Abortion is Hugely Profitable

Fundie women let their man decide what's best!

(Image from Freethoughtpedia.)

The American Life League, which is dedicated to destroying Planned Parenthood, puts out a weekly “STOPP Report” about its efforts. This week’s report examines Planned Parenthood’s 2006-2007 annual report. ALL writes:

The report shows that PP has killed 289,750 preborn babies and had a total income of over $1 billion. These numbers again mark an increase over the previous year.

Actually, PP didn’t kill any babies. It terminated pregnancies long before they reached that stage.

PP received $356.9 million in clinic income, $258.7 million from private donations and a whopping $336.7 million of our own tax dollars. It had a total profit of $114.8 million. [emphasis in original]

That’s what I want to focus on today. This presumption of profiting off of abortions. It’s a claim a see a lot in the anti-abortion screeds. Fundies keep screaming about how Planned Parenthood performs abortions, because it’s such a profitable business for them. They really say this (when they aren’t claiming that PP is hellbent on eugenics). ALL continues:

In effect, $114 million of taxpayer money went right into Planned Parenthood’s savings account. It is clear that PP does not need all of this money.

Since PP is a non-profit, there are no stockholders or fatcat executives taking home all of that money. It’s going to be available for running the organization in the future.

ALL then presents the financial details in the PP annual report. I decided to go to the Planned Parenthood site and see the report for myself. Here’s the truth behind what the anti-abortionists are claiming.

Here’s a pie chart showing how their services were distributed. This is number of services performed, not dollars.

Number of services performed.

So of the 10.5 million services provided, abortion only makes up 3%, a mere pittance. The way the fundies talk, you’d think that PP is a ravenous baby-eating monster roaming the countryside, instead of a provider of many fertility-related services, of which abortion barely even registers on the chart.

Look at that chart again. What’s the biggest piece? Contraception, at 38% of all services offered. They also point out in that legend that 81% of all patients seen are provided contraception. That means that PP is preventing many pregnancies from ever happening. PP is actually reducing the number of abortions needed, because many of their patients won’t get pregnant in the first place!

This is an example of unintended consequences. If the fundies succeed in shutting down Planned Parenthood, the number of unwanted pregnancies will definitely go up, and the number of abortions will probably go up as well. If the fundies want to reduce the number of abortions, they should leave PP alone.

Now let’s look at the Revenue pie chart:

Planned Parenthood's revenue.

As you can see, their health center services generated 35% of their income, just over one third of their revenues.

Now take a look at the Expenses pie chart:

Planned Parenthood's expenses.

Medical services make up 65% of their expenses, almost two thirds of their entire budget. What this means is that Planned Parenthood isn’t making any money on their medical services. It isn’t a profit center; it’s a cost center! Contrary to what the fundies are telling you, PP is not pushing abortions because they’re making money off of them. They’re providing abortion as one option out of many services, all of which are costing the organization a huge amount of money.

But Abortion Really Is Profitable!

So if PP isn’t making any money off of abortions, does that mean nobody is?

Not by a longshot! Abortion is a hugely profitable business. For the fundies!

What is the number one issue that fundies have been pushing for the last several decades? Anti-abortion, of course. Every fundie organization has anti-abortion as one of their main issues, and many fundie groups are devoted exclusively to this one subject. Millions of fund-raising letters go out every single week, warning the faithful that God will come down out of heaven and smack them personally if they don’t give a gob of money to fight abortion.

Fundies make millions off of this one issue. It’s the cash cow of the radical right. The only people profiting off of abortion are the fundies themselves.

16 Responses to “Abortion is Hugely Profitable”

  1. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I haven’t seen them use the term “preborn babies” before — is that new? It sounds like a more politically correct (or shall I say, Fundially Correct) version of “unborn child/baby.” I can see how using the prefix “pre” tugs at the heartstrings a little more than “un.” Un- doesn’t imply that the birth will ever happen. Pre- does imply it will happen. I’m always fascinated about how they manipulate language for their twisted causes.

