Cathy Ruse is Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Hill on January 28, 2018.
This year, like every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the nation looked back to a ruling from seven men on the bench while tens of thousands of people came to Washington to the March for Life.
And the March for Life was filled with young women, many holding signs that read: “Defund Planned Parenthood.”
Despite the news of President Cecile Richards' upcoming retirement, according to the abortion organization’s recently released 2016-2017 report, they had a pretty good year.
Revenue way up. The nation’s abortion giant brought in $1.46 billion dollars. That’s billion with a “b,” an increase of more than $100 million from 2015-2016.
Abortions down slightly. Planned Parenthood aborted 321,384 babies last year, down from 328,348 babies in the 2015-2016 period. This decline follows the national trend: Fewer women have turned to abortionists every year for the last several years.
While Planned Parenthood persists in claiming that abortion is just 3 percent of its business, this statistic has been widely discredited. It conflates the number of clients with number of “services:” For instance, a pregnancy test, counseling, and medication is each counted as a separate non-abortion “service” for every one abortion client.
Prenatal services down dramatically. Planned Parenthood helps bring fewer babies into the world each year. Prenatal services dropped to a new low of just 7,762. That represents a drop in prenatal services of nearly 2,000 from 2016 and a drop of nearly 10,000 from the 2014-2015 period. Curiously, adoption referrals were reported to increase this year by exactly 1,000, to 3,889.
Taken together, these services represent just a tiny fraction of Planned Parenthood’s baby-related business: 4 percent directly helping bring babies into the world (through adoption and prenatal services), 96 percent taking them out (through abortion).
Taxpayer funding down slightly. Taxpayers are still the primary funding source for America’s abortion leader. According to the 2016-2017 report, Planned Parenthood was given $543.7 million dollars from taxpayers through government reimbursements and grants, a decline of less than 1 percent from the $554.6 million dollar tax gift it received in 2015-2016.
Planned Parenthood collects money we pay in taxes at the federal and state/local level. More than $400 million comes from federal funding, Medicaid and Title IX funding, that Congress could stop.
Private donations way up. The barely-perceptible reduction in the fire-hose flow of tax dollars to Planned Parenthood was more than made up by private donations from the organization’s well-heeled friends: In 2016-2017, Planned Parenthood’s private donors gave $532.7 million dollars, an increase of $86.9 million from 2015-2016.
Clinics closed. Planned Parenthood closed many clinics last year, though the report does not acknowledge it outright. This year’s report lists “more than 600” clinics, while last year’s claimed “nearly 650 Planned Parenthood health centers.” An outside watchdog group reports that 32 Planned Parenthood clinics were closed during 2017.
Breast cancer screening? The report claims 336,614 breast exams, though this number obscures more than it reveals. Lila Rose and her team from Live Action had great fun debunking the myth that Planned Parenthood is the place to go for breast cancer screening with a mammogram, recording phone calls to dozens of facilities coast-to-coast and finding not a single mammogram machine. In a 2015 testimony, Richards herself told Congress that they can only refer women to outside facilities to receive a mammogram.
Revenue from baby body parts. No, this is not a line item you will find in the new report. But the video-supported allegations that Planned Parenthood traffics in aborted human remains continues to dog the abortion giant. Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced a forthcoming investigation into Planned Parenthood’s alleged involvement in selling fetal tissue for profit.
Meanwhile: “We’re expanding,” announces Richards in the financial report’s introductory message. The organization now provides hormone services for transgender patients. Leave it to Planned Parenthood to find another way to make money off of the misfortune of women.
Another report was just published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons analyzing the results of a survey of nearly 1,000 women with a history of abortion. The report tells the unhappy tale that 73.8 percent of women experienced “pressure” to abort their babies, and a full 58.3 percent chose abortion “to make others happy.”
This is the real legacy of Roe, and Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Perhaps a new slogan is in order: Roe v. Wade — Aborting your child to make others happy.