The president of Planned Parenthood embraced her organization’s reputation as the nation’s largest abortion provider, suggesting that describing abortion as a small part of what the business does is “stigmatizing.”
Speaking to The Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday, Alexis McGill Johnson, who was appointed president of the abortion provider last year, was asked how she felt about the fact that abortion was the first thing that came to many people’s minds when they think of Planned Parenthood.
“I think abortion is health care. And so, if the first thing they think about is health care when they think about Planned Parenthood, I think that’s fine,” she replied.
“Planned Parenthood proudly serves all forms of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, and I think when we try to exclude it, we’re excluding a critical part of and a critical option for health care.”
While The Washington Post claimed in its reporting that abortion is a “small part of all the things Planned Parenthood does,” pro-life groups have long shown that abortion makes up some 95% of the company’s services.
The Susan B. Anthony List and Charlotte Lozier Institute found that “in 2018-’19, abortions made up 95% of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy resolution services, while prenatal services, miscarriage care, and adoption referrals accounted for only 2.7% (9,798), 0.6% (2,236) and 1.2% (4,279), respectively.”
“Planned Parenthood performed 345,672 abortions in 2018-19 — an increase of nearly 13,000 from the previous year — and more than 3.3 million abortions (3,302,184) 11 over the past 10 reported years (2009-19),” the SBA List noted.
“I think when we say, ‘It’s a small part of what we do,’ what we’re doing is actually stigmatizing it,” McGill Johnson told The Washington Post, insisting that the suggestion that “it’s really not a big deal that Planned Parenthood does this” constitutes an attempt to shame the abortion business.
“We are a proud abortion provider. We believe that abortion is health care, and we believe, fundamentally, that self-determination begins with being able to control your own body and freedom begins with being able to control your own body. So I don’t like to marginalize it in that way,” she stressed.
In a previous interview with The Christian Post, Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, said that although Planned Parenthood claims that only 3% of its overall revenue comes from abortion services that abortion actually accounts for over 50% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue.
Johnson told CP that Planned Parenthood uses “creative accounting” and “stealthy bundling” to disguise the fact that abortion is their biggest revenue generator.
“All of it boils down to how they bill for services,” she said. “For example: an annual exam, Pap smear, gonorrhea and chlamydia tests, and seven packs of birth control account for one visit and are billed as 10 services. But they unbundle for abortion, and count all services provided as one. We don’t really know what the true numbers are because of the bundling and unbundling.”
“They really are creative accountants. We know their abortion budget makes up 50%. We also know that when states pass laws regulating abortion clinics, like in Texas, instead of meeting basic health and safety standards for abortion clinics, they choose to shut down. If abortion was only 3% of revenue, they would be able to sustain themselves,” Johnson added.
McGill Johnson was appointed acting president of Planned Parenthood in 2019 following the termination of Dr. Leana Wen, who had a disagreement with the board about the organization’s priorities. According to Wen, the priority of the board was to “double down on abortion advocacy” while she preferred to focus on providing healthcare to underserved women.
McGill Johnson has extensive experience in abortion advocacy and statistics show that abortion is a sizable proportion of Planned Parenthood’s day-to-day operations. According to the pro-life group Live Action, Planned Parenthood accounts for 40% of all abortions performed in the U.S. The number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood has nearly doubled since 2000, when the organization terminated 197,070 pregnancies.
As the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood nearly doubled over the past two decades, the government funding received by the abortion provider has more than tripled. In 2000, Planned Parenthood received $202.7 million in taxpayer money. By 2018, that figure had skyrocketed to $616.8 million.
Government funding for Planned Parenthood has been a point of political contention at both the state and the federal level. Republicans and pro-life groups have long called for the organization to lose federal funding because of its involvement with abortions while Democrats and Planned Parenthood have sought to minimize the company’s performance of abortions when arguing that the organization needs taxpayer funding to provide other services for low-income women.
In August 2019, Planned Parenthood announced that it was leaving the Title X program, which grants millions of dollars a year to healthcare clinics nationwide so they can provide contraceptives, cancer screenings, STD testing and other services to low-income patients. Planned Parenthood’s decision followed the implementation of a Trump administration rule forbidding clinics that receive Title X funds from referring patients for abortions.
Last fall, Planned Parenthood and dozens of other pro-abortion organizations released a list of First Priorities for the Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice, building upon a document released in 2019. The document outlines a list of demands for the next presidential administration, including the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.
After networks called the 2020 presidential election for the Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, McGill Johnson expressed joy that “America will be in the hands of leaders who are committed to advancing and expanding reproductive rights,” adding that she was “thrilled to see them elected and will be ready to work with them on day one.”
Ahead of the 2020 election, Planned Parenthood committed to spending $45 million on behalf of Democrats.