Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bachmann ‘made up a quote’ about Planned Parenthood

CNN agrees with Minnesota Independent report: Bachmann claim is false

CNN’s Anderson Cooper fact-checked Rep. Michele Bachmann’s remarks about Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, particularly Bachmann’s repeated claims that “Planned Parenthood wants to be the LensCrafters of Big Abortion.” Cooper found that claim, made most recently on Monday during her visit to Iowa, to be incorrect. The Minnesota Independent’s check on that claim last year came to a similar conclusion.

At an event by the Family Leader in Iowa last weekend, Bachmann said, “The executive director of Planned Parenthood in Illinois said, ‘We want Planned Parenthood wants to be the LensCrafters of Big Abortion.’ They are the largest provider of abortion in the United States. And not only that, the are one of the largest political organizations you can imagine as well.”

Cooper said, “She’s made up a quote.”

Bachmann is grossly distorting a remark by the head of the Illinois Planned Parenthood from an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2008. As the Minnesota Independent reported in 2010:

“It is high time we follow the population,” said Sarah Stoesz, who heads Planned Parenthood operations in three Midwest states.

She recently opened three express centers in wealthy Minnesota suburbs, “in shopping centers and malls, places where women are already doing their grocery shopping, picking up their Starbucks, living their daily lives,” Ms. Stoesz said.

The mall sites promise walk-in convenience and “clothes-on” care, with services limited to birth-control counseling and tests for pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. Most patients are in and out in less than half an hour.

“I like to think of it as the LensCrafters of family planning,” Steve Trombley, the top executive in Illinois, said as he toured an express center a few doors down from a hair salon and a Japanese restaurant in the well-to-do suburb of Schaumburg, Ill.

Those clinics provide services other than abortions, which further contradicts Bachmann’s claim.

Cooper added that Planned Parenthood has spent far less on politics than Bachmann asserts. He notes that during the 2010 midterms, the United States Chamber of Commerce spent $33 million and the SEIU spent $53 million — much more than the $1 million Planned Parenthood spent on the election.

“Compared to the others,” Cooper said, “it’s hard to call it one of the largest political organizations you can imagine.”

Cooper last took on Bachmann’s grasp of facts last November after the Sixth District Republican falsely claimed that a trip to India by President Obama would cost taxpayers “$200 million per day.” When grilled by the BBC, Bachmann backtracked slightly, saying she was merely “quoting a newspaper” in India that made the inaccurate claim.

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