While Planned Parenthood continues to claim that abortion makes up only 3% of its services annually — a claim which the Washington Post fact-checkers and Live Action have debunked — Live Action News’ own analysis has found that Planned Parenthood’s revenue from abortions in 2016 is estimated at nearly $200 million dollars.
This estimate drives home the fact that Planned Parenthood is an abortion corporation, garnering over one-third of the reported U.S. abortion market. We also estimate that of Planned Parenthood’s non-government health services revenue, income from abortion comprised between 56 to 63 percent, and 12 to 14 percent of the organization’s total revenue. That figure has remained steady; last year, Live Action News found that Planned Parenthood’s 2015 estimated abortion revenue accounted for over half of Planned Parenthood’s non-government health services revenue and over 12 percent of Planned Parenthood’s total revenue.
How we calculated the numbers
To reach the nearly $200 million figure, Live Action News examined revenue and median abortion costs and compared them against abortion totals reported in Planned Parenthood’s 2016-2017 annual report, in which the organization reported committing 321,384 abortions. In calculating the data two ways using older Planned Parenthood/Guttmacher estimated abortion costs as well as more recent cost averages published by a national pro-life organization, we found a range of estimated abortion revenue between $177 million to $199 million.
1. Average cost of abortions
Planned Parenthood’s website notes the cost of a surgical abortion:
An abortion in the first trimester can cost up to $1,500, but it’s often less. The price of an abortion depends on where you get it (hospitals are often more expensive), and whether or not you have health insurance that will cover some or all of the cost. The cost also varies based on how long you’ve been pregnant — a second-trimester abortion usually costs more.
It also says this about the cost of a medication abortion:
The abortion pill can cost up to around $1000, but is often less. The cost of a medication abortion varies and depends on where you get it and whether or not you have health insurance that will cover some or all of the cost.
Here’s what a medication abortion entails, according to former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino:
- In 2014, the average amount paid for an abortion in a nonhospital setting at 10 weeks’ gestation and with local anesthesia was $508. The average paid for an early medication abortion (up to 9 weeks’ gestation) was $535.
- While a report from Planned Parenthood claimed that in 2009, nonhospital facilities charged an average of $1,500 for abortion at 20 weeks, in 2014, Guttmacher reported that the median cost at 20 weeks was $1,195.
- According to a 2013 Guttmacher report, the average second trimester abortion cost was $854.
However, in 2017, an analysis from Operation Rescue found that some abortion prices had increased:
- Early first trimester surgical abortions averaged $595.67.
- Surgical abortions up to 12 weeks averaged $616.16.
- Medication abortions (generally done through 9-10 weeks) at facilities which also provided surgical abortions averaged $579.
- Medication-only facilities charged an average of $592 per medication abortion.
Operation Rescue stated it contacted each abortion facility directly “using a number of investigative methods,” and also found that abortion costs in some states ranged much higher, but some were slightly lower.
2. Number of abortions by trimester:
In 2017, Guttmacher wrote, “9% of women who obtain an abortion do so after the first trimester (at 14 weeks or later), and slightly more than 1% of abortions are performed at 21 weeks or later.“
Live Action News broke down the 321,384 abortion numbers into early first trimester surgical and medication abortions, second trimester abortions (14-20 weeks), then those after 21 weeks as follows:
- Medication abortions: 99,629 (31 percent, according to Guttmacher’s most recent abortion data.)
- Abortions 14-20 weeks: 28,925 (9 percent, according to Guttmacher in 2017.)
- Abortions after 21 weeks: 3,214 (1 percent, according to a claim by Planned Parenthood.)
- First trimester surgical abortions: 189,616, remaining balance of abortions equal.
3. Estimated abortion revenue:
To determine Planned Parenthood’s estimated abortion revenue, Live Action News multiplied the number of abortions by trimester with the average cost of abortions, two different ways.
First, we used only Planned Parenthood/Guttmacher abortion cost averages (see previous section).
- Medication abortions: 99,629 (31%) x $535 = $53,301,515
- Surgical abortions (first trimester): 189,616 (balance) x $508 = $96,324,928
- Surgical abortions (14-20 weeks): 28,925 (9%) x $854= $24,163,930
- Abortions after 21 weeks: 3,214 (1%) X $1,195 = $3,840,730
Total estimated abortion revenue using these figures is $177,631,103
We also factored in more current average abortion costs using figures provided by Operation Rescue as well as Planned Parenthood/Guttmacher where OR did not provide a cost:
- Medication abortions: 99,629 (31%) x $579 = $57,685,191
- Surgical abortions (first trimester): 189,616 (balance) x $595 = $112,821,520
- Surgical abortions (14-20 weeks): 28,925 (9%) x $854= $24,701,950
- Abortions after 21 weeks: 3,214 (1%) X $1,195 = $3,840,730
Total estimated abortion revenue using these figures is $199,049,391
Percentage of abortion revenue
We then broke down the percentage of abortion revenue using figures from Planned Parenthood’s revenue statement located in Planned Parenthood’s 2016-2017 annual report.
Note that there are two sources of revenue for “health services,” which include:
- Government Health Services Reimbursements & Grants (taxpayer dollars) – $543.7 million
- Non-Government Health Services Revenue – $318.1 million
Percentage of non government health services revenue range: 56-63%
If we divide Planned Parenthood’s estimated abortion revenue ($177,631,103.00) or ($199,049,391) by the total non-government health center revenue of $318,100,000, we find that abortion makes up between 56 percent (55.8%) and 63 percent (62.5%) or of Planned Parenthood’s non-government health services revenue.
Percentage of non government health services and tax dollar revenue range: 21-23%
However, even if we include the $543.7 million in government dollars ($861.8 million), abortion revenue can be estimated at 21 percent (20.6%) or 23 percent (23.0%) of all Planned Parenthood’s health services revenue.
Percentage of all Planned Parenthood revenue range: 12-13%
Then, if we include all revenue sources ($1,459,600,000), abortion revenue would exceed an estimated 12 (12.1%) to 14 (13.6%) percent.
Although Planned Parenthood also receives over half a billion dollars in tax money annually, Live Action News has documented that these government dollars are instrumental to the organization’s abortion income. The reason for this is a factor called fungibility, which shows that our tax dollars are funding the same staff and facilities that also commit abortions. In addition, by allowing Planned Parenthood to receive Medicaid and TitleX dollars, women who seek discounted care can then be sold abortions at the same location:
With so many millions on the line for Planned Parenthood from abortions, is it any wonder that Planned Parenthood’s legitimate health services, as well as patients, are declining while abortions are on the increase? And despite taxpayers being forced to send Planned Parenthood over $500 million per year, in 2016, the abortion corporation’s excess revenue over spending (profit) increased from $77.5 million in 2015 to a whopping $98.5 million in 2016. And almost every year since 2000, Planned Parenthood’s revenue has exceeded its expenses by tens of millions of dollars (yearly surpluses range from $12.2 million in 2001 to a high of $155.5 million in 2010) — all while actual health services and patients declined.
So the next time Planned Parenthood tries to claim that abortions are just a small part of what they do, remember that those alleged “small percentages” add up to millions upon millions of dollars in revenue for the abortion corporation.