NRL News

Pro-Abortionist Backs Up Pro-Life Assertions about PPFA

by | Sep 21, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Amanda Marcotte

A tip of the hat to Lisa Graas of Live Action for writing a piece that alerted us to an incredible set of admissions by a rabid pro-abortionist that appear in a piece she wrote for

What have pro-lifers said more times than you can shake a stick at? To borrow from an NRLC slogan, “When you think Planned Parenthood, Think Abortion.” Put another way ignore all the drivel from PPFA and its legion of admirers, insisting that, financially, abortion is a drop in the bucket.

Amanda Marcotte, a pro-abortion feminist blogger, affirmed what we’ve been maintaining, even though she still understates the extent to which abortion is the lifeblood of a $1 billion corporate behemoth. (You can read the entirety of her remarks.)

“Marcotte is responding to the-sky-is-falling piece that ran earlier on Slate, outlining the impact of Virginia’s new law requiring that abortion clinics that perform at least five first-trimester abortions be regulated like hospitals.

Here is the operative paragraph that appears early in the piece, along with clarifications.

Some commenters in the thread below your post, Jessica[Grose], were asking why this would close the doors of some Planned Parenthood clinics.  There are a couple of reasons that would happen in some cases. For one, providing abortions is part of the mission of Planned Parenthood, and they do make it a priority. It’s a necessary service, after all.  I think some times that point gets lost in all the discussion of the 97 percent of their services that aren’t abortion. The other reason I suspect these regulations would harm Planned Parenthood’s ability to keep as many clinics open to offer non-abortion services as they currently do is that a complete shut-down of abortion services would create a cash flow problem for them.  Abortions are 3 percent of the actual services Planned Parenthood provides, but they constitute a larger chunk of their income, around 15 percent nationally. Which makes sense; abortions simply cost more than Pap smears and birth control pills, and Planned Parenthood provides a huge chunk of  all the abortions in the country, even for women who get their standard gynecological care elsewhere.  The reason for that should be obvious; a lot of women’s regular gynecologists don’t provide abortion, and so if you want an abortion, your doctor is likely to refer you to Planned Parenthood.”

For those who live outside the Washington, DC beltway there is an old joke: a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. With that in mind Ms. Marcotte has clearly committed a major, MAJOR gaffe.

I asked Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, National Right to Life’s Education Director and staff expert on PPFA, for an overall assessment.

“Marcotte admits something we’ve all known for years — abortion is essential to Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.  By itself, it generates a significant part of Planned Parenthood’s clinic income.  She says 15%, but if Planned Parenthood charges anything close to going rates, abortion fees would constitute more than a third of the revenue Planned Parenthood clinics take in.   And considering how  many of those patients are also sold pregnancy tests, STD tests and treatments, contraceptives, etc., before they leave the clinic, those patients are clearly helping to keep those clinic doors open.” 

Building on Dr. O’Bannon’s analysis, let me offer three additional thoughts.

#1. To say that abortion is “part” of PPFA’s “mission” is like saying flying jets is part of the Air Force’s mission. What’s also missing in that throwaway line is PPFA’s ideological commitment. Add that to a thirst for revenue and it’s easy to understand why this very minute PPFA is on a mission to expand the number of its clinics that perform abortions, make chemical abortions available not just in rural Iowa but worldwide, and to become for all practical purpose an abortion monopoly.

#2. In between the lines, Marcotte is admitting that the numbers game that PPFA plays to minimize how crucial a role abortion plays hides the fact that abortion drives the PPFA bus. As its own materials reveal (if you know where to look), 12% of its patients receive abortions, and these same patients are most certainly responsible for additional revenues Planned Parenthood receives from tests, treatments, and contraceptives sold along with every abortion.

#3. Women can use inexpensive pregnancy tests at home. They come to Planned Parenthood for abortions.  Using the going rates for a standard, surgical first-trimester abortion ($451), Planned Parenthood’s 332,278 abortions represent revenues of at least $149.9 million— 37% of the $404.9 million it reported in clinic income for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. 

No wonder PPFA and its admirers are scared.

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Categories: PPFA