Fox & Friends teamed up with Laura Ingraham this morning to pretend that Planned Parenthood’s annual report shows a huge “growth industry” in abortions because they got an increased amount of government money. They blatantly disregarded the fact that abortion services account for about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities and that 96% for such medical services as STI/STD testing and treatment, cancer screening and prevention, prenatal services and contraception. The Friends also blindly accused the organization of ignoring restrictions on using federal funds for abortion. Instead, Ingraham cried, without challenge from any of the three hosts, “This is carnage!”
Steve Doocy started off by giving the false impression that at least a substantial portion of the money Planned Parenthood receives from the government goes to abortions. He said at the beginning of the discussion that Planned Parenthood received “more government money this past year than ever before… $542 million. That is a lot of abortions!” Given that Planned Parenthood is forbidden from using federal funds for abortion and that only 3% of its services are for abortions, Doocy almost surely knew he was promoting a distorted picture of the situation.
Not that anyone else cared to correct the record. Ingraham said,
“It’s a growth industry, right?...It is a heartbreaking and searing problem we have in this country where tax dollars are going to an organization that makes about, I believe $400 million-something off of the abortion procedure… We talk about big oil? This is big abortion. And they make big money off of it.”
Wrong. As Media Matters pointed out:
Ingraham's claim that Planned Parenthood makes $400 million from abortions is completely incorrect. According to its annual report, the organization actually received $311.5 million from non-governmental sources for the health care services it provided in 2011-12. According to Politifact, anti-abortion activists generally claim that Planned Parenthood receives far less than $400 million for abortion services, and even if their claims are correct, Planned Parenthood receives only 13 percent of its total revenue from abortion services.
But instead of balancing the falsehood with truth, Doocy, along with Ingraham, went on to accuse the organization of circumventing the restrictions on federal funds. “It all is movable money,” Ingraham alleged off-handedly. Nobody asked for nor provided evidence for such an accusation.
Meanwhile, Gretchen Carlson piled on by suggesting that abortion is the real business of Planned Parenthood. She said, “Remember, that was a big fight as to why they should… get this funding, was because they offer other services. Well, apparently, those other services are – as cancer prevention – have gone down.”
But they weren’t done with the misinformation. Ingraham said, “Remember, they don’t do mammograms at Planned Parenthood. That’s not a service they provide.” Well, not directly. But Planned Parenthood does provide access to mammograms as well as provide other breast cancer screening services. Another fact nobody provided.
Then, to add inflammatory rhetoric to distortions and smears, Ingraham concluded by saying:
And one of the grossest things about this report is that (Planned Parenthood president) Cecile Richards said, ‘We’re very proud of the work we’ve done.’ Think of those children, the smiles, the laughs, the lives they might have led. This is carnage.