Planned Parenthood performed 354,871 abortions in 2019
By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., Director of Education & Research
Last December, when new president Alexis McGill Johnson told the Washington Post that Planned Parenthood was through marginalizing abortion, declaring “We are a proud abortion provider,” she wasn’t kidding.
Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report for 2019-2020 has just come out and the group’s abortion performance and advocacy is front and center.
Despite a transition in leadership and a very slight decline in revenues, Planned Parenthood performed a record number of abortions – 354,871 – in 2019. That would represent more than 41% of the most recent reliable national abortion figure, giving Planned Parenthood a commanding share of the nation’s abortion market.
Abortion versus other services
Services in general were up at Planned Parenthood, reaching above ten million again for the first time since 2013, but only the number of abortions were at their highest. Some genuine health services were up slightly but far lower than they were previously while others continued to decline in number.
For example, “Cancer screenings” rose by about 32,000 but were still not even a third what they were ten years ago. Contraceptive services, Planned Parenthood’s signature product, rose, but by less than 10,000, so they were still 1.4 million shy of their 2006 peak.
However, prenatal services and adoption referrals, already rare at Planned Parenthood, were down again for 2019. Just 8,626 women received prenatal care at Planned Parenthood clinics in 2019, and organization wide, just 2,667 women were referred for adoptions.
That means there were more than 41 abortions at Planned Parenthood for every prenatal visit and Planned Parenthood took the lives of 133 unborn children for every mother they sent to some sort of adoption agency.
While there may have been a temporary lull in what is a long-term decline in the sort of services that Planned Parenthood likes to advertise to answer its detractors, the one solid growth area in services in the organization’s post-Roe history–and particularly over the past fifteen or so year–has been … abortion.
Other than abortion, the “choices” at Planned Parenthood are obviously few and far between. It is obviously the service where Planned Parenthood has invested its time, money, and attention over the past several years.
Still a very lucrative “non-profit”
Though Planned Parenthood took in a tiny fraction less in revenues (around $24 million) than it did in record setting 2018, the $1.6414 billion it acknowledged for fiscal 2020 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020) still represented an incredible income for one of the nation’s most profitable “non-profits.”
Despite efforts of the Trump administration and several pro-life state legislatures, the abortion giant was able to take in $618.1 million in revenues from “Government Health Services Revenues.” Though only about $1.3 million more than last year’s huge $616.8 million haul, it still represents a new record of funding to the organization coming from taxpayer’s pockets.
Regular clinic income (“non-governmental health services revenue”) was, at $370.4 million, about the same as the year before, up by less than a million. Private contributions, dependent on fundraising campaigns and donations from big bucks donors like Warren Buffett, were down about $80 million, but still coming in at a healthy $510 million for the fiscal year. Other unspecified “operating revenue” came in at $142.9 million.
Most of Planned Parenthood’s spending went towards “medical services,” which the annual report listed as about $965.5 million. It is impossible to estimate how much of this was from abortion, because Planned Parenthood doesn’t make that data public and prices vary regionally at Planned Parenthood affiliates. In addition to that, different abortion procedures cost different amounts depending on how old the baby is when she is aborted, making even general calculations possible.
At going rates published by the Guttmacher Institute for 2014, if every one of Planned Parenthood’s 354,610 abortions for 2019 were a standard surgical abortion at 10 weeks, for which Guttmacher says women paid an average of $508, that alone would represent more than $180 million in income.
Given that a large portion of Planned Parenthood abortions are more expensive chemical abortions (average cost $535), and that Planned Parenthood clinics across the U.S. regularly advertise and perform considerably more expensive later abortions ($1,195 for an abortion at 20 weeks), that figure, though substantial, is likely far below the organization’s actual abortion income.
Planned Parenthood spent $61.6 million on “Sexuality Education.” What sort of things did that go for? It isn’t specified, but it probably included things like the organization’s short film “Ours To Tell” featuring four persons of “different races, gender identities, ages, and backgrounds” sharing their “abortion stories.” That film, the annual report says, “was featured in 66 community and classroom screenings and 33 film festivals, winning six awards.”
How each of these programs differ isn’t spelled out. However Planned Parenthood spent over $150 million on “Public Policy” ($55.4 million), “Advocacy” ($50.5 million), “Health Care Support” $53 million) and another $16.8 million to “Engage Communities.”
A mere $1.5 million went to “Research.”
