The abortion business can be very lucrative. Planned Parenthood alone brings in over $150 million from abortion revenues – as much as half of its patient charges. Planned Parenthood destroys over 330,000 unborn children every year, an abortion every 95 seconds, at roughly $468 per abortion. The abortion giant has increased its market share of abortion commerce every year for over 3 decades.
But what has made abortion so profitable has been its constitutionally privileged status and the business model that status has enabled. Unlike virtually any other medical procedure, abortion has been deemed a protected right. This has allowed Planned Parenthood and its industry competitors to resist regulation that other medical services accept as the cost of safely doing business. And by calling on their political friends in high places ( and Planned Parenthood spends millions to keep them in those places)abortion sellers are able to secure political protection from rules that would protect their patients but undercut their bottom line.
Abortion businesses are thus rarely inspected and are often constructed such that women are endangered in an emergency situation. When they are inspected, the inspectors find gross health and safety violations. And as the Gosnell case demonstrates, even their shortcuts on construction can leave women endangered in an emergency situation. Planned Parenthood has also adopted a business plan that has doctors from another state (or country in some cases) fly in, perform dozens of abortions in one day, and then fly back home – leaving the woman with no relationship with the doctor and no opportunity for the doctor to assist in her care in case of complications.
It’s a very cost-effective model for a billion dollar abortion industry, but clearly not one that is aimed at protecting the patient.
But this is beginning to change. Recent Supreme Court decisions have begun to re-empower states to regulate abortion like other medical services. States have exercised this authority to regulate abortionists to protect the health and safety of women – over the opposition of the abortion industry
In Missouri, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys Steven Aden and Dale Schowengerdt successfully defended the state’s health and safety regulations of abortion clinics in two challenges in state and federal court. Our friends at 40 Days for Life and others continued to bear witness outside Missouri’s four abortion clinics.
These four were reduced to two over the next few years as providers found their abortion businesses were unprofitable and retired or closed their doors. Then, just last week we received word that, unable to comply with those reasonable health and safety standards, the Columbia, Missouri Planned Parenthood has now lost its license and closed its doors. This leaves only one licensed abortionist operating in Missouri, a Planned Parenthood franchise in St. Louis.
In Alabama, ADF Allied Attorney Trenton Garmon successfully defended the rights of sidewalk counselors to peacefully pray outside a Birmingham abortion facility. As a result, those sidewalk counselors were there to witness an ambulance transporting an injured woman to a hospital. They reported this to the state health department which investigated and found numerous health and safety violations, resulting in the closure of that abortion facility. This week we learned that the abortionist who owns the facility has given up and placed the building up for sale.
And in state after state, Alliance Defending Freedom and our allies – sometimes less visibly – are working to defend these state laws against challenges by an ever more desperate abortion enterprise. Time after time abortionists choose to close rather than comply with the law, placing their bottom line over women’s health.
LifeNews Note: Casey Mattox is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.