Abby Johnson quit Planned Parenthood in disgust over their emphasis on abortion as industrial production. The former director of a Texas clinic, Johnson has now become a fierce critic of her former employer and of government funding of its operations. Today, Johnson explains the deceptions behind Planned Parenthood claims that their mission is focused on women’s health, and that government money doesn’t fund abortions:
Though 98 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services to pregnant women are abortion, Planned Parenthood and its political allies have sworn up and down that taxpayer dollars do not to pay for abortion. But of course they do. Planned Parenthood gets one-third of its entire budget from taxpayer funding and performed more than 650,000 abortions between 2008 and 2009. An abortion is expensive. Its cost includes pay for the doctor, supporting medical staff, their health benefits packages and malpractice insurance. As clinic director, I saw how money affiliate clinics receive from several sources is combined into one pot, not set aside for specific services.
Planned Parenthood’s claim that abortions make up just 3 percent of its services is also a gimmick. That number is actually closer to 12 percent, but strategically skewed by unbundling family planning services so that each patient shows anywhere from five to 20 “visits” per appointment (i.e., 12 packs of birth control equals 12 visits) and doing the opposite with abortion visits, bundling them together so that each appointment equals one visit. The resulting difference between family planning and abortion “visits” is striking.
But that’s not the only deception Planned Parenthood is spreading.
It also claims to help reduce the number of abortions. Not only is this not what Planned Parenthood actually accomplishes, but its goal couldn’t be more opposite. As a Planned Parenthood clinic manager, I was directed to double the number of abortions our clinic performed in order to drive up revenue. In keeping, Planned Parenthood headquarters recently issued a directive mandating that all of its affiliates provide abortions by 2013.
The deceptions don’t end there, either. While claiming to be defending the health of women, Johnson accuses Planned Parenthood of engaging in risky medical practices. For instance, instead of allowing potential abortion clients to consult with a doctor on site, they now offer “telemedicine,” in which a doctor apparently consults via remote video hookup.
PP has also begun lobbying for repeals of laws (and suing to overturn them) requiring abortion clinics to report cases of sexual abuse of minors, especially for girls under the age of 14. Anyone who has watched the Live Action Films exposés understand why Planned Parenthood would like to see those laws disappear, and it has nothing to do with improving the health of girls and young women.
All of this would be bad enough even without taxpayers subsidizing Planned Parenthood operations. The federal government needs to get out of the industrial-abortion business, except to enforce existing regulations with which PP seems unwilling to comply. Be sure to read all of Johnson’s essay.