How Rich is the Pro-Life Movement?

For decades, pro-abortionists have painted pro-lifers as a bunch of rich old white men intent upon controlling women’s bodies and lives.  Their websites and blogs repeat endlessly what Anne Nicol Gaylor said in her 1975 book Abortion is a Blessing:

Had the proponents of legal abortion had the access to money, to schools and churches, and to the media that the antis have had, the only proponents of a ban on abortions in this country today would be those zealots who oppose not only abortion but contraception, and in the final analysis, sex itself.

We pro-lifers know from experience that we are greatly outspent by pro-abortionists, but we have not been able to prove our assertions ― until now.

This article summarizes the results of a study of 21,155 IRS Forms 990 done to determine just how much comparative income is generated annually by groups that support the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death.

There are four steps to this comparison.  Each step “widens the circle” by examining a larger sphere of influence:

  1. The first step is a direct correlation between the incomes of single-issue pro-life and pro-abortion groups.
  2. The second compares the incomes of pro-family and anti-family groups.
  3. The third examines population control groups.
  4. The fourth covers those groups which have other primary missions, but which cooperate with and support the Culture of Death.


1. Pro-Life vs. Pro-Abortion Finances

Let us begin by examining the comparative incomes of single-issue pro-life vs. pro-abortion and “family planning” organizations in the United States.

Non-profit pro-life groups in the USA raised about $1.06 billion in 2010.  About 80% of this total was generated by the approximately 4,000 crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) located in every one of our fifty states.  Most of these CPCs work under the umbrella organizations Birthright International, Heartbeat International, and Care Net.  The average income of the CPCs was about $209,000 in 2010.1

By comparison, number one on the pro-abortion moneymaking list is the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which made more money in 2010 than every pro-life group in the country combined ― $1.52 billion.  34 of PPFA’s affiliates generated more than $10 million of income in 2010, and PPFA has received more than ten billion dollars of our tax money since Roe v. Wade.2

planned parenthood clinic

Sixteen Planned Parenthood affiliates have a greater income than the leading pro-life fundraiser, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), and 33 have a greater income than the second-ranked pro-life moneymaker, Priests for Life.

The incomes of other large single-purpose pro-abortion groups in 2010 included:

  • National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy ($31.7 million)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America ($21.8 million)
  • Ms. Foundation for Women ($20.8 million)
  • Feminist Women’s Health Centers chain of abortion mills ($18.2 million)
  • Center for Reproductive Rights ($16.9 million)
  • Emily’s List ($16.9 million)
  • Guttmacher Institute ($16.2 million)
  • “Catholics” for [a Free] Choice ($11.4 million)

The great advantage the “family planners” have over pro-life organizations is that they have tangible and very popular products to sell.  The great majority of Americans have been conditioned to believe that contraception is essential for their lifestyles, and that abortion must remain available as a backup for those “rare and regrettable cases” where birth control fails.

But it is very difficult for pro-life and pro-family organizations to sell values and virtue to a world that is fixated on self-fulfillment and self-gratification.  Even when we do successfully get our point of view across, there is no monetary gain in doing so.  This reflects the altruistic nature of pro-lifers ― we aren’t in this for ourselves, but for God and for the good of other people.

However, the pro-abortionists and “family planners” have a triple-tiered interlocking moneymaking system that would make even the most unscrupulous used-car salesman green with envy:


  1. To recruit new “customers,” sex educators sell our children on the idea that sexual activity is permissible, enjoyable, even inevitable ― and that sex is “perfectly natural” and good, but just so long as they practice “safe(r) sex” and use condoms or some other form of birth control.  It is impossible to know how much money is spent on textbooks and other materials for the millions of school children in the United States who receive comprehensive sex education, but the amount must be in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
  2. Then the “family planners” sell us birth control devices to support the sexual activities recommended to us by the sex educators.  Money made by the contraceptive/abortifacient industry in the United States dwarfs abortion income.  About 22 million American women use abortifacient or contraceptive methods of birth control each year, generating a 2010 income of $6.99 billion.  We can add to this total the money made from 1.2 million annual surgical male and female sterilizations, which is about $2.96 billion.3
  3. Finally, when these birth control methods fail (as they do more than two million times per year in the USA), the “family planners” stand ready to provide abortions, which makes them $825 million more per year.3

This means that the amount of money generated by the “family planning” consortium in the United States is at least $10.8 billion per year.

