Planned Parenthood famously claims on their website, in annual reports, and in news interviews that abortion only accounts for about 3 percent of the services that it provides.
That number, however, is statistically inaccurate.
According to their own annual report, Planned Parenthood commits over 300,000 abortions per year. Last year alone, they committed 329,999 abortions. That would compute to an average of 887 abortions per day, 37 abortions per hour, and 1 abortion every 97 seconds.
Since Planned Parenthood claims that abortions only make up 3 percent of the additional services it provides, one would expect their annual reports to back up this statistic. If the 3 percent statistic was accurate, it would mean one out every 33 patients who visit Planned Parenthood would have an abortion. A look at Planned Parenthood’s annual report for the 2015 fiscal year shows, however, that one in eight clients who walk into a Planned Parenthood facility get an abortion.
The numbers speak for themselves, and reveal where Planned Parenthood’s priorities really are.
According to its own numbers, the nation’s largest abortion chain commits 160 abortions for every adoption referral. Planned Parenthood also claims to be an important provider of breast exams to women, making it seem that if the organization did not exist, women would struggle to find basic health care services. In reality, Planned Parenthood commits 30.6 percent of the nation’s abortions, while providing less than 2 percent of the nation’s breast exams.
So how does the nation’s largest abortion chain arrive at the 3 percent figure they claim on their annual reports? Planned Parenthood creates the 3 percent statistic by dividing abortions by the number of so-called “services” offered. They count all of these services equally, regardless of the cost, time, or effort it takes to render that service.
An entire abortion procedure, which can cost from $390-$1,500, is counted the same as a pregnancy test. In this way, Planned Parenthood is able to count 9.4 million services. Then it divides the 329,999 number of abortions committed by the 9.4 million services, which equals 3 percent — but it’s easy to see how this math is completely ridiculous.
Using their math, theoretically speaking, a woman could visit a Planned Parenthood facility specifically for an abortion. She would also get a pregnancy test, an STI test, and some contraceptives, in addition to the abortion. Planned Parenthood would say that the abortion was only 25 percent of what they did for that woman, who specifically came to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. By this math, even if 100 percent of women who came to Planned Parenthood got an abortion, Planned Parenthood would still say that only 25 percent of their patients received an abortion.
Such distorted calculations could be used to distort the purposes of any business. The senior editor for Slate, Rachel Larimore, called Planned Parenthood’s 3 percent myth “the most meaningless abortion statistic ever.” In addition, the Washington Post fact-checker gave this claim “three pinocchios,” marking it as “very misleading.”