“Is there a war on babies in America?” Bill O’Reilly asked as a lead-in to his “Impact Segment” tonight. In reality, the question was nothing more than a pretext for launching a war against Planned Parenthood.
We start with the premise that all Americans must, must accept. When a woman undergoes an abortion, a baby will not be born. Simple fact. The leading abortion provider in the U.S.A. is Planned Parenthood which would not provide information to us for this report.
O’Reilly claimed that Planned Parenthood earned $100-300 million a year from abortions while being “subsidized by the taxpayer” as a non-profit organization. He said:
What they do with the money they get from the abortions isn’t known but we do know that this tax-exempt organization had close to $60 million left over in the fiscal year 2012-13. …So you can see that this is one very powerful organization and very profitable organization. And it’s having a profound effect on the nation’s population.
Kudos to guest Kirsten Powers who put aside her own pro-life philosophy in order to defend Planned Parenthood and point out where O’Reilly was wrong.
Powers said, “I do appreciate what Planned Parenthood does in other areas… so I want to be fair to them. …They’re not making money off of this, as a lot of people say.” She later explained that there is a difference between making money off a service provided and making a profit. “It’s a non-profit and that money is reinvested into the organization. It’s not like they’re dividing it up and giving bonuses to …”
She never got to finish because O’Reilly interrupted to say arrogantly, “Kirsten, listen to me. You don’t know what you’re talking about because they won’t tell us. You don’t know what they’re doing with the money. We don’t know what they’re doing with the money.”
O’Reilly’s complaint about Planned Parenthood's finances is disingenuous
According to Charity Navigator – which gave the organization four stars, the highest rating - we do know that Planned Parenthood spent 72.3% of its budget on programs and services. Interestingly, Charity Navigator downgrades charities that overspend but seems silent on those that come in under budget.
Furthermore, PolitiFact examined a similar claim about Planned Parenthood in 2011 and rated it “mostly false.”
We looked at whether “excess revenue over expenses” for a nonprofit is the same as “profit.” Most of the experts we consulted say no. And the one who would call it profit agrees that it’s not treated the same way as profit for a corporation. Companies distribute their profits to shareholders and owners, while nonprofits put their excess revenues back into the organization’s work.
PolitiFact also consulted Beth Gazley, assistant professor at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, who said that it’s very unlikely federal funding is going for anything other than what it’s supposed to. Gazley told them:
(T)he ‘taxpayer’-funded portions of the Planned Parenthood affiliates’ budgets are either program grants or reimbursements for services eligible for Medicaid. So the government-funded parts of the (Planned Parenthood) budget would NOT be generating a ‘profit’ – they would be used in full each year. This means any excess of revenues over expenses (AKA ‘profit’) would have come from other sources – private donations, endowment income, etc. So (the) argument that the taxpayers are somehow subsidizing this ‘profit’ is misleading.”
We asked Gazley how she knew the taxpayer portions were not the source of the excess revenue.
She cited her 16 years of experience as a fundraiser and management consultant for nonprofits, and her service as both a board member and past president of a developmental disabilities agency that is primarily Medicaid funded. “Based on my experience with other NPOs, it is very hard (to carry a surplus of federal funding from year to year) given the care that is taken in the calculation of formulas to reimburse only for real costs,” she wrote.
Somehow, the “no spin zone” missed all that.
Instead, O’Reilly turned to the other guest, Kate Obenshain. With just the same proof that she provided when she claimed that “It matters to our troops” if somebody wears a flag pin – which is to say none - she now suggested that Planned Parenthood uses federal funding for abortions, despite being barred from doing so. Obenshain said, “They can say that they don’t use (federal funding) for abortion. I think you and I and everybody else watching this knows that some of that money goes to a pot and it goes out.”
Obenshain’s “case” for this deceit was President Obama’s claim that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms when they don’t. But what Obenshain – who, by the way, was not wearing a flag pin – forgot to mention was that Planned Parenthood, while not directly providing mammograms, arranges for women to get mammograms. As FactCheck.org put it: “Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses conduct breast exams and refer patients to other facilities for mammograms. Individual clinics sometimes provide more than referrals, arranging for mobile mammography vans.”
Obenshain complained that Planned Parenthood spends “tons of money” on “publicity, promotion, family planning.” According to Obenshain, “That is advocacy of abortion” and “propaganda promoting abortion.”
Just as O’Reilly cooked up the War on Christmas as an excuse to attack what he calls the “secular progressives,” O’Reilly is now using a “war on babies” as cover to disguise his own aggression against Planned Parenthood.
I hate to break it to you, Bill. Attacking those with whom you disagree is not only not in keeping with the Christmas spirit you purport to hold so dear, but if you really care about babies’ welfare, how about making sure they get enough food and medical care, instead of throwing a hissy fit that too many people in your estimation doesn’t deserve it?
At any rate the ‘War on Reason’ continues at Fox.