On Sunday, the Washington Post ran in its Outlook section a story called “5 Myths About Planned Parenthood.” Today it debuts yet another pro–Planned Parenthood piece masquerading as a news story, “In Montana and elsewhere, Planned Parenthood serves broad function.” Unfortunately for Planned Parenthood’s publicists, the truth is hard to hide.
The writer begins with a description of a typical Friday in the Planned Parenthood clinic in Billings, Montana: “Of the 24 patients seen that day, two had abortions.” To lead with that admission, in a piece clearly designed to burnish Planned Parenthood’s reputation, is pretty chilling. There are only 104,170 people in Billings, Montana. And “only” two abortions on a typical Friday?
Planned Parenthood is working hard to minimize its distinction as the nation’s largest abortion provider, by touting its “abortion is only 3 percent of our services” talking point. But that statistic cleverly masks how foundational abortion is for them. In an op-ed in the Washington Times today, Anna Franzonello and I detail a few different ways of measuring Planned Parenthood’s abortion involvement.
For starters, their “market share” of the abortion business is increasing while abortion numbers nationwide overall are declining. Additionally, if we narrow the denominator to look specifically at Planned Parenthood’s pregnant clients, 97.6 percent of those women received an abortion.
Based on Planned Parenthood’s public data, we’ve estimated that the revenue from those “services” accounts for 37 percent of Planned Parenthood’s health-care-center income in 2009. That is a far cry from the “3 percent of our services” claimed by Planned Parenthood and its supporters.
— Charmaine Yoest is president of Americans United for Life.