A recent article posted by Timothy Lee of Vox.com critiques the use of a chart by Rep. Jason Chaffetz during the Congressional hearing with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. The article titled “GOP congressman doubles down on comically misleading Planned Parenthood chart.”
However, in reading the article, Mr. Lee has hilariously went all in on “correcting” the chart while making some very poor conclusions.
During the hearing, Rep. Chaffetz put a slide of a chart up showing a decline in Cancer Screenings and Cancer Prevention services and contrasted that with the increase of abortions over the same time span. Cecile Richards denied knowing about the chart and when Rep. Chaffetz pointed out that the chart represents data from Planned Parenthood’s corporate reports, she responded with, “Excuse me. My lawyers have informed me that the source of this is Americans United for Life which is an anti-abortion group so I would check your source.”
That quote has apparently given Planned Parenthood lackeys and pro-abortion liberals something to cheer about???
First off, the source of the chart in question was from Americans United for Life, but their being “anti-abortion” has nothing to do with providing information regarding Planned Parenthood’s services that they self-report. So, Mrs. Richards denial and deflection only demonstrates that she’s not familiar with the services that her clinics are providing on an annual basis.
Secondly, as Mr. Lee points out in his article, or attempts to point out, is that while the chart used shows the correct number of services provided when looking at Cancer Screenings/Preventative services provided between 2006-2013 by Planned Parenthood and contrasted with the number of abortions, the representation of the decline vs. incline is misleading.
He has hung his hat on showing the following chart as “misleading:”
Which, at first he made a decent case. Why would the larger number of 935,573 end up below the smaller number of 327,000? That’s not how graphs work. But as I thought about it, it’s only misleading in not being a typical graph display. However, I believe that the makers of the chart have done this intentionally to dramatize the point they were making. It’s showing that one service has declined while the other has increased. Which is true according to the data.
This dramatic representation of correct data, apparently left Mr. Lee upset. So he decided to “correct” the chart:
The above “correction” shows a more typical rendering of the data. Of course, this is still misleading as the 500,000 increments make it appear as though abortions have stayed the same over the past 7 years as the line does not appear to “increase” at all, but that’s another story. Change the 500,000 increments to 5,000 and you’d see a huge difference!
Yet, this “accurate” graph shows a telling story in the drastic decline of Cancer screening and prevention services. From 2,000,000 to 935,000 over the course of 7 years. Just some quick math, that’s 1,071,798 fewer screenings. A 53.4% decline. While abortions during that time increased by 37,250. Or a 12.9% increase. The cold hard facts are evident, and are not weighing in Planned Parenthood’s favor.
Of course, trying oh so hard to make the chart used appear misleading surely wasn’t a strong case for Mr. Lee’s argument. Creating a typical chart simply couldn’t show the “truth” Mr. Lee wants you to believe, but he doesn’t realize that the irony is on him. So rather than sticking with his hand, he decided to go all-in with a bluff by creating another chart. The problem with his doing this, is that it doesn’t change the cards he’s holding. The thing he missed is that, his going all-in gave away his tell, as the chart he made only further implicates Planned Parenthood’s “quality” of services provided. Let’s take a look at it:
Here we are focusing on the green and orange lines. The comparison being drawn is on the changes from 2007-2013 of Contraceptive services compared to STI/STD testing and treatment services over that time period.
My first thought when I saw the graph was, “Why would you use this chart to try and defend Planned Parenthood?”
The reason I thought that, is because of how incriminating it is. As these lines clearly show a decrease in contraception services and an increase in STI/STD testing and treatments. For an organization that is supposedly working to reduce the number of “unwanted” pregnancies through providing preventative services such as contraception, they apparently are doing less and less of this every year. However, they are providing more STI/STD tests and treatments. Which this is kind of misleading from Planned Parenthood’s perspective as they do not show the break down of tests vs. treatments being provided. I mean, are they providing 4.3 million tests and only 0.17 million treatments???
Besides my initial thought on why this chart would be used, it also attempts to mislead readers into thinking that Planned Parenthood is providing some sort of “good” service to counter their abortion services. This is a very typical tactic used by Planned Parenthood supporters. But no one should really buy it.
In fact if you do want to buy this guys charts, you should first know that contraception services over the course of 7 years has decreased by about 10% (which I’ll remind you that abortion services increased by nearly 13%). And STI/STD related services has increased by 48%. What this means, is that while the bottom line of total services provided by Planned Parenthood has not seen a drastic overall change, as Mr. Lee points out at the end of his article. The type of services they provide has drastically changed. It could just be a coincidence but for the differences between the decrease of contraception services being approximately the same as the increase in abortion services and the increase in STI/STD related services being approximately the same as the decrease in Cancer screening/prevention services (48% vs. 52%) one has to wonder about the services Planned Parenthood provides and promotes?