Netflix Animated Series ‘Big Mouth’ Repeats Misleading Planned Parenthood Statistic

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On October 5, Netflix released the second season of the critically acclaimed animated series "Big Mouth."

The show certainly isn’t for kids, as the "critics consensus" on Rotten Tomatoes for the series’ second season states: "Poignantly repulsive, Big Mouth continues to confront the awkwardness of adolescence with foul-mouthed glee and an added layer of maturity."

Episode five of the new season, titled: "The Planned Parenthood Show," features the characters imagining scenarios to illustrate points about birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortion.

Near the beginning of the episode, when the character of Missy suggests that their teacher go to Planned Parenthood for an STD screening, friend Jay says it’s just "an abortion factory." Although it’s admitted that Planned Parenthood conducts abortions later in the episode, Jay is told that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

There’s a moment in the episode in which Missy claims that "abortions make up only a tiny portion of what they do." Although such a claim is widely-believed, it’s also wildly misleading.

The Washington Post even assigned a "three Pinocchios" score to the claim that abortions approximate only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services, writing in part that Planned Parenthood counts each service it provides separately, regardless of its cost or complexity:

While each service is listed separately, many clients received multiple services. A woman may get a pregnancy test, birth control and a pap smear, but she would be counted three times, once for each service, in the annual report.

The Washington Post notes that one way pro-life advocates have combated the 3% statistic is by trying to figure out how much of Planned Parenthood’s non-governmental revenue comes from performing abortions. They do this by taking the number of abortions performed each year by the organization, and multiplying that number by the average cost of the procedure:

...advocates and opponents of abortion rights have calculated somewhere between 15 percent and 37 percent of the organization’s annual non-government health services revenue comes from abortion services. Depending on which price you use, you can even get up to 55 percent. But this type of math is speculative and has limitations. For one, it does not take into account sliding payment scales for patients or reflect costs absorbed by insurance.

Regardless of the exact revenue percentage, it is well documented that Planned Parenthood performs several hundred thousand abortions annually (321,384 in the 2016-2017 year), and that the widely-believed 3% statistic is misleading.

Here’s a video from Live Action that details the ways in which Planned Parenthood reaches that deceptive number:

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