Friday, May 13, 2011

Planned Parenthood: 37% Not 3% Related to Abortion

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Once again Planned Parenthood is exposed as being less than honest about their stake in the abortion industry.

Randall K. O' Bannon, Ph.D., has studied Planned Parenthood and its affiliates for more than 20 years.

In studying Planned Parenthood's latest report (2009) he has found that Planned Parenthood presents itself as something very different than it actually is. They present it to the public through a multi-layered presentation that is very misleading.

Dr. O' Bannon, who is affiliated with National Right To Life, shares his findings in an interview with NRL.

He uncovers how PP claims only 3% of their business is abortion, when in fact 37%---or more is abortion business.

Following is the National Right To Life News interview with Dr. O' Bannon.

May 12th, 2011

Q&A with Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.

Editor’s note. Whenever questioned about the hundreds of millions the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) receives every year in government funding, PPFA ducks, bobs, and weaves. At the top of its evasions is a multi-fold defense that attempts to demonstrate that abortion is a small part of what it does, bringing in barely enough to pay the utilities. Is this plausible? To those who don’t have the opportunity to closely follow the money and statistical trails, yes. But are they true? No! Contrary to the official PPFA line, its abortion connection has, if anything, been underplayed. For an explanation we turn to Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life’s resident expert on Planned Parenthood. Dr. O’Bannon has tracked the activities of PPFA and its affiliates for us for over 20 years and has written dozens and dozens of stories and blog entries about the country’s largest abortion provider, which aborted 332,278 babies in 2009.
Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon is director of Education and Research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund.

NRL News: Let’s start with this claim that abortion represents “only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services,” the single most common PPFA defense. Where does this come from and is it in any sense true?

Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.: If you were PPFA, above all you want people’s eyes distracted from the 330,000+ abortions you perform a year. How could you minimize its prevalence and its importance to your bottom line? (This is complicated, so please bear with me.) By bundling services when it serves your purpose, and unbundling when it makes you look better. It arrives at this 3% figure by using some very strained mathematics, by counting everything given to, or done for, a given patient as a separate service. So if a young mom comes into a Planned Parenthood clinic for an abortion, she’ll probably also have a pregnancy test, maybe a test for an STD, and then may receive a packet of birth control pills after her abortion. So, is that one “service” or four? Planned Parenthood counts each of these as a separate service.

Moreover, this same woman coming in for an abortion may receive three, four, or more additional services, such as an ultrasound, an antibiotic, and an Rh type and hemoglobin test, all connected to her abortion visit. When counted separately, it makes it look like abortion was only one among several other more conventional “reproductive health care” services or procedures. [See PPFA’s 3/11 fact sheet on services]

PPFA offers the “3% of services” mantra day in and day out. It is accepted uncritically by the media. The figure is purposefully confusing. A much more understandable—and accurate—measure is to look at the numbers of clients, rather than the number of “services.” That tells a very different story.

Outside of places like National Right to Life News and NRL News Today, you virtually never read that the percentage of PPFA’s clients that receive abortions is 12%. As we shall see in a moment, that is important not only because it reveals its enormous investment in abortion, but also because abortions generate a hefty share of clinic revenue.

NRL News: So, to be clear, that means that nearly one in eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic receiving services has an abortion?

O’Bannon: Well, even that probably understates the abortion-related traffic to Planned Parenthood. In 2009 over 1.1 million women coming to Planned Parenthood had a pregnancy test. We don’t know what percentage of those were positive. What we do know is that of the services Planned Parenthood reported that would have involved pregnant women (abortion, prenatal care, adoption referrals), 97.6% were abortion.

On the PPFA Services fact sheet, Planned Parenthood says it provided services for three million people in 2009. That would mean roughly a third were tested for pregnancy. Considering how a woman can buy a relatively inexpensive pregnancy test from her local drug or grocery store, she must have had a reason to seek out Planned Parenthood. If the availability of abortion was the reason, that would mean that abortion was pulling in even more than the 12%.

NRL News: Even so, 12% of the business being devoted to abortion would be a significant percentage, would it not?

O’Bannon: That it would be. But to reiterate, abortion certainly accounts for a great deal more than just 12% as a portion of PPFA’s business, especially if you’re looking at it in monetary terms.

To see how significant abortion is to Planned Parenthood’s bottom line, there is no equivalency between a $15 pregnancy test or a $6 pack of condoms or $15–$50 packet of birth control pills and an abortion which runs $350–$950 for a first-trimester abortion [].

