Ask the President of Planned Parenthood what her organization does and Cecile Richards will tell you she runs a women's health organization first, and an abortion provider second. The line is critical to their image, essential to their federal funding, and demonstrably false.
Republicans will soon move to defund the abortion giant. Normally, Planned Parenthood would offer its reliable rebuttal that they're more than an abortion provider, for instance, that they provide prenatal care to desperate women in need. But Live Action just exploded that excuse.
Going undercover as pregnant women looking for prenatal care, the group contacted 97 Planned Parenthood clinics. They were turned down in 92 different clinics from Arizona to New York.
Politicians might be confused about the mission of the organization. But the clinic employees surveyed by Live Action were clear on the concept, like the receptionist at the Tempe center who explained that "Planned Parenthood offers abortions, so they don't offer prenatal care." Put another way, they take babies out of this world. They don't bring them into it.
But the confusion is understandable.
The group has been recasting its image again and again for years on television and before Congressional committees. Still the scheduler at the Merrillville, Indiana, clinic saw through the branding. "No, we don't do prenatal services," she told Live Action. "I mean, it's called Planned Parenthood, I know it's kind of deceiving."
All of this makes a convenient anti-abortion soundbite but what about the pregnant woman who actually needs care? She's the one that Planned Parenthood preaches about. You know, the young mother whose scared, alone, and in need of help. What's she to do?
If she walks into one of Planned Parenthood 650 abortion clinics and asks for something besides an abortion, she's out of luck. Live Action just showed that more than 14 percent of those clinics don't offer anything except abortion. That's a damning fact.
And it will come up in the coming debate. Leading the charge, House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood to federally-funded health centers. During a CNN town hall, the speaker explained that "for every Planned Parenthood, there are 20 federal community health centers." Not only are there more of those centers, they don't use tax dollars to abort babies.
Defunding Richards' organization wouldn't infringe on reproductive rights. Pregnant and alone, women will still have their pick of clinics. Cut off from federal dollars Planned Parenthood could do away with the pretense. They could finally admit that all they have to offer pregnant women and their babies, for the most part, are abortions.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.