A Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod and
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List

As the Senate considers a health care bill that redirects Medicaid funding away from Planned Parenthood, a major decision faces U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake.

Planned Parenthood has launched a misleading ad campaign on the issue featuring a woman who self-discovered a lump in her breast and turned to Planned Parenthood. It asserts that 37,000 women use Planned Parenthood in Arizona and will be adversely affected by congressional action.

The ad makes it seem like Planned Parenthood plays a major role in cancer detection. In reality, they play no such role nationally or in most communities, especially rural areas.

Let’s break down what they really do

As their annual report reveals, Planned Parenthood does not offer mammograms or treatment for breast cancer, and their breast exam rate between 2011-12 and 2015-16 declined from 21.3 per 100 patients to 13.4 per 100. They show a similarly large decrease in pap smear testing for cervical cancer.

The ad likewise leaves the impression that Planned Parenthood completely relies on public funding. But again the new annual report shows that Planned Parenthood is already 60 percent privately financed, regularly accrues net revenue that makes it one of the wealthiest nonprofits in America, and grew its private donations by more than $90 million last year.

In short, Planned Parenthood is poised to maintain services to three-fourths or more of its current client base.

Women can get better care elsewhere

That means around 9,000 women – an average of about one new client per week for the state’s alternative providers – may be seeking a new medical home if the Republicans’ health care bill passes the Senate.

This is precisely where the strength of that bill lies. The women most affected do not lose their Medicaid cards; they can take those cards elsewhere, as evidence suggests they are already doing.

The bill also appropriates another $422 million to community health care centers, which offer women a much wider array of primary health care and are barred by law from performing abortions.

Planned Parenthood’s Arizona ad makes much of the claim that these community health centers can’t be found on “every corner.” The truth is that in Arizona and elsewhere, they are found on many times more corners than Planned Parenthood.

In Arizona today, federally qualified health care centers, health department clinics andhospital-based clinics outnumber Planned Parenthood’s by 18 to 1.

The truth about its abortion services

Planned Parenthood likes to say that abortion constitutes only 3 percent of their services. This has been described on one of the most liberal web sites in the nation as the “most misleading abortion statistic ever.”

That is because Planned Parenthood is a consistent national leader in carrying out elective abortions. In this single “service” area, Planned Parenthood controls one third of the U.S. market, having committed more than 1.6 million abortions over the past five years. Yet in 2015-16 fewer than 10,000 women obtained prenatal care from Planned Parenthood, which is a decline of more than 75 percent over the last six years.

Recall that the Trump Administration has repeatedly said that Planned Parenthood funds would not be reallocated if it ended its involvement in the abortion and fetal organ trade.

Planned Parenthood is benign? Not exactly

However, recent new videos have surfaced showing Planned Parenthood officials casually commenting about the human fetus being “a tough little object” that is hard to take apart, and how one Planned Parenthood abortionist avoids committing illegal partial-birth abortions by using one forceps to grip the fetus while using a second one “to hold the body at the [mother’s] cervix and pull off a leg or two,” thereby killing the unborn child.

These words and images would hardly make for good advertising. No wonder Planned Parenthood wants to leave Arizonans with the benign impression that it is an anti-cancer group and we have no alternative but to fund them to the hilt.

The facts say otherwise, and Senators McCain and Flake are acting in the interest of Arizona women and families by offering them something much better.

This article first appeared on www.azcentral.com on June 30, 2017

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