Planned Parenthood Acknowledges 700,000 Abortions In 2001

By Michael L. Betsch | July 7, 2008 | 8:04 PM EDT

( - The Planned Parenthood Federation of America claims that children "flourish best in families and communities where they are nurtured, honored and loved." The pro-abortion group also revealed recently that it performed nearly 700,000 surgical and chemical abortions in 2001 alone.

Planned Parenthood believes that children must "earn the right to be nurtured, honored and loved before they can be welcomed into the world," said Wendy Wright, spokesperson for Concerned Women for America (CWA). "The onus of that statement ought to be on families and parents and communities, that we're nurturing and loving all children."

Life Decisions International (LDI), a pro-life advocacy group, agreed with Wright's observation of Planned Parenthood in its analysis of the abortion provider's Annual Report for 2001.

LDI found that Planned Parenthood continued its "steady slide" in the number of women seen for prenatal care and also made fewer adoption referrals than in the previous year. Prenatal care and adoption referrals dropped 21.5 percent and 11.8 percent respectively, according to the LDI analysis.

Planned Parenthood saw its greatest increase in the so-called "emergency contraception" market, which LDI noted contained an "untold number" of chemical abortions. Over the course of one year, women receiving the "morning after" pill rose 284.6 percent, from 131,638 to 458,892 in 2001.

Yet, Planned Parenthood reports that "nine out of 10 women of reproductive age do not know about emergency contraception, and only one out of five physicians regularly discusses it with their patients."

Surgical abortions, on the other hand, continue to be a recognized service provided by Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide. LDI observed an 8.1 percent increase in 2001 compared to the previous year, accounting for a total of 213,026 surgical abortions performed nationwide.

"We're delighted that more people are using emergency contraception, and we're delighted that there is another choice for people," Marjorie Signer, spokeswoman for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. "We hope that in more and more states, it will be available over the counter."

Signer said her organization believes the widespread availability of emergency contraception could prevent an estimated 1.7 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions each year.

Signer defined emergency contraception as a "higher dose" of the common birth control pill that is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. However, she said, pro-life groups tend to skew that definition to fit their agenda.

"They make a lot of noise, and they are so medically incorrect and so offensive to what most people believe and do that they're a bad joke," Signer said. "Emergency contraception is one of the safest, best, most respectful methods we now have available to prevent pregnancy."

Signer believes that the morning after pill should be made readily accessible to women because the alternatives women pursue on their own are often risky.

"People don't have to sort of try to down a whole bunch of birth control pills or do something that could really not be in their best interest," Signer said. "Get[ting] something packaged in the correct dosage gives a huge sense of relief to women, many of whom have had this experience."

Signer said religious groups and "everyone who cares about women's health" are overwhelmingly in support of family planning, which includes the morning after pill. While most mainstream religions vary in their opinions on abortion, she said there is very little question among religious leaders on issues regarding family planning.

"The only way for Planned Parenthood to grow is if there are more abortions," said CWA's Wright. "That seems to conflict with the stated goal of many people who are in support of abortion, and that is to have abortion be 'rare'."

Wright said the statistics contained in Planned Parenthood's Annual Report prove that the nationwide abortion provider is not opposed to using abortion as a means to achieve organizational and financial growth.

"They're not what most people would consider ... a 'non-profit'," Wright said. "Most people consider a non-profit to be an organization that's set up to help people."

But instead of assisting people in need, Wright said Planned Parenthood is interested in reaping profits. Citing LDI's analysis of Planned Parenthood's financial reports for 2001, she said there's no balance in the abortion provider's budget.

LDI found that Planned Parenthood's total liabilities for the 2000-2001 Fiscal Year were $121 million, while total assets were recorded as $774.1 million. Planned Parenthood also maintained $246.1 million in unrestricted assets and another $94.6 million in "temporarily restricted assets."

"Most non-profits try to end up with close to a zero balance to show that they're using that money to help people," Wright said. "The fact that Planned Parenthood ends up with a huge surplus at the end of each year shows that they probably don't have a real non-profit mindset ... It's more [like] they're there to help themselves."

Andrea Lafferty, spokesperson for the Traditional Values Coalition, said the pro-life movement has made great strides in combating the likes of Planned Parenthood and various other pro-abortion groups. Unfortunately, she said most pro-life groups don't have the budget to get their voices heard.

Lafferty said Planned Parenthood, utilizing its nearly $700 million annual budget, has shown success in infiltrating public schools and Congress under the guise of promoting its "family planning" agenda.

"There are some very strong advocates for Planned Parenthood in the Congress, both Democrat and Republican, because they say they support family planning," Lafferty said. "We don't believe abortion is family planning. Clearly, these numbers show that they're not about family planning; they're about abortion."

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