By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.
In the second debate, President Barack Obama went out of his way to bring up Planned Parenthood, mentioning the name five times, even though none of the questioners brought the organization up. Obama clearly thought he could win votes by pointing out that pro-life Republican presidential candidate supports cutting off federal funding for the abortion giant, though he conveniently left off the part about Planned Parenthood being the nation’s largest abortion performer and promoter.
No, Obama described Planned Parenthood not as the nation’s biggest abortion chain, but as the place where “millions of women all across the country… rely on Planned Parenthood for, not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings.”
After Karen Handel pointed out in her recent book that Planned Parenthood performs no mammograms, PolitiFact examined this question, and obtained confirmation from PPFA that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. PolitiFact concluded: “Handel’s statement that Planned Parenthood doesn’t provide mammograms and only refers clients for those services at other facilities is supported by the organization itself. We rate the claim True.”
You see, while Planned Parenthood is willing to spend plenty on suction aspiration machines, abortion pills, and trained abortionists, this billion dollar a year corporation isn’t as interested in shelling out the funds for mammography machines or mammography technicians. Despite their official concern for women’s breast health, abortion is where they’ve invested their money and manpower.
That’s 329,445 abortions in 2010, according to the most recently published statistics from Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood likes to argue that it is ridiculous to cut their funding for what they say represents only 3% of their services. But if abortion really is just 3% of the services the organization offers, then why do they hold on to abortion so tenaciously, endangering all those breast cancer screenings, etc?
The truth is easier to determine once one considers that while abortion might be 3% if counted against every packet of pills, condom, STD test, etc., that Planned Parenthood sells, when considered in terms of revenues, abortion is responsible for a considerably bigger portion of the bottom line.
Let’s consider how abortion stacks up against those breast exams and cervical cancer screenings that Obama references.
In raw numbers, there seem to be more than twice as many breast exams (747,607) or cervical cancer screenings (769,769 pap smears) than abortions (329,445) done nationwide at Planned Parenthood (figures for 2010 from 2009-2010 Planned Parenthood Annual Report). But in terms of revenues, the situation is reversed.
You can get an idea of the base price of a breast exam/cervical cancer screening from looking at the advertised prices published by Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Planned Parenthood’s Southwest and Central Florida affiliate (seven clinics in the Sarasota and St. Pete area) charges $89 for an annual exam that includes a pap smear and manual breast exam. Take that as the base price for both exams together, and ignore what other “services” may have been included in the exam.
At $89 an exam, the 769,769 exams mentioned above (the larger of the two numbers for breast exams and pap smears) yields just $68,509,441 in revenues. Significant, but wait until you see what they would have taken in from abortion.
By contrast, treating all of Planned Parenthood’s 329,445 abortions for 2010 as simple, first-trimester surgical abortions (even though we know that Planned Parenthood clinics advertise and perform more expensive chemical and second trimester surgical abortions), at the going rate of $451 given by Guttmacher for a standard first trimester surgical abortion, that would equal $148,579,695 in revenue. That is easily more than double what Planned Parenthood would have taken in from breast exams and pap tests.
It raises the obvious question — what do you think is more critical to Planned Parenthood’s bottom line? The breast exams and cancer screenings they keep talking about, or the 329,445 abortions that they try to say are such an insignificant part of their business?
And this is without even considering how much of the income from Planned Parenthood’s other services are connected to abortion. How many of Planned Parenthood’s 1,113,460 pregnancy tests, 3,552,995 tests for sexually transmitted infections, 574,901 HIV tests are sold to women who come to Planned Parenthood planning to get an abortion or thinking of having an abortion if they turn out to be pregnant? How many of the 2,219,726 women who got “reversible contraception” received it as part of their going home package after their abortions, or were signed up for a monthly prescription at the time?
Planned Parenthood’s total take from federal, state, and local governments is $487.4 million, money that comes out of taxpayers’ pockets. That money, even when it does not go directly to abortion, nevertheless keeps the nation’s largest abortion chain in business, and about one in every four of the abortions performed in the United States is sold and delivered by Planned Parenthood.
Mr. President, that’s why Mitt Romney and millions of Americans want to cut the funding for Planned Parenthood! Not because they’re opposed to breast cancer or pap smears, but because they don’t want their tax dollars going to support an organization that finds a way to do 329,445 abortions a year but 0 mammograms.
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