The only thing Planned Parenthood does better than abortion is PR. A perfect example is how Planned Parenthood works so hard to promote itself as a health care provider. The trouble is that PR is rarely reality, and some often get caught up in believing either their own or someone else’s PR story.
The PR story is why Planned Parenthood’s annual report calculates abortion services at 3 percent and does not want to admit outright what percentage of revenue is generated from this one service. They want to make it look like they do and are so much more.
For four and a half hours yesterday during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, strove to continue the Planned Parenthood PR campaign with her testimony. While committee members had legitimate questions for Ms. Richards, she unartfully dodged and redirected them all or simply attempted to silence them by copping out with “we’ll just have to disagree” or “I’ll talk with my team about that” and “We’ve provided thousands of pages,” which means look it up yourself. You are crazy if you think I will incriminate myself under oath today. It got to the point that congressmen and women didn’t bother to wait for answers, because they knew they weren’t going to get one.
Other than Kermit Gosnell, who is serving three consecutive life sentences, would anyone want to put on his or her resume that he or she is America’s number one baby killer?
A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope. — Pope Saint John Paul II, September 2, 1996
Questions of the (yester) Day
with a few excerpts from Cecile Richards’ responses
Note: This is a partisan issue; most Democrats support Planned Parenthood and were defending Planned Parenthood rather than asking substantive questions. Some made a few good points worthy of consideration, but they were comments and not Questions of the Day.
Does Planned Parenthood need federal subsidy? — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R–UT
- Chaffetz says that Planned Parenthood is not an organization that needs federal subsidy. He points to PPFA’s $127 million excess revenue in 2013; the massive salaries of top executives and abortionists; exorbitant travel expenses ($14,000 a day); blowout parties with celebrities; the transfer of money from 501c3 to 501c4 corporations; shared employees and assets; $32 million sent overseas; $67 million spent on fundraising.
- My question: how much money do you raise if your budget allows you to spend an average of $10 million per year on fundraising?
Why did Ms. Richards apologize for the videos two days after they surfaced? — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH
- Jordan points out that Cecile Richards can’t have it both ways: if the videos were deceptive and heavily edited, there is nothing to apologize for. You don’t apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong.
- Watch Cecile Richards apologize for her “staff member’s tone and statements” (07-16-15) (The “staff member” is Deborah Nucatola, Cecile’s Senior Director of Medical Services and top abortionist.)
Does any of the $32 million that Planned Parenthood sent overseas go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo? — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R–UT
- Cecile Richards can’t answer yes or no, but you can learn about International Planned Parenthood Federation’s work in the Congo on its web site.
Does Planned Parenthood have any ownership in foreign companies? — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R–UT
Who manages the Planned Parenthood Action Fund? — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R–UT
- Cecile Richards replied that a board runs PPAF. She admits that some of her time is allocated to PPAF, as required by law, for which she earned $31,000 in compensation in 2013.
What are your duties? — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R–UT
- Cecile Richards makes no comment, not that Chaffetz gave her time to respond, but why would he, when he knows she “runs the mothership.”
Does Planned Parenthood control any organizations that lobby? — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R–UT
- Cecile Richards says PPAF is a separate company and no federal dollars go to it. Chaffetz’ problem is the comingling of shared employees, mailing lists, and assets among PPFA and these “separate” companies.
What was the $200,000 given to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center for? — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R–UT
- Cecile Richards runs a $200 million organization and can’t speak to that specific donation.
How many Planned Parenthood clinics have mammogram machines? — Rep. Lummis, R-WY
- None of the 650 to 700 clinics have mammogram machines.
What surgical services does Planned Parenthood provide? — Rep. Lummis, R-WY
- Abortion. Colposcopy.
Where do you get your 3 percent figure for abortion services? — Rep. Lummis, R-WY
- Three percent of all services (not procedures)
Abortions would be 86 percent of revenue; how do you explain this discrepancy? — Rep. Lummis, R-WY
- Cecile Richards does not want to connect these figures.
How many of your affiliates receive the majority of their revenue from abortion? — Rep. Lummis, R-WY
- Cecile Richards does not know the answer and will “talk to her team.”
What was the $5.1 million travel budget spent on? — Rep. Lummis, R-WY
- Cecile Richards refers to the thousands of pages provided, which means she does not want to answer. As Rep. Lummis points out, taxpayers have a right to know why $5 million went to travel and not to women’s health care.
Could you function on nonfederal dollars? — Rep. Lummis, R-WY
- Cecile Richards says she “I’m not sure what the whole question was” and continues with her PR story in which she wants to refocus the discussion.
Will you provide us the list of affiliates where the majority of revenue comes from abortion services? — Rep. Lummis, R-WY
- Cecile Richards can’t say yes or no. She will say she is here voluntarily and has provided tens of thousands of documents.
If the videos were selectively edited, heavily edited, if this was entrapment, if this was all untrue, why did you? — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH
- Cecile Richards said it was inappropriate to have a clinical discussion in a nonclinical setting.
What were you apologizing for? Which true statements were you apologizing for? — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH
- Jordan pointed out that people don’t apologize for things that are untrue.
So is what you said in your video untrue? — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH
- Cecile Richards repeated it was inappropriate to have a clinical discussion in a nonclinical setting.
Tell me what you apologized for? — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH
- Cecile Richards won’t answer Jordan’s question. Jordan says you don’t apologize for things that are inaccurate.
What is the total number of abortions in the United States? — Rep. John Mica, R-FL
- Cecile Richards says that Planned Parenthood performed about 300,000 abortions last year and that there were around 1 million abortions total. Mica’s point was that Planned Parenthood is America’s leading provider of abortions, a fact Cecile Richards does not want to tout as part of her PR story.
Would you agree that most American people do not want federal money going to abortions? — Rep. John Mica, R-FL
- Cecile did not offer an answer, but instead began to disagree with “polls,” while Mica jumped quickly to his next comment/question.
Do all 650 clinics perform abortions? — Rep. John Mica, R-FL
- I was interested to learn that only half of Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortion services.
Where is the money going? — Rep. John Mica, R-FL
- Rhetorical question. No answer sought. Mica explained that American people want federal money going to research and health care. “It does not look good.”