That’s a mischaracterization, Maxon said. “They can still talk about abortion, they just can’t refer for family planning, and counseling has to be non-directive.”
After it backed out of the federal Title X program, Planned Parenthood affiliates in multiple states warned that rates of sexually-transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies could increase due to fewer women obtaining services at their clinics; the affiliates were either considering or were implementing higher fees for family planning services, including in cases where they once offered the services for free.
However, Maxon clarified, Planned Parenthood already provided these family planning services on an income-based sliding scale, and only in certain cases for free, such as cases where customers reported no income.
With the organization’s annual revenue and assets, “they should easily be able to come up with the amount of money that they’re losing from Title X funding,” Maxon said. Planned Parenthood still bills Medicaid for certain services and, according to its latest annual report for 2017-18, received more than $560 million in government funding.
Their report reveals almost $2 billion in net assets, more $1.6 billion in revenue, and $244.8 million in excess revenue. Title X funding came to, at most, $60 million a year, according to a 2016 GAO report.
Planned Parenthood also claims it was serving 40% of Title X clients, but of the 90 grantees so far in the 2019 fiscal year, only eight were Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Their decision to withdraw from the program reveals where their priorities lie—performing abortions, Maxon said. As the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood performs around 330,000 abortions each year.
They still fully bill women for abortions and emergency contraceptives, and not on an income-based scale as they do for family planning services that fall under Title X, Maxon said. And abortion charges can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars, far more than the cost for birth control.
Over the years, Planned Parenthood’s share in the abortion market has drastically increased.
A 2016 Charlotte Lozier Institute study showed that, according to numbers provided by Planned Parenthood’s annual reports and the Guttmacher Institute, between 1995 and 2014 the overall number of abortions in the U.S. declined by 31%, but abortions performed by Planned Parenthood spiked from 133,900 to 324,000—a 142% increase.
The study also showed Planned Parenthood’s share in the abortion rise from 10% in 1995 to 35% in 2014.
(Story continues below)
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The organization appeared to further underline its commitment to promoting abortion access during the recent decision to terminate its president Dr. Leana Wen, who was forced out by the board of directors.
Dr. Wen said she wanted to shift organization focus to a message of promoting reproductive health—of which abortion was an “important part” —but she clashed with the board for not focusing enough on political advocacy, particularly for abortion access.
Monica Cline, who dealt with Planned Parenthood affiliates first-hand as she was hired as an instructor on Title X, came to know the lengths staffers would go to promote and protect abortion access.
In Cline’s work in Texas, Planned Parenthood’s Title X clinics—which officially did not offer abortions—were referring patients for abortions. It was all part of Planned Parenthood’s model, she said, encouraging sexual promiscuity and providing contraceptives so they could then “refer for abortions when that contraception fails.”
It was an open secret that “everyone knew” about the abortion referrals, Cline said, including even officials at the Texas Department of Health who were “great supporters of Planned Parenthood.”
However, Title X clinics—that were officially not supposed to perform abortions—would sometimes host abortionists for visits.