Secularprolife.com put up a blog post on their site that’s been very popular with the rest of the pro-life community. The title reads as follows; “Planned Parenthood Deceives Breast Health Donors”.
They’re referring to the big hullabaloo that was raised when the Komen cancer organization announced it was going to stop providing funding to planned parenthood (those unfamiliar with that incident can follow this link).
The summation of the blog piece attacking planned parenthood is that a drop in the number of breast cancer exams in 2012 means that planned parenthood lied to donors and the reader is supposed to infer that all that money was instead spent on abortions.
Pro-lifers, despite all evidence to the contrary, would like you to believe that almost all the money Planned Parenthood raises goes to abortions (the percentage that goes to abortions is actually quite low). Take a moment to read through the crucial paragraph I’m discussing here:
Now that you’re done reading I’m going to show you a magic trick I call; “Proper research done without confirmation bias followed by conclusions drawn based on experience and not ignorance.”
Planned Parenthood issued a number of statements following the Komen incident. The following press release here gives a more thorough explanation of what they intended to do with the money as opposed to the rather vague “wildest dreams” quote linked by our secularprolife blogger (curiously, the blogger in question didn’t link to this more detailed summary of what Planned Parenthood had in mind).
While we’re reading this August 20th 2012 statement issued by Planned Parenthood’s PR department, a statement that in no way conflicts with said secularprolife preferred quoted statement made on February 3rd, 2012 please keep in mind SecularProLife’s’s claim of: “Note that Planned Parenthood has never offered mammograms, despite some rhetoric to the contrary…”
(Begin quote from Planned Parenthood’s press release:)
“As a trusted provider of health care to nearly three million patients a year, Planned Parenthood has a deep understanding of the challenges women often face when seeking care. When it comes to following up on breast abnormalities, fear and cost are two of the most significant barriers. Planned Parenthood is addressing these barriers through its expanded breast health work, with an emphasis on several key program areas:
• Grants for follow-up diagnostic care awarded to local health centers to help cover some of the costs associated with follow-up care, like ultrasounds and biopsies.
• Digital breast health educational resources specifically designed for and targeted to women aged 18-39.
• An expanded promotores educational and outreach program to reach Latinas.
• A new and unique tool specially designed for Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses to better assess breast cancer risk in patients — including those under 40.
(End quote from Planned Parenthood’s press release)
If you look at Planned Parenthood’s 2011 and 2012 IRS tax form 990 then you see that there’s a roughly 3,000,000 dollar increase (part IX, page 10, item 3) in grants given to programs outside the United States. Based on an examination of form 990s from previous years, one could reasonably conclude that Planned Parenthood put that three million dollars to the development of women’s health care in countries in like, South America and Africa (you’ll note that a significant portion of the “outside the United States” grants went to sub-Saharan African areas).
Anyone who understands anything about project management, especially from a budgetary perspective (Something I deal with daily) knows that when you do an expansion project a great deal of the money goes into start-up costs.
A good example of this is the Audubon society who had a couple of particularly bad years in their ratings on Charity Navigator when it came to charitable expenditures. However at the time, further investigation showed that the Audubon had made a significant property investment that year; a purchase of wetlands that took a huge chunk out of their operating budget.They purchased the property so they could develop it as a nature preserve so they naturally suffered a shortfall of services during that and the following year because they were investing in the ability to perform increased future services.
Expansion and improvement costs tend to have a significant fiscal impact that decrease available capital for expenditures in other areas but businesses and charities do it because they’re working on the principle that it will give them greater ability to perform down the line.
So here’s my problem with your claim. You’ve done what I’d call “an analysis done in ignorance and haste.”
You do understand that no one gives a group 3 million dollars to do breast exams and they just hire a bunch of dudes to run out and grope women’s breasts and call it an exam (well technically we do that, it’s called CPAC but still there’s normally a lot more to it than that).
Anyone who knows anything about business and budgetary finance gets these concepts. I’m looking at their form 990s and I can immediately see an indication based on the past several years that in 2012 they put an additional 3 million dollars over their normal yearly budgets into world areas that I can very easily believe need these services. I can infer that the 3 million was put into this apparent expansion but realistically I’d need to see the project proposal and budgetary expenditures to be really sure.
Perhaps where you come from what I’ve done is called “rhetoric” but from where I come from this is called “an unbiased fiscal analysis.” and I can tell you right now sport that out of the two of us, your report would get you ignored and/ or fired because you’ve made a potentially slanderous claim based on insufficient evidence, unless you have access to the project proposals and the budgetary scope which if you did, why didn’t you link them in your article?
I don’t think you have to worry about being sued, your claim is fairly easy to dismiss and I suspect Planned Parenthood has taken an attitude that it is best to ignore all the slanderous bullshit that pours out of the pro-life community directed at them because if they responded to it all? The money they raised would go to pursuing lawsuits instead of helping out women.
But I will do this: To the writer of that blog: 100 bucks.
I’m taking you up on your bet, however don’t link me to your blog post with your spurious claims based on a cherry picked detail. If you’re going to prove that planned parenthood defrauded donors, you’re going to have to provide me with a detailed fiscal analysis that includes the project scope, the budgetary spending, and the eventual outcome of said spending, spending that in their own words includes grants for follow-up diagnostic care, digital breast health educational resources, an expanded promotores educational and outreach program to reach Latinas, and a new and unique tool specially designed for Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses to better assess breast cancer risk in patients.
Because boyo, that’s not rhetoric. That’s a clearly stated summary that is easily fact checked if you have the information to do it and since you’re the one making the claim of fraud; it’s on you to back up your claim and I mean really back it up, not with just cherry picked numbers. What I have on my side is a rather strong indicator of where the money has gone as well as the IRS’s acceptance of their expenditures as legitimate. I’m not saying that’s enough for me to make an absolute claim of victory but between the two of us, my horse has definitely taken the lead.
You’re falling behind, Sport and you’re going to have to ride hard to keep up.
I’d like to see our bet resolved but I’m also content to let our bet stand as it is because I’m preparing for when you Kent Hovind the whole thing. I could be wrong that you’re going to pull a Kent Hovind here, if I am I’m prepared to offer my apologies.
You do realize that If you deny what I’m saying about a proper budgetary analysis to determine the truth of the matter then that would make you the anti-vaxxer version of the financial services industry.
And please be aware that making accusations like you made when you lack the tools to understand why what you’re doing is wrong, or have them but don’t care, is at best incredibly irresponsible, at worst ethically repugnant and dangerous. I’d ask in the future that you be more circumspect and seek professional guidance when taking on such an endeavor.
One hundred bucks on the table.
(this blog is a transcript from the following video)
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03/29/14 correction: “the development of women’s health care in countries like South America and Africa” should be “the development of women’s health care in countries in like, South America and Africa”.
02/11/17: edit to fix broken link t0 2011 tax return