If we add the $312 million income received by pro-abortion advocacy organizations (which do not provide the above services), we arrive at a total 2010 income of about $11.1 billion.3

If we compare this to the $1.06 billion raised by pro-life organizations in the same year, we can see that the single-purpose pro-abortion groups out-raised the single-purpose pro-life organizations by a ratio of more than ten to one in 2010.


2. Pro-Family vs. Anti-Family Groups

Now we turn to the second step of the comparison ― pro-family and anti-family organizations.

mom and baby

All attentive Christians are acutely aware of how many influences are eroding the very hearts of our families today ― The “gay rights” and New Age movements, gambling, drinking, drugs, pornography, no-fault divorce, prostitution, euthanasia and all of the hundreds of groups striving relentlessly to eradicate all traces of religion from the public square.

Yet we should not lose hope, because there are powerful and well-organized interests standing up for the rights of the family.  In fact, non-profit pro-family organizations in the United States raised a total of about nine billion dollars in 2010.  The largest of these include the Knights of Columbus, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), and Focus on the Family.

Anti-family organizations include homophile groups, which raised $633 million in 2010; pro-euthanasia organizations, which raised $10 million; and self-described “Catholic” groups attempting to undermine and subvert the teachings of the Church regarding sexual morality, which raised $81 million.  This adds up to $724 million for anti-life advocacy groups.3

But once again we must consider the “products” that anti-family and anti-religious organizations peddle to the public.  These fall into three primary categories:

  1. The pornography industry, which sold a minimum of $15 billion in filthy books, movies and other products in 2010.4
  2. Prostitution, which generates about $8 billion in income annually.5
  3.  “New Age” products and activities that generate about $12.4 billion every year, including books, tapes, seances, fortune telling, astrology, cryptozoology and channeling.6

We can see from the above that anti-family and anti-Faith groups and activities raised about $36.1 billion vs. $9.0 billion for pro-family groups, or a ratio of about four to one.


3. Population Control Groups

Now we proceed to the third step of this analysis. Nowhere is the struggle between life and death more unequal than it is on the international arena.

United States funding for “population assistance” in 2010 was about $4.6 billion.  This includes $593.5 million for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and $55 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).7  Also in 2010, $7.5 billion was contributed by the 83 major U.S.-based population control lobbying groups such as the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and the Population Council.  Population control groups use this money to generate massive propaganda campaigns, set up sterilization camps and quotas, dump billions of condoms and birth control devices on Asian, Latin American and African countries, and lobby for legalized abortion worldwide.

poor vietnemese girl

There are only four small U.S.-based organizations which oppose the international population agenda.  These groups have a combined 2010 income of only $11.2 million.

In summary, the American government and U.S.-based population control organizations had $12.1 billion dollars of in income in 2010, outspending pro-life groups by a factor of more than a thousand to one.

A summary of these three categories shows that, in 2010, the non-profit sector of the Culture of Death generated $59.3 billion of income in 2010, compared to $10.1 billion for the Culture of Life, a ratio of about six dollars to one.

However, the above analysis takes into consideration only single-purpose organizations, and does not paint a complete picture of the situation regarding pro-life and pro-family vs. anti-life and anti-family funding.  In fact, the situation is so complex that it is impossible to do more than make a rough estimate of incomes.

Still, these hard numbers show that anyone complaining about “rich” pro-life groups is either ignorant or completely out of touch with reality.


4. Finances of Broader Groups

The fourth and final part of this analysis examines the contributions to the Culture of Death by organizations with missions not directly connected to the life issues.

The greatest advantage the Culture of Death has over the Culture of Life is the thousands of groups that appear to be neutral on the life issues, but in reality are not.

Often these organizations do good work, and their primary mission is not directly related to sanctity of life or family issues.  However, they support the destruction, inhibition or perversion of human fertility through the distribution, promotion or support of surgical or medical abortion, abortifacients and contraceptives, surgical and chemical sterilization, destructive embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), fetal tissue experimentation and transplantation, illicit means of artificial reproduction, and practices that undermine the foundation stone of society ― the family, here defined as marriage between a man and a woman.  These groups exert enormous influence over their members and contributors by publishing and disseminating information that heavily favors a philosophy that supports the Culture of Death.

To begin with, there are thousands of community planning groups, health care systems, family health councils, hospitals, clinics, community action agencies and health centers in the United States, and only a very tiny fraction (less than 1%) do not perform or refer for abortions and sterilizations or distribute contraception.  Hundreds of billions of dollars pass through our health care systems every year, and their impact on public policy and private practice cannot be overestimated.

