Planned Parenthood Sets New Record for Abortions in a Single Year

COMMENTARY Life

Planned Parenthood Sets New Record for Abortions in a Single Year

Jan 9th, 2020 2 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Melanie Israel

Research Associate, DeVos Center

Melanie is a research associate in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
Planned Parenthood broke a record for abortions in a single year, even as its other medical services declined. Michael B. Thomas / Stringer / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

Planned Parenthood’s annual report reveals that the organization will continue prioritizing abortion as other services decline.

Planned Parenthood’s reported private contributions fell to $591.3 million in 2019 from $630 million in 2018.

Abortion is Planned Parenthood’s priority, and Americans should not provide the organization with more than a half-billion dollars every year.

It’s been a turbulent last two years at Planned Parenthood, with a leadership shakeup involving the ouster of Dr. Leana Wen as president, and the installment of Alexis McGill Johnson as acting president.

But that upheaval didn’t stop Planned Parenthood from having a banner year in providing abortion on demand, as its new report shows.

The report, which was released quietly this week, states that Planned Parenthood affiliates performed 345,672 abortions from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018—the highest number of abortions ever reported in a single year. 

Planned Parenthood saw about 2.4 million patients during that time—about the same as last year but down from 3 million as recently as 10 years ago. Meanwhile, the other services Planned Parenthood affiliates offer declined in use.

During this time period, there were: 

  • 520,710 breast exams and pap tests, down from 570,444 in the previous year’s report.
  • 566,186 cancer screenings and prevention procedures, down from 614,361.
  • 213,042 well-woman exams, down from 216,722.
  • 2,556,413 provisions of birth control information and services, down from 2,620,867.

The increased emphasis on abortion has proven lucrative. In the year that Wen was in charge, Planned Parenthood reported:

  • Almost $2 billion in net assets, up from $1.9 billion in 2018 before Wen took over.
  • $616.8 million in taxpayer funding, up from $563.8 million in 2018.
  • $1.6 billion in total revenue, similar to 2018.
  • Planned Parenthood removed the section from previous reports specifying excess of revenue over expenses, but based off the total reported revenue and expenses, excess revenue in 2019 was approximately $110 million—down from $245 million in 2018 and similar to the $98.5 million reported in 2017.

The increases came from fees for services, not donations. Planned Parenthood’s reported private contributions fell to $591.3 million in 2019 from $630 million in 2018. Likewise, the number of unique individual contributors fell from 1.5 million in 2018 to 1.1 million in 2019. 

As the Susan B. Anthony List notes, abortions make up 95% of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy resolutions services, and for every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed nearly 81 abortions during the 2018-2019 reporting year. 

Once again, Planned Parenthood’s annual report reveals that the organization will continue prioritizing abortion as other services decline—it is its most profitable line of business. 

Therefore, we shouldn’t have been surprised last summer when Planned Parenthood announced it would forgo millions of dollars in federal funding rather than comply with the Trump administration’s new regulations that strengthen the rules in the federal government’s family planning program against funding programs that consider abortion a method of family planning. 

Planned Parenthood was unwilling to physically and financially separate its abortion activity from Title X-supported activity, so it stopped participating in the program altogether. 

Abortion is Planned Parenthood’s priority, and Americans should not provide the organization with more than a half-billion dollars every year. Instead, policymakers should direct those funds to the thousands of centers that provide health care to women without entangling those services with abortion on demand.

This story has been updated to reflect that Leana Wen was president of Planned Parenthood for one year.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal

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