Washington Post Slaps Planned Parenthood Pres. With Four Pinnochios For Lying About Pre-Roe Abortion Deaths


In a rare moment of truth on the subject of abortion, the Washington Post slapped Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen with four Pinnochios for repeatedly spreading the false claim that “thousands” of women died each year from illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade.

It’s a claim Wen has made ad nauseam during her short tenure as president of the nation’s largest abortion provider – and one her fellow abortion advocates have happily peddled, despite its falsity. 

“We face a real situation where Roe could be overturned and if it is overturned then one in three women over reproductive age, which is 25 million women, could be living in states including Texas where they do not have the right to safe, legal abortion and we know what will happen,” Wen said during a stop in Texas back in March. “Women will die. Thousands of women died every year pre-Roe.”

Wen then repeated the claim verbatim in an April tweet.

WaPo Fact Checker Glenn Kessler, who handed Wen the worst possible truth-o-meter score the Post has to offer, dubbed Wen’s continuous claim “false” by literally every standard. In his lengthy report that combed through decades of history and years of abortion statistics, Kessler concluded that Wen’s claim is, at best, “derived from data that is decades old,” correctly noting (as many pro-life advocates have for years) that “in 1972, the number of deaths in the United States from legal abortions was 24 and from illegal abortions 39, according to the CDC.”

“Even given the fuzzy nature of the data and estimates, there is no evidence that in the years immediately preceding the Supreme Court’s decision, thousands of women died every year in the United States from illegal abortions,” Kessler concluded, adding that the claim that “thousands” of women died per year from botched abortions prior to Roe is a myth that’s been debunked for half a century.

“Wen is a doctor, and the ACOG is made up of doctors,” Kessler said. “They should know better than to peddle statistics based on data that predates the advent of antibiotics.”

MRCTV Reader,

The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is why MRCTV, a program of the MRC, exists—to broadcast conservative values, culture, politics, expose media bias, and provide entertainment to new and diverse audiences. But we can’t do it alone. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical

Donate today to help MRCTV continue to produce videos and commentary that are seen far and wide. $25 a month goes a long way.

And now, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you can make up to a $300 gift to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of your choice and use it as a tax deduction on your 2020 taxes, even if you take the standard deduction on your returns.

— The MRCTV Team



Sign up for MRCTV Daily newsletter to receive the latest videos and commentary.


MRC Merch