    Also, Ron, you hit on the what’s really going on with the fundie effort against Planned Parenthood. Abortion is an easy way to drum up a lot of support and money for them and they surely hate it, but fundies are also mostly against ANY form of contraception, except abstinence or the “Rhythm Method” (aka the charting method or counting method) and even then not always (see: Duggars). So while in literature they push the abortion issue as the #1 issue against Planned Parenthood, they also view the birth control aspect as huge sins too, some because of the prevention of child birth (same sin as abortion) and some because of the perceived notion that allowing any birth control other than abstinence promotes promiscuity and disease. However, an assault against birth control doesn’t get them near as much attention or money as abortion. It may even hurt their cause for the uninitiated. Sort of like how the Xenu story turns people off of Scientology until they are properly brainwashed. :-)

  2. Brian Says:

    Great article, Ron, and you really hit it out of the park there at the end. For all of their bloviating, grandstanding, hand-wringing and tooth-gnashing, people like Dobson and Robertson (and the now-rotting Falwell) have built their empires of credulity on the back of this issue and have no wish for a resolution to it anytime soon. Its really the only arrow left in their quiver which still packs a punch with “the Base” and guarantees fresh influxes of money whenever they bring it up.

    If they really were so high-minded in their “morals”, they’d be passing out condoms in Sunday School if it meant one less unplanned pregnancy and subsequently, one less abortion. They’d solidly support comprehensive sexual education because any fool can see the abstinence-only message is about as effective at stopping pregnancy as the rhythm method. Ah, but wait. These aren’t just any fools we’re talking about. These are fundie fools, and no fact, no bit of evidence shall ever pierce their bubble of ignorance or bespoil their preconceived notions of how the world ought to be.

    If abortion in this country were to ever be unilaterally outlawed, I can only imagine what will happen when the first 16-year old girl is convicted and sentenced for this “crime”. Are we to treat a woman’s vagina as a crime scene, subject to investigation by our holy reproductive police, like in El Salvador? And really, how does this degradation of women help Christianity rise above the taint of human society, Islam? Fortunately, it seems that most of the country is on the correct side of this issue, so even if anti-abortionist actually succeed in banning it I think it will be a pyrrhic victory for them, at best. Rights, once granted, are very difficult to take away again, and an entire generation of women today rightly expect to have the final say over what happens with their bodies. The suspension of this right would alienate untold numbers of people from the hardline edicts of the pro-lifers once and for all and possibly create an unstoppable wave of public sentiment against those who feel their precious holy book entitles them to dictate behavior as they see fit.

  3. Jeremy White Says:

    Damn Ron, that was a really good post! I never knew all that Planned Parenthood did. To be honest, I always a bit ignorant and thought of PP as “the place where people go to get abortions.” Thanks for setting me straight!

  4. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeremy:

    That just demonstrates how effective the anti-Planned Parenthood campaign is. The fundies have managed to get people to equate PP and abortion, so you don’t think of them as anything more than that.

  5. Snowe Says:

    After Katrina, some of the PP’s in the area were offering free birth control (because displaced women had lost theirs) and gyn exams (because lots of women had spent DAYS in dirty, bacteria-filled water) and the anti-choicers started howling…shows you just how much those people really care about women!

    It really burns me when they start shrieking about doctors getting rich off of “murdering babies” when many abortion providers live in fear of their lives and are often stalked and harassed by good Christian folk.

    I love this site–stumbled across it a week ago. I grew up in an extremely conservative fundie church and couldn’t wait to leave home and get away.

  6. The Watcher Says:

    I, too, am glad for this post. It raises my hackles every time I hear the phrase “the abortion industry,” as if Planned Parenthood had some kind of abortion-crazed agenda to terminate every pregnancy in the world (planned or unplanned).

    How, exactly, can these hypocrites continue to insist that “abortion makes money,” while simultaneously claiming that the government gives them grants? They aren’t paid per abortion!

  7. Barbara Says:

    When I think about Margaret Sanger and her fight for women to have the right to control when and if they became pregnant, I’m absolutely sicked by the fundie hate for Planned Parenthood. Their non-stop picketing of the small PP office in my city really pisses me off. By spreading false information about their basic services, stupid stupid fundie morons simply set women’s rights back about 100 years.

  8. Brian Says:

    Barbara,

    Setting women’s rights back is all part and parcel of the “great” religions. Fundies are driven by a fear of two things: sex and death. Treating women as equals threatens their precious male-dominated theology which, conveniently enough, promulgates a worldview in which men are supposed to be heads of their households, subserviant only to “God, the father”. They’ve had a good racket going for centuries now, and they have no wish to see some uppity women upset the apple cart. Abortion and gay rights represent a blatant “fuck you” to the entire Christian establishment, one for which it is richly deserving.

