Special Report

The Profitable Nonprofit

Unholy profits for Planned Parenthood -- again.

By 4.27.09

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Left-wing activists are indignant at obscene oil company profits, hefty CEO bonuses, and sweet golden parachutes -- but what about expansion of the No. 1 violator of human rights in the United States?

No, it's not Dick Cheney and the CIA. It's Planned Parenthood. The abortion giant took home $85 million in "excess of revenue over expenses" (a nifty way of saying profits) and had an operating budget of over $1 billion for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, according to its latest annual report. Included in that budget was $350 million in "government grants and contracts" (an equally nifty way of saying your tax dollars). An increase in the number of abortions performed helped fuel the profits.

The new numbers come on the heels of a spat of stories suggesting that recessionary times are contributing to a spike in abortions. Reuters gives anecdotal evidence that, because of the economy, more women are getting abortions and more men vasectomies. An Associated Press story reports that Planned Parenthood of Illinois clinics conducted "an all-time high number of abortions in January."

Ironically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report in March showing that the United States birthrate in 2007 reached its highest level ever, surpassing the peak of the baby boom in 1957. But those numbers were before the stock market tanked, unemployment numbers spiked, and a president compared the crisis to the Great Depression -- leading many families to believe that starting a family, or adding another child, would break the bank.

That leads to a critical truth. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the abortion on demand ethic, it's obvious that hard economic times translate into more customers for abortion and family planning providers. Planned Parenthood admits as much in its annual reporting, saying that when "men and women face increasing economic uncertainty and decreasing access to affordable health care, Planned Parenthood matters even more."

Now, with a White House that has promised to funnel unprecedented amounts of taxpayer dollars into the abortion industry, Planned Parenthood has even more reason to rejoice. Despite its political and economic gains, however, the group is still attempting to walk the public relations tightrope by making ample use of lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Adoption is one example. Planned Parenthood's report boasts that, in 2007, "the number of adoption referrals at Planned Parenthood health centers increased by more than 100 percent. The number of abortions provided rose by a little more than five percent."

The percentages appear significant until one examines the hard numbers. In 2007, Planned Parenthood increased its number of adoption referrals by 2,502 for a total of 4,912 referrals. But it conducted 15,560 more abortions during the same period, totaling 305,310 abortions in all. For every adoption referral, therefore, Planned Parenthood conducted 62 abortions. Whoopty doo dang.

The reason for the wide disparity is not hard to guess. The financial incentive lies with abortion, not adoption. It's a PR boon to throw in the referrals, since it helps the group keep its pro-choice misnomer, but abortion and contraception services bring home the real bacon.

Uncle Sam helps, too. The federal government has morphed into Planned Parenthood's sugar daddy, and the co-dependency is only going to get worse in the age of Obama. Fully one-third of the organization's revenue last year came from the government, compared with less than one-fourth from private contributions. If Planned Parenthood can't get your money voluntarily, its advocates in Congress will coercively.

That's why limited government advocates have a stake in the pro-life cause. On April 15, over one million Americans flocked to state capitals, public parks, and town halls to protest runaway government spending -- and rightly so. Although most of the movement's furor was directed at bailouts and stimulus packages, government's love tryst with the abortion lobby should be exhibit A in the tea partiers' future arsenal.

The first target should be Obama's executive order rescinding the Mexico City Policy, which had ensured that American taxpayer funds would never be used for overseas abortions. The move didn't get much ink because of the media's preoccupation with the economic crisis, but it stands as an example of both Obama's abortion radicalism and intention, even in a troubled economy, to throw public money at groups that helped him get elected.

Maybe Obama views the abortion industry similarly to AGI -- too big to fail.

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About the Author
David N. Bass is a journalist who writes from the Old North State. Follow him on Twitter.