Kyl Walks Back Wildly False Claim About Planned Parenthood

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ThinkProgress catches U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl telling a whopper about Planned Parenthood on the Senate floor today:

This morning, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) took to the Senate floor and insisted that any bill must cut Planned Parenthood’s funding. In the process, he made a blatantly false claim about the type of services the organization provides:

KYL: Everybody goes to clinics, to doctors, to hospitals, so on. Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.

In fact, the exact opposite is true. According to Planned Parenthood officials, more than 90 percent of the health care services provided by the organization is preventive in nature. Each year, it provides more than one million cervical cancer screenings, 830,000 breast exams, and nearly four million exams, treatments, and tests involving sexually transmitted diseases. The federal funding received by the organization goes strictly toward these basic needs and others, such as birth control and annual exams. In fact, just three percent of its work is related to abortion.

Though some Republicans have attempted to move past the Planned Parenthood issue in order to reach a budget agreement, false information like that which Kyl is propagating has kept the debate from moving forward and made a budget deal almost impossible. If no deal is reached, Kyl and his Republican colleagues will be left defending their absurd decision to shutdown the government over a community health organization.

Kyl was walking back the statement later today:


This afternoon, CNN brought on Planned Parenthood’s Judy Tabar to discuss his comment. During the interview, CNN anchor Don Lemon relayed a statement from Kyl’s office walking back the comment, claiming the statement was not meant to be “factual”:

LEMON: We did call his office trying to ask what he was talking about there. And I just want to give it you verbatim here. It says, ‘his remark was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, a organization that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, does subsidize abortions.’

[ThinkProgress]

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