- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2020

A new report from Planned Parenthood shows an increase in government funding during its most recent fiscal cycle and a record number of abortions at its clinics, even as the national abortion rate declines.

The reproductive health nonprofit posted its annual report over the weekend, culminating a year punctuated by legal fights, leadership departures and legislative action, with conservative states aiming to restrict abortion and liberal states seeking to preserve it.

“We stand at an inflection point for reproductive health and rights,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Alexis McGill Johnson and Board Chair Aimee Cunningham said in a written statement. “Our opponents moved to dismantle our nation’s program for affordable birth control this year, forcing providers like Planned Parenthood out of the program with an unethical gag rule.”

The last year kept the organization busy, with legal filings to stop pro-life legislation in more than a dozen states and the board-encouraged departure of President Dr. Leana Wen in July.

But the annual report reveals that Planned Parenthood performed 345,672 abortions from October 2017 to October 2018 — more than in any previous year.

And financial records show the nonprofit received more taxpayer dollars in the fiscal year ending last June than ever before ($617 million) through Medicaid and other health service program reimbursements and grants, constituting 37% of its overall revenue.

“The nation’s number one abortion vendor broke all previous records in taking money from taxpayers this year,” *Kristan Hawkins, president for Students for Life of America, said in a written statement.

Ms. Hawkins called on President Trump to cancel all remaining federal funding for Planned Parenthood, saying “$600 million is left to go.”

“The Trump Administration needs to uphold their promise to pro-life Americans and redirect all current taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood to community health care centers that practice only non-violent healthcare,” she said.

Federal funds are barred from paying for abortions, and Planned Parenthood says abortion represents a single-digit fraction of the services it provides to more than 2 million people annually — including breast cancer screening, pap smears and contraceptives.

But critics say abortion is its main service and accounts for a much larger percentage of its non-governmental revenue.

This year’s report showed that 23% of Planned Parenthood’s overall budget comes from services that are not paid for by the government, which would include abortion.

According to the Guttmacher Institute’s most recent census, published in September, 808 clinics in America performed 862,320 abortions in 2017, a 7% drop from 2014. Planned Parenthood performed about 40% of those abortions.

Guttmacher, a research nonprofit that advocates for reproductive rights, and Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request for comment.

“Their cancer screening and prevention services, breast exams, pap tests, and even contraceptive services have steeply declined,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, said in a written statement.

According to Planned Parenthood’s reports, the number of non-abortion services performed between October 2017 and September 2018 decreased from the previous year. For example, breast exams fell from 617,677 to 520,710, and screenings for urinary tract infections dropped from 54,107 to just under 40,000.

The most recent report shows that the majority of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from non-governmental sources, private contributions and bequests.

In August, the nation’s largest abortion provider said it was voluntarily leaving the federal Title X program, a family planning program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, which awards $286 million annually in medical grants. The Trump administration issued new rules barring providers from offering referrals for patients to facilities that provide abortions.

(* Correction: Kristan Hawkins, president for Students for Life of America, was incorrectly identified in a previous version of the story. The story has been updated.)

• Christopher Vondracek can be reached at cvondracek@washingtontimes.com.

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