UPDATE: Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado’s Cathy Alderman weighs in:
“Jeb Bush clearly does not understand Colorado women and their health. In our state Planned Parenthood serves more than 80,000 Coloradans, the majority of which are women. Colorado women trust Planned Parenthood, and depend on them to get the health care they need.”
Reports are starting to come in from Republican presidential candidate Jeb! Bush’s town hall in Englewood today–though nominally focused on veteran’s issues, Jeb! reportedly answered questions on a number of topics.
As Democratic-leaning fact-checking site Correct the Record reports, not very factually:
Hot off of insulting immigrant families, today Jeb turned his scattershot firepower back to women’s health at a town hall in Englewood, Colorado.
“I don’t think Planned Parenthood ought to get a penny because they’re not actually doing women’s health issues,” Jeb said. [Pols emphasis]
This is a shock to the one in five American women who have used Planned Parenthood’s health services at least once in their lives. In addition to 900,000 annual cancer screenings, Planned Parenthood provides 4.5 million annual STI tests and courses of treatment. Though Jeb and other Republican politicians paint Planned Parenthood to be solely a provider of abortion services, 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s client services go toward helping prevent unplanned pregnancies in the first place and abortion services make up 3 percent.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, as you can expect, was ready to call BS on the assertion that they don’t provide care for women’s health issues besides abortion services–with ample statistics:
“It’s clear Jeb Bush shouldn’t be making health care decisions for anyone — just look at what he did to women’s health in Florida. However this does beg the question — if providing millions of women each year with birth control, breast exams and pregnancy tests and more doesn’t count as women’s health in Jeb Bush’s world, what does?”
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s most trusted providers of high-quality, affordable reproductive health care for women, men, and young people. In 2013, Planned Parenthood’s nearly 700 nonprofit health centers provided a total of 10,590,433 services, including:
Providing 2,131,865 women with reversible contraception, including 1,440,495 emergency contraception kits
Provided 378,692 Pap tests
Provided 487,029 breast exams and care
Screened 87,988 women whose cancer was detected early or whose abnormalities were identified
Provided 34,739 HPV Vaccinations
Performed 2,095 LEEP procedures
Provided 1,128,783 Pregnancy Tests
Provided 18,684 Prenatal Services
Provided 327,653 Abortion Procedures
Provided 47,264 Urinary Tract Infections Treatments
While the group gets a large amount of attention for abortion services, Planned Parenthood says such services make up 3 percent of the health care it provides, according to its latest annual report. The clinics also provide preventive health services, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
Tuesday was not the first time Bush has drawn criticism for comments regarding Planned Parenthood. He remarked last month that he was “not sure we need half a billion dollars in funding for women’s health programs” writ large.
Bush later said that he “misspoke” in lumping other health organizations together with Planned Parenthood…
And that, dear reader, is how you take an issue that’s a no-brainer with your base of support and turn it into a liability. Now, the story isn’t about Jeb! engaging in the popular, even obligative Republican pastime of beating up on Planned Parenthood.
The story is how Jeb! still can’t get his facts straight.