Ken Berwitz

Led by\’s postings, the conservative blogosphere is jumping to report that, in yesterday\’s hearings, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards (former Texa Governor Ann Richards\’ daughter, in case you\’re interested) either said or acknowledged that 86% of Planned Parenthood\’s revenues come from abortion.

Well, you have to be a bit suspicious don\’t you, since not one mainstream news venue is reporting any such thing – as demonstrated by the fact that, when I googled “Cecile Richards 86% revenue abortion”, not one mainstream medium of any kind was on the first five pages (try it yourself).  Therefore, I concluded that, if this actually happened, mainstream media have decided, pretty much in toto, to suppress this information.

So did it actually happen?

Well, here is a video of the entire hearing.  If you go to 0:54:20, you will find Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) questioning Ms. Richards.

First she asks how many Planned Parenthood clinics offer mammograms.  And, as Richards has to admit, the answer is none at all.  Planned Parenthood, despite the inferences ongoingly made by the organization that they provide mammogram services, does not.  Not at all. None.

Then, from about 55:40, the following colluquy takes place:

Ms Lummis:  So abortion is included in surgical services.  But I want to find out where you get your 3% figure, that you cite for abortion procedures, that\’s your self-reported abortion statistic.

Ms. Richards:    It\’s 3% of all the procedures we provide,  all of the services we provide.

Ms. Lummis:  Ok, let\’s talk about Planned Parenthood revenue from abortions.  If you look at the 2013 statistics that you report, abortions from revenue would have been over 86% of your non-government revenue.  How do you explain this massive disparity between the amount or revenue you collect from abortion and the fact that you only report 3% of your services from abortion.

Ms. Richards then goes on to first claim that the two statistics are not connected because federal money does not go for abortion.  But shortly thereafter, she switches gears and instead of saying they are not connected, tells Ms. Lummis that abortions are “probably more expensive than some other procedures that we provide”, which might explain the disparity.

What she does NOT do is dispute that over 86% of Planned Parenthood\’s revenues come from abortion. 

There\’s your answer.

Oh, one other thing:  although Cecile Richards\’ “federal money does not go for abortion” line is technically true, in the narrow sense that an accountant can put that money into whatever expenses he or she cares to, in reality, the massive amount of federal money flowing into Planned Parenthood – $528 million just last year – even if it is not technically used for abortions – frees up the money that is.  

To illustrate:  suppose you need to have repairs done on your house, but want to go on vacation.  Suppose both will cost about $2,500 – a total of $5,000 – but you only have $2,500 to spend.  You resign yourself to using that money for the necessary house repairs.  No vacation.

But what if another $2,500 is given to you from an outside source?  

Now you\’ve got the $5,000 to do both.  

You can either say you\’re spending the additional $2,500 on house repairs – which frees up the money for your vacation – or say you\’re spending it on the vacation – which leaves the money to repair your house.  But no matter how you say it, that additional $2,500 funded your vacation.

Apply the above example to Cecile Richards\’ claim about federal money not being used for abortion, and draw your own conclusions.  Mine are that not only did Richards acknowledge 86% of Planned Parenthood revenue is derived from abortion, but she dodged and weaved to pretend federal money has nothing to do with abortion services, which it obviously does.

However, based on mainstream media\’s non-coverage, I also conclude that they are burying this information on Planned Parenthood\’s behalf.

I talk a lot in here about media bias.  This is why.

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