By Jim Sedlak
Planned Parenthood is planning a major overhaul of its New York state operations that will take place over the next year. You will recall that Planned Parenthood operates similar to a franchise operation. It has a national office—the Planned Parenthood Federation of America—in New York City (with legislative offices in Washington, DC). The PPFA does not operate any clinics. All clinics are operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates. There are currently 53 separately incorporated affiliates across the country.
Right now, there are a total of nine affiliates operating in New York state. Listed below are the nine, with the number of clinics each operates, and the 2017 annual income of that affiliate:
- PP Hudson Peconic 10 clinics $22,149,748
- PP Nassau County 3 clinics $10,474,166
- PP New York City 5 clinics $61,637,861
- PP Mid-Hudson Valley 5 clinics $9,762,289
- PP Mohawk Hudson 10 clinics $14,616,462
- PP Southern Finger Lakes 5 clinics $7,431,774
- PP Central & Western NY 9 clinics $20,775,958
- Upper Hudson PP 3 clinics $7,883,460
- PP North Country NY 7 clinics $5,814,980
Planned Parenthood has announced that it plans to combine PP New York City, PP Nassau County, PP Mid-Hudson Valley, PP Mohawk Hudson, and PP Southern Finger Lakes. These will become Planned Parenthood of Greater New York and will operate 28 clinics and have an annual income of $103,922,552. The current CEO of PP New York City will become CEO of the new entity. On June 4, 2019, Planned Parenthood of NYC board members unanimously approved the merger of these five Planned Parenthood affiliates in New York state. It was the final board approval needed to create Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.
Based on 2017 income numbers, PP of Greater New York will be the second largest affiliate in the Planned Parenthood kingdom, just a few million dollars behind Planned Parenthood Mar Monte ($109,700,159).
It was revealed that the original plan for the merger included a merger of six affiliates. Upper Hudson PP was to be the sixth, but its board opted out of the merger. If Upper Hudson had not opted out, then the new affiliate would have surpassed PP Mar Monte in annual income and would have become PPFA’s largest affiliate.
When we look at the geographic area covered by the merger, it would have made sense to include Upper Hudson. It would also have made sense to include Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, which operates in Suffolk, Westchester, and Rockland Counties. One key to understanding why Hudson Peconic was not included is to look at its CEO’s salary alongside the CEO salaries of the five affiliates that are planning to merge:
- PP Hudson Peconic $457,051
- PP New York City $332,546
- PP Nassau County $237,587
- PP Mid-Hudson Valley $210,384
- PP Mohawk Hudson $160,112
- PP Southern Finger Lakes $122,542
You will note that, although PP Hudson Peconic has an income 64 percent less than PP New York City, its CEO is paid 37 percent more than the PP NYC CEO. The method that is used to determine CEO salaries within the Planned Parenthood world has always been a bit of a mystery. Normally, the board of directors of a nonprofit organization would determine the salary of its CEO by comparing its operation with other nonprofits and setting a salary similar to the others. However, as we have watched CEO salaries at Planned Parenthood, the upper echelon of CEOs seems to have its salaries determined by other factors. For example, the CEO of PP Mar Monte—the largest affiliate by far—ranks only eighth on the list of highest-paid CEOs. It clearly appears that some internal politics came into play in the decision to exclude PP Hudson Peconic from the planned merger. If that had happened, one of the CEOs would have lost his or her job, and that, clearly, was not acceptable to either CEO.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America claims that this major merger in New York will save money and create more efficiency. Certainly, we can easily see the money savings. Replacing five CEOs with one will save about $700,000 a year. Add to that the reduction in the number of medical directors and other high-level duplicate staff, and the savings will be significant. However, one wonders about efficiency and whether the New York City headquarters will really care about the clinics in Batavia or Malone.
The fact is that Planned Parenthood appears dedicated to further reducing the number of affiliates and increasing scope. Just last year, it effectively merged its Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky with Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, creating a combined entity that is run by a CEO on the west coast and has over 4,000 miles between some of its clinics. In the years before that, it combined its affiliates in Texas so that it only has three, but as in New York, almost all of the state is covered by Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.
As Planned Parenthood reorganizes to obtain operational savings and record-keeping efficiency, its claim to be a local provider to local poor people is ringing very hollow.
Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a weekly talk program on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.