- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 16, 2017

The release of Planned Parenthood’s annual report is several months late, leading some in the pro-life movement to wonder what information the report contains and whether it is being suppressed due to the congressional effort to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Normally released in December or January, Planned Parenthood’s annual report is always the subject of intense scrutiny from the pro-life movement. The last report was released in December 2015.

Mallory Quigley, communications director for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said she has never seen the report come out this late.

“For the years that I have been tracking it, it’s always been very consistent at the end of the year,” Ms. Quigley said.

The last several reports have shown a decline in patients and non-abortion health care services performed at Planned Parenthood.

With Congress ready to redirect Planned Parenthood’s half-billion-dollar annual budget to women’s health care centers that do not perform abortions, Ms. Quigley said the information contained in this year’s report could be politically damaging.

“Their taxpayer funding has gone up, but cancer screenings, prevention, contraception, STD and STI treatment and other services have gone down,” Ms. Quigley said. “We saw total services drop by nearly 11 percent in one year, and in the meantime abortions remain fairly consistent.”

“The new annual report could just be further evidence of that,” she said. “I think there’s already a lot of information to back that up.”

An email and phone call to Planned Parenthood’s media office inquiring about the annual report were not returned.

Planned Parenthood’s last annual report showed that patients and services had dropped, despite an increase in federal funding.

The number of patients visiting the abortion provider dropped from nearly 3 million in fiscal year 2012 to 2.5 million in fiscal 2014, its lowest total since 1998. And the number of service provided fell from 10,590,433 in fiscal year 2013 to 9,455,582 the next year, a decline of 11 percent.

But the number of abortions has remained consistent. The 2014-15 report shows Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions, slightly down from the previous year’s 327,653.

The annual report could undermine Planned Parenthood’s claim that women’s health will suffer if it is defunded, Ms. Quigley said.

Pointing to the Congressional Budget Office score of the plan, Dana Singiser, vice president of public policy and government relations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said defunding the abortion provider would have “disastrous consequences and result in women losing access to care, especially services that help women prevent unintended pregnancies.”

“We’ve made tremendous gains in this country thanks to expanded access to reproductive health care and birth control: We are at a 30-year low in unintended pregnancies, and a historic low in teen pregnancies,” Ms. Singiser said in a statement Tuesday. “Now is not the time to roll that progress back.”

If that’s the case, Ms. Quigley said the abortion provider should promptly release its annual report. She said taxpayers have a right to know the extent of Planned Parenthood’s operations before footing the bill for them.

“They owe it to taxpayers to be transparent about their services and their financial state,” she said. “We are sending $1.5 million per day to Planned Parenthood’s coffers, and that is a huge investment. And what have we gotten from it? When you look at what taxpayers are getting for their money, the answer is one word: Abortion.”

The CBO score released Monday showed defunding Planned Parenthood would result in “several thousand” additional births, which would partially offset the cost of defunding the abortion provider.

Still, the budget office said defunding Planned Parenthood would reduce direct spending by $156 million over the next decade.

Tom Glessner, president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, said discussion about Planned Parenthood’s budget and other health care services misses the point.

He said Planned Parenthood deserves to be defunded for the simple reason that it performs abortions.

“Planned Parenthood should be defunded because its business is based upon killing unborn children,” Mr. Glessner said in a statement. “Beyond any and all other reasons, defunding should take place for this reason.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide