Sorting through what’s true and what’s not when it comes to Planned Parenthood can be difficult. The nation’s largest abortion provider hides behind a veneer of marketing and misinformation. But beneath the smoke and mirrors, the facts speak for themselves. And these facts say loudly and clearly that abortion is the core mission of this organization that kills over 1,000 babies every day in America.
So, let’s learn the facts.
1. How many abortions does Planned Parenthood do?
Planned Parenthood killed 383,460 preborn babies during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, according to PP’s own 2020-2021 Annual Report. At an approximate charge of $750/first-trimester abortion (and even more for a late-term abortion), that equates to at least $787,931 every day!
So while Planned Parenthood may deny it, abortion is a huge chunk of its income.
2. Is abortion really just 4% of Planned Parenthood’s services?
In reality, about 18% of Planned Parenthood’s patients have abortions. However, PP obscures this fact by the clever way it counts its services.
Planned Parenthood counts each service it provides as a unique interaction (a “discrete clinical interaction”) even if one person received multiple services. So, for instance, if a woman goes into Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test and says that she’s worried that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she would likely receive an exam, STD testing, a pregnancy test, and a prescription (for the STD, birth control, or maybe even the abortion pill), and abortion counseling (if pregnant). Thus, this one woman received 4-5 (or more) services.
Planned Parenthood records each service individually rather than recording multiple services under one person. So, when it divides the number of abortions by all of these services, the final number comes out to 4%.
Live Action addresses that 4% myth (which has gone up from the 3% that Planned Parenthood used to claim) and illustrates how the organization arrives at that figure.
Planned Parenthood wants people to think that it does so much more than abortion. But we must understand that when it gives that 4% figure, it is skewing the numbers to mislead. By claiming that abortion is only 4% of its services, Planned Parenthood can hide the fact that abortion is its biggest moneymaker.
3. Planned Parenthood’s other services
Though abortion is Planned Parenthood’s proverbial “cash cow,” the organization does offer other services, including men’s and women’s health services; pregnancy testing and services; general healthcare; HIV services; and STD testing, treatment, and vaccines.
Planned Parenthood—the progeny of Margaret Sanger—continues, of course, to offer birth control. However, the organization fails to mention the harm that birth control can do to women. Never does it mention the fact that hormonal contraception can cause permanent damage or death. And never does it mention that hormonal birth control is abortifacient.
In addition, Planned Parenthood offers emergency contraception, claiming nonchalantly that “accidents happen.” It also offers the abortion pill, a two-pill regimen that kills and expels the preborn baby, often while the woman is home alone. Planned Parenthood doesn’t mention the dangerous side effects of the abortion pill for the mother or the fact that hemorrhaging and other problems can send her to the emergency room.
We often hear about the “wonderful” and numerous services PP provides, like mammograms, ultrasounds, and prenatal care. The truth is, PP does not provide mammograms. Their 2022 annual report does not list mammograms as a service. Under “cancer prevention,” it lists “breast care,” which refers to the breast exam that a woman can do on her own to check for irregular bumps.
What about ultrasounds?
Planned Parenthood technically does ultrasounds, but typically they are only performed to act as a guide during an abortion. Rarely, PP will do an ultrasound to ensure the health and age of a child. Planned Parenthood’s ultrasounds are therefore not essential healthcare for pregnant women.
Prenatal care is also something sorely lacking in the vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics, even by PP’s own admission. Typically, PP will refer out for prenatal care. But they will happily perform abortions or hand out birth control. Planned Parenthood’s lack of prenatal care proves that their operations are all about abortion and prevention of future pregnancies, not the health of pregnant women and unborn children.
4. Will women lose necessary healthcare if Planned Parenthood is defunded?
Absolutely not! In the US, we have about 1,400 federally qualified health centers. In addition, there are over 14,000 federally qualified health center service sites that do the same things Planned Parenthood does—except abortions. Meanwhile, PP has just 567 locations.
People don’t need Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood needs people in order to make money.
5. Planned Parenthood’s sex ed
PP goes into schools and promotes its own brand of sex education, which draws from SIECUS standards and indoctrinates children from kindergarten on up. SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) was founded in 1964 by a medical director at Planned Parenthood. Today, the name has changed to “SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change.” As SIECUS’ site asserts, “Sex education has the power to spark large-scale social change.”
And spark social change it has—a change to the detriment of society.
If your school system adopts the newest SIECUS guidelines, you will see that they recommend that all ages—children from K-12—interact with “all genders” with respect. In other words, kids as young as five are now being taught that there are more than two genders. For kids aged 12-15, the standards teach that people’s “understanding of their gender identity” might change throughout their lifetime.
The list of what certain ages should know goes on and on. The indoctrination goes on and on. The brainwashing goes on and on. As its name states, it is sex ed for social change. And woe to anyone who wants to teach that, barring a chromosomal abnormality, people are either male or female.
