By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D. NRL Director of Education & Research
Planned Parenthood may have closed a few clinics, experienced a major upheaval in top management, and even seen its revenues dip ever so slightly. But that hasn’t stopped the abortion giant from performing a record number of abortions and continuing to grab an ever increasing share of the U.S. abortion market.
In its just published 2018-2019 Annual Report, Planned Parenthood reports performing 345,672 abortions for 2018, the most the organization has ever reported.
That figure represents 40.1% of all the abortions the Guttmacher Institute says were performed in the U.S. in 2017 (the most recent year available). This continues to cement Planned Parenthood’s reputation as the country’s top abortion performer and promoter.
Closing Clinics, Yet More Abortions
Planned Parenthood doesn’t share exactly how many clinics it currently has, writing only they have “more than 600 health centers across the country.” That exactly the same phrasing that they used in last year’s report, though we know there were nearly 900 centers as recently as 2010.
Obviously, a large number of clinics have closed (for example, two recently closed in Ohio, according to ABC News, 9/9/19). However, Planned Parenthood has made sure to keep its abortion business humming, building giant new regional mega-clinics to pick up and possibly expand on the caseloads formerly going to the now closed centers.
The latest mega-clinic opened in Fairview Heights, Illinois in October of 2019. The stated intent here was to pick up abortion patients who could no longer visit Planned Parenthood clinics in Missouri. Though the media, egged on by Planned Parenthood’s relentless hype machine, thought this was some new sort of development, it was only the latest in a long line of mega-clinics the organization has been opening all across the United States (Houston, Denver, Chicago, Queens, NY, Washington, DC, New Orleans, Portland, OR, St. Paul, MN, etc.) for at least the past decade and a half.
Other Non-Abortion Health Services Decline
Interestingly enough, while the expansion of these centers has been accompanied by an increase in the number of abortions, that’s not been the case in the provision of other key Planned Parenthood services. Contraception, Planned Parenthood’s signature product, continued to decline for the sixth year in a row. At 2,556,413 in 2018, birth control services are down nearly 36% of what they were just twelve years earlier.
Every time someone challenges their mission or (especially) funding, Planned Parenthood likes to talk about all the lives they potentially save providing cancer screenings. But the number of those services have fallen every year since at least 2005.
At one time, over two million a year (2,011,637 in 2005), all Planned Parenthood’s “cancer screenings and prevention” services barely totaled half a million (566,186) in 2018. This represents a whopping fall of more than 71.8% in just 14 years!
And those are just simple things such Pap smears and manual breast exams. Despite what you may have heard, Planned Parenthood does not and has never provided mammograms.
They’ve Got Plenty of Money
It isn’t as if Planned Parenthood lacks the money to buy a few mammogram machines. Revenues this year were down just a hair, from $1,665,100,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018 to $1,638,600,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.
“Government Health Services Grants Reimbursements & Grants” were up $53 million during that same period, from$563.8 million to $616.8 million. “Non-Government Health Services Revenue increased from $365.7 million to $369.6 million.
Private donations were very high, but appear to have flagged a bit from last year’s record. After reaching $630.8 million in 2018 with their latest “sky is falling” campaign, they fell back to “just” $591.3 million for FY 2019.
Planned Parenthood Won’t Say Wen
How much of this is a result of tumult at the top of the organization’s administration is unknown. Leana Wen, a medical doctor who, with great fanfare, took over as head of Planned Parenthood in September of 2018, was ousted by the board of directors in July of 2019 after less than a year on the job.
Wen was as committed to abortion as anyone, but made the “mistake” of seeing it as part of a broader health care mission. When she made clear that she didn’t see abortion as the be all, end all of Planned Parenthood’s existence, she and Planned Parenthood parted ways over “philosophical differences.” Wen wrote in the New York Times 7/19/19, “I believe abortion is about health care, not politics. Many of my colleagues disagreed.”
Wen somehow manages to go unmentioned in this latest report.
Planned Parenthood installed Alexis McGill Johnson, a reliable abortion advocate, as “Acting President and CEO” and kept the abortion mills humming. No official word on when or if the acting president will be replaced.
Abortion as the Clear Theme
The organization’s latest annual report makes it plain that Planned Parenthood continues to be all about abortion, in more ways than one. The record number of abortions speak for themselves, as do the declining figures for genuine health care services.
In the report, PPFA trumpets their legal and political successes in opposing “abortion bans.” They celebrate “technology” allowing them to perform webcam abortions in 16 states and research on these abortions and other topics they were able to get published in national medical journals.
They talk about their work promoting “sexual and reproductive services” and “reproductive rights” around the world and among ethnic minorities in the United States, “organizing and mobilizing” on college campuses and rallying against the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
In addition to stopping or delaying pro-life legislation they didn’t like in Florida, West Virginia, South Carolina, Kansas, Montana, Missouri, Wisconsin and North Carolina, Planned Parenthood expressed pride in being able to enable “proactive legislation to protect and expand access to safe and legal abortion” in Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington state.
Planned Parenthood says that its doctors, educators and activist wake up each day with one mission: Care, No Matter What.
When it comes to the lives of tender, innocent, precious unborn children, however, this report makes is clear, once again, that Planned Parenthood “Doesn’t Care” – “No Matter What.”