Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Debate over Planned Parenthood funding moves to Florida

The debate over Planned Parenthood has made it Florida.
The debate over Planned Parenthood has made it Florida.

Planned Parenthood, a group that gets federal money to provide health services, has been a focal point of the Washington debate for several months. And now, the debate has filtered down to Tallahassee.

Even though Planned Parenthood cannot use federal money to provide abortions, Republicans passed an amendment in the U.S. House in February that would block all federal funding to the group. Republicans contend that any support for Planned Parenthood can provide indirect support for abortions.

The amendment, which did not have sufficient support to pass the Senate, was a key issue in the budget debate that nearly led to a government shutdown on April 8, 2011. It was not included in the budget agreement that prevented the shutdown.

In Tallahassee, during an April 20 meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee, state Rep. Ronald Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, accused the not-for-profit group of operating a business plan that relies on abortions. He charged that 37 percent of the total income from Planned Parenthood is from abortions. We rated that False.

An osteopathic physician, Renuart said: "In 2008, Planned Parenthood, they put out a report, and it showed that they did 305,000 abortions and the average cost was $450. Their total income for Planned Parenthood alone was $374 million, of that $137 million was actually for abortions. So that's almost 37 percent of the total income from Planned Parenthood is from abortions. And to me, it sounds like they don't want to lose business."

Renuart is comparing an estimate of abortion revenue to Planned Parenthood’s revenue from its health center services. But the health center revenue is only about a third of Planned Parenthood’s total revenue.

Further, Renuart’s estimate of revenue from abortions relies heavily on figures supplied by pro-life bloggers, who have been making a claim similar to Renuart's for more than a year. Planned Parenthood itself does not release how much revenue comes from abortions.

Our PolitiFact colleagues also have fact-checked several other claims about Planned Parenthood.

On April 8, the PolitiFact National staff checked Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl’s claim that abortion services account for more than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services. We rated that False.

On April 14, Ohio Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt claimed in a speech in the House of Representatives that "for every 33 pregnant women that walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic, 32 receive an abortion." PolitiFact Ohio rated that False, too.

PolitiFact Georgia on April 8 checked a claim by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain that Planned Parenthood’s early objective was to "help kill black babies before they came into the world." We rated that Pants on Fire.

And on March 25, we checked a claim by the conservative site World Net Daily that a Government Accountability Office report said Planned Parenthood Federation of America cannot find $1.3 billion given to it by the federal government from 2002 through 2008. We rated that Pants on Fire.