Planned Parenthood has finally released its 2015-2016 annual report, a slick document filled with some impressive looking figures on how many services they have provided at their more than 600 facilities. The controversial organization is desperate to prove they’re playing a vital role in the nation’s health care in the midst of a growing campaign to end their massive government funding. But when you really dig into the data, a different story emerges: business is booming at Planned Parenthood, but only when it comes to abortion.
For example, Planned Parenthood boasts that they diagnosed 209,446 cases of sexually transmitted diseases in 2015. Sounds impressive. But every year in the U.S., a whopping 20 million STDs are diagnosed. Planned Parenthood is only catching about 1% of them. That’s fine as far as it goes—but it hardly supports Planned Parenthood’s claim to be an indispensable partner in the American health care system.
Similarly, the 321,700 manual breast exams and 293,799 pap tests Planned Parenthood records in the new annual report vanish into insignificance when compared to annual totals. Planned Parenthood provides fewer than 2% of manual breast exams, and only about 1% of pap tests—and they’re providing fewer of these tests every year. In fact, Planned Parenthood saw 100,000 fewer clients in 2015 than in the previous year. Again, hardly sounds indispensable.
However, there is one area in which Planned Parenthood could claim to be more than just a bit player. And that’s abortion. In 2015, Planned Parenthood took the lives of 328,348 unborn children, an increase of 4,329 over 2014. Even as the national abortion rate declines, Planned Parenthood’s share of the abortion market continues to increase. Planned Parenthood is now responsible for more than 35% of the nation’s abortions.
But they don’t seem to be particularly proud of that accomplishment. As in past years, Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report uses accounting gimmicks to claim that abortion is only 3% of what they do—a statistic that even such liberal media outlets as Slate and the Washington Post have dismissed as meaningless and deceptive.
Why is Planned Parenthood so reluctant to emphasize its leading role in abortion? They know that most Americans are at least uncomfortable with abortion, and that when people learn how aggressively Planned Parenthood has worked to corner the abortion market, support for their taxpayer funding dries up.
Planned Parenthood is desperate to hold on to this funding for providing services to low income Americans—and the access it gives them to potential abortion clients. And as the new report shows, so far they’ve been successful. In 2015, Planned Parenthood raked in $554,600,000 from taxpayers, an increase of nearly $1 million over 2014.
Planned Parenthood’s new annual report may impress their donors, but for anyone truly concerned about the welfare of American families, it tells a different story: Planned Parenthood is Abortion, Incorporated. Congress and the President must fulfill their promises to quit propping up the nation’s largest abortion provider. They must instead redirect all those hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to comprehensive health centers that are not involved with abortion. No woman should have to go to an abortion clinic to get basic health care.
Eric Scheidler is the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, a national pro-life education and activism organization based in Chicago.