State Rep. Ronald Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, today took a swipe at Planned Parenthood during debate in the last committee stop for the mandatory-ultrasound bill. Renuart claimed that 37 percent of Planned Parenthood’s income comes from abortions and that “it sounds like they don’t want to lose business,” based on its opposition to the bill.
“In 2008, Planned Parenthood put out a report that showed they did 305,000 abortions and the average cost was $450,” he explained. “The total income for Planned Parenthood alone was $374 million. Of that, $137 million was actually for abortion. That’s almost 37 percent of the total income from Parenthood is from abortions.”
Rep. Liz Porter, R-Lake City, had the same to say about Planned Parenthood. She claimed the organization is ultimately afraid of the effect the mandatory-ultrasound bill might have “on their bottom line.”
Planned Parenthood lobbyist Stephanie Kunkel was able to defend the organization until the debate period of another abortion-restriction bill. She directly addressed Renuart’s “miscommunication” of Planned Parenthood’s services.
“Mr. Renuart, 97 percent of the services that Panned Parenthood provides currently in Florida is prevention and education,” she said.
“Actually what I was quoting was a 2008 Planned Parenthood annual report,” Renuart shot back. “That comes from Planned Parenthood mobile on my Blackberry. Now, are you claiming that nationally your organization is misrepresenting statistics and sending out false reports?”
Committee chair Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill, ended the confrontation.
“This has nothing to do with the bill,” he said. “You don’t have to answer that.”
Exaggerations of the role abortion plays in Planned Parenthood’s services have become part of the national dialogue.
U.S. Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., recently received a lot of attention for his claim that abortions “are well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” His statement was proven unequivocally false. Kyl later contended that his statement was “not intended to be a factual statement.” This incited a tweet-storm from Stephen Colbert, who sent out a long list of “not intended to be factual statements” about Kyl. Droves of Colbert’s Twitter followers also joined in on the fun.
Three bills restricting access to abortions in the state of Florida were passed today during the health and human services committee vote. They will each be scheduled next for a House floor vote.