By Carol Tobias, President National Right to Life
Editor’s note. The following remarks were delivered at a press conference today in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has carefully crafted a public image as a protector of women’s health. What people need to understand is that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion chain in America. Planned Parenthood is fully in the abortion business and its bottom line depends on performing more and more abortions.
According to the 2008-2009 Annual Report for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Planned Parenthood affiliates performed 332,278 abortions in 2009, which represents about 27.4 percent of all abortions performed in the United States.
Those 332,278 abortions is more than double the number that Planned Parenthood affiliates performed in 1998, even as the total number of abortions performed in the United States dropped 25 percent during that period.
Planned Parenthood misleadingly claims that abortion represents only 3 percent of its services. But in order to make abortion seem like a small part of what it does, Planned Parenthood lists every “service” it does equally. If a woman comes in for an abortion, she may also receive a pregnancy test, an Rh type test, an ultrasound, an antibiotic, a pack of birth control pills, and “other tests as needed.” So, statistically, the abortion is dwarfed by the five or six other services provided, even though the abortion is the reason the woman came to Planned Parenthood.
In fact, 12 percent of Planned Parenthood clients receive abortion services, according to a February 2011 Planned Parenthood factsheet. Therefore, nearly one out of every eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion. We do know that of the services Planned Parenthood reported that would have involved pregnant women (abortion, prenatal care, adoption referrals) 97.6 percent were for abortion.
Planned Parenthood often argues that increased funding will enable it to reduce the number of abortions, but its own annual reports don’t seem to show that. It has an annual income of more than $1 billion. Roughly 1/3 of that comes from federal, state, and local governments. The amount of funding that Planned Parenthood has gotten from different government bodies has been increasing steadily over the past several years, more than doubling since 1998, but abortions done at Planned Parenthood have not gone down. In fact, they have increased dramatically during that same period, rising at a rate that very nearly matches the rate of those funding increases.
Revenue Planned Parenthood receives in “Government Grants & Contracts” has gone from $165 million in 1998 to $363.3 million in the organization’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. During the same time, and at roughly the same rate, abortions have more than doubled at Planned Parenthood, from 165,509 in 1998 to 332,278 in 2009.
Perhaps it wasn’t the cause, but all those additional government dollars certainly didn’t seem to impede Planned Parenthood’s ability to garner an ever increasing share of the shrinking pie of abortion customers.
Even though PPFA has already doubled the number of abortions performed at its clinics over the past dozen years, the national headquarters has mandated that every affiliate have at least one abortion-performing center by the end of 2013. According to an article in the December 20, 2010, Corpus Christi Caller Times, Family Planning of the Coastal Bend decided to drop its affiliation with PPFA rather than perform abortions.
As pointed out by Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life, Planned Parenthood is offering RU486 “webcam” abortions. In 2000 when the FDA approved RU486 for use in the United States, it established a protocol that specified that RU486 was supposed to be administered “under the supervision of a qualified physician.” Planned Parenthood’s massive Midwestern affiliate, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is interpreting this to mean only that a physician be involved somewhere in the process, even if it is only at the other end of closed-circuit computer screen a hundred miles away, or more.
Using technology designed for patients in isolated regions needing medical attention, the Iowa-based affiliate has been installing web-cam setups at many of its smaller, rural locations to enable it to add abortion to its “services.” It saves the affiliate the expense of having to hire or fly in additional abortionists. The abortionist simply interviews the woman via the web cam and then presses a button to activate a drawer at her location containing the abortifacients.
It’s incredibly dangerous—the woman may bleed to death or come down with a life-threatening infection and the drugs don’t always work, prompting surgery. But it does “expand abortion access”—and PP of the Heartland’s customer base.