PPSNE CEO Judy Tabar was on the front lines for Sen. Jon Kyl's infamous "not intended as a factual statement" statement. Judy was live on CNN when Kyl's unintentionally comic effort to distance himself from a wildly off-base assertion was received by the anchor. Watch the clip here:
HOLMES: Our poll of what is next to last of the things that Americans want the government to work on, and right now. Judy Tabar is president of Planned Parenthood of southern New England joins me now from Washington. Ma'am, thank you for being here. Let me get your reaction, because we sat up and heard that from him on the Senate floor today. He says that what you do at Planned Parenthood is abortions. Is that correct?
JUDY TABAR, PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND: It could not be further from the truth -- 90 percent of what we do is to provide primary and preventative care, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, birth control, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Our focus is prevention.
HOLMES: And I have statistics that say that three percent of the services that you provided in '08 is what you had posted on the website is 3 percent were abortion service, and can you help me to explain or any way that you can explain how he could have arrived at that number? Is there a difference of the percentage of the services versus the percentage of the money that you use to go towards abortion services?
TABAR: First of all, no federal funds are used for abortion services. That has been the law of the land since the '70s and we have followed the law. That is very clear.
HOLMES: All right, I do want to pass along to viewers here as we heard from Senator Kyl trying to ask what he was talking about there, and, you know what, I want to give it to you verbatim here. It says that "His remark was not intended to be a factual statement but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions in taxpayer dollars, does subsidize abortions." So that is their statement. Take it for what you will there.
But you have been with Planned Parenthood you told me about 30- something years and you been working with the organization and you have seen anything like what we are seeing right now?
TABAR: No. It is absolutely outrageous that the government could be potentially shutdown over an issue that would prevent women from getting pap smears, birth control, and breast exams. And as I said before, Planned Parenthood is focused on prevention. We are focused on helping people plan a healthy pregnancy and prevent an unintended pregnancy, and that's over 90 percent of our work.
HOLMES: Yes, and ma'am, I know some of the arguments with rehearing on Capitol Hill and some of the questions that Americans have about Planned Parenthood and the numbers do bear out that some of the clinics that you have around the country provide abortions and roughly 300,000 over the past several years have been provided by Planned Parenthood clinics.
But people try to understand that yes, you get federal money, and it is illegal to have it go towards abortions, but how do you necessarily separate once the money is together, how does the person know for sure that no money, no taxpayer money is going towards supporting an abortion clinic quite frankly?
TABAR: Well, again, this is has been the law of the land since the '70'7 '70s, and we followed the law of the land and we are held accountable.
HOLMES: How do you do that?
TABAR: Well, like any health care organization, we have an annual audit. And we are accountable to an audit and accountable to the funders to ensure that we used the funds the way they were intended. Once again, these funds primarily serve help us serve low income women, women who would have nowhere else to go for the services if Planned Parenthood were not here. Just think --
HOLMES: Yes, ma'am, go ahead.
TABAR: Just think what would happen if Planned Parenthood was not here and the number, the increase in the number of unintended pregnancies and people not getting treated for sexually transmitted infections, the teen pregnancy rate would go up. We provide a critical service.
HOLMES: And one more thing here, and again, it was talked about on Capitol Hill here and clear this up, because many people do have this question, you do get federal money, and yes, you could say it goes over here in this area, and not towards abortion services, but in getting money from the federal government to maybe provide for the pap smears and provide for the other services, that allows you to free up maybe more money that does go towards abortion services. Can you respond to people who have that question as well?
TABAR: Well, again, that is absolutely untrue. The federal funds make it possible for us to not turn anyone away. Many of the women who come to us have low incomes. That's what we are focused on. We clearly keep a separation, we're held accountable, and no federal funds are used for abortion services.
HOLMES: Ma'am, Planned Parenthood, and the name has been talked about an awful lot today and the last thing here quickly to you, your name Planned Parenthood has been talked about a lot, but what do you believe that the debate is about?
TABAR: Well, clearly, this is about denying poor women, low income women access to the services they need. And while we do provide abortion services, that is a small percentage of the services of what we do. We provide and we are focused on prevention, and the women who come to us need these critical services. I hope that in all of this that poor women won't be denied the services they need.
HOLMES: Well, Mrs. Tabar, of Planned Parenthood and working with that organization for over 30er years in southern Planned Parenthood, we appreciate your getting your side out to the rest of the public.
TABAR: Thank you.