Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report – marked by some declining health care services for women – again demonstrates abortion is its priority and federal defunding should be the result, pro-life leaders say.
Released in late May, the organization’s 2015-2016 report showed the country’s largest abortion provider performed about 4,300 more of the lethal procedures than the previous year. While its number of abortions increased, Planned Parenthood reported a decline in such services as prenatal care and breast exams.
Meanwhile, the nonprofit continued to prosper financially, reaching $1.4 billion in total revenue.
“This report reveals what is already plain to see: Planned Parenthood is not and has never been a ‘health care’ organization,” Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore told Baptist Press in a written statement. “It is a storefront that preys upon women in crisis, exploits families and devalues human life.
“It exists not to serve women but to drive profit margins in an industry of death,” said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). “I pray that lawmakers would recognize this gross injustice and show their care for women and children by directing federal monies toward community health centers that actually serve women, not exploit them.”
The new report “shows that in terms of pregnancy outcomes, Planned Parenthood’s nearly exclusive focus on abortion continues,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, in a June 1 article for National Review. “Unborn children identified at [Planned Parenthood] affiliate clinics still have a lower than 4 percent chance of emerging alive.”
Arina Grossu, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, said in written comments, “The bottom line is that Planned Parenthood is getting more government funding and committing more abortions than ever before, while continuing to decrease in key services to women such as cancer screenings, breast exams and prenatal services.”
She added, “The time to defund Planned Parenthood is now. It’s time to redirect the funds to community health centers that provide comprehensive and holistic care to women and their children.”
Congressional supporters of the defunding effort are seeking to use a health care bill or other legislation to cut most of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding and direct it to federally qualified health centers that do not perform abortions. The ERLC is conducting an online advertising campaign to rally support for federal defunding of the organization.
Backing for the defunding effort in Congress has grown in response to the latest scandal to mar Planned Parenthood’s reputation. A series of undercover videos first released in 2015 provided evidence Planned Parenthood was trading in body parts from aborted babies, and a video issued online shortly before the unveiling of Planned Parenthoods’s annual report further tarnished its public image.
The 2015-2016 report by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) showed its affiliates performed 328,348 abortions for the year. In 2014-2015, the country’s leading abortion provider reported 323,999 of the procedures.
During the year ending June 30, 2016, PPFA and its affiliates received $554.6 million in grants and reimbursements from the federal and other levels of government. That was an increase of about $900,000 from the previous year.
The report also showed:
- Prenatal services at nearly 650 PPFA centers declined from 17,419 in 2014-2015 to 9,419 in 2015-2016.
- Breast exams decreased from 363,803 to 321,700. (This line in the 2014-2015 report was labeled “Breast Exams/Breast Care.”)
Adoption referrals increased from 2,024 to 2,889 but still paled in comparison to the number of abortions.
One drop in contraceptive services was life-affirming: PPFA centers distributed 767,830 emergency contraception kits in 2015-2016 after providing 931,589 the year before. Emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B, not only can restrict ovulation in a woman or prevent fertilization, but they can block implantation of the early embryo in the uterine wall. The latter effect would cause an abortion, pro-life advocates point out.
PPFA’s decline in health care services for women began more than a decade ago, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which is the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List. From 2004 to 2016, cancer screenings – including pap tests and breast exams – fell from more than 2 million to less than 635,000. Some of that drop was the result of a revised protocol for pap smears, the Lozier Institute acknowledged. PPFA affiliates do not perform mammograms.
Days before the release of Planned Parenthood’s latest report, lawyers for the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) posted on the Internet undercover footage of Planned Parenthood officials discussing late-term abortions in gruesome descriptions, World News Service (WNS) reported. In a video from a National Abortion Federation meeting, Stacy De-Lin of Planned Parenthood of New York City admitted, “We certainly do” partial-birth abortions, a procedure prohibited by federal law.
A federal judge ordered removal of the video from YouTube, according to WNS.
Other undercover investigations by pro-life organizations in the last several years have shown Planned Parenthood employees demonstrating a willingness to aid self-professed sex traffickers whose prostitutes supposedly were in their early teens; seeking to conceal alleged child sex abuse; and agreeing to receive donations designated for abortions of African American babies.
Planned Parenthood, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, came into existence when eugenicist Margaret Sanger opened a Brooklyn birth control clinic in 1916. It took the lead in the abortion business in this country when a New York affiliate began performing the procedures in 1970. New York legalized abortion that year, three years before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on the procedure.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Tom Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)