‘Young Turks’ co-host smacks down anti-abortion activist

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:42 EDT
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Anna Kasparian, co-host of "The Young Turks" on Current TV. Screengrab via Current TV.
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An anti-abortion activist who runs the advocacy group Pro-Life Action League was abruptly corrected on last night’s broadcast of “The Young Turks” after he claimed that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) does not do breast cancer screenings.

Speaking about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity’s recent decision to cut off grants to PPFA, Pro-Life Action League president Eric Scheidler claimed that Komen really just wants the money to go directly to helping women.

“Alright Eric, I’m not sure where you got your information from, but as a woman who has taken advantage of services at Planned Parenthood, I can say that they do cancer screenings,” co-host Ana Kasparian replied. “In fact, back in 2010, they did about 1.6 million cancer screenings, and that includes breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings. They have a host of other services that help women with their health care. Abortions are only a tiny fraction of what Planned Parenthood does.”

Following the interview, Kasparian claimed that Scheidler “is a complete spinster” who cited PPFA’s annual report as the basis of his phony talking point, when the same report actually shows that in 2010, PPFA carried out 329,445 abortions, but rendered 11,003,366 non-abortion health services. That means, she explained, that 97 percent of PPFA’s work is purely health related and not aimed at terminating pregnancies.

“Right, 97 percent of those services that help women are going to be hurt by this [Komen] decision and it’s going to cost millions of dollars,” host Cenk Uygur added. “And by the way, a lot of people won’t get those exams and they might get breast cancer, so it’s wildly counter-productive.”

Nearly 170,000 breast exams carried out by PPFA in the last five years were underwritten by grant money from the Komen charity.

This video is from Current TV, broadcast Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2012.

Correction: A prior version of this article said that Komen grants had underwritten 170,000 breast exams in 2010.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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