Planned Parenthood Claims Their Own Figures Are Misleading

Former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson appears in a new TV ad created by the Susan B. Anthony List

This week a pro-life coalition led by the Susan B. Anthony List launched an anti-Planned Parenthood TV ad campaign featuring former PP manager Abby Johnson.

Planned Parenthood spokesman Tait Sye claims the ad is “misleading.” Via HuffPo:

Among the misleading statements in the SBA commercial, according to Sye, is the claim, made in voiceover, that “98 percent of [Planned Parenthood’s] services to pregnant women are abortions.”

“They’re discounting all of the preventative care we provide,” Sye said. “They’re looking at the number of abortions compared to adoption referrals to come up with that number.”

By “all of the preventative care we provide,” Sye means, of course, pushing contraception — which has reliably proven to be ineffective as a remedy for abortion, as even the pro-choice movement’s own figures indicate (per Guttmacher: “Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant”).

But what about the claim that “98 percent of [Planned Parenthood’s] services to pregnant women are abortions”? Recall that PP spokesman Sye said that figure is arrived at by “looking at the number of abortions compared to adoption referrals.”

“Misleading” Abortion Figures?

Let’s check his math.

Looking at a Planned Parenthood fact sheet [PDF] detailing their services for 2009 (the most recent year for which data are available), we see that PP’s abortion numbers were 332,278, while their number of adoption referrals was 977.

That’s one adoption referral for every 340 aborted babies. And if you add the abortion and adoption numbers together, their abortion numbers account for 99.7%, and their adoption numbers for 0.3%.

But wait a minute…Sye is claiming that it’s “misleading” for pro-lifers to claim that 98% of PP’s services to pregnant women are abortions, and yet according to his comments, their percentage of abortions should be even higher.

Sye apparently forgot that the organization for which he is a paid spokesman provides prenatal care — an omission that self-evidently indicates how little of a priority it is for them.

Planned Parenthood’s figures show they had 7,021 prenatal clients in 2009. It’s this number plus the 977 adoption referrals plus the 332,278 abortions that gives you the total number of services to pregnant women, of which abortions constitute 97.6%, which rounds up to 98%.

What’s so “misleading” about that?

PP’s Adoption and Prenatal Care Numbers Down, Abortion Numbers Up

It’s also interesting to look at how Planned Parenthood’s numbers from 2009 compare to 2007 [PDF] and 2008 [PDF].

Here are their numbers of prenatal clients:

  • 2007: 10,914
  • 2008: 9,433
  • 2009: 7,021

Here are their numbers of adoptions referrals:

  • 2007: 4,912
  • 2008: 2,405
  • 2009: 977

And here are their abortion numbers:

  • 2007: 305,310
  • 2008: 324,008
  • 2009: 332,278

So as Planned Parenthood’s numbers of prenatal clients and adoption referrals have gone down over the past three years (36% for the former and a staggering 80% for the latter), their abortion numbers have gone up by 9% — and thus, their percentage of abortions as services to pregnant women has also gone up:

  • 2007: 95.1%
  • 2008: 96.5%
  • 2009: 97.6%

These figures speak for themselves. When it comes to “services” to pregnant women, Planned Parenthood’s first priority is none other than abortion.

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