Sometimes even the fact checkers need fact checked.
Snopes rated the claim “mostly false,” arguing that Planned Parenthood never said it provides prenatal care at all its centers. It also claims Planned Parenthood leaders did not emphasize prenatal care as a primary service, and pro-lifers took their comments out of context.
The fact check is based on a new Live Action investigation showing employees at the Planned Parenthood abortion business denying women prenatal care. At 92 of the 97 facilities investigators contacted, prenatal care was not something the clinics offered. The ones that did offered only very limited prenatal services or referrals to non-Planned Parenthood facilities.
Reports soon after the initial investigation broke also revealed that many Planned Parenthood facilities – including every single one in Pennsylvania – advertised prenatal services online but did not actually provide them. As a result of the sting, dozens of the abortion group’s facilities removed “prenatal” services from their websites, LifeNews reported.
The Snopes report does not mention this, and instead defends Planned Parenthood by picking apart the specific words and quotes used in the Live Action video, “The Prenatal Care Deception.”
According to its “fact check”:
These [Live Action] calls were framed by two misleading and out-of-context quotes from Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards present in an attempt to make it seem as if her organization was falsely touting the number of prenatal care services they provide.
This video quotes snippets of Richards’ saying: “Prenatal care. These are the kinds of services that folks depend on Planned Parenthood for,” and “a president who will fight for pre-natal care!” We could not find the specific origins of the first snippet, but it’s clear that Richards was listing several services that Planned Parenthood provides (and not claiming they offer only or primarily prenatal care), as she said “these are the kinds of services that folks depend on planned Parenthood for. But Live Action apparently omitted the first portion of her statement.
In her remarks Snopes cites, the Planned Parenthood CEO clearly claimed that prenatal care is a regular part of the services Planned Parenthood supposedly offers — even though that’s untrue at virtually all Planned Parenthood centers. The remarks came during a 2011 rally with pro-abortion Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, and Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, and others.
Richards said, “Breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care – these are the kinds of services that folks depend on Planned Parenthood for.” But people don’t depend on Planned Parenthood for prenatal care since virtually none is offered to pregnant women.
During a March 24, 2011 interview with C-Span, Richards again defended Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding by claiming several times that it provides prenatal care to expecting moms.
Richards, who earns nearly $1 million a year, made a similar statement again last year when Ohio pro-life Gov. John Kasich signed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
“This legislation will have devastating consequences for women across Ohio,” Richards said in a statement to Vox. “John Kasich is proudly eliminating care for expectant mothers and newborns. He is leaving thousands without vital STD and HIV testing, slashing a program to fight domestic violence, and cutting access to essential, basic health care.”
Snopes also claims other Planned Parenthood quotes in the Live Action video also were taken out of context, simply because they did not include the speakers’ references to the other non-abortion services that Planned Parenthood offers.
The context of these quotes is important since Live Action shared this video with the title “the Prenatal Care Deception.” In order to set up the “deception,” Live Action needed to try to establish that Planned Parenthood supposedly unjustly bragged about the prominence of their prenatal care services before offering supposed audio recordings of calls with Planned Parenthood representatives who stated that the organization did not in fact provide these services.
Snopes then attempts to debunk this by presenting numbers from Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 annual report. But these numbers show the exact opposite of the argument that Snopes attempts to make in defense of Planned Parenthood.
The numbers clearly show that for pregnant women, abortion is Planned Parenthood’s No. 1 service by a huge margin. According to its most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood did 323,999 abortions and provided 17,419 prenatal services.
Previous analyses of Planned Parenthood reports found at least 90 percent of its services to pregnant women in recent years have been abortions (contrasted with prenatal services and adoption referrals).
Snopes seems to go out of its way to defend the abortion group. But it’s clear from the recently scrubbed websites, the statements by Planned Parenthood leaders through the years and the abortion group’s own annual reports that it deceived the American people about its prenatal services.