Raul Labrador Badly Twists the Facts on Planned Parenthood

During his successful congressional campaign last year, now-Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) used his opposition to abortion-rights as a wedge issue to criticize his opponent, who was the most conservative Democrat in the House. The freshman congressman recently joined his conservative colleagues by voting in favor of the Pence amendment to defund the women’s health organization Planned Parenthood. ABC’s Boise affiliate KIVI reports:

Freshman Boise congressman, Raul Labrador says the abortion debate just about splits this country in half, but GOP lawmakers argues all Idahoans agree on one part. “They don’t want the federal government to be abortions. There’s so much money going to Planned Parenthood. And it’s impossible for us to know where they’re going. They claim they are not funding any abortion with that money, but that’s the main business they do,” argues Labrador.

Planned Parenthood believes Congress is attempting to take away the reproductive rights of women. However, Congressman Labrador takes exception to that. The freshman republican, states, “I don’t think Planned Parenthood speaks for women. If they want to provide services, they can continue to do so. We’re not closing their shop, we’re just saying no more federal funding.” The Senate is expected to vote on the resolution this coming week.

However, Labrador is indisputably wrong when he said that abortion is Planned Parenthood’s “the main business.”

Abortion services account for just three percent of the group’s services, with the vast majority going towards contraception, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, immunizations, and screenings for breast and cervical cancer. Such services especially help women without health insurance, with Planned Parenthood clinics sometimes acting as the only women’s health service providers in many regions.

Labrador also incorrectly describes the federal government’s role in providing abortion services, as the 35-year old Hyde Amendment prohibits federal taxpayer funding abortion care except in the cases of rape and incest, or when the woman’s life is at risk.

The freshman Congressman’s erroneous statements reflect the collaboration of Religious Right and Republican leaders to dishonestly smear Planned Parenthood.