And lest you think that this brand of sex ed isn’t ubiquitous: “Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of sex education…. Planned Parenthood education staff reach 1.2 million individuals each year, most of whom are in middle school and high school.”
Whether you live in California, Illinois, Hawaii, or any number of states that have adopted SIECUS standards or that have Planned Parenthood in the classroom, beware. If your children do not hear the truth about the beauty of sexuality from you, they will only know what they are taught in school—or on PP’s website.
Planned Parenthood wants teens to focus on sexuality rather than on morality. It wants them to do what “feels good” rather than what is good for their psychological or spiritual health.
A perfect example of this can be found in the section of PP’s website entitled Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs: “We have to fight against abstinence-only-until-marriage…programs and advocate for sex education laws and funding that support the full range of sex education topics that young people need.”
We must understand—and teach our children—that our sexuality is simply a part of us; it is not all of who we are. It’s not what defines us as individuals. We are so much more than sexual beings.
The Catholic Church teaches that we must wait until we are married to engage in sexual intercourse and that sexual intercourse has both unitive and procreative ends. But it does not teach that sexuality is bad or something we should be ashamed of. Quite the contrary. Sex is beautiful and wonderful. In fact, its inherent beauty is why we should not share it with just anyone. Sex is a gift, and we must not abuse this gift or give this gift to just any random person. Think about it this way: Would you arbitrarily walk up to a person at a bar and give him a piece of expensive jewelry? No, you would not. So why would you give him something even more valuable—yourself? Though society likes to teach differently, human sexuality is a gift we must all treasure and nurture.
This is what our children should understand about sexuality, but Planned Parenthood teaches the opposite. It even espouses nonsense like this: “Sex means different things to different people, so virginity can mean different things, too.” Further, it teaches that people can be any gender they want, and to this end it provides harmful hormone treatment and puberty blockers.
Is this the organization you want teaching your kids about sexuality?
6. Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts
Yes! The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) is an organization dedicated to the monitoring and reporting of medical ethics. In 2015, CMP released the first of several damning videos that showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of portions of aborted babies to labs. In 2020, CMP released a video featuring a PP official’s sworn deposition testimony describing “infants born alive and either harvested for organs or left to die inside abortion clinics.”
These videos horrified the country, and many claimed that founder David Daleiden and others lied and altered the videos. But outside auditors proved the videos were not altered. The footage speaks for itself (example below). For example, in one video Dr. Mary Gatter of PP talks about the best way to crush a baby to ensure that the organs that would be for sale would remain whole. Another worker, Holly O’Donnell, claims that she was ordered to “cut through the face of a baby whose heart was still beating AFTER an abortion to harvest his brain.” Others, such as Dr. Deborah Nucatola and Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, were caught on tape bragging about the various organs they were able to procure.
Planned Parenthood sued Daleiden, and according to LifeNews, “In 2019, a federal judge sided with Planned Parenthood in a case accusing Daleiden and other undercover investigators with the Center for Medical Progress of illegally creating a fake company, fake IDs and recording its employees without their permission.”
In October 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Daleiden, who had appealed the 2.4 million fine he was facing for this undercover work. The court “rejected the argument that their undercover investigation is protected under the First Amendment freedom of the press” and awarded Planned Parenthood the 2.4 million, plus an additional 13 million in fees, which Daleiden and his lawyers plan to appeal.
It is illegal to sell fetal tissue for profit. However, Planned Parenthood claims that the prices negotiated with biotech companies is compensatory, meaning that they are not making a profit. Sadly, this is legal. Additionally, a 1993 statute allows a woman to consent to donate her aborted fetus’ tissue to research. Whether or not what Planned Parenthood is doing is legal, their “tissue donation program” is a gross and stark testament to its horrendous practices.
7. Who founded Planned Parenthood?
In 1879, a woman named Margaret Sanger was born to a large and impoverished family in New York. She lost her mother at an early age and was raised by her atheist father. Though her mother died of tuberculosis, Sanger blamed her death on the fact that she had 11 children. This prompted her to grow up with a disdain for large families. She fostered the desire to diminish poverty by preventing certain types of people from having babies.
Sanger eventually went to nursing school but never finished. Instead, she began to work with impoverished women in New York City. About this time, she joined the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist Party and began to advocate—in both her speech and writing—for sex education and birth control, even starting her own journal to reach as many people as she could with her ideas.
– Planned Parenthood’s racist origins
In articles such as “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda” and “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” Sanger explained her reasonings for why she believed women “need” birth control. In “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” Sanger writes: “We who advocate birth control…lay all our emphasis upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care for those who are born in health.”
Her articles and speeches are riddled with beliefs such as this. Her writings prove that she considered there to be a close link between birth control and eugenics. Eugenics espouses the belief that a certain group of people has the right to determine who should live, who should reproduce, and who should die. Sanger believed that the poor, the disabled, the mentally challenged, and others like them were unfit and should not procreate.
