Embedding abortion: a lucrative business model

Keep some numbers in mind as you read this: invest $998,262 and net about $2.7 million, or invest $30,000 and net approximately $600,000. Which investment offers the better rate of return?


Dr. Nucatola of Planned Parenthood, discussing procurement of body parts from aborted fetuses. Center for Medical Progress photo.
Dr. Nucatola of Planned Parenthood, discussing procurement of body parts from aborted fetuses. Center for Medical Progress photo.

Now’s the time, I thought – after I got over my revulsion at the first video. All of us, whatever our beliefs about abortion, could surely get together in righteous anger at a government contractor raking over the remains of aborted children and dickering over the price for body parts – a business-on-the-side that’s a far cry from women’s health. (Reimbursement? I’ll defer to a former Planned Parenthood manager on that one.) Maybe the contractor, Planned Parenthood, would even re-evaluate its practices.

By the time the second video from the Center for Medical Progress came out, I realized that wasn’t happening. If anything, PP has redoubled its efforts since July 14 to demonize people who simply want the nation’s largest abortion provider to pay its own bills. I can’t stop PP from committing whatever carnage the market will bear – just don’t do it with my money. Go private – genuinely private.

But no. The wagons are circled and the talking points are in use. The videos are selectively edited (as opposed to non-selectively edited, I guess). Even so, everything shown is perfectly legal and they’re only exchanging the body parts for enough money to cover expenses. And by the way, this is all the work of extremists, well-funded ones, who are trying to take women backwardsAnd what are you anyway, opposed to women’s health care and lifesaving medical research? Stand with us! They’re coming to take away your health care! This is an attack on women!!!

(As I write this, I can’t link to PP’s web site for its own statements. Funny how PP’s site needed to undergo maintenance when all this hit the fan. That was Plan B, so to speak, when its initial claim of a site hack didn’t stand up to scrutiny. Also, as I write this, 53 U.S. Senators voted yesterday to support a federal de-funding bill, falling short of the 60 needed to advance it; it will come up again.)

They’re after your health care. A lie, but a useful lie. It serves to divert attention from the body-parts business. It rests on another lie: abortion is health care. Why would an organization and its defenders cling so fiercely to those lies? Why the ongoing determination to keep so many unwilling people complicit in abortion? Why does PP stake the health care of so many women on a service (sic) that is supposedly a minuscule part of its business, if PP lobbyists are to be believed?

Because changing the business model would be too much trouble. For PP to remain a government contractor without involving taxpayers in abortion, it would have to stop embedding abortion with health care in such a way that a strike against abortion or abortion funding means casualties for authentic health care. That would be a stunning and radical (if welcome) change of policy.

The CMP videos, with their documentation of Planned Parenthood physicians going about the grotesque work attendant upon abortion, still have the power to shock, for those willing to look. But a Herculean effort is underway nonetheless to discredit people who want PP to pay its own way.

PP might not have enough voluntary supporters to let that happen. Look at one affiliate’s numbers: Planned Parenthood of Northern New England had to include its 2014 financial statements in its contract bid that will come up August 5 in the New Hampshire Executive Council. Amount spent on fundraising: $998,262. Amount of contributions and bequests: $3,764,912 for a net gain of $2,766,650, or $2.77 for each dollar spent.

Compare that to the $30,000 PP’s political arms invested in the New Hampshire Executive Council races in 2014. The pending contract would give PP $638,900. Contract value minus political contributions equals $608,900, or $20.30 for each dollar invested in the election.

If I were a CEO, I wouldn’t have much incentive to rely on private money if the rate of return for government contracts were so much higher. It would take overwhelming pressure to change the model, working to build public support not from family planning clients held hostage to abortion services but from private donors who don’t have a problem with abortion.

Surely enough such donors are out there … or are they? The more attacks I hear on taxpayers who want Planned Parenthood to go private, the more I doubt that enough private donors exist to keep PP afloat.

Wednesday’s New Hampshire Executive Council vote will be preceded by a demonstration by a large number of Planned Parenthood fans. Pink shirts and signs will abound (which part of PP’s budget pays for those – marketing or public policy?). Based on the numbers from PP’s financial statements, very few of those fans will be donors.