Over the past 30 years, the rate and number of abortions in the United States have steadily declined. In contrast to this drastic reduction in abortions, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has exhibited “a persistent increase in both abortions and their market share percentage of total abortion procedures.”
Still, Planned Parenthood downplays abortion as their primary service in an attempt to obscure the reality they are an abortion clinic. Rather, Planned Parenthood masquerades as a healthcare provider which just happens to provide abortions.
According to Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report for 2016–17, abortion services account for only 3% of total services in their breakdown of affiliate medical services provided. Meanwhile, STI testing and treatment account for 47% of total services. For the year 2016-17, Planned Parenthood reports having performed 321,384 abortions. Upon delving deeper into Planned Parenthood’s methods of reporting these statistics, it is evident Planned Parenthood uses legitimate health services such as cancer screenings and STI testing to “obscure the reality of Planned Parenthood’s business.”
When a patient walks into Planned Parenthood seeking an abortion, clinicians may conduct an HIV screening, cancer screening, pregnancy test, or STD test on the patient before performing the abortion procedure, even if the woman only came into Planned Parenthood for an abortion. The “other tests” effectively outnumber the abortion procedure 4:1.
Rather than bundling these services with the abortion procedure, each service is reported separately in an effort to inflate the number of total services provided.
If Planned Parenthood truly wanted to show themselves to be an upstanding member of the healthcare industry, they would report any services surrounding an abortion as part of the abortion procedure.
According to a 2018 study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, “for the period 1995-2014, estimated annual and cumulative excess abortions are calculated…to indicate the number of abortions which would have been averted if the P[lanned ]P[arenthood] utilization experience had been identical to that of Non-P[lanned ]P[arenthood] abortion providers.”
This estimated annual and cumulative excess abortions has been termed the “Planned Parenthood Abortion Inflation Effect” or PPAIE. “Planned Parenthood excess abortions grew steadily each year from 21,000 in 1996 to 258,200 in 2014, 28% of total abortions that year. The cumulative number of abortions added by the PPAIE from 1995-2014 was 3,025,560 or 12.5% of the 24,112,600 performed. Planned Parenthood has had a long-term and accelerating inflationary effect on the incidence and prevalence of abortions in the US[sic].”
The study used two main sources: Planned Parenthood Federation of America annual reports, 1995-2014 and The Guttmacher Institute, reports of abortion rates and volumes, 1973-2014.
The results indicate between 1973 and 1980 US abortions more than doubled to over 1.5 million before stabilizing at 1.6 million over the next decade. “From that high, the number and rate of abortions began a steady decline which lasted nearly 30 years. During the 20 years 1995-2014, the number of abortions decreased 31% from 1,359,400 to 926,200 and the abortion rate decreased 35.1% from 22.5 to 14.6.” Non-Planned Parenthood abortions decreased 50.8% from 1,225,500 to 602,200. “P[lanned ]P[arenthood] abortions, by contrast, increased 142% from 133,900 to 324,000. The resultant P[lanned ]P[arenthood] market share increased from 10% in 1995 to 35% in 2014.”
Over the time span of this study, “[t]he number of excess abortions resulting from the PPAIE grew steadily each year…P[lanned ]P[arenthood] excess abortions were just over 21,000 in 1996 and had grown to 258,200 in 2014, nearly 28% of total abortions that year. The cumulative number of abortions added by the PPAIE from 1995-2014 was 3,025,560, 12.5% of the total of 24,112,600 performed.”
Even though their total market share has increased over the past 30 years, Planned Parenthood continues to report abortion is only 3% of what they do. Additionally, their claim to be a healthcare provider does not align with their dependence on abortion revenue.
Because abortion is one of its primary sources of revenue apart from government funding, Planned Parenthood must maintain this persistent increase in the total number and market share of abortions in order to stay in business. Though health services outnumber abortions within Planned Parenthood, abortions greatly outweigh health services in terms of revenue generated.
In a 2015 congressional hearing, Rep. Cynthia Lummis of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee estimated for the year 2013–14, Planned Parenthood yielded $262 million in revenue from abortion, or nearly 86% of their total non-government health services revenue. Interestingly enough, during the hearing, former President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards did not challenge this figure.
Given Planned Parenthood’s steady annual increase in number and market share of abortions coupled with their reliance on abortion as a primary source of revenue, it is safe to assume Planned Parenthood’s market share and number of abortions will continue to increase in the coming years.
Despite the declining number of total abortions in the United States, Planned Parenthood’s numbers continue to rise, propping up abortion numbers in the U.S.