By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research and Dave Andrusko
If you’ve read any of the news from the mainstream media, you’ve probably been told that Planned Parenthood has been “under assault” for years, not because of videos that expose just some of their unseemly practices but because evil pro-lifers just don’t’ like them. They would have you believe that poor little PPFA is terrified of cuts in government funding because they won’t have the money to do all their good work, such providing women with critical “cancer screenings.”
But if you read the annual report, released over the weekend, you’ll see few signs of danger. You’ll learn that overall services are slightly up; the group is enjoying record revenues; and PPFA is still pulling in over half a billion in government funding.
In other words the media’s Doomsday scenario hardly matches up with what your find in Planned Parenthood latest annual report which covers 2015-2016. The 32-page report shows a $1.3 billion “non-profit” that is doing just fine.
Why? For one thing, while the number of abortions continues to decline to lows not seen since the 1970s, Planned Parenthood is still aborting 328,348 unborn babies. For another thing, those vaunted “cancer screenings” that Planned Parenthood and their media and political parrots are always talking about? They’re down to just 665,234 a year. They were almost three times that much just six years ago (1,830,811 in 2009).
So if cancer screenings are way down (they are now fewer breast cancer exams than the number of abortions), and if contraceptives were down by about 136,000 at Planned Parenthood for 2015 from 2014 and have been on a downswing for a few years, where has all that government money gone? Let’s see.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t keep a running tally, but the latest report mentions that the group now has “nearly 650 Planned Parenthood health centers,” or clinics. Our own count shows that as recently as 2010, there were over 200 more clinics. (See here for more details.)
This could be why Planned Parenthood has seen declines in overall patients during the past few years, and at least part of the reason for the declining “cancer screenings” and contraceptive sales.
But during that same period of time, the number of abortion- performing clinics at Planned Parenthood has gone up, making it clear where Planned Parenthood has been concentrating its efforts. A lot of the clinics closing are older, smaller facilities which did not offer abortions but may have provided contraceptives, breast exams, and the like.
Using its record revenues, Planned Parenthood has gone on a building spree, replacing its old storefront clinics with giant new mega-clinics. They are designed and decorated by some of the hottest architects and designers, built to handle high volumes of abortion patients, but, if figures are correct, don’t do a lot to increase women’s “access” to “cancer screenings.”
In fact, as others have pointed out, 2015-2016 appears to mark the first year that the number of abortions – 328,348 – at Planned Parenthood have exceeded the number of breast exams it performed – 321,700.
And to be clear those are manual breast exams. Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms, despite what you may have heard the group’s defenders say.
There is plenty of suffering at Planned Parenthood, but not among the well paid executives and affiliate heads who have enjoyed record revenues, political power, and the usual media adulation. No, the suffering going on there is found among the third of million unborn lives that are lost there each year and the mothers that Planned Parenthood talks into giving away their money. Speaking of revenues….
Revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 were $1.3543 billion, the highest the group has ever recorded. Private contributions and bequests were up, to $445.8 million. Non-governmental health services revenues (revenues from the clinics that weren’t reimbursed by the government) held steady at $306.8 million, indicating there has not been any big drop off in business.
According to the annual report, money from “Government Health Services Reimbursements & Grants” was $554.6 million in what appears to be another high, though the calendar would put this under the last full year of the Obama administration.
We will go into greater detail in subsequent NRL News Today stories. Here’s what a preliminary examination tells us.
At 328,348, abortions performed at Planned Parenthood clinics in 2015 were not a record (the most abortions PPFA performed was 333,964 in 2011). Yet that total was higher than for 2014–323,999 –which is remarkable, given that abortion numbers for the country as a whole have been plunging in the last ten years and have fallen over 42% since 1990!
Also, abortion rates and ratios have been falling nationwide in tandem with abortion numbers, reaching numbers not so low since the first days of Roe, indicating that abortion simply isn’t as popular a “solution” for women anymore.
But abortion remains as popular as ever with Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world. Which is why in “Message from Our Leadership,” The President, Cecile Richards, and Outgoing Chair of the Board, Jill Lafer, equate public support for funding genuine “preventive care” with support for Planned Parenthood’s killing 328,348 unborn babies, which the public does not support.