Planned Parenthood Goes Upscale

Monday’s Wall Street Journal has a lengthy front-page article by Stephanie Simon on Planned Parenthood’s recent efforts to greatly expand its already enormous presence throughout the United States.

The “Wal-Mart of the Abortion Industry” Goes Upscale

Simon begins by noting that Planned Parenthood is ‘flush with cash’ and that by building massive new, fortress-like facilities in places like Aurora, IL, Denver, CO and other cities, they are seeking to reinvent themselves by catering to a more wealthy clientele. Simon describes these new mega-mills in Aurora and elsewhere as ‘elegant’, noting that the largest one, in Houston, will be 75,000 square feet.

At least five more mega-mills are on the drawing board. These upscale killing centers will, according to Planed Parenthood executives, hold greater appeal to women of means, while still welcoming lower income clientele. The new sites feature muted lighting, hardwood floors, airy waiting rooms and walls featuring colors selected by marketing experts. The walls are also thick enough to, and we quote, ‘withstand a car’s impact should an antiabortion protest turn violent.’

Pro-lifers have begun referring to Planned Parenthood as the ‘Wal-Mart of the Abortion Industry,’ and point to the record one-billion dollars in annual revenue tallied in its most recent financial report, one-third of that coming from state and federal grants.

Along with these abortion factories are dozens of quick-service ‘express centers’, many in suburban shopping malls, which distribute contraceptives along with jewelry, candles, books and T-shirts. Meanwhile, even some of Planned Parenthood’s abortion-providing allies aren’t too happy with the mega-mills.

Small-Time Abortionists Can’t Compete with Planned Parenthood

Many independent abortion providers agree with the ‘Wal-Mart’ label. For instance, Amy Hagstrom Miller, who operates abortion clinics in Texas and Maryland, calls Planned Parenthood’s new approach ‘much more aggressive’ and finds it ‘deeply frustrating’ to compete with them for abortion patients. She says Planned Parenthood is ‘not unlike other big national chains.’

Miller lacks the big bucks Planned Parenthood gets from the government to upgrade her clinics or advertise the way Planned Parenthood can. She has dropped the cost of an early abortion to $425 compared to Planned Parenthood’s $475.

The Journal article notes that even though the total number of surgical abortions in the U.S. has declined in recent years, the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood has increased steadily to nearly 290,000 a year.

About one in every five babies killed by abortion in the United States is killed in a Planned Parenthood facility, in part because CEO Cecile Richards has been encouraging more Planned Parenthood clinics to perform abortions. And large amounts of Planned Parenthood’s millions are spent on political campaigns to keep pro-aborts in office and to elect more abortion supporters to the state and federal legislatures.

“Contemporary, Fun, and Lively Looking” Abortion Clinics the Wave of the Future

Simon also says in her informative article that despite all Planned Parenthood’s big plans and intentions to draw more and more well-to-do women into their mills and create an image of classy killing, Planned Parenthood is acutely aware that they are a target. Antiabortion activists have picketed the homes of contractors building the Denver center. In McMinnville, OR two dozen landlords wouldn’t rent to Planned Parenthood. And they are building their new mills like fortresses.

They have put in long driveways, landscaped buffer zones, bulletproof vestibules, nine-inch thick precast concrete walls. But meanwhile, Simon writes, Planned Parenthood is not neglecting its many shabby mills, but is putting some of its millions into making them ‘contemporary, fun and lively looking,’ according to an Oregon director, with pink, orange and teal paint jobs and repairs that make them look cleaner and safer to their clients.

In seeking to boost its bottom line by increasing the number of customers it serves in the shortest amount of time, Planned Parenthood has adopted a ‘drive-thru’ approach, making big bucks off of more and more patients, as studies show that the more contraceptives they distribute, the more abortions they perform.

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