The amount of money flowing through other cooperating organizations is colossal.  The nonprofit organizations collaborating with and supporting the Culture of Death generated more than $114 billion of income in 2010.

These organizations possess tens of millions of members in the United States alone, and they influence public opinion and policy in many ways.

The American Bar, Diabetes, Heart, Library, Lung, Medical, Nurses, Psychiatric, Psychological and Public Health Associations are all stridently pro-abortion, and bring in more than $2.8 billion a year, as well as directly influencing the abortion opinions of millions of lawyers, doctors, librarians, psychiatrists and psychologists.  Dozens of professional groups have signed on to letters opposing abstinence-only education, and supporting fetal organ harvesting and experimentation and embryonic stem cell research.2

Many groups cooperate with or promote the Culture of Death in specific ways to targeted audiences.  For example, the American Association of Retired People (AARP) publishes soothing articles promoting physician-assisted suicide to its 39 million members, and recommends the Netherlands as the best place to grow old, while completely ignoring its runaway euthanasia program.3

old man

Many organizations avoid undue attention because of their neutral-sounding names, such as “Advocates for Youth,” “National Partnership for Women and Families,” or “Political Research Associates.”  Most people have never heard of many of these organizations, but they are pernicious in many ways.  Although some of them do good work, they also subtly warp the morality of the tens of millions of people they influence through the promotion of anti-life practices, both in the United States and overseas.  One can even argue that they do far more damage than single-issue pro-abortion groups because they do not possess the harsh and abrasive public personas of NOW, NARAL or Planned Parenthood.

These organizations contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to anti-life politicians annually through their political action committees, often through coercive dues-paying mechanisms.  This is a particular problem with the AFL-CIO, which generated an incredible $22.6 billion in 2010 through its thousands of local unions.  They often generate a culture of fear among rank-and-file leadership, and anyone who dares write a pro-family article or even says anything pro-life is ostracized, shunned, and sometimes even fired.

The anti-life strategists have made certain that they have infiltrated and subverted the original values of the Girl Scouts of America and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).  These are logical high-priority strategic targets, along with the Boy Scouts of America, which thus far has stood firm in the face of continuous assaults by homosexual activists and other anti-family forces.

Interestingly, there is not a single large public nonprofit organization that openly promotes the Culture of Life.  It seems that even those groups that should naturally support life have either been infiltrated and corrupted by anti-lifers, or are simply too intimidated to promote the cause of life.  They know that if they support the pro-life movement in any way, even through such innocuous means as crisis pregnancy centers, the media will instantly lead a screaming charge of feminists condemning them as “anti-woman” and “fanatics.”  The pro-abortionists have done a wonderful job of establishing networks of sympathetic contact points at all of these associations, and virtually none of their rank-and-file members realize that their groups are signing on to the endless statements, press releases, manifestos and declarations supporting anti-life practices.

The momentum has become so great that, if a mainline medical, legal or other professional group does not sign an anti-life document when asked, pro-abortionists and the media denounce it.


Final Thoughts

With such crushing advantages, why has the Culture of Death not simply obliterated the Culture of Life and all it stands for?

The answer is the three “Ds:”  Democracy, demography and Deity.

  1. To begin with, the Culture of Death is virulently anti-democratic.  It flourishes in environments where absolute government power is concentrated in the hands of a very few, as in Communist and Socialist regimes.  Since many people are basically good and recognize evil when they see it, the Culture of Death has usually advanced its causes through the court system rather than by public referenda or state legislatures, as with abortion and homosexual “marriage.”
  2. Secondly, there is the question of demographics.  The more a people, country or nation embraces life-destroying activities such as abortion, contraception, sterilization, euthanasia and homosexual acts, the sooner it will die out and give way to people who love life and children.  The obvious example is Europe, which is losing more than two million native Europeans a year as Muslims, who generally oppose abortion and homosexuality, are having the children that Europeans refuse to have.
  3. But these secular influences, of course, do not provide the complete answer.  God sustains us, even if His Church does not always do so.  It is a constant source of frustration and pain to pro-life and pro-family activists that the one entity that could end abortion today simply is not doing its job.

To be sure, there are several great bishops and many strong priests and ministers in the United States, but the Christian Church is not effectively addressing the greatest social issues of all time, even though most people belong to denominations that are, at least in name, pro-life and pro-family.  The great majority of priests and ministers rarely preach against abortion and never preach against contraception and sterilization.

Hands of catholic priest reading a bible, priest at pulpit

This struggle began with the ejection of Lucifer from Heaven, and will only end when our Lord wills it.  What should our attitude be until He does will it?

