Another PPFA Defender Cooks the Numbers

By Dave Andrusko

Jonathan Alter

Whenever pro-abortion Democrats lecture/advise advise pro-life Congressional Republican leaders about the wisdom of being, well, pro-life, you know this has everything to do with advancing the cause of abortion and nothing to do with anything else.

Ever since the House voted to cut off federal funds to  Planned Parenthood and 102 of its affiliates, PPFA’s many, many media supporters have alternated between shedding crocodile tears for Republicans and hammering them for not really being against abortion. This deluge now includes a piece by Jonathan Alter, of Newsweek, that ran today.

Like most PPFA apologists, Alter meanders off into areas that are outside our single-issue purview.

But let me quickly comment on three beside-the-point/wrong points Alter makes. When pro-abortionists lose elections—as they did last November when they suffered massive setbacks—it never has anything to do with abortion. When they win, abortion, aha, was decisive.

In 2010, the abortion issue helped candidates for state and federal office. But that doesn’t mean (a) pro-life candidates didn’t talk about other issues—they did, of course; and (b) that somehow the only issue they are allowed to talk about now is the economy. This is just another permutation of the heads they win, tails we lose style of argument.

Alter, either on purpose or because he is unquestioningly parroting PPFA’s talking point, writes that ”funding for abortions constitutes only 3 percent of [PPFA’s] budget.” This confuses a whole host of separate issues.

PPFA talks about abortion constituting 3% of its “services.” That is a wholly misleading figure, but let it pass.

But note that Planned Parenthood, in a recent report, concedes that 12% of “its health care clients receive abortion services.”

How important is this to PPFA’s bottom line ? At going rates, the 332,278 abortions Planned Parenthood is now reporting for 2009 would represent at least $149.9 million in revenues, more than a third of Planned Parenthood’s total clinic income for the year. The actual figure is probably much higher, as Planned Parenthood promotes and performs more expensive chemical and later surgical abortions. None of this even touches all the other “services” sold with the abortion.

And, oh by the way, according to press reports, PPFA has recently mandated that all of its regional affiliates must provide abortions by the end of 2013.  And this says nothing about a spate of recent media reports regarding abuses associated with PPFA-affiliated clinics in multiple states.

Finally, in his effort to persuade the reader that PPFA is an abortion-preventer, Alter manages to avoid a keen consideration that NRLC Education Director Randall K. O’Bannon recently highlighted. The more money PPFA takes in, the more abortions they perform.

Alter can’t help himself from chortling at the end. Next election Republicans will be saddled, he says, with opposing “cancer screening for women.”

Why? Because writers like Alter will spin that distortion six days a week and twice on Sunday.

However, unlike Alter, I have much more faith the average voter’s ability to distinguish between mashing unborn babies to death and providing mammograms.

I need your feedback on both Today’s News & Views and National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha