Live Action, Snopes, and Planned Parenthood’s “Prenatal Care”
by Chad Gross
For those who haven’t seen the video, it features Planned Parenthood (PP) President Cecile Richards claiming that Planned Parenthood offers prenatal care at their clinics. Then the video features sound bites of numerous women calling various PP clinics across the country seeking prenatal care only to be told that “PP does not provide prenatal care.” Out of the 97 affiliates contacted, only 5 actually provided prenatal care. The obvious conclusion of the video is that PP is being deceptive in claiming that they provide prenatal care at their clinics.
However, the folks at Snopes.com – “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation” – have challenged the conclusion of the Live Action team. In this response, they argue that Live Action is guilty of: 1) taking PP President Cecile Richards out of context; and 2) leading people to believe that PP has claimed to offer prenatal care at all their facilities when it has never claimed any such thing.
Now let me be clear. I am unapologetically pro-life; however, the pro-life cause is not served by deceptive actions. If this video does include any type of deception, I want to publicly denounce it and distance myself from it.
So, is Live Action being deceptive, or does Snopes.com have it wrong? Let’s take a look. The Video Quotes
In the first quote featured in the video, Cecile Richards says, “Prenatal care. These are the kinds of services that folks depend on Planned Parenthood for.” So here we see that she is clearly claiming that PP does provide prenatal care (a “kind of” service), but she does not explicitly say that all of PP clinics provide prenatal care.
Conclusion: This quote shows that Cecile Richards claimed that prenatal care was one of many types of care offered by PP. Even Dan Evon in his Snopes piece writes, “…it’s clear that Richards was listing several services that Planned Parenthood provides.”
The second quote featured in the video features a quote from Richards while she is campaigning for Hillary Clinton. The quote from the video says, “…a president who will fight for prenatal care.” The entire context of the quote is as follows:
“They want a president who believes access to health care isn’t a luxury — it’s a human right.
They want a president who understands that being pro-choice also means being able to choose to have a child — and a president who will fight for prenatal care, head start, health care for kids and first class public schools because it takes a village!
They want a president who will stand up to the gun lobby and demand safety for kids in schools, folks in church, and women getting healthcare — no matter what. They want a president who will demand nobody is paid less just because they are a woman — we deserve 100 cents on the dollar!
They want a president who believes that access to health care isn’t a luxury it’s a human right. They also want a president who understands that being pro-choice actually means being able to choose to have a child. And a president who will fight for pre-natal care, and head start, and health care for kids, and excellent public education. Because as someone so famously said, it takes a village to raise a child. “
Interestingly, Snopes claims that Richards is quoted out of context and, at first glance, this seems true. Clearly the context is not provided! However, one can safely infer from the above quote that Richards is implying that PP provides prenatal care. How so? Think about it. Here we have the president of PP saying, “…a president who will fight for prenatal care.” While I am quite sure PP has nothing to do with the majority of the other services mentioned by Richards, who else would Richards be referring to here but PP? Certainly no Republican candidate ever insinuated that they would take away all prenatal care across the country! But they have expressed their desire to defund PP. Therefore, what Richards is essentially saying is, “We need a president that will protect PP and the prenatal care we offer.” Otherwise, the reference to prenatal care makes no sense whatsoever.
Conclusion: In this quote, Richards claims that PP offers prenatal care…
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