Joseph Backholm is senior fellow for Biblical worldview and strategic engagement at the Family Research Council. This article appeared in WORLD Magazine on May 11, 2023.
Why Planned Parenthood is building its transgender business
Planned Parenthood has long led the country in abortions, but the same organization is now fully committed to helping people look like the opposite sex as well. According to their latest annual report, the number of affiliates performing cross-sex hormone injections jumped over 30% in the last year. While they proudly advertise the services on their website, Planned Parenthood laments that “We are not currently able to prescribe puberty blockers or gender-affirming hormones therapy to youth under 16.” You can be confident they are working to change this.
At first blush, it might not be obvious why an organization that once billed itself as a “woman’s health” organization would help women look like men, but the connection is not as crazy as you might think. For generations, Planned Parenthood built its empire by offering abortion and contraception, and then using its significant political leverage to convince state and federal governments to guarantee payment for—you guessed it—abortion and contraception. This business model has proven to be lucrative. During the fiscal year 2021-2022, Planned Parenthood received more government funding than ever, a $37 million increase over the record $633 million collected the previous year.
While abortion may be the deadliest service Planned Parenthood provides, it may not be the most lucrative. Women and girls who sign up for government-subsidized birth-control prescriptions at Planned Parenthood become a monthly revenue source for as long as they take birth control. When millions of women do this, the numbers add up quickly. And very often, taxpayers are paying the bill. Cross-sex hormones present the same opportunity.
As with birth control, the effort to look like the opposite sex must be maintained for life. A lifetime of hormones is just part of the total cost of “changing your gender,” and these drugs can eventually cost up to $1 million. For Planned Parenthood, it is another opportunity to create customers for life who become a monthly revenue stream. The government is often happy to pay the bill, depending on which state you live in or who the president is.
Planned Parenthood’s financial interest in these matters is part of the reason their long-standing and intimate involvement in creating sex-education curriculum is so problematic. Asking Planned Parenthood to educate children about sex and gender identity is a bit like asking the local marijuana dispensary to create a drug awareness program. Don’t be surprised when the children finish the class even more inclined to do drugs.
But Planned Parenthood’s interest in cross-sex hormones is more than just a business model. Transgenderism and abortion are spiritually united by a shared desire to destroy and deface what God created and called good. If you can kill your children to preserve your happiness, you can modify your body for the same reason. It is also why Planned Parenthood was a leading advocate for the redefinition of marriage and their curriculum attempts to destigmatize prostitution. It’s all the fruit from the same tree. My body, my choice, they insist.
Many of those enabling the gender revolution don’t see themselves as part of a rebellion against God. In many cases, they’re just trying to “help people.” But the ease with which Planned Parenthood has begun aborting identities, as well as babies, provides clues that should not be missed. Yes, they want to make money, but it’s so much more than that. Once you conclude God makes mistakes that people are obligated to fix, maintaining pretenses will require you to become increasingly irrational and increasingly evil. The war on nature and nature’s God cannot be won, but it can create a lot of damage—which is what Planned Parenthood does best.