By Paul Stark
Abortions in Minnesota and nationwide are on a long-term downward trajectory. Planned Parenthood, the leading practitioner of abortion, sometimes takes credit for this decline.
“We do more to prevent unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion than any organization in this country,” says former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.
This is a bizarre claim. After all, as overall abortions have dropped over the last few decades, Planned Parenthood’s own abortion total has dramatically increased.
In Minnesota, as the overall state total decreased 29 percent from 2006 to 2016, Planned Parenthood managed to increase its abortions by 54 percent. In 2006, Planned Parenthood performed 26 percent of Minnesota abortions; 10 years later, it performed 57 percent.
In a new study published in the peer-reviewed Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers James Studnicki and John W. Fisher analyze Planned Parenthood’s impact on abortion numbers.
The authors look at a phenomenon called “supply-induced demand” in which providers “use their discretionary power to engage in demand inducement activities which can alter the volume of services delivered.”
To see the effect of this in the abortion industry, Studnicki and Fisher compare changing abortion rates at Planned Parenthood to rates at other facilities. This allows them to estimate “the number of abortions which would have been averted if the PP [Planned Parenthood] utilization experience had been identical to that of the Non-PP providers.” They call this the “Planned Parenthood Abortion Inflation Effect.”
From 1995 to 2014, the study found, the number of abortions nationwide decreased 31 percent while the number of Planned Parenthood abortions increased 142 percent. “Excess abortions” attributed to Planned Parenthood totaled 258,200 in 2014. The cumulative excess total from 1995 to 2014 was 3,025,560.
“More than three million abortions that might have been avoided can be attributed to Planned Parenthood’s intervention in the abortion market,” says Dr. Studnicki.
What accounts for this? Studnicki and Fisher explain:
[Supply-induced demand] may be motivated by financial gain for the service providers, by patients who are not fully informed of their options and thus delegate the decision to the supplier, and by the influence of provider values.
Despite a 25% reduction of total unduplicated clients between 1995 (3,334,203) and 2014 (2,500,000), PP revenues from government reimbursement and grants increased 220% from $112 million to $554 million, reflecting a shift from low-revenue counseling and contraception services to much higher revenue abortions. Similarly, total net assets during the period increased nearly 400% from $310 million to $1.5 billion, indicative of a service with a higher profitability mix. PP eschews information on abortion [alternatives] such as adoption referrals, and provides no post-natal care. Finally, it would be difficult to exaggerate the promotional impact of the coalescence of PP with a national political party and their mutual embrace of pro-abortion ideology and values. The evidence suggests that PP has had a long-term inflationary effect on the incidence and prevalence of abortion in the US.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t decrease abortions. It works to increase abortions. It makes the number of unborn children killed much higher than it would otherwise be.
Why? Because abortion is at Planned Parenthood’s ideological and financial core.