​​​​​​​Planned Parenthood's Sneaky Change to Fetal Heartbeat Info Is Only the Latest Example of the Org's Tradition of Deception

Planned Parenthood was again caught changing its website’s language to align with its own narrative.

A line that used to state that a “very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop” at six weeks of pregnancy was modified to say the embryo “starts to show cardiac activity,” emphasizing that it does not have “a fully-formed heart.”

Life News first reported the change on August 22. The page was changed sometime after July 25, Web Archive shows.

Media noticed the change last week soon after Stacey Abrams claimed there is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. Abrams called it “a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”



A heartbeat “can usually be detected” at six weeks, according to the Cleveland Clinic. One study found the average heart rate at that point to be approximately 110 beats per minute.

Similarly In July, soon after Roe v. Wade was overturned and left-wing media began to suggest that treatment for ectopic pregnancies would soon be in jeopardy, Planned Parenthood removed a sentence that stated, “Treating an ectopic pregnancy isn’t the same thing as getting an abortion.”

Before the sentence's removal, pro-life advocates had been citing the Planned Parenthood page to counteract arguments by the media and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that abortion bans would criminalize treatment for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.

Planned Parenthood explained the change in a statement to The Hill, saying it didn’t want its information to be “twisted or misrepresented by anti-abortion politicians.”

Planned Parenthood has removed information from its website before, as Live Action documented. In 2015, Margaret Sanger’s name was quietly replaced in the title of an award. In 2017, Planned Parenthood removed several references to providing prenatal care from its website after an investigation revealed few locations actually offer the service, contrary to what the organization claimed.

But the organization’s lies are often more serious than changing a few sentences on its website.

Though it publicly portrays itself as a crucial provider of women’s health care, Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports continue to reveal abortion is its first priority.

Planned Parenthood’s 2020-2021 report released this month says it performed 383,460 abortions between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020—the largest number recorded. Last year’s report recorded 354,871 abortions.

“Abortion is essential health care that cannot wait for the end of a pandemic or the whims of politicians,” the report says. “Every day, patients walk through the doors of Planned Parenthood health centers, knowing we will be there — with high quality, compassionate care.”

Charlotte Lozier Institute notes that Planned Parenthood has performed nearly 3.4 million abortions in the past ten years. While taxpayer funding has increased by nearly 30% since 2010, cancer screening services have dropped by 74%, prenatal services by 72%, and contraceptive services by 41%.

Planned Parenthood received $633.4 million in taxpayer funding during the 2020-2021 period and made about $1.7 billion total from all revenue sources.

Financial interest motivates much of Planned Parenthood’s deceptive language.

While the organization claims in its report that abortions make up just 4% of overall healthcare services, abortion makes up 96.6% of its pregnancy resolution services, per Charlotte Lozier Institute. Adoption referrals account for just 0.5%, at 1,940.

A 2015 Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood also found that for one affiliate, 28% of revenue came from abortions and 12% of individuals served received abortions.

In 2020, The Center for Medical Progress released videos of Planned Parenthood representatives testifying under oath. Their statements contradicted the organization’s previous claims and showed Planned Parenthood had lied to the public about its involvement in fetal tissue trafficking and partial-birth abortions.

What Planned Parenthood does publicly by changing facts, it does privately by misleading women seeking help. Live Action’s undercover investigations have caught clinic staff attempting to convince women to abort using false information, such as saying a baby’s heartbeat only starts at “seventeen or eighteen weeks.”

Planned Parenthood by Celine Ryan

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