Hatch’s not-so-factual statement


Last year, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) got into a little trouble with a false claim about Planned Parenthood. Speaking from the Senate floor, during a GOP push to defund the health organization, Kyl said “over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does” is perform abortions.

When reminded that the actual number is 3 percent, Kyl’s office said his claim was “not intended to be a factual statement.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) must have missed this story. In a chat with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, Hatch said taxpayers are financing abortions, adding that while Planned Parenthood officials claim public funds aren’t used to terminate unwanted pregnancies, “about 95 percent of all they do, from what I understand, is abortions.”

Again, the actual number isn’t 90 percent or 95 percent, it’s 3 percent. These guys aren’t even close. As Ezra Klein reminded us a couple of weeks ago, “[T]hough the fight over Planned Parenthood might be about abortion, Planned Parenthood itself isn’t about abortion. It’s primarily about contraception and reproductive health. And if Planned Parenthood loses funding, what will mainly happen is that cancer screenings and contraception and STD testing will become less available to poorer people.”

What’s more, GOP claims notwithstanding, there’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest Planned Parenthood is ignoring the law and using public funds for abortions.

Maybe Hatch also didn’t intend this to be a factual statement?

Hatch's not-so-factual statement