March 10, 2017

President Trump tried offering a compromise to Planned Parenthood: they could keep their government funding to provide health services to women if they just stop performing abortions (it’s already illegal to use federal funds for abortions; PP says it keeps those funds separate from its abortion operations, but critics claim that’s just a technical bookkeeping distinction). PP swiftly rejected Trump’s offer, with its president Cecile Richards tweeting, “Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion — a necessary service that's as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings.” So when you hear the argument that PP is all about women’s health services, you now know how they define that. And that they are actually “proud” of performing an estimated 300,000+ abortions every year.

But let’s be honest: abortion is far more vital to Planned Parenthood’s mission than cancer screenings. That haughty rebuke to Trump didn’t bother to mention that abortion is PP’s #1 profit center. I’ve interviewed former PP employees who complained of being heavily pressured to push abortion to pregnant patients. PP performs less than 1% of all Pap tests in the US, less than 2% of all breast cancer exams, and zero mammograms, but over 30% of all abortions. According to research by the pro-life group Live Action, abortion accounts for about 90% of PP’s services to pregnant women. Only one out of 160 pregnancies in PP clinics is referred for adoption; the rest are aborted.

Asking PP to give up abortion would be like asking McDonald’s to stop selling hamburgers. You can call it a “mission” all you want, but that’s where the money is.

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