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Thursday, April 14, 2011
NewsBusters Fact-Check: Kyl Misquoted Saying A Different False Claim
Topic: NewsBusters

Matt Hadro turned a sad little bit of "fact-checking" in an April 8 NewsBusters post: that Sen. Jon Kyl was accused of making a different false claim than the one he made.

During an interview of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, CNN anchor Deborah Feyerick not only failed to ask Richards any tough questions about federal funding of the organization, but entirely misquoted the claim of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood services are abortions.

Feyerick began the segment attributing to Kyl a bizarre claim that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood's funding goes to abortions. Obviously, that was red meat for Richards who dismantled the faux statement claiming that no federal funding goes to abortions.

The following is what Sen. Kyl said on the Senate floor: "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 and 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."Sen. Kyl did not say that 90 percent of funding goes to abortions at Planned Parenthood, but that 90 percent of its services are abortions, another argument entirely.

Hadro doesn't mention that the claim he insists Kyl actually made is wrong too. As PolitiFact details, Kyl's claim that abortion is "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does" is egregiously false on the basis of total services the group provides; on a per-client basis, abortion makes up only 3 percent of services.

Even the aggressively anti-abortion website LifeNews, has to resort to such far-out comparisons as abortion to adoption referrals or prenatal care to come up with any ratio that approximates the 90-percent figure Kyl cited -- and it still wouldn't prove Kyl correct, however much it purports to divine the "intent of Kyl's remarks."

Hadro also calls the claim that no federal money Planned Parenthood receives goes toward abortion a "faux statement," but he offers no evidence to back it up -- perhaps because that itself is a faux statement. The federal government has long mandated that no federal funding go toward abortion.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:50 AM EDT

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