Planned Parenthood’s Exponential and Intentional Increase in its Abortion Business
Under the leadership of Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood’s president from 1962 to 1974, the organization experienced an abortion-defining moment. Planned Parenthood went from warning women about the dangers of abortion[i] to being among the first to eagerly profit from its legalization. Planned Parenthood of Syracuse, New York began performing abortions on the first day permitted by a change in New York State law.
Since it entered the abortion business in 1970, Planned Parenthood has intentionally and exponentially expanded this highly profitable segment of its operations.
Planned Parenthood has performed—and profited from—over five million abortions in the last four decades. But at its current pace, Planned Parenthood performs one million abortions in just three years. In 2010, Planned Parenthood clinics performed over 900 abortions each and every day.[ii]
Abortion has outpaced other areas of “growth” at Planned Parenthood. Its provision of abortions is expanding not because Planned Parenthood is opening more clinics or otherwise expanding its overall operations; rather, the organization is becoming increasingly abortion-centric.
According to Planned Parenthood’s own reports, in 1991, “more than 3.2 million individuals” were seen in its clinics nationwide.[iii] That year Planned Parenthood performed 132,314 abortions,[iv] meaning roughly 4.2 percent of the patients at its clinics received abortions in 1991.
Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report notes that over the course of two decades the number of patients seen at its clinics has not increased. In 2010 “Planned Parenthood health centers saw approximately three million patients.”[v] Although Planned Parenthood fails to publicly report the exact number of its unduplicated patients, and only provides an approximation, it is clear that with a steady, or potentially decreased, number of patients overall, Planned Parenthood’s abortion business has more than doubled. Planned Parenthood clinics performed 329,445 abortions in 2010.[vi] In its February 2011 “Fact Sheet” titled “Planned Parenthood by the Numbers,” Planned Parenthood reported that 12 percent of the patients at its clinics were abortion patients.[vii]
While rapidly growing its abortion business, Planned Parenthood has drastically cut its other pregnancy-related services. Abortion is the “service” Planned Parenthood provides for the overwhelming majority of its pregnant patients.
Notably, Planned Parenthood’s own directives make clear the organization is intentionally becoming more abortion-centric. In December 2010, Planned Parenthood issued a new mandate: by 2013, every Planned Parenthood affiliate must have at least one clinic performing abortions.[viii]
In a legal complaint filed against the State of Texas, Planned Parenthood confirmed that the “marching orders” for its affiliates are that they must be abortion providers to be part of Planned Parenthood.
Plaintiffs all are affiliates of, or ancillary organizations of affiliates of, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (“PPFA”), which also advocates for women’s access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion, and requires that its affiliates do the same. PPFA does not provide abortion care itself, but its member affiliates offer that service throughout the United States and as of January 2013, all member-affiliates will be required to do so. [ix] (Emphasis added.)
Planned Parenthood’s intentional increase in its abortion business is not limited to expanding the number of its clinics where abortions are performed.
Abby Johnson, the former director of Planned Parenthood’s clinic in Bryan, Texas, reports that, in 2009, her clinic was given an increased abortion quota in order to raise revenue.[x] (According to Ms. Johnson, “the assigned budget always included a line for client goals under abortion services.”[xi]) Ms. Johnson has said that her superiors gave her “the clear and distinct understanding that I was to get my priorities straight, that abortion was where my priorities needed to be because that’s where the revenue was.”[xii]
The expanding abortion business at Planned Parenthood runs counter to a two-decade national trend of decreasing abortion numbers. Even without further expansion, Planned Parenthood has firmly cemented its place in the abortion industry as the nation’s largest abortion chain.
[i] Planned Parenthood did not always advocate for abortion. In a 1952 Planned Parenthood brochure, it stated that abortion “kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want to have a child you cannot have it.” See David Schmidt,Planned Parenthood in 1952: Abortion ‘kills the life of a baby,’” Live Action blog (Mar. 8, 2010),available at http://liveaction.org/blog/planned-parenthood-1952-abortion-kills-baby/ (last visited Sept. 23, 2012).
[ii] Planned Parenthood reports that it performed 329,445 abortions in 2010. See Planned Parenthood Fed’n of Am., Inc., Annual Report 2009-2010 5 (2011), available athttp://issuu.com/actionfund/docs/ppfa_financials_2010_122711_web_vf?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage (last visited Sept. 23, 2012).
[iii] Planned Parenthood Fed’n of Am., Inc., Service Report 2 (1992).
[iv] Id. at 16.
[v] Planned Parenthood Fed’n of Am., Inc., Annual Report 2009-2010 supra at 4.
[vi] Id. at 5.
[vii] Planned Parenthood Fed’n of Am., Inc., Planned Parenthood by the Numbers (Feb. 2011).
[viii] See Carey, Planned Parenthood plans to expand abortion services nationwide, The Daily Caller (Dec. 23, 2010), available at www.dailycaller.com/2010/12/23/planned-parenthood-plans-to-expand-abortion-services-nationwide/ (last visited Sept. 23, 2012). See also Foley, Local PP chapter drops affiliation, Corpus Christi Caller Times (Dec. 20, 2010), available at www.caller.com/news/2010/dec/20/local-planned-parenthood-chapter-drops/ (last visited Sept. 23, 2012) (reporting that a Corpus Christi, Texas clinic planned to drop PPFA affiliation because of mandate); Livio, Planned Parenthood may double the number of N.J. abortion clinics while expanding nationwide, NJ.Com (Jan. 16, 2011), available atwww.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/planned_parenthood_to_double_t.html (last visited Sept. 23, 2012).
[ix] Complaint at ¶ 30 (d), Planned Parenthood Ass’n Tex. v. Suehs, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62289 (W.D. Tex., Apr. 30, 2012) (No. 1:12-CV-00322).
[x] Abby Johnson & Cindy Lambert, Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line 114 (Ignatius Press, 2010).
[xii] Id at 115.