Behind the Planned Parenthood Numbers
By Jim Sedlak
During the course of a year, Planned Parenthood Federation of America releases a great deal of numbers. Those that are of particular concern and are reported by many groups are its abortion numbers, its government income, its adoption referrals, and its prenatal services.
While all these and similar categories of numbers are important, there are other numbers that give insight into Planned Parenthood’s business and reporting techniques. In this article we will take a look at a couple of these numbers and show how they help us to understand Planned Parenthood’s operations.
The first of these is the count of “services” provided by Planned Parenthood, as well as the number of “unduplicated clients” it reports.
Planned Parenthood is quick to trumpet the fact that it has 2.4 million unique clients and that it provides around 10.4 million services a year (2019).
If we go back in history to 1998, we find that Planned Parenthood also reported 2.4 million unique clients but reported only 4.4 million services.
During those same years, Planned Parenthood’s clinic income has gone from $206.5 million in 1998 to $370.4 million in 2019.
What happened between 1998 and 2019 is that Planned Parenthood has apparently learned to sell more services to its clients. In 1998, each unique customer purchased an average of 1.85 services. By 2019, that number has more than doubled, with the average customer getting 4.32 services. It is the reason why Planned Parenthood stresses services provided in its self-analysis. If it has convincing salespeople working in the centers, it can always sell more services and appear to be growing.
A more detailed look at the services-versus-clients game can be found in examining Planned Parenthood’s reports of prenatal clients/services.
From 2000 through 2008, Planned Parenthood reported in its annual reports on the number of prenatal clients served. That number went from 17,700 in 2000 down to 9,433 in 2008. Clearly, Planned Parenthood became worried over the 47 percent drop in prenatal clients. In 2009, Planned Parenthood actually reported two different numbers in different places. It reported its prenatal clients continued to decrease to 7,021, but it also reported that the number of prenatal services was 40,489.
Planned Parenthood clearly liked the 40,000 number, and all annual reports since 2009 have contained only the number of prenatal services—not the number of clients. Even so, the number of prenatal services continued to decline every year for the next seven years—reaching 7,762 prenatal services in 2016. For the last three years, the number of prenatal services has fluctuated (9,055; 9,798; 8,626), and there is no way to tell if the numbers are driven by an increase of prenatal clients or simply Planned Parenthood figuring out a way to sell more services to an ever-declining number of customers.
While I realize that this article may be a bit tedious because of all the numbers, the overall conclusion is important. As we read and interpret data released by Planned Parenthood on its own operations, we must always be conscious that Planned Parenthood will only provide the data in the format that it feels will make it look the way it wants to appear.
Taken in these terms, the ever-increasing abortion numbers in recent Planned Parenthood reports shows it is proud of the number of preborn babies it has murdered—a number that will surpass 9.1 million by the end of this year.
Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a talk show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.