Abortion is Hugely Profitable
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.
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:
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:
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.