Last week, Presidential candidate Marco Rubio declared that organizations like Planned Parenthood are creating a profit incentive for abortions. He told an Iowa-based TV station:
I just think you’ve created an industry now — a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue — these centers — for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.
This grotesque distortion of what organizations like Planned Parenthood do and how women reach the difficult decision to have an abortion is indicative of not only the lying culture within the Republican party, but the pervasive, bigoted attitude towards women.
Firstly, Rubio is simply lying through his teeth about anyone making a profit out of abortions. Planned Parenthood is a bonafide non-profit organization subject to rigorous state and federal inspection and monitoring. Abortions make up a tiny part of the services offered by Planned Parenthood (roughly 3%), and neither the women or Planned Parenthood make a profit from donated fetal tissue. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood charges $30-$100 for expenses related to handling and transportation of the tissues sent to universities and hospitals for scientific and medical purposes, and most likely loses money. FactCheck.org spoke with Sherilyn J. Sawyer, the director of Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Biorepository about this charge, and Sawyer said it would be almost impossible to make money at that cost:
In reality, $30-100 probably constitutes a loss for [Planned Parenthood]. The costs associated with collection, processing, storage, and inventory and records management for specimens are very high. Most hospitals will provide tissue blocks from surgical procedures (ones no longer needed for clinical purposes, and without identity) for research, and cost recover for their time and effort in the range of $100-500 per case/block. In the realm of tissues for research $30-100 is completely reasonable and normal fee.
So there you have it – Rubio is simply lying about any potential ‘incentive’ for either Planned Parenthood or women having abortions.
The most troubling aspect of Rubio’s lying though is his truly appalling attitude towards women. To think that vulnerable women, some of whom are victims of rape and incest, are tempted to get abortions because they are looking to make a quick buck is absolutely disgusting. Regardless of the fact that Rubio has absolutely no evidence whatsoever to back up his claim, the mere fact that he thinks this is an indictment of his neanderthal views. If you’ve ever met someone who has had an abortion, you’d know that financial incentive was the absolute last thing on their minds
Rubio and his fellow white, male Republicans are engaging in a very serious war against women in America and are using a doctored, blatantly misleading video to take down one of the country’s most important women’s health care resources. Republicans see no harm in lying or smearing women – tactics that are no longer part of a coherent strategy, but a defining characteristic of the party itself.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.