“Management & General,” which would include operating costs and salaries, came in at $245.6 million, while Planned Parenthood spent $118.6 million on “Fundraising”
Revenues outweighed expenses by $69.7 million, giving the “non-profit” a healthy bottom line for the year.
Though Planned Parenthood likes to bill itself as a “trusted health care provider,” it also wishes to make known that it considers itself a “passionate advocate.” The latest annual report makes clear that the promotion and continued performance of abortion is at the top of their advocacy list.
Service figures only went through fall of 2019, before the virus hit the U.S. But Planned Parenthood’s 2019-2020 annual report wants to make clear that the group kept their promise (“Care – No Matter What”) “Through the COVID-19 pandemic,” despite what it described as “attacks on access to abortion…”
In its opening “Message from Our Leadership,” Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s president, and Aimee Cunningham, its board chair, complained that some politicians had used the pandemic as “an excuse to limit access to essential health care,” making it plain that they considered abortion to be “essential health care.”
While several Planned Parenthood clinics actually closed during the pandemic, Planned Parenthood made it a point to keep many of its abortion clinics open or to reopen them as soon as possible.
One of the new innovations of which Planned Parenthood was most proud was the launching of its “Abortion Service Locator.” This allows women to go online and find the nearest Planned Parenthood abortion clinic with specific information about the types of abortions available, gestation limits, and any relevant state laws or funding options.
Planned Parenthood claims that since its September 2019 launch, the Abortion Service Locator has had more than 767,000 visits and that nearly a tenth (73,000) had booked appointments with or called their local clinic.
Planned Parenthood proudly trumpets its role in “protecting access” in the courts, defending laws and funding it likes, challenging those laws that limit abortion in any way. Specifically, Planned Parenthood wanted it known that it had gone to court to successfully block abortion bans in Georgia and Tennessee, reporting requirements in Indiana, regulations that would have closed Missouri’s last abortion clinic, and rules the Trump administration attempted to put in place limiting the use of insurance coverage for abortion.
Planned Parenthood also wrote that they had about three dozen other open cases currently before the courts.
“Protect X” was the organization’s efforts to fight the Trump administration’s enforcement of regulations prohibiting recipients of Title X (the nation’s “family planning” program) from performing or promoting abortions. Though Planned Parenthood pulled out of the program, the group celebrated their ability to delay implementation of the rule and to use the campaign to bring in 150,000 new supporters.
Another campaign, “#BansOffMyBody” collected more than half a million signatures in its “fight back against extreme, unnecessary state and federal bans and other restrictions on abortion.” This grew the social media following of both the organization’s main group and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, its political arm.
Planned Parenthood does not address it directly in this report, but the group’s political arm was quite active in the past election. According to the election spending watchdog group, OpenSecrets.org, we have a record that they spent at least $27.4 million.
If they followed through with plans announced earlier, much of this spending was concentrated in states such as Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Wisconsin, and North Carolina where there was a close presidential contest or a key Senate race.
Planned Parenthood’s happiness at the election of pro-abortion President Joe Biden and pro-abortion Vice President Kamala Harris is palpable. While not mentioning the new pro-abortion Democrat administration by name, the opening note from leadership gloats that “Now, champions for sexual and reproductive health are in the White House. We’re entering a new era where we can not only undo the damage of the last four years, but move policy, and collective imagination, forward.”
Abortion is essential to Planned Parenthood’s identity
Planned Parenthood makes clear how it sees itself in a patient testimonial from the first page of the annual report that follows the table of contents. “Christy, Michigan” says, “I still think about my abortion and who I would be without the resources of Planned Parenthood behind me.”
Planned Parenthood has tried to convince people that abortion is an “essential medical service.” However, it is clear, given the volume of killing, the group’s enormous budget, and its aggressive abortion advocacy, that abortion is essential to Planned Parenthood and that Planned Parenthood has tried to make itself essential to the performance, promotion, and defense of abortion in this country.
Abortion isn’t a “service” Planned Parenthood provides – it is their identity.
Planned Parenthood said in the report that this past year was one where they fought for “justice for all” and stood up for “a generation whose right to safe, legal abortion is at risk.” How this is “justice” for the generations, now numbering in the millions, who have lost their lives at Planned Parenthood’s clinics is, typically, left unexamined and unexplained.
At Planned Parenthood, it’s just about abortion. No matter what.