Local Planned Parenthood Rhetoric Reflects National Spin on Abortion

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL-ETF Director of Education & Research

Randall K. O'Bannon, Ph.D.

For years, Planned Parenthood has collected its government checks, basked in the glory of all its media admirers, and pawned itself off as “the name women trust.”  In recent months, however, with the release of embarrassing videos, highly publicized efforts to build its abortion empire with mergers and mega-clinics, and cementing its place in society as America’s largest abortion chain, the group is more on the defensive, having to defend its mission and activity.

We have talked many times in NRL News and in National Right to Life News Today about some of the many efforts  the national office of  the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) is making to defend what it does. When truth comes to light, PPFA switches the topic, trying to protect the millions it receives in government funds every year by minimizing its abortion services while playing up its other products.

But this controversy is going on at the local level as well.

You can see many of those same themes addressed by Michelle Trupiano, the public affairs manager and lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, one of the national group’s affiliates in the mid-west, in an interview published in the July 1, 2011, edition of the Columbia Missourian.

In the interview, Trupiano insists that her organization “do[es] more to prevent unintended pregnancy that any of those protesters (against abortion) are going to.”

Notice she has conveniently left off any mention of the 6,006 abortions the affiliate did not prevent, but directly performed in 2008 at its 11 clinics in Missouri and Kansas.(For documentation see http://gkccf.guidestar.org/NonprofitProfile.aspx?OrgId=1392),

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri could have “prevented” the loss of more than six thousand lives right there by stopping their own performance of abortions. But it doesn’t.

Trupiano repeats the well-worn claim that “Over 97% of our services are about prevention,” while abortion “makes up about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services.”  The issue, of course, is not how many items are on the menu, but what it is that individual customers order and which item brings in the most money.

The 97% and 3% mantra is repeated everywhere. But  in some of the harder to find fact sheets, PPFA, the national organization, admits that 12% of its clients receive abortions, not 3%.  At Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, the percentage is apparently much higher. According to the above mentioned website, 6,006 of its 26,553 patients received abortions in 2008, a whopping 22.6%.

However if you look at it in terms of its bottom line, even those numbers greatly understate abortion’s importance to the group.   At going rates, the 332,278 abortions performed in 2009 PPFA translate into about $149.9 million, or about 37% of the group’s national “health center income.”

Estimates for PP Kansas and Mid-Missouri are comparable. 6,006 abortions, at going rates, would bring in at least $2.7 million in revenues.

Note that both the national and the affiliate figures are extremely conservative estimates. Planned Parenthood clinics advertise and perform more expensive chemical abortions and considerably more expensive later abortions. (PP Kansas and Mid-Missouri’s Overland Park clinic advertises both chemical abortions and surgical abortions up to 21.6 weeks.)

Trupiano takes pains to say that “no federal or state tax money goes to fund abortions,” detailing how that abortion patients are schedules on separate days and paid for entirely out of patient’s pockets.   She does not explain, however, who pays the rent, the salaries, who pays for the parking lot, the office equipment, the medical instruments that are used in every abortion.

Trupiano claims that “Planned Parenthood works very hard to provide the full range of reproductive health services, including abortion…” However  it does not appear from the affiliate’s  website that it records providing any service options for pregnant women other than abortion, such as adoption referrals or prenatal care.  Nationally, we know that Planned Parenthood had only 7,021 prenatal patients and 997 adoption referrals against the 332,278 abortions it performed in 2009.

Planned Parenthood may keep repeating the same old rhetoric and misleading statistics, but they cannot change what abortion is or cover up their heavy involvement in the performance and promotion of abortion in the United States.

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