Unless one counts eliminating the natal part as care, that is. In the debate over defunding Planned Parenthood at the federal and state level, its executives and its defenders claim that doing so would be an attack on core health care for women, including pre-natal care for mothers-to-be. Live Action, which has long opposed federal funds for the nation’s largest abortion chain, decided to test that claim by calling 97 different PP clinics around the country. Grand total that provide pre-natal care? Five:

Today, Live Action released a new investigative video debunking Planned Parenthood’s claim that it provides critical prenatal care to pregnant women. The abortion giant has insisted that prenatal care is one of its core services that women will lose if its taxpayer funding is cut off. But Live Action’s investigation proves those services are virtually nonexistent at the abortion chain.

“The Prenatal Care Deception” is the first in Live Action’s “Abortion Corporation” series of investigative videos highlighting Planned Parenthood’s own employees saying its focus is providing abortions, not women’s health care. Live Action is releasing the investigative series as Congress plans to redirect Medicaid dollars away from Planned Parenthood to local health clinics and also vote on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

Although Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told the media in 2011 that “Prenatal care – these are the kinds of services that folks depend on Planned Parenthood for,” Live Action investigators searching for such services at Planned Parenthood were turned away by 92 of the 97 centers they contacted. They received responses like:

“Planned Parenthood offers abortions, so they don’t offer prenatal care.”

– Tempe, AZ, Planned Parenthood

“No, we don’t do prenatal services. I mean, it’s called Planned Parenthood, I know it’s kind of deceiving.”

– Merrillville, IN, Planned Parenthood

“No, see, we don’t see pregnant women as a way of giving prenatal care, we see pregnant women, um, you know, if they are considering other options.”

– Santa Fe, NM, Planned Parenthood

This is a long-awaited follow-up to a similar investigation about claims from Planned Parenthood about breast-cancer screening and diagnostics. In an earlier round of debate over barring federal funds from flowing to Planned Parenthood, Barack Obama argued that cutting off funds would endanger their ability to provide mammograms, but that claim turned out to be false. PP’s executives also claim that “one in five women depend on Planned Parenthood for health care,” which FactCheck.org demonstrated was way, way off; it’s closer to one in 30, and they offer no unique services that women can’t find at other clinics — except abortions.

Still, the sourcing on the start of the video looks a little thin, so it behooves people to check the Planned Parenthood website. Sure enough, they have a portal for pre-natal care, and a big button to click labeled “Find A Health Center & Book An Appointment.” However, the next page is their standard clinic search page, and it might be tough to spot that the term “pre-natal care” does not appear on the list of services provided by their clinics. It does list “Pregnancy Testing & Services,” but what exactly does that comprise? It’s not pre-natal care at most of these clinics:

  • pregnancy testing
  • abortion services
  • abortion referrals
  • adoption referrals
  • fertility awareness education
  • pregnancy planning services
  • trained staff to discuss your options with you if you are pregnant
  • trained staff to talk with you about early pregnancy loss (miscarriage)

The only mention of pre-natal care on the Tempe, AZ website (where the first call is placed) is this: “If you choose to continue a pregnancy, we will provide you with a list of resources to help you obtain prenatal care.” That’s also all the help they give with “abortion referrals,” too — handing a list to the patient that she could have gotten from any another clinic, or even off the internet. It seems quite a bit more likely that other clinics that aren’t oriented toward being abortion-mill chains might even actually have pre-natal resources right there … the kind of arrangement for lower-income women that it would make sense to fund on the federal level. To the extent that federal dollars go to Planned Parenthood, it crowds out other clinics who could have provided more comprehensive — and life-affirming — options and services.

Live Action promises a new series of these videos, and they usually deliver the goods. The timing is perfect. Let’s hope Congress and a new president are watching.