” not relegating its abortion business to secrecy, but diminishing the role it plays. Therein lies the genius of the “3 percent of services” claim—a sham statistic, but one that Planned Parenthood has been incredibly successful in selling to the American public.

To arrive at that 3 percent figure, Planned Parenthood does some fudging and misdirection.  Planned Parenthood depreciates the role abortion plays by defining its “services” in such a way that it avoids accounting for their time and expense.  A single pregnancy test is designated by Planned Parenthood as a “service” and thus given equal weight to a far more time-consuming and expensive surgical abortion procedure, another Planned Parenthood “service.”  Likewise, each pack of birth control pills is considered a service and carries the same weight in the calculation as an abortion. Using this rubric, Planned Parenthood justifies the claim the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, has made that abortion is, “a very small part of what we do.” [v]

In terms of time, patients, and revenue, abortion is far more to Planned Parenthood than 3 percent. (And several recently unsealed “whistleblower” lawsuits call into question whether the 3 percent claim is true even under Planned Parenthood’s formula, as the lawsuits allege over-reporting of other “services.”[vi])

Though you won’t hear Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards offer this statistic in an interview, her organization’s own materials acknowledge that 11 to 12 percent of its patients receive abortion services.[vii]Although a more honest depiction than a breakdown by “services,” this figure still does not capture what abortion means to Planned Parenthood’s bottom-line.

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