Calvin Freiburger

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Leana Wen, Planned Parenthood Federation of American's new president

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New Planned Parenthood head spins abortion as ‘health care,’ dodges fact-check on ‘The View’

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September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Newly-minted Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen joined the left-wing talk show The View Thursday to further introduce herself to the public, reciting common talking points and deflecting mild challenges in the process.

Planned Parenthood announced Wednesday that Wen, a former George Washington University physician and Baltimore Health Commissioner, would be taking over for Cecile Richards, on whose watch the abortion giant increased its abortion activities while decreasing actual health services.

Wen opened the discussion by hailing the United States’ largest abortion provider as “an organization that for the last 100 years has done more for women’s health than any other.” She repeated the claim from her introductory video that Planned Parenthood supplied her poor family with “basic medical services like cancer screening and family planning” as new immigrants from China.

“And I’m taking on this role in part because I’m a new mother myself. I have a baby who just turned one, and nothing has been more clarifying for me than being a parent,” Wen added. “Because it clarifies my values and what it is that I want to fight for. And what I want to fight for is the same access to health care that everybody should have, that health care should be understood as a human right.” Nobody on the panel asked her to explain how raising a baby reinforced her devotion to an organization that aborts babies.

Joy Behar asked her whether she believes Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s repeated affirmations during his Senate testimony that he considers Roe v. Wade “settled law.”

“No, I do not,” she answered, citing President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to apply a pro-life litmus test to Supreme Court nominees and Kavanaugh’s pair of rulings indirectly touching on abortion. “And I see every day what’s at stake,” she added, repeating another point from her introduction video about an emergency-room patient who supposedly died after a home abortion attempt.

The specter of deadly back-alley abortions is prominent in pro-Roe apologetics, despite the multiple admissions from ex-Planned Parenthood insiders that they wildly inflated pre-Roe maternal deaths and that most illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians.

Sunny Hostin used her opportunity to credit Planned Parenthood’s “noble” health services for low-income and minority women, but contrasted that with the group’s abortion statistics.

“I think in 2016 Planned Parenthood provided 328,348 abortions, and in terms of emergency contraception kits, 730,329. That’s more than well women exams, pap tests, HPV vaccinations, Planned Parenthood doesn’t perform mammograms, but Planned Parenthood I don’t think is transparent about that,” she said. “Planned Parenthood says it’s only 3% of their services, the Washington Post has found that to not be accurate, has found it to be more like 12%” in its 2015 fact-check.

Wen didn’t address her numbers, but simply claimed that the abortion giant “follows the law, and is transparent and makes clear what are the procedures that we perform and what are the services that we perform.” She doubled down on the claim that “over 90% of the services performed are preventive care services.”

Hostin retorted that “you’re separating it, it provides more abortions than any other, so why not be transparent about that?” Wen responded by changing the subject, insisting that “there are no federal taxpayer dollars that go towards abortions,” and that its federal funding comes in the form of service reimbursements rather than “a check written every year.”

Few if any have ever disputed the specific mechanism distributing money to Planned Parenthood, however, and while it cannot spend that money directly on abortions, Duke University healthcare analyst Chris Conover estimates that taxpayers effectively cover almost 25% of abortion costs by freeing up abortionists’ other funding streams.

Abby Huntsman then jumped in to ask if she could understand the perspective of pro-lifers who “have a hard time” with funding Planned Parenthood due to its abortion business, “whether or not the money is direct or indirect.” Instead of answering, Wen pivoted to an emotional appeal that “here’s my concern, though, that healthcare shouldn’t be political, needing medications for your children isn’t political.”

The audience met the talking point with applause, at which point Whoopi Goldberg concluded the segment on a pro-Planned Parenthood note by declaring that “making hard decisions, like if your child needs an abortion because someone has raped her shouldn’t be a political decision, it shouldn’t be a decision that you make, it should be a decision that a parent and the doctor make” (a curious statement in light of Planned Parenthood’s opposition to parental involvement laws).

Goldberg also suggested that compulsory support for Planned Parenthood was no different than anything else the federal government finances. “I don’t want my money going to all these wars, but I understand that as an American citizen, that’s what we have to do,” she said, neglecting the fact that military action is a federal power enumerated in the Constitution, whereas abortion is not mentioned expressly or implicitly.

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Calvin Freiburger

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Calvin Freiburger is a Wisconsin-based conservative writer and 2011 graduate of Hillsdale College. His commentary and analysis have been featured on NewsReal Blog, Live Action, and various other conservative websites. Before joining LifeSiteNews, he spent two years in Washington, DC, working to build support for the Life at Conception Act with the National Pro-Life Alliance, then worked a year and a half as assistant editor of TheFederalistPapers.org. You can follow him on Twitter @CalFreiburger, and check out his personal website, ConservativeStandards.com.