What do the numbers from Planned Parenthood’s Latest Annual Report Tell Us?

Aborted 321,384 babies in fiscal year 2016-2017 but continuing decline in non-abortion related services

By Randall K. O’Bannon, PH.D., NRLC Director of Education & Research

Editor’s note. Dr. O’Bannon will provide additional breakdown of PPFA’s annual report in the coming days.

In the opening “Message from Our Leadership,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and Board chair Naomi Aberly tell supporters “despite the historic threat to our mission ….as we enter our 101st year, we are stronger and bolder than ever before.”

When it comes to their bottom line, this is true. As we will preliminarily discuss today and in more depth tomorrow, that case is more mixed when it comes to other areas of Planned Parenthood’s activities.

Revenues

Let’s start with 2009 as a point of comparison. Revenues in 2009 for the nation’s largest abortion provider were $1,100,800,000.

This latest report, “The 2016-17 Annual Report of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America” pegs revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017 at $1,459,600,000.

That is nearly a nearly a billion and a half dollars—and an increase of more than a $100 million above last year’s revenues, which themselves were a record.

Yet in 2016, PPFA’s affiliates performed about seven thousand fewer abortions –321,384 abortions– than the year before. This is very noteworthy because while abortions in the U.S. have thankfully decreased by almost a quarter (23%) since 2008, abortions at Planned Parenthood have remained largely stable, hovering in the 320,000-334,000 range since 2008. While this recent number is at the low end of that range, it does not appear to be an indicator of a new significant downward trend. Planned Parenthood works hard to maintain its lucrative abortion business, even in a down market.

Number of patients seen drops 20%, “Cancer screenings” fall by almost 2/3rds

If one compares annual PPFA reports over time, it’s easy to see that while abortions remain essentially unchanged, the number of patients treated for anything else continue to plunge.

In 2008, PPFA affiliates were seeing 3 million patients a year. Today, they see only 2.4 million—a huge drop of 20%.

PPFA’s highly publicized “cancer screenings” fell by almost 2/3rds–from 1,830,811 in 2009 to just 660,777 in 2016.

What about contraception services? They dropped from 3,868,901 in 2009 to 2,701,866 in 2016—a 30% tumble.

How about their much vaunted (but barely existent) prenatal services? From 40,489 in 2009 to just 7,762 in 2016—a decline of more than 3/4s.

This means that Planned Parenthood is somehow making more money with fewer patients. That could be done by charging patients more for services, or closing underperforming clinics and firing unproductive managers.

Of course, Planned Parenthood still receives a healthy portion of its funding from federal state and local grants and payments. Several states have tried to cut these funds, and they were down about $10 million this year over last. But those sources still provided a hefty $543.7 million, or 37% of its total in revenues, according to the report.

“Non-governmental health services revenues” (money from patients or insurance plans not managed by the government)? That rose slightly, about $11 million, to $318.1 million for 2017.

So where did the bulk of the increased revenue came from? Surges in private giving seen in the last two annual reports.

Private giving was $353.5 million in 2015. A year later it had jumped to $445.8 million. In 2017 the figure had risen to $532.7 million.

This is a clear indication that Planned Parenthood has been able to turn well founded criticism against their reputation and their industry to their own financial advantage. It also illustrates, ironically, that there are non-governmental sources that PPFA can tap into if states chose to prioritize health funding to full service clinics.

Whether PPFA can continue to make money while losing patients only time will tell. But one things the numbers from this latest annual report tell us: Planned Parenthood, though struggling to hold on to customers, is still rich and dangerous foe.