Here’s some very basic math. At $451 (the Guttmacher Institute’s estimated average cost for a standard first-trimester surgical abortion), the 332,278 abortions Planned Parenthood performed in 2009 would represent $149.9 million—37% of the $404.9 million in clinic revenues PPFA took in for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009 [see PPFA 2008–09 Annual Report ].

NRL News: That’s a far cry from the 3% we started with.

O’Bannon: And since Planned Parenthood clinics also advertise and perform more expensive chemical abortions, like those with RU486, and later surgical abortions, which average more than $1,500 at 20 weeks, that income and that percentage are probably much higher. One thing is clear from the data we have, data that comes from Planned Parenthood itself. In spite of the spin and the deflections, Planned Parenthood certainly is “Big Abortion”– the nation’s biggest performer and most aggressive promoter of abortion.

NRL News: We know we have to be 100% accurate or the 99% that is correct gets tossed away. What are some common mistakes with regard to the data?

O’Bannon: Speaking in terms of Planned Parenthood’s “profits” instead of “revenues.”

Another is to confuse its clinic or “health center income” with the total revenues of the organization. Planned Parenthood had total revenues of $1.1 billion in FY 2009, but only 37% of that came from clinic income. It got another $363.3 million in “government grants and contracts” and private contributions totaling $308.2 million, and another $24.5 million from other sources.

One thing people also need to do is to be specific. Don’t say that 90% of Planned Parenthood’s patients have abortions, because that isn’t correct. What is true is that in looking at those services intrinsically connected to pregnancy—abortion, prenatal care, and adoption—97.6% of those were abortion.

NRL News: Anything else you want to say about this 3% claim that Planned Parenthood has popularized?

O’Bannon: If I may, let me briefly mention three other related issues. First, PPFA is building up its abortion business in a major way (see the editorial on page 2). This is 180 degrees away from the organization’s attempt to act as if abortion is incidental to what it does.

Second—to borrow from the article I wrote that appears on page 11—a secondary Planned Parenthood tactic is to argue that increased funding will enable it to reduce the numbers of abortions, but its own organizational reports don’t seem to show that.

The revenue Planned Parenthood receives in “Government Grants & Contracts” has gone from $165 million in 1998 to $363.3 million in the organization’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. During the same time, and at roughly the same rate, abortions have more than doubled at Planned Parenthood, from 165,509 in 1998 to 332,278 in 2009. All this while abortions in the U.S., as a whole, dropped by about 25%. To say that Planned Parenthood is committed to reducing abortions is to go against decades of evidence that shows the exact opposite.

Third, to return to the original question, we’ve shown that PPFA is heavily invested in—and derives enormous income from—abortion. But even if abortion constituted “only” 3% of its business—which masks the truth—this organization boldly and unapologetically destroys over 300,000 innocent human lives every year, making millions in the process, and unapologetically defends its doing so.

This is not only an absolute corruption of the very notion of “health care,” it is a gross abuse of our most basic human rights, something that no civilized society should tolerate, much less pay for.

Planned Parenthood is indeed the "Face of Evil".
To those who repeat the 3% lie, perhaps you will want to reconsider your unwavering support.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Active. Be Blessed.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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  1. So, you want me to reconsider my support for pp based on a claim that a whopping 88% of their clients are there for health and contraceptive services rather than the even more whopping claim of 97%.


    Mark in Tigard

  2. In addition, it seems to me that any kind of education system that does not teach according to the will of God on a subject, it will be investing in what's going to result in more of what God doesn't want, and with an organization such as Planned Parenthood, that could very well result in more abortions.

    The real protection against abortions is the word of God, not condoms. (Eph 6:11)

  3. Hey Mark. You're on a sinking ship. Planned Parenthood is becoming more and more difficult to defend as the facts keep coming out of their dark closets.
    Thanks Gary.

  4. "This is not only an absolute corruption of the very notion of “health care,” it is a gross abuse of our most basic human rights, something that no civilized society should tolerate, much less pay for."
    Well said. Thank you Gary for keeping the lights on. The words "health care" and "corruption" seem to be synonomous with Planned Parenthood.

  5. How can anybody support something like this?

  6. Gary, this is one more big lie from the far left abortion advocates. Planned Parenthood has always been about something other than what they told people. Margaret Sanger was interested in population control, especially blacks, not health care. The big lie continues. God bless you for keeping us in the loop.

  7. 11:26am

    This article is speculation, not facts. But, for the sake of argument, let's accept the numbers. They actually support that the vast, vast majority of women go to pp for non-abortion services. PP provides critical services for women without access to the for-profit health care system. Thanks to PP, my girl friend and I never had to face an unwanted pregnancy before we could afford the for-profit system. We'll never know, but I believe it's more than likely that they prevented an abortion in my case.

