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Planned Parenthood Abortions Increased in 2020
Senior Research Associate
Charlotte Lozier Institute | 06 October 2022
In September, Planned Parenthood released its 2020-2021 annual report, several months behind its usual schedule. The report contains 2019-2020 service data from Planned Parenthood’s 49 affiliates, as well as 2019-2020 financial data from the affiliates and 2020-2021 financial data from the national headquarters. Previously, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) conducted a preliminary analysis of available Planned Parenthood data by reviewing 2019-2020 annual reports from the affiliates that had made them available. That initial review found that Planned Parenthood abortions were increasing even as total patients and services declined. Planned Parenthood’s full annual report shows the same trends.
After reporting 2.4 million unique clients per year over the past few years, Planned Parenthood reported a 10 percent drop to 2.16 million clients. This marked the lowest client volume in two decades. Twenty years previously, in its 2000-2001 report, Planned Parenthood reported nearly 2.7 million unduplicated clients, and Planned Parenthood reported three million clients per year throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Total services also declined, falling by 17 percent from the previous year. Over the past decade, cancer screenings and prenatal care fell by over 70 percent, while contraceptive services declined by 41 percent.
The declines from 2019 are no doubt at least partially attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic, which posed a major interruption to healthcare services and procedures across the board in 2020. However, despite the drops in patients and services, abortions showed a sharp increase from the previous year. After holding steady for several years, Planned Parenthood’s abortion totals began to climb in 2017, and that trend continued in this latest report, with abortions increasing by eight percent to 383,460 abortions in 2020. Planned Parenthood abortions reached a record high in FY2020.
Nationally, abortions among all providers have been increasing since 2017, but Planned Parenthood has outpaced the national average. According to estimates produced by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, total abortions in the U.S. increased by approximately eight percent between 2017 and 2020. Over that same time period, Planned Parenthood’s abortions jumped by more than 15 percent. Planned Parenthood’s U.S. abortion market share increased between 2017 and 2020 from approximately 39% to 41% of all abortions.
This market dominance is reflected in Planned Parenthood’s service patterns. Of the “pregnancy resolution activities” offered by Planned Parenthood in FY2020 – a category defined by CLI to include abortion, miscarriage care, prenatal care, and adoption referrals – abortion comprised nearly 97 percent. In 2020, Planned Parenthood performed almost two hundred abortions for every adoption referral.
Even as patient volumes reached twenty-year lows, Planned Parenthood reported record revenue in FY2021. Over the past 20 years, Planned Parenthood’s total revenue has more than doubled, from $672.6 million in 2000-2001 to over $1.7 billion in 2020-2021. In 2000, Planned Parenthood brought in an average of approximately $254 in revenue per individual client. By 2020, that had risen to an average of $794 per client. While not every client was seen at Planned Parenthood for abortion, it may be worth noting that Planned Parenthood’s published estimate for first-trimester abortion, $750, is close to this average.
That revenue increase has extended to government funding. Planned Parenthood’s 2020-2021 annual report contains financial information for both the affiliates and the national office, with affiliate data from FY2020 combined with national data from FY2021. According to the report, all taxpayer funding – government grants, reimbursements, and other spending – are received by the affiliates. In 2020, Planned Parenthood affiliates received $633.4 million in tax dollars, 37 percent of total revenue and an average of $1.7 million per day. Planned Parenthood has continually insisted that the government funding it receives through programs like Title X is not used for abortion, but the increase in taxpayer funding has coincided with an increase in abortions, while contraception and other services have declined.
Whether Planned Parenthood will be able to maintain this momentum in the Dobbs era, with centers in many states no longer able to perform abortions, remains to be seen. However, Planned Parenthood shows no signs of shifting from its current trajectory of shrinking centers and services while driving up abortions and revenue. CLI found that between June 2021 and June 2022, 25 Planned Parenthood centers closed or merged, including some closures made in anticipation of Dobbs, while just seven new centers opened. Recently, Planned Parenthood made the sudden decision to close a center in Colorado in order to reallocate resources to New Mexico to perform abortions on women from Texas.
The 2020-2021 report has a new catchphrase: “Here for a reason.” The data in the report makes it clear that that reason is not making healthcare more affordable and accessible. Instead, Planned Parenthood’s reason for existence is increasingly abortion and the profit that it generates.