    By ceding to modernity, as any rational person ought to, typical fundies undercut their own belief system in an irreparable way, and they know it. Perhaps some of them cling to their absurd creations myths so fiercely because it is essential for them to believe a woman is responsible for our sorry lot in life. Really, what sense does the entire message of Christianity make if there were no Adam and Eve to begin with? If there was no Eve to buggar everything up in the garden, then there is no original sin for which we ought to repent, and no need for a savior to promise eternal life. Oops. There goes their other delusion. They have neither the courage nor the intelligence to face the eternity of oblivion that awaits us all, so to perpetuate their childish notions they insist on throwing society’s gears into reverse so we never exit the tunnel of religious ignorance we might otherwise someday exit. Frakking idiots.

  9. Buffy Says:

    Abortion and gays have been very profitable for the RRRW (and to a lesser extent the war on birth control). Now that these wars aren’t bringing in the same cash and convert flow they once were, the Fundies are latching onto “the illegals” as their newest boogie man. Cue scary music. The Mexicans are coming!

  10. Angry Reptile Keeper Says:

    My fiance saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, “There is no greater disrupter of peace than abortion” or some shit like that. That just goes to show you where these people’s minds are (or are not). I can think of many greater disturbances to peace than abortion. Let’s see… Um…. War, poverty, homelessness, disease, forced pregnancy, abuse, neglect, famine, global warming, oppression, ignorance, bigotry, hate and greed to name a few.

    And then there’s the bumper sticker that says, “women deserve better than abortion”. Yeah, like forced pregnancy! These freaks don’t care about the women. They also don’t care about the fetus/embryo/baby once it’s born. It’s all about chalking up points with “god”.

    In reply to what Buffy said:
    “Illegals” are a problem. Not a religious one, but an economic one. There are many jobs that don’t pay shit anymore because companies can hire desperate immigrants at a fraction of the cost. They also wind up with government handouts that should be reserved for the legal citizens who have worked and paid into the system. As a consequence, many Americans are being screwed by employers as far as their paychecks go. Why pay a legal citizen fair, living wage when you can hire some immigrants “off the books” for below minimum wage? As if outsourcing of our jobs isn’t bad enough!

    I don’t have a personal problem with “illegals”. I have a problem with the system. Either make them legal, keep them out, or make sure they get paid the same as a legal citizen.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    “Illegals” are a problem. Not a religious one, but an economic one. There are many jobs that don’t pay shit anymore because companies can hire desperate immigrants at a fraction of the cost. They also wind up with government handouts that should be reserved for the legal citizens who have worked and paid into the system. As a consequence, many Americans are being screwed by employers as far as their paychecks go. Why pay a legal citizen fair, living wage when you can hire some immigrants “off the books” for below minimum wage? As if outsourcing of our jobs isn’t bad enough!

    I just wanted to respond to the comment about the “government handouts”. First, illegals, by and large, pay taxes. Most are on the books same as everybody else. The “under the table” stuff is very, very small. Keep in mind that the IRS does NOT care if your company hires illegals, as long as they pay taxes (and most do). Second, there is no evidence that illegals use a disproportionate amount of the public infrastructure (aka “handouts”) based on the taxes they provide.

    The problem is the first part of your post: driving down wages. The “global economy” we were sold in the 90s is a myth. Unfortunately, at this time, there are far too many people in developing parts of the world that will work for a fraction that U.S. citizens are used to. For us, this drives down our wages. The better long-term solution is for those that are immigrating here illegally to stay in the home country and become politically active to force change. But I understand why they don’t, because being politically active can be dangerous and it certainly doesn’t feed your family…

    Immigration is a very complex issue, but the Republican talking points of “handouts” is a myth. There is no study (that I have ever seen) that supports that claim.

  12. Melody Dobs Says:

    Please don’t be so naive. Abortionists do make a lot of money! It costs $225-$525 per person and upwards, depending on how far the women is in her pregnancy. An abortionist can handle about 20-30 women a day, for that’s about $4500 – $15750 per day. That’s a $126,000 – $441,000 per month. That’s 1.5 million – 5.2 million a year. Unlike other medical processors that are complex and time consuming. An abortion isn’t. An abortionist clinic can easily turn into a profitable slaughterhouse. This isn’t lies, its truth. Money makes the world go round.

