Thursday, August 6, 2015

Senator (D-NV) Harry Reid Becomes a Dual Award Winner Receiving Both the PolitiFact “Pants on Fire” Award and the Coveted Washington Post “Four Pinocchios” for His Bogus Lie That 30 Percent of US Women Rely on Planned Parenthood for Health Care



Although Harry has told some outlandish tall tales on the floor of the Senate where he is protected by law, even if the statements are clearly libelous or even slanderous, but in a 29 July 2015 floor speech he made this statement that even Ripley wouldn’t have believed.

“The Republican bill pretends to be for women’s health, but it would prohibit federal funds to go to an organization that is the health care backbone for American women during their lives. In fact, it is the only health care that a significant number of women get. For about 30 percent of women, that’s their health care.” 

Thankfully, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, a Washington Fact Checker was “on the job” and wrote the below column on 5 August 2015, calling him out on it and pointing out where he again couldn’t or wouldn’t get his “facts” straight.  We all remember when Harry took to the Senate floor to slander Mitt Romney with his totally false Four Pinocchio claim that Romney had not paid his taxes in 10 years.  It seems Harry has no shame and tells whatever lie he wishes, as long as he is protected by saying it from his protected perch on the Senate Floor.  Of course you notice he never utters this nonsense from outside the Senate where he would be subject to a law suite.

The anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress has recently released five covert videos of Planned Parenthood officials describing in graphic detail how they alter their abortion procedures so as to preserve fetal body parts including “whole cadavers” in order to maximize their sales value.  As it is illegal to alter abortion procedures or sell fetal tissues for profit, there is an effort by conservatives in Congress to cutoff Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.  It was in defense of Planned Parenthood funding that Harry made his “Pants on Fire” and “Four Pinocchios” winning false claim that “eliminating their funding would jeopardize health care for 30 percent of women.”

It is a fact that in 2013 Planned Parenthood received $528.4 million in Government funds, mostly from Medicaid reimbursements and grants.  According to the 2013 Census there were 161 million US women with 120.3 million over 20 years old and another 10.3 million 15-to-19 in age.  If 30 percent of them relied on Planned Parenthood for their health care, that would be 36 to 39 million women but according to Planned Parenthood only 2.7 million women and men visit its health centers every year. Hence, even Planned Parenthood says Reid’s statement is bogus.

Planned Parenthood officials do claim that “one in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life.” Still using the 2013 Census data, that would be 26 million US women over 15 years old but that “one in five” statistic is highly questionable as it was based on a Planned Parenthood internal poll of dubious methodology.  Opt-in Internet surveys, which do not accurately estimate population values, do not meet anybody’s polling methodology standards.  Also, that was “one in five” at least once over a LIFETIME!

In 2011, there were about 4.6 million women who received Federally funded health care (including contraceptive care, screening for sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer screening) but if even 30 percent of all those women went to Planned Parenthood centers, the number would still be a fraction of Reid’s bogus figure. 

The Washington Post was correct in calling out Reid for his bogus claim that 30 percent of women rely on Planned Parenthood for their health care and so he was a well deserving recipient of  the PolitiFact “”Pants on Fire” Award as well as the Washington Post’s coveted Four Pinocchios.