Portrait of an American business

June 9, 2006 09:00 AM

Commentary by Jim Sedlak

America is the land of entrepreneurs. Those that are successful find a formula that works and then replicate that formula many times to build an empire. We have seen this happen in the fast-food industry, in retail stores, in computers and many other venues.

There is one enterprise that has received very little attention for its commercial acumen because most people don't view it as a business. But it is. Let's take a few moments to look at this business, review its business model and determine the secret to its success.

First, let's look at some of the numbers associated with this business. Last year, it had gross revenue of $882 million and a net profit of $63 million. This marks the 19th year in a row that the enterprise has increased its gross revenue and made a profit. In fact, over those 19 years, it has a total profit of $649.6 million on gross revenue of $10 billion.

Like many franchise businesses in our country, it has achieved this level of success by working out a sound business model and then replicating that model all across the country. It began in 1916 with a single site in Brooklyn, New York. Since that time, it expanded to 938 facilities in 1995, but has seen some contraction since that time and its latest annual report states that it operates 860 sites.

One of the interesting parts of the business model for this endeavor is that it has been able to tap into government money and avoid paying even one penny of taxes on its profits. Of the $10 billion the company has taken in over the last 19 years, 39 percent ($3.9 billion) has come from the American taxpayer. It was after it began receiving these funds in 1964 that its explosive growth began ? more than doubling its locations over the next nine years.

As with any successful business enterprise, it makes every effort to create a demand for its products and services, identify the demographics of the consumers who are most likely to be its customers, and then implement a strategy to bring those customers through its doors. On a national level 27 percent of its customers are under the age of 20 and 70 percent are under the age of 25. Thus, it is young people that make up the overwhelming majority of its customer base.

This demographic is not unexpected since the company's main products and services are geared to enabling individuals to engage in uninhibited sexual activity. So dedicated is this enterprise to the avocation of sex that when it published its 25-year plan in 2000, its number one goal is to make sure that sex is celebrated.

Thus the business model for this enterprise is: get young people involved in sex; sell them products to use while having sex to avoid pregnancies and diseases; and provide back-up products and procedures to undo the results of the failures of its primary products ? and to do all of this while convincing the American public and the government that it is providing a needed public health service so that it can be granted tax-exempt status and never have to pay a penny in taxes on its profits.

So what is the enterprise we have been describing? It is the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with its 120 affiliates and its 860 facilities across the United States.

Let's take a more in-depth look at this very successful organization. Planned Parenthood's business model elements include:








  • Pushing its brand of sexuality education programs into schools and youth service organizations like the Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Boys and Girls Club and the YWCA. It also pushes its idea of sexuality on Teenwire.com, its web site for teens. At the present time, Planned Parenthood is pushing legislation in many states to get its sex education programs mandated. All this is done to create the demand for it products.
  • Selling a wide variety of pills, condoms and shots to young people involved in sex. Because of its official tax-exempt status, Planned Parenthood is able to buy its products at greatly reduced costs and sell them at a tremendous markup. This provides the revenue stream for its operations.
  • Providing a host of sexually transmitted disease services to those who have acquired these diseases through living the Planned Parenthood-sanctioned lifestyle. In addition, it runs the nations largest abortion chain, with 173 surgical abortion facilities. These services add to its revenue stream and also protect its primary business.

The implementation of this three-step business model has been very lucrative for Planned Parenthood. Just last week it released its 2004-2005 annual report and the numbers tell the story of a thriving enterprise ? the numbers cited at the beginning of this article. This is indeed that $882 million business that made $63 million in profits last year; it has made a total profit of $649.6 million since 1987; Planned Parenthood has received $3.9 billion (yes, that's billion, with a "b") in taxpayer money since 1987 and spends $45 million a year on its sex education programs in an effort to sexualize our children.

In addition, Planned Parenthood kills over 250,000 preborn babies in its own facilities each year. Its abortion business provides 31 percent of its clinic income. It does 180 abortions for every one adoption referral and kills 14 babies for every one it helps with prenatal care. Planned Parenthood committed 19.8 percent of abortions in the United States in 2004 and over 3.8 million babies have died in Planned Parenthood facilities since abortion was decriminalized in the United States.

Although the business has been successful for Planned Parenthood, it has been a disaster for the American people. It has contributed to the spread of debilitating and sometimes fatal diseases, has killed more people than currently live in many or our states, and has done it all under the guise of a "charitable" organization with 39 percent of its funding coming from our hard-earned wages.

This is one big business that we should close down, and we can start by stopping the flow of our tax dollars into its coffers.

Release issued: 09 Jun 06

Back to news