Moral Low Ground

US Government

Senator Jon Kyl Admits to Big-Time Lie about Planned Parenthood’s Abortion Rate

Job Kyl, a Republican US Senator from Arizona, took to the Senate floor on Friday to respond to Democrats’ charges that the main issue of partisan contention leading toward a government shutdown was a disagreement over funding for Planned Parenthood.

Many GOP lawmakers are keen on ending federal funding for Planned Parenthood, for the simple reason that the organization performs abortions. This is true. But Planned Parenthood is prohibited by law from spending any of the $363 million it receives from the federal government each year on abortions, so the Republican concerns seem rather irrelevant.

Still, opponents of Planned Parenthood argue that spending any federal funds on the group means taxpayers are forced to support abortion, albeit in an indirect way. These well-meaning folks are ignoring the invaluable health care services the organization provides to millions of American women each year: cancer screenings, breast exams, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases– just to name a few.

Some avowed opponents of Planned Parenthood will go to great lengths and resort to dubious methods in order to achieve their goal of ending federal funding of the group. Senator Kyl is one of these people. He took to the Senate floor, where he made this whopper of a claim:

“Everybody goes to clinics, to hospitals, to doctors, and 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.

Senator Kyl, you, sir, are a liar. The Pulitzer-Prize winning fact-check website took a closer look at what Planned Parenthood does. This is what they found: of a total of 11,383,900 services provided, only 332,278 were abortions. That’s 3%– more than 90% less than Senator Kyl claims.

When pressed to elaborate on his “well over 90%” claim, Kyl provided a statement to CNN which said his Senate floor speech “was not intended to be a factual statement but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions in taxpayer dollars, does subsidize abortions.”

Not intended to be a factual statement? Wow! Kyl’s admission that he lied on the Senate floor is possibly even more noteworthy than his wildly untrue statement about Planned Parenthood. We all know politicians lie. But it’s not every day that they issue statements to the media admitting it.

Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s Daily Show slammed Kyl’s speech:

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  1. IdahoRobbieApril 17, 2011 at 3:14 pmReply

    Can he be forced to put a correction in the Senate record? His mis-statement (read lie) was on the record. How can we get him to do so? Anyone know?

    • Brett WilkinsApril 22, 2011 at 10:38 amReplyAuthor

      Not sure, but look at it this way: his lie is there on the record forever, for anyone who cares to see!

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