- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

New research suggests that Planned Parenthood is bucking the national abortion downturn.

The study, recently published in the Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that Planned Parenthood’s abortion rate has steadily increased over the last two decades, despite the fact that the overall U.S. abortion rate is in free fall.

James Studnicki, the paper’s lead author and the vice president and director of data analytics at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, said Planned Parenthood has single-handedly inflated the total number of abortions in the U.S. by about 3 million.

“Contrary to their public protestations that abortion is a minimal part of their business model, the data strongly suggest that Planned Parenthood has actively propped up a national abortion rate that has otherwise seen large declines, to their obvious financial benefit,” Mr. James Studnicki said in a statement. “More than three million abortions that might have been avoided can be attributed to Planned Parenthood’s intervention in the abortion market.”

The study examined abortion trends in America between 1995 and 2004.

It found that abortions not performed by Planned Parenthood decreased by more than 50 percent over that span.

SEE ALSO: Hundreds of lawmakers tell Trump administration to cut off Planned Parenthood’s Title X dollars

Meanwhile, abortions performed at Planned Parenthood increased by 142 percent. The organization’s share of the abortion market rose from 10 to 35 percent over the 20-year period.

If Planned Parenthood’s abortion rate mirrored the national rate over that span, about 12.5 percent of all abortions — more than 3 million — would have been averted.

“This study shows beyond doubt that Planned Parenthood’s commanding market share of U.S. abortions is no accident,” said Charlotte Lozier Institute President Chuck Donovan. “Policymakers are fully justified in taking this fact into account as they decide how to allocate public money.”

Planned Parenthood performed 321,384 abortions in 2016. The procedure makes up 96 percent of all pregnancy services at Planned Parenthood, while prenatal services make up just 2.3 percent.

The organization performs more than one-third of all abortions procured in the U.S., according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute. HIV tests and pap tests at Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, represent about 1 percent of the national market.

Planned Parenthood’s abortion rate has steady increased despite a dramatic decline in patient visits over the last decade.

The organization receives about $500 million in annual federal funding, mostly from Medicaid reimbursements.

President Trump is reportedly considering a regulation that would bar abortion providers from receiving Title X grants, which are earmarked for family planning services.

The move would cost Planned Parenthood about $50 or $60 million annually.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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