    This is why most abortionist doctors live in mansions and report million dollar incomes. Most Pro-choice lobbyist are well paid as well and highly connected. I’ve never heard of a starving abortion supporter. Have you? Most abortionists doctors and their supporters donate money to Planned Parenthood because it they helps them sell the message to the gullible public. No one is going to get an abortion because of the screaming NOW activist or because they trust the doctor. They are more likely to take the advance of the nice little lady at Planned Parenthood who seems to be compassionate. Think about it. Nearly all government programs run at a lost and are deeply in debt. But Planned Parenthood runs in the black of an $85 million dollar excess. How else can you emphasize that the ceasing or prevention of pregnancy isn’t profitable?

    But you say Abortion supporters care about “Women’s rights?” That’s a laugh. There are still no female presidents, most companies are run by men, engineering and science fields are still man dominated, women still make dramatically less than men, and men still make money off of women’s insecurities.

    NOW, the largest feminist union, has major contacts with every single major Fortune 500 company. They receive donations and dinner party engagements with the big business executives all day along. Their children even go to the same schools. NOW could use their clout to pressure them to improve the quality of life of their female employees. But they do not. They’ve rather worry about lack of accessibility over abortions than to actually improve and promote women who are in real danger. I remember one day in Atlanta, feminist activists where complaining over the “Men at Work” sign and congratulating themselves over getting the sign chanced. When a muslim girl was killed, that same week, by her father because she wanted to get a divorce from her husband. No femisists spoke on that issue. Just like they didn’t speak out on Lacey Paterson.

    Look at Cosmo magazine, its nothing but a manifestation of modern female insecurities. Lose Weight Fast! Get Sexier! Make Him Want You! Look Younger! Clothes that make you look thin! Get the Perfect Tan! Get Fuller Longer Hair! It’s funny how all the solutions proposed by the magazine cost money. I would love to see a magazine marketed towards young women that said. How to love yourself! Dump Him: He’s not worth it! Don’t get Skinny, Get Fit! Mind over Matter: Become Empowered in 10 easy steps!

    One question, I could never understand from Pro-choicers is how exactly does abortions free women? If they practiced celibacy, they wouldn’t get pregnant. I know what you are thinking, what if they were raped or its a medical necessity? But those cases are low compared to the cases of “inconvenience.” But if women practiced celibacy or at the very least refused to sleep with men who wouldn’t accept the possibility of supporting an unintended pregnancy, women wouldn’t have to worry about abortions. Or their sex lives, then they could practice true sexual freedom. Women enjoy sex better when they are with someone they trust.

    Pro-choicers are just as bad as Pro-lifers. Both ends are extremely ignorant of the real people caught in the middle. The chief majority of these women who chose abortion do so because their boyfriends, their parents, and society pressures them to do so. If a woman lived in a loving and supporting environment, abortion wouldn’t even cross her mind. I know that Abortionists claim that pro-lifers don’t care about the children after they are born. But Abortionists don’t care about the women after they abort. Where are Pro-choice funded post trauma Abortion centers for post-aborted women? It’s like these women are just pawns in the pro-choice game.

    But what kills me is the most is, how can the world be so strong for Pre-martial sex but against the natural outcome of sexual freedom (or lack of). It’s just like allowing people to take drugs but get upset if they get addicted. I believe if its acceptable to have multiple sex partners, it shouldn’t be taboo to be a single mother or have STDs. Nor should it be necessary to get an abortion, in order to go to school and get a degree. A pregnant woman or a mother isn’t less likely to learn than a childless women. In fact, if given the opportunity she’s likely to learn more because she needs a job to support her children. So why not have daycares at colleges? They already have everything else.

  13. Ron Britton Says:

    All I need to say

  14. S in Ohio Says:

    I agree with Ron….the stupid. BTW, MOST colleges (except the weird fundie ones) ALREADY HAVE childcare centers, where they train future teachers, nitwit! GAH….

  15. ericsan Says:

    I once had this guy blow me just before we watched an episode of Kung-Fu with David Carradine, is that considered pre-martial sex?

  16. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Specifically because Kung Fu was starting or was it just random coincidence? It makes a difference.