by Carl E. Olson | CWR blog
I rarely watch "The O'Reilly Factor" (which too often comes off as an hour-long infomercial for books titled Killing So-and-So), but I just caught a few minutes of a segment on the Planned Parenthood videos. And, once again, some morally-challenged hack—pretty, tough, and wearing a red power dress—trotted out the tired "97% of what Planned Parenthood does has nothing to do with abortion", which is the more positive way of claiming that abortions make up only 3% of what that vile cabal does behind closed doors.
Those numbers, of course, have been challenged. Rich Lowry of National Review recently wrote, in a New York Post opinion piece:
Practically every defender of the organization, fighting to preserve its federal funding, reverts to the 3 percent figure. How could you possibly, they ask, defund a group that devotes itself overwhelmingly to uncontroversial procedures and services for women?
The 3 percent figure is an artifice and a dodge, but even taking it on its own terms, it’s not much of a defense. Only Planned Parenthood would think saying that they only kill babies 3 percent of the time is something to brag about.
The group performs about 330,000 abortions a year, or roughly 30 percent of all the abortions in the country. By its own accounting in its 2013-2014 annual report, it provides about as many abortions as Pap tests (380,000). The group does more breast exams and provides more breast-care services (490,000), but not by that much. The 3 percent figure is derived by counting abortion as just another service like much less consequential services. So abortion is considered a service no different than a pregnancy test (1.1 million), even though a box with two pregnancy tests can be procured from the local drugstore for less than $10.
Lowry likens this to Major League Baseball teams saying "that they sell about 20 million hot dogs and play 2,430 games in a season, so baseball is only .012 percent of what they do." But in doing so, he pushes aside the key issue at hand: the morality of the action involved.
What if Jared Bogle, who recently plummeted from Subway sandwich fame to child porn infamy, were to make the argument, "I only photographed and touched 3% of the children I was around"? How would that fly? Do you think it might sway people to think he really isn't that bad of a guy?
Or, what if sadistic serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, and necrophile Ted Bundy had made the statement: