Commentary by Joey Kerlin
Planned Parenthood’s image in the mainstream media is often reflected just as the organization would wish; it is viewed as a gracious, benevolent provider of goods and service that enhance the lives of all who walk through its doors. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ recent announcement that it would provide free emergency contraception in Colorado was also seen as an action motivated by a desire to better serve the public. Sadly, this is very far from the truth.
Planned Parenthood is a business, plain and simple; and to be honest the business model it utilizes is very successful. It creates customers by spreading its brand of sexuality programs into schools and youth organizations such as the Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club and the YWCA. Even now Planned Parenthood is pushing legislation in many places to require its sex education programs to become mandatory. Children are taught at a young age to engage in any and all forms of sexual activity and to rely on contraception because it will always be there to “protect them.”
The next step is the selling of a wide range of chemicals and devices to young people who are now involved in the unrestricted sex that Planned Parenthood has taught them. This is the source of the majority of the revenue stream generating the millions of dollars that flow into Planned Parenthood.
Its model then moves on to the sale and committing of abortion, a market created as the result of an over -sexualized lifestyle and ineffective means of pregnancy prevention. Afterward, more expensive doses of contraception -- Plan B, for instance -- are sold “to keep on hand” and the cycle begins anew.
Having grown up in Denver I have witnessed this targeting of youth my entire life. As a student at George Washington High School, I sadly saw Planned Parenthood wait literally across the street to take advantage of teenage students. I have seen the distribution of “holiday” colored condoms, condoms shaped like lollipops, free movie tickets for referrals to friends, and any other number of “teen oriented programs.”
Thinking back to my teenage years I was lucky to remember whether I even had homework. I can’t imagine having to remember to take a pill at the same time every day or carry a condom everywhere I went. As one of Planned Parenthood’s supporters so eloquently put it, “so enters emergency contraception.”
Planned Parenthood leads one to believe that it is offering free EC because it is so “dedicated to prevention” and not because it is interested in making money. Surely the question quickly arises, “How could someone possibly be interested in making money if they are giving things away for free?” As one article in support of Planned Parenthood’s actions states, “You can do the numbers.”
We all have been given promotional samples of new products. Businesses know that people are more likely to become loyal consumers for new products if they are able to try them out first. Those engaging in sex and suddenly being worried about the consequences of their actions are not likely to amend their lifestyle just because this one dose of EC was free. Instead, Planned Parenthood knows they will be likely to come back in the very near future and buy more. Since it is officially designated as a non-profit organization, Planned Parenthood benefits from greatly reduced wholesale costs on its products, which enables the organization to sell them at a tremendous markup. On average Planned Parenthood gets its packages of emergency contraception pills for only $4.25 each. As noted in recent articles, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains then sells them for more than $30 per package.
Besides, who knows what other sales they will now drum up? Since emergency contraception still requires a prescription, Planned Parenthood is getting names and addresses for follow up with sales promotions of all kinds. Any business would be glad to get this marketing information for a mere $4.25.
According to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ own numbers, its income for the year 2004 was nearly $21 million. All accounts said and done, it cleared a profit of well over $1 million. In fact, in the past four years this single Planned Parenthood affiliate has accumulated nearly $3.5 million in profits alone. Now we begin to see how effective the business of Planned Parenthood truly is.
In April, Colorado governor Bill Owens vetoed a measure that would allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense emergency contraception. Planned Parenthood, being the wise entrepreneur it is, has found a clever way to take advantage of this business prospect. If people are not able to buy EC as freely as the supporters of the bill would have liked, then Planned Parenthood will get its money another way.
As every year passes, PPRM receives more and more taxpayer money to continue its business. Last year alone it received nearly $2 million in grants and reimbursements from government funding. Planned Parenthood knows that offering a few pills that only cost a few dollars for free may result in it being given hundreds of thousands of dollars more in tax money.
So, do the numbers. For every “free” EC package dispensed at a loss of $4.25, Planned Parenthood stands to collect $30 (or more) in each follow-up sale, as well as increased sales of other items or services and the money received in government funding. That is quite an impressive profit.
Planned Parenthood knows that if people abstain from sex until they are married, they will make no money. We must realize that it is interested only in perpetuating its business model and it will use anything, even our own tax money and our own children, to accomplish its goal.
It is time that we take the responsibility to educate our own children about sex and procreation, and not let Planned Parenthood fashion them into lifelong customers. It is time that we insist Planned Parenthood receives no more of our hard-earned money through government grants and reimbursements. It is time that we refuse to participate in the unbridled sexual behavior that increases Planned Parenthood’s contraception and abortion sales.
Release issued: 30 Jun 06