After I tweeted a reminder about the movie “Unplanned” opening this weekend, my Twitter feed got the usual barrage of snark from the liberal Peanut Gallery, accusing critics of Planned Parenthood of wanting to slash women’s health services. That is as ridiculous as the claims by some of them that they were going to unfollow me over that tweet (if they didn’t know I’m pro-life, why were they following me in the first place?)
So I thought this would be a great time for a refresher course on why supporting Planned Parenthood and supporting women’s health services are not in any way the same thing. And I’ll do it using PP’s own numbers. These figures are from the annual reports that they’re required by law to issue (and if they weren’t, you can bet this would all be top secret.)
PP denies that it is an abortion mill, despite former employees’ testimony that they are drilled to pressure patients to have abortions to meet quotas. (Sue Thayer, a former facility director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, testified to Congress in 2015 that Planned Parenthood “is more concerned about its bottom line than it is about the health and safety of women.”)
Yet in 2018, PP clinics performed 332,757 abortions, 11,000 more than the previous year. That’s the most that they’ve performed since 2011-12. Depending on the study, that’s between one-third and one-half of all abortions performed in the US.
Meanwhile, in virtually every other category of health services – pap tests, providing contraceptives, etc. – PP’s numbers decreased. Adoption referrals fell by 1,000 from the previous year to less than 3,000. That means that for every 118 babies they aborted, they sent one woman to someone who would help her baby be adopted (PP doesn’t deal with adoptions; they send you to someone else if they can’t talk you into an abortion.) The only service other than abortion that increased was tests and treatment of STDs.
PP proving more abortions and less of virtually everything else is a longterm trend. The Daily Signal reported in 2016 that at that time, Planned Parenthood provided 30.1% of all abortions, but only 0.97% of all pap tests and 1.8% of breast exams. Those were physical exams, not mammograms – PP clinics don’t even have mammogram machines; once again, they send you to someone else for that. And if they discover you have high blood pressure during an exam, they have to send you to someone else to treat that, too.
Prior to that, an analysis by Susan B. Anthony List found that from 2009 to 2011, PP’s contraceptive services dropped by 12%, and its cancer screening and prevention services fell by 29%. But can you guess what went up during that period? That’s right: abortions. From 2009 to 2011, they aborted 995,687 children.
The liberal howl that defunding Planned Parenthood would result in drastic cuts to vital women’s health services is nonsense. There are only 650 PP clinics in the US (and as noted, they don’t even offer many vital services.) Meanwhile, there are over 13,000 non-abortion-providing Federally Qualified Health Centers providing a full range of health services to women, and tens of thousands of private doctors who accept patients on Medicaid and other government programs.
As National Review notes, some entire states have one, two or no PP clinics, but hundreds of FQHC clinics. Even California, which has by far the most PP clinics in the US at 114, has many more FQHC clinics (nearly 1700), providing a full range of health services.
The truth is that defunding Planned Parenthood would not mean “slashing women’s health care.” If the half-a-billion dollars that taxpayers give to PP every year were diverted to full-service clinics instead, women could actually be provided with better, more comprehensive care. And taxpayer money wouldn’t be going to prop up an organization whose real mission becomes more obvious with each passing year: “women’s health services” is just a front. They’re actually in the death services business.