“The first step would be to control the intake and output on morons, mental defectives, epileptics,” she wrote in a document called A Plan for Peace. “The second step would be to take an inventory of the second group, such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection and segregate them on farms and open spaces.”
Sanger’s work with the poor intensified, and in 1921 she established the American Birth Control League, which eventually took the name Planned Parenthood.
8. Does Planned Parenthood really target minorities?
It does! Planned Parenthood’s racist roots continue to entangle the entire organization. Beginning with Margaret Sanger’s push of birth control on the poor and continuing today, Planned Parenthood purposely targets African Americans and Hispanics. Indeed, 2010 Census Bureau data found that “79% of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are located near either an African American or a Hispanic neighborhood and 45% are placed so that they are within walking distance of both types of minority neighborhoods.”
A 2017 Life Issues Institute article followed up the census data with more recent statistics, stating: “Our research revealed that an alarming 88% (22 of 25) target women of color. Disturbingly, 80% target Black communities, 56% target Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods and 80% target one or more colleges. In total, 96% (24 of 25) of the mega-centers target women of color, college women, or both.” (emphasis in original)
Black Dignity concurs, makes this bold statement: “We are being targeted. Our people are dying…. Since 1973, abortion has reduced the black population by over 25 percent. Twice as many African Americans have died from abortion than have died from AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined.”
In New York City, it is a fact that more black babies are aborted than are born.
Over the last few years, this racism has been addressed by some of PP’s affiliates. One such affiliate was PP of Greater New York, which removed Sanger’s name from its building in 2020. However, this small step does not change the clientele or the organization’s mission.
Ryan Bomberger, founder and chief creative officer of The Radiance Foundation, teaches that “abortion is the number one killer of black lives, outnumbering the CDC’s reported top 15 leading causes of deaths among blacks in 2014—combined…. This has been by historical design. It’s called eugenics—the racist and elitist pseudoscience that birthed Planned Parenthood.”
A quick Internet search will reveal numerous examples of Planned Parenthood’s racism. From PP accepting money from a donor who wanted her money to only go to killing black babies, to coercing Hispanics to undergo sterilization procedures, to racism within PP towards its own employees, the long and sordid history of racism cannot be denied.
9. Who funds Planned Parenthood?
According to their Annual Report, Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from government health services reimbursements and grants (37%), private contributions and bequests (34%), non-governmental health services revenue (21%), and other sources (8%).
By law, taxpayer money cannot fund abortions, but money is fungible. In other words, when an organization has a large amount of money, it can shift funds around to fund whatever it wants. Taxpayer dollars may not go directly toward killing babies, but the fact is that the government gives Planned Parenthood millions. The organization can spread its money around however it wants to. According to the Lozier Institute, which analyzed this latest annual report: “Taxpayer funding in the form of government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements hit $633.4 million, or almost $1.74 million per day—an annual increase of $15.3 million from the previous year to make up 37% of Planned Parenthood’s overall revenue.” (emphasis in original)
10. How much is Planned Parenthood worth?
According to their Annual Report, Planned Parenthood’s net assets are just over 2.1 billion. Its revenue for that time period was $1.7 billion.
11. How many Planned Parenthood centers are there?
Headquartered in New York City, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the name for the national office that oversees roughly 50 affiliates. Though it operates no medical centers of its own, its affiliates operate 567 centers, 391 of which commit surgical or abortion pill abortions:
In addition, PPFA mandates that every affiliate must have at least one facility that provides surgical or medical abortions. Planned Parenthood now runs 53% of all surgical/medical abortion facilities in America.
12. Planned Parenthood’s international work
Planned Parenthood doesn’t operate any of its own health centers outside the United States, but it partners with other organizations to raise funds for international family planning services and programs.
According to PP’s website:
Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has worked overseas for 50 years to break down barriers to health care and champion the brave people putting their safety on the line each day for reproductive freedom. In partnership with more than 70 organizations across Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of all people, working tirelessly to combat inequities in historically marginalized and under-resourced communities.
We don’t operate Planned Parenthood health centers outside the United States. Instead we back brave people, policies, programs, and movements — empowering local partners and allies with resources as they provide critical information, services and advocacy in restrictive environments.
Planned Parenthood Global helps its partners provide contraception. It increases access to “safe” abortion care and advocates for laws promoting women’s “health”—meaning it advocates for laws to make abortion legal in countries where it’s still illegal. In addition, it helps provide “tens of thousands” of people with sex education, the same strategy PP uses here in the US to change the way people think about sex.
Every person should have access to quality healthcare. The kind of care that Planned Parenthood provides is not the kind of care that prioritizes the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of its clients. Time and time again, we see that Planned Parenthood cares about just one thing: money.
An organization that profits from dead babies and broken people has no place in our society.
This article was originally published in August 2020 and most recently updated in April 2023.
Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. Since 2003, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials, and website content. Fourteen of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the editor of its Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program, an educational nonprofit program for k-12 students.