St. Paul spoke not only to the Corinthians of centuries ago, but directly to us, when he said, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” [1 Corinthians 15:58].



[1] Telephone conversations with Susan Dammann, R.N., of Heartbeat International on November 7, 2012, and with Kay Sanford of Care Net on November 9, 2012. There are 1,177 CPCs affiliated with Care Net, and they had an average income of $223,000 in 2011.  Adjusted to 2010 values, the total of 4,000 CPCs in the United States had a total income of $878 million in 2010 based on the Care Net numbers.

[2] For calculations and references, e-mail Brian Clowes at and ask for Excel spreadsheet F-19-B.XLS, “Tax Dollars Consumed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 1973-2012.”

[3] For calculations and references, e-mail Brian Clowes at and ask for Excel spreadsheet Facts-B.XLS, “Comparative Incomes of the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death in the United States, 2000-2010.”

[4] The income of the pornography industry in the United States was $12.62 billion in 2005 and $13.33 billion in 2006 [“2006 and 2005 Pornography United States Industry Revenue Statistics,” Jerry Ropelato.  “Internet Pornography Statistics,”  Top Ten Reviews].  These seem to be the most recent numbers available.  If we assume the curve of income growth flattened out somewhat, we can determine that the income of the porn industry in 2010 would be about $15 billion, although it is impossible to pin this number down precisely. Also see Johanna Dasteel.  “Porn Producers in Uproar over New L.A. Health Ordinance.”  LifeSite Daily News, November 9, 2012.

[5] The study of “sexonomics” is notoriously imprecise, because prostitution is mostly illegal. However, based on the average income of part-time and full-time prostitutes and an estimate of the number of prostitutes in the United States, we arrive at an average estimate of about $8 billion annually [one source of information is Juliann G. Sebastian and Angeline Bushy.  Special Populations in the Community:  Advances in Reducing Health Disparities [Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1999], page 78].

[6] There are many estimates of how much Americans spend on New Age nitwittery each year. There are about 200,000 active American neopagans, and about 12 million Americans buy one or more New Age products each year.  These include self-help books, channelers, psychics, palm readers, and other practices.  One of the median estimates is about $12 billion spent on New Age products and activities annually [Sarah Pike.  New Age and Neopagan Religions in America [New York:  Columbia University Press], 2006].

[7] For calculations and references, e-mail Brian Clowes at and ask for Excel spreadsheets 18-05.XLS, “Population Control Donations by “First World” nations, 1996-2012,” and 18-C.XLS, “United States Donations to USAID and UNFPA, 1965-2010.”


  1. Scott on May 15, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    You are looking at the family planning organizations as a whole. You should also be looking at pro-life as a whole. Pro-life is one of the central themes of the Republican Party and most organized religions. Noticeably and suspiciously absent from your diatribe is an analysis that includes all the spending of the churches and the Republican Party in promoting pro-life.

    • HLI Staff on May 30, 2019 at 3:03 PM

      Thank you for your comments. Actually, we are not associated with the Republican Party. In fact, there are many pro-abortion politicians that are Republican, and as Catholics, we believe that we most vote for the candidate, regardless of party, who is the least guilty of “intrinsic evil.” Abortion is considered a particularly grave sin in the taking of human life.

      As for the Church, any Church is allowed according to the IRS to promote its beliefs. You will not find the Church lobbying organizations or politicians, or giving millions to governments to bribe them to alter their laws for the pro-life cause. Our priests speak from the pulpits, our people work at low pay for non-profits extra hours to try and help women in crisis pregnancies, and yes, of course, bishops, cardinals, the Pope, all speak in the defense of Life to anyone who will listen. If you can point to a pro-life group that is problematic, we would be interested. If you will forgive the comment, our organizations work nothing like pro-abortion organizations. When was the last time you saw them pray to God for the woman and her child? Follow the money trail. Abortion is all about money, it is not about women’s “health” because abortion is not health care (and yes, I am a woman).

  2. Tre on October 18, 2019 at 12:08 AM

    Thank you, as a woman and mother. The death cult seems to be taking over and most humans regardless of religious believes seem to not see this. I find young woman and men who think education and careers are more important than family. Are being brainwashed by the very schools that should be teaching career building skills, not anti life politics. At 18 I was unwed and pregnant being told by “family” and “friends” to kill my unborn baby. I married my baby father and had my baby. Now 27 years later we are still married and have two beautiful daughters. It was the best choice I could have ever made.

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