VIDEO: Sen. Jon Kyl swaps the stats on Planned Parenthood
As the clock ticks on the government shutdown — set to go into effect at midnight tonight — one of the largest battles in Congress is over a series of amendments introduced primarily by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) that would severely curb abortion rights and family planning services by defunding Planned Parenthood. Republican Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) took to the floor of the Senate today to voice his support for cutting all federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Kyl claimed that “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does” is provide abortions. In fact, well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does has nothing whatsoever to do with abortions.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein has posted a chart from Planned Parenthood breaking down their services:
As the chart indicates, about a third of Planned Parenthood’s services are devoted to distributing contraception and contraceptive education materials; another third goes to testing and treating STDs; and the majority of the remaining third goes toward screening for cervical and ovarian cancer and providing other services. Just 3 percent of Planned Parenthood operations are abortion services.
Speaker of the House John Boehner and other Republicans in Congress have insisted that cuts like those to Planned Parenthood are purely being demanded out of fiscal concerns (though the originator of the Planned Parenthood cuts has said otherwise). Taking back the $330 million that Planned Parenthood was set to receive in 2011 federal funding would restore approximately one-fiftieth of one percent of the federal government’s estimated $1.48 trillion deficit (PDF), leaving 99.98 percent of the deficit still in need of managing.