PPFA, abortion, and “3%”: “The Most Meaningless Abortion Statistic Ever”

By Dave Andrusko

Randall K. O'Bannon, Ph.D.

Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.

Listen to Planned Parenthood and “providing” abortions is not only a public service, it is such a small part of all that it does that it hardly merits mentioning. It’s only those mean old pro-lifers—such as Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC’s Director of Education—who insist on making the insignificant (abortion makes up “only 3%” of PPFA’s services) seem significant.

Of course as Dr. O’Bannon has explained many times, that 3% figure is the ridiculously misleading. Yesterday, Rachael Larimore, writing on Slate.com, did an excellent job illuminating what she calls “The Most Meaningless Abortion Statistic Ever.”

She unpacks that lie (my word, not hers) primarily in two ways. First, Larimore explains a key PPFA trick: “Planned Parenthood ‘unbundles’ all of its services so that a pack of pills, an STD test and an exam are three separate services.”

Second, without belaboring how the 3% underestimates the real percentage of services abortion constitutes, Larimore then brilliantly illuminates how PPFA hides what a cash cow abortion is for PPFA.

“Undoubtedly, some of those services are cheaper than others: To illustrate this, let’s make a comparison with an actual business. Say I open a watch store. I sell lots of those cheap plastic digital ones that you can get at discount stores. And I sell some Timex and Casio, and also some nicer designer watches. But then I also keep a few superexpensive Brightlings and Patek Phillipes in stock. And maybe those only make up 3 percent of my sales. But selling only a handful of fancy watches brings in far more than 3 percent of my REVENUES. And so it is with abortion.”

So how much money DOES PPFA take in from performing abortions?

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I asked Dr. O’Bannon for a more exact breakdown, based on his years of experience following Planned Parenthood. He told NRL News Today

“Abortion is a huge profit center for PPFA. At going rates for a standard surgical abortion performed at 10 weeks, the 333,964 abortions Planned Parenthood performed represent an income of at least $150.6 million. And it is no secret that Planned Parenthood advertises and performs more expensive chemical and later surgical abortions, indicating that abortion revenues are likely considerably higher. Collectively, the organization and its affiliates took in nearly $1.2 billion in revenues ($1,199,100,000 to be exact).”

Referring to PPFA’s Planned Parenthood’s 2011-2012 Annual Report, O’Bannon added,

“Planned Parenthood received over half a billion dollars ($542.4 million) in ‘Government Health Services Grants and Reimbursements.’ This represents more than 45% of the group’s annual revenues. While federal monies for abortion are currently limited by the Hyde Amendment to cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother, at least 17 states and several local communities can and do fund abortions. With the onset of ObamaCare, that amount could mushroom.”

We all understand why PPFA minimizes the enormous amount of money it takes in from abortion; why it would prefer to talk about anything other than the 339,964 abortions it performed in 2011 (that’s one lost life every 94 seconds); and most of all the grim truth that about one out of every nine women coming through Planned Parenthood’s door will have an abortion!

But all the misleading talk in the world about “only 3%” of its services can’t obscure the reality that PPFA is the largest abortion provider in the nation and is taking aggressive steps to expand that murderous empire — building central abortion megaclinics, adding chemical abortions to their smaller offices, experimenting with technologies such as “webcam” abortions. This can only mean more victims and higher revenues at the abortion giant for years to come.

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