Planned Parenthood Increases Revenue, Abortions

Penny Starr | Senior Staff Writer | Friday, April 04, 2008

Planned Parenthood Increases Revenue, Abortions

(CNSNews.com) - Planned Parenthood Federation of America made unprecedented revenues and increased the number of abortions over a one-year period by the largest percentage since 1996, according to its just-released annual report.

For the fiscal year July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, the organization earned revenues of more than $1 billion and recorded 289,750 abortions - 24,807 more than the previous year.

"If Planned Parenthood were a publicly traded company, they'd be celebrating," Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, told Cybercast News Service. "The stockholders would be screaming, 'Wow, what a good year we had!'"

Planned Parenthood posted its latest annual report on its Web site last week, prompting reaction from several pro-life organizations, including American Life League.

"While most companies have started to feel the squeeze of our sagging economy, business has never been better for Planned Parenthood," Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said in response to Planned Parenthood's latest figures.

"Planned Parenthood received a $31.4 million pay raise in taxpayer funds - a 10.8 percent increase in the 'non-profit's' government revenue," Perkins added.

Repeated requests by Cybercast News Service for an interview with Planned Parenthood Federation of America officials were not granted.

According to the report, Planned Parenthood gets 33 percent of its revenue from federal grants and contracts under the Title X family planning program. Last year, the organization received $336.7 million of taxpayers' money.

With the 2008 Title X appropriation decisions due out this summer, Planned Parenthood is lobbying for an increase in funding, despite figures in the annual report that show the organization has $114.8 million "excess of revenue over expenses."

Planned Parenthood's stated goal of providing contraceptives to make abortions rare is in contrast to its own numbers in its annual report and a January '08 report by the Guttmacher Institute, which contributes millions of dollars a year to the organization.

In the report on abortion trends in the United States, the number of abortions in the U.S. dropped from 1.3 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2005. As noted, however, for FY 2006-07, the number of abortions by Planned Parenthood increased 24,807 over the previous year for a total of 289,750 abortions.

Rachel Jones, lead investigator of the study, said the differing numbers more likely reflect the increase of Planned Parenthood providers around the country rather than abortion trends.

"Planned Parenthood is not necessarily reflective of what's going on in the larger abortion provider community," Jones told Cybercast News Service. "They have more clinics providing abortion services now."

Sedlak said statistics gathered by the American Life League show that Planned Parenthood provides approximately 1-in-4 abortions that take place each year in the United States.

Abortions reported by Planned Parenthood include surgical and medical abortions, the latter referring to abortions induced by the ingestion of prescription drugs in the first eight weeks of pregnancy.

Mifepristone, for instance, terminates a pregnancy by blocking the receptors of the hormone progesterone, which is needed for a pregnancy to continue. It also increases prostaglandin levels and dilates the cervix, facilitating abortion.

When followed by administration of misoprostol, a prostaglandin that induces uterine contractions, mifepristone ends a pregnancy approximately 94 to 98 percent of the time, according to the Reproductive Health Technologies Project.

The annual report provides separate numbers for Planned Parenthood's distribution of 1.5 million emergency contraception kits, which contain RU-486, the so-called morning-after pill. If taken three to five days after having unprotected sex, the drug can prevent or end a pregnancy.

Despite figures that show 81 percent of the 10.5 million people served by Planned Parenthood received contraception services, last year Planned Parenthood increased the number of kits it distributed by almost 200,000. The kits do not require a prescription and can be obtained by those 18 or older at pharmacies.

The Planned Parenthood annual report for 2006-2007 can be viewed in its entirety.

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