Editor’s Note: What follows is an op-ed by Mary Nadeau and Sarah Jones Zagorski of Louisiana Right To Life in response to a cover story at New Orleans Gambit about the new Planned Parenthood abortion mill being built in New Orleans – and Gambit being Gambit, there’s a lot in that cover story which pro-life folks would find objectionable.
Those objections are addressed below…
The Gambit‘s Misrepresentation of Planned Parenthood’s Abortion Business
by Mary Nadeau and Sarah Jones Zagorski
The cover of the October 22nd issue of the Gambit sports a large condom-shaped pie chart, an eye catching portrayal of Planned Parenthood’s own statistic that abortion constitutes 3% of their services. The average person picking up the Gambit and examining this cover will undoubtedly come to a quick conclusion that abortion simply must not be too important to Planned Parenthood’s business practices, which could not be further from the truth. An unorthodox calculation underlies that percentage, thereby minimizing the role abortion plays in Planned Parenthood’s day to day operations.
Planned Parenthood’s 3% statistic is derived from a calculation that weighs all of Planned Parenthood’s services equally. In the world of Planned Parenthood, an individual pill or condom is weighed equally with a $400 surgical abortion. Furthermore, the pregnancy test, the ultrasound, and the counseling provided prior to the abortion are all counted as separate non-abortion services. When one woman has one abortion, Planned Parenthood places as many as five other abortion-related services that she has received in the non-abortion services categories, thereby boosting their overall number of services. This artificial manner of increasing services causes the abortion numbers to appear much less significant than it actually is in the final analysis.
While the Gambit focused on the 3% figure and presented Planned Parenthood’s own rhetoric in defense of it, they overlooked other key statistics from Planned Parenthood’s (PP) own financial report showing the true essential role of abortion:
- Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, performing 1/3 of the nation’s abortions. The organization performed 333,924 abortions in 2011 alone (PPFA Annual Report 2011). That is 914 abortions daily.
- Abortion accounts for 50.4% of PP’s non-governmental health services income ($157,000,000), accounting for a considerable chunk of the 1.2 billion dollars that the non-profit organization reports in the net assets (PPFA Financial Report 2011-2012).
- Planned Parenthood has been reducing their cancer prevention and contraception services (by 35% and 8% respectively) since 2005, while their abortion services have increased by 26% during that same period of time (PPFA Annual Reports 2005-2011).
Based on these figures, abortion accounts for HALF of Planned Parenthood’s non-governmental income, a far cry from only 3%. In addition, abortion continues to increase at Planned Parenthood, while their other services continue to decrease.
After glossing over these statistic, the Gambit highlights a misleading quote from Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell:
“I know that not every woman or couple that comes into Planned Parenthood pregnant is going to leave with an abortion.”
Yes, Councilwoman Cantrell, not every pregnant woman that enters the doors of a Planned Parenthood facility will have an abortion, but 9 out of 10 will. 9 out of 10 pregnant women that enter Planned Parenthood have an abortion, based on their own numbers showing abortion constitutes 92% of PP’s services to pregnant clients.
The article also mentioned that Councilwoman Cantrell was interested in the “other services” that Planned Parenthood provided, and among them, adoption services. Unfortunately, we should not hold our breath on that. Planned Parenthood’s statistics show that for every one adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performs 145 abortions.
In addition to speaking with Councilwoman Cantrell, the Gambit quoted Cecile Richards, the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on several occasions. Richards is quoted saying that Planned Parenthood is necessary for women who are not otherwise able to afford healthcare in New Orleans, and that “a lot of women here need it.”
Contrary to Ms. Richards’ claim, quality healthcare is available from low-cost clinics throughout New Orleans, many of which actually provide more comprehensive services than Planned Parenthood, such as mammograms and primary care. In New Orleans, there are 52 community clinic sites in the city, and 25 of which offer primary care. Of these 52 community clinics, 19 offer gynecology services and 11 offer obstetrics. The 504 HealthNet is working to ensure that these healthcare providers are better promoted.
Even though the Gambit mentioned the NOLA Needs Peace Coalition, they failed to refer to any recent consultation or discussion with New Orleans representatives from the NOLA Needs Peace Coalition or any other Planned Parenthood critics. Gene Mills, the President of the Louisiana Family Forum in Baton Rouge and a coalition member, was quoted, but only in regards to legislation dealing with Planned Parenthood.
The Gambit‘s Protection Plan article is a disservice to the New Orleans community. The article lacks a thorough evaluation of the matters at hand, and is not in keeping with the standards of a respectable publication. We ask the Gambit to print an accurate article taking seriously the concerns of the NOLA Needs Peace Coalition instead of simply reproducing Planned Parenthood’s propaganda.
— Mary Nadeau is the Projects Director of New Orleans Right to Life, and Sarah Jones Zagorski is the Communications Director of Louisiana Right to Life. Both are members of the NOLA Needs Peace Coalition. The NOLA Needs Peace Coalition has available online a multi-page report on Planned Parenthood, including an analysis of Planned Parenthood’s statistics. For additional information visit www.NOLANeedsPeace.com