Founded by eugenics advocate and birth control activist Margaret Sanger, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is today the nation’s leading practitioner of abortion.
Planned Parenthood facilities in the United States performed 323,999 abortions in 2014, according to the organization's annual report. This makes Planned Parenthood the nation’s top abortion provider, responsible for nearly a third of all U.S. abortions. Abortions performed at Planned Parenthood have increased significantly in recent years and decades even as total abortions in the U.S. have declined.
Planned Parenthood has often claimed that abortion makes up only three percent of its services, but this figure is wildly misleading. Planned Parenthood arrives at the number by “unbundling” its services and counting each part separately—“by counting every pregnancy test, every box of condoms, every packet of birth control pills, as well as every abortion, as a separate service, even when these may be sold with the abortion, and even when abortion may cost 20 or 30 times what these other services costs,” explains Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon of National Right to Life.
Abortion accounts for a large share of Planned Parenthood’s clinic revenue. At an estimated average rate for first-trimester abortions ($480), the group would have taken in more than $155 million in revenue from abortion in 2014. The actual total may be higher due to more-expensive later-term abortions.
Planned Parenthood’s focus on abortion is evident in its primary services to pregnant women. Abortion accounted for 94 percent of those services (abortion, prenatal services, adoption referral) at Planned Parenthood clinics in 2014. Nineteen times as many women received abortions as prenatal care. Abortions outnumbered adoption referrals by a 160-to-one margin. Planned Parenthood, in short, offers no real plans for parenthood—only abortion.
Politics and funding
Planned Parenthood is also a major player in the political arena. The group spends millions of dollars to elect pro-abortion political candidates who help fund its activities. And it advocates for unlimited abortion in the courts and legislatures, fighting against even the most commonsense abortion policies.
Despite its controversial work, Planned Parenthood is heavily subsidized by American taxpayers, mainly through Medicaid and Title X family planning funds. Planned Parenthood received $553.7 million from the government in the year ending in June 2015, nearly half of its total revenue of $1.15 billion.
Some states directly fund some abortions at Planned Parenthood. For example, Minnesota taxpayers reimburse Planned Parenthood and other abortion practitioners for abortions performed on women receiving state assistance. The rest of the government money Planned Parenthood receives—which is not supposed to directly fund elective abortions—is fungible. Because of such funding, other money that would have been used for non-abortion expenses can be used to perform and promote abortions.
Taxpayers should not be required to subsidize the abortion industry. It’s time to stop public funding of Planned Parenthood.