News & Politics

New Report Says Planned Parenthood Is Dying. Here's What Will Take Its Place

Cecile Richards-Planned Parenthood's president. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Planned Parenthood released its annual report for 2016-2017 over the New Year’s Eve weekend, and the numbers don’t look good for America’s largest abortion provider. The organization reported more than 320,000 abortions last year, but it has seen large declines in non-abortion services, a massive loss in clientele, and rapid facility closures. A new kind of organization is already replacing Planned Parenthood in non-abortion services — the pregnancy help center (PHC).

“Planned Parenthood’s business model is sinking faster than the Titanic,” Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement Wednesday. “Despite record income, non-abortion services are in decline, clients are abandoning them in droves, and dozens of facilities have closed. Meanwhile, abortions are holding steady at over 320,000 a year.”

Even this report failed to provide a full picture, Dannenfelser argued. She noted the federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s “role in the grotesque harvest and sale of aborted babies’ body arts for profit.” Meanwhile, “community health centers vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide and offer comprehensive primary and preventive care for women and families.”

According to the report, total services are down nearly 13 percent, and prenatal care has dropped by more than 60 percent. Total cancer screening and prevention services have decreased by more than 41 percent: a 39 percent decline in breast exams and another 43 percent decline in pap tests. Even contraceptives have decreased by 28 percent.

More damning, the number of unique patients dropped by 600,000 — a 20 percent decline. Furthermore, roughly 100 facilities (14 percent of those belonging to Planned Parenthood) have closed their doors, despite record income.

The only thing holding steady is abortion: Planned Parenthood performed 321,384 abortions last year, and more than 1.6 million in the past five years. In that same period, the organization performed approximately 126 abortions for every adoption referral.

This focus on abortion may actually doom the organization, according to Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the education and research arm of SBA List.

“Planned Parenthood’s formidable status as a fundraising giant and political behemoth may ultimately be its undoing,” Donovan told PJ Media in an interview on Wednesday. “For two decades, it has concentrated its resources on dominating the abortion market while alternative family planning distribution networks have become nearly ubiquitous, much lower in cost, and more attractive to women who want the convenience of securing whole-woman health services from other providers like pregnancy help centers (PHCs) and community health centers.”

Donovan suggested that the organization’s private donors might find the report rather concerning. “Planned Parenthood’s failure to adapt, radical endorsement of legal abortion until term, and sense of their own invincibility will be especially lethal once private donors realize how little they are getting for their massive investment,” he said.

The CLI president suggested that Planned Parenthood would only have about 3-5 years of life once public funds are cut. The United States government still funds Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services, but money is fungible, and abortion is the one steady aspect of the organization’s business model. Many pro-life activists and politicians have called for defunding Planned Parenthood.

“Once public funds disappear, Planned Parenthood will rapidly shrink and women will continue to go elsewhere if they have their own, flexible insurance.  This could happen in as little as three to five years,” Donovan predicted.

CLI reported that there are 2,752 PHCs in the United States, and 60 percent of them offer free ultrasounds. Donovan contrasted their “patient-centered model” with Planned Parenthood’s “political-influence model.”

“If times are changing, the PHCs will be a big factor, among many, in the fading of Planned Parenthood’s narrow business model,” Donovan concluded.

Pro-abortion activists know this, and so some liberal states (California and Hawaii) have adopted restrictive laws that would effectively force pro-life PHCs to become “abortion referral agencies.” The laws would require PHCs to list a phone number for abortions, along with advice on how to obtain one.

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering the case National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Xavier Becerra.

It seems the political debate over abortion has already expanded beyond Planned Parenthood, as more and more women receive family-planning services elsewhere. Should the federal government defund the nation’s largest abortion provider, its days may indeed become numbered.