Planned Parenthood Becomes Wal-Mart Giant of the Abortion Industry

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 23, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Becomes Wal-Mart Giant of the Abortion Industry

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 23
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Planned Parenthood is in the middle of a shift in its business model and a massive national attempt to reposition its public perception. The change is resulting in the building of large new abortion centers that focus as much or more on reproductive health and small abortion centers are losing in the process.

As has reported, Planned Parenthood is making a conscious image shift.

It wants Americans — women, minorities and young adults and teens in particular — to see it as a health care center offering birth control, contraception, and legitimate services ranging from pap smears to breast exams rather than abortion business.

To accomplish the task, Planned Parenthood is moving away from the older business model of small centers in downtown areas and building gigantic abortion facilities in the suburbs of places like Chicago, Denver, Houston, and Portland.

The idea is to reach a more middle and upper class clientele and to establish Planned Parenthood as another ubiquitous suburban business next-door to the fast-food restaurants, coffee shops and tanning salons they frequent.

The new centers also provide Planned Parenthood large space to conduct political operations ranging from coordinating lobbying efforts to running election campaigns.

With over $1 billion in revenue last fiscal year — the first time it hit that benchmark — and hundreds of millions in state and federal funding to go along with it Planned Parenthood has the wealth to expand and build bigger and more professional abortion centers.

With the new business-minded approach, independent abortion centers are finding it tougher to compete.

Staff at the centers told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that Planned Parenthood is becoming the Wal-Mart of the abortion industry and drowning out small abortion centers that don’t have the financial and manpower resources to compete.

"This is not the Planned Parenthood we all grew up with… they now have more of a business approach, much more aggressive," Amy Hagstrom Miller, who runs abortion businesses in two states, told the newspaper.

Hagstrom Miller says she finds it "deeply frustrating" to compete with Planned Parenthood and can’t match the abortion business’ center upgrades or advertising budget.

She charges $50 less for a first-trimester abortion with the hope of attracting more customers.

"They’re not unlike other big national chains," Hagstrom Miller told the Journal. "They put local independent businesses in a tough situation."

Claire Keyes, an independent abortion center owner in Pennsylvania, also spoke with the newspaper about the new approach. She claims Planned Parenthood’s push for women of means may result in making it more difficult for poor women to get abortions.

"They’ve made a decision to go after the young and the hip and the affluent, and they’re leaving poor women behind," she said.

In interviews with the Journal, Planned Parenthood officials defend the new approach.

"It is high time we follow the population," Sarah Stoesz, of Planned Parenthood affiliates in the Midwest, told the paper.

Stoesz says Planned Parenthood is planning more abortion centers "in shopping centers and malls, places where women are already doing their grocery shopping, picking up their Starbucks, living their daily lives."

Steve Trombley, who has become infamous in Aurora, Illinois for opening a massive new abortion center there, says, "I like to think of it as the LensCrafters of family planning."

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