    Mark in Tigard

  8. Mark. It is also speculation to say PP pervented an abortion in your case, but I understand your appreciation for their birth control assistance.
    Have you considered the fact that they kill over 300,000 preborn babies every year and while the over all number of abortions has fallen, the number Planned parenthood performs has risen significantly during the same time period? Do you have any concerns or hesitations about the loss of life for these children? Planned Parenthood is not scaling back their number of abortions, they are increasing them. We've heard the stories of babies that didn't die properly during an abortion. Does that bother you? Does that serve as any concern to you about PP?

  9. 12:17pm

    Using the qualifier "I believe it's more than likely" makes it pretty clear that I intended to present it as speculation.

    There is not room here to debate abortion itself.

    My point is that Gary attempted defame pp by disputing their statistics and wound up actually defending that the vast, vast majority of what they do is not abortions.

    Plus, if abortions are so profitable for them, shutting down their health services wouldn't shut down abortions. And if 9 out of 10 of their current clients couldn't get contraceptives anymore? Yikes, that sounds like a marketing plan for an abortion center!

    Mark in Tigard

  10. 12:17

    The only reason the number of abortions at PP is increasing while the overall number of abortions is decreasing is the unrelenting campaign of harassment, intimidation, assasination and terrorism that has been waged against abortion providers and clinic workers by the pro-life movement. When one group has the backing and the strength to stand against this assault, it is hardly surprising that they are providing a larger percentage of the total.

  11. 2:52 What about the unrelenting campaign of assault and assination against the unborn babies? Have you thought about them/ Perhaps you should. Thanks Gary. Keep it up.

  12. 3:49 PM

    I notice you don't deny that your side has engaged in a decades long campaign of harassment, intimidation, assassination and terrorism against people providing a perfectly legal (Constitutionally protected in fact) medical procedure.

  13. Though killing the unborn is (sadly) accepted today by some who say they will protect the constitution, let's not be for terrorism, assasination, or harassment. Intimidation shouldn't be a part of our armor either.

    Warning people of the consequences of sin, warning them of eternal damnation, warning them of being opposite the Lord's ways, warning them of his coming return, offering them the goodness of his grace while there is still time to receive it, these things we should be doing.

    I haven't seen this website say, "Let's do as the terrorists have done." I haven't seen them say, "Let's fly an airplane into an abortion clinic." or anything like that.

    I think we all know enough to be contrary to those things, for those things do not promote the kingdom of Christ.

  14. 11:57

    It was once perfectly legal in this country to own slaves, so just because something is perfectly legal doesn't make it morally right. Murder is murder, period.


    Well said!!!!

    Craig in Lacey

  15. It isn't right that the government funds all this. I wonder if their thinking is that in order to get their votes, they do whatever they can get away with, making promises to the people and providing whatever service they can not really afford, but will go into debt anyway, and in order to keep the costs down, they will encourage abortions, for they fear that if they don't, that there will be more moms on welfare, or there will be other costs for childcare and their voters will look to them for those services.

    If that kind of thinking is so, then the bottom line looks like this:

    I Tim 6:9,10
    But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
    For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

    I think the sorrows will come at the end of their life, or at such a time as if they should ever awake.

  16. RALPHINEVERETT7:58 AM, May 16, 2011

    I wonder how many women die because they have bought into the
    idea that no abortion period? No mater what the
    circumstances are. The right to life position is to rigid.
    Abortion for convenience is wrong. How about health
    reason ,cancer , mental health , age etc?

  17. 7:36AM

    The federal government does NOT fund abortion. That would be illegal and it does not happen! Period!

  18. Likewise Ralphineverett, I wonder how many women die from having an abortion. Abortion clinics in Washington are not required to meet cleanliness requirements that other medical institutions are required to meet. They are never inspected by DSHS, or any other government organization that inspects the "for profit" health care institutions. They are not liable for malpractice should an abortion result in harm to the patient. If you were to take your wife to a PP clinic and they killed her, you would have no recourse, just the loss of your wife and your child.
    Think carefully about the institution that you support.

  19. "Abortion clinics in Washington are not required to meet cleanliness requirements that other medical institutions are required to meet."

    I believe this claim to be false, if not why did FFN waste all it's time attacking gays in the last legislative session, instead of introducing a bill to change this?

    "They are not liable for malpractice should an abortion result in harm to the patient."

    This is a false claim.

  20. 5:10pm

    "They are not liable for malpractice should an abortion result in harm to the patient"

    Perhaps you could back this claim up, or we will consider it hogwash until you do.


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