Iowa Planned Parenthood Abortion Groups Merge After Financial Problems

State   Steven Ertelt   Dec 10, 2010   |   2:06PM    Des Moines, IA

Two Iowa affiliates of the Planned Parenthood abortion business are merging and, though they cite other reasons, pro-life groups say financial troubles are likely responsible.

Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa will combine with Des Moines-based Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

The Iowa-based Planned parenthood organizations have come under fire from pro-life advocates for engaging in the new telemed abortion scheme whereby women obtaining the abortion drug are denied an in-person meeting with a physician before getting it. Instead, they are relegated to seeing a doctor over a computer monitor.

The merger was announced yesterday and will take place next year.

Vanessa Solesbee, the board chairman of Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa says the centers it runs in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque will stay open.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Solesbee and the head of the PPH affiliate say the merger is coming so the two can “allow more efficiencies in purchasing and technology.”

But Steven Brody, executive director of Dubuque County Right to Life, says there are other reasons prompting the change.

“Regardless of the spin that Planned Parenthood may issue, mergers are typically caused by affiliates not meeting financial goals and benchmarks,” he explained to LifeNews.com. “The smaller affiliates will be absorbed by the larger affiliates in order to keep facilities afloat. ”

He says a review his group conducted of their 2009 Federal Form 990 shows that Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa “was obviously mismanaging the funds it was receiving, allocating exorbitant salary and employee compensation increases even as its revenue was falling.”

“While revenue was declining (they ended the year in the hole at -$58,010), salaries increased from $657,840 to $1,060,100,” he noted. “This would indicate that Planned Parenthood is following its established pattern of phasing out affiliates that do not commit abortions and are therefore not profitable, in order to pour its resources into its lucrative abortion business.”

Brody says the merger “increases our concern that telemed abortions will be introduced in both Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.”

“Planned Parenthood will attempt to streamline their operations and increase revenue at the same time, by introducing abortion services and only needing a doctor in Des Moines to serve their affiliates via webcam,” he said. “We call on all our friends and supporters to continue this campaign until we see Planned Parenthood’s office in Dubuque closed for good.”

News of the merger comes after Planned Parenthood disaffiliated an affiliate in San Francisco, California that had significant financial mismanagement and problems.