Planned Parenthood has been performing fewer non-abortion services in the past few years, but a new ad is trying to convince the public that it is more than just an abortion chain.
The new commercial, created for the abortion group’s Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands affiliate, shows a preschool teacher, a musician, a taxi driver and others talking about why they go to Planned Parenthood, according to Ad Week.
“A lot of people go to Planned Parenthood for just one reason,” the narrator says.
Then in a twist that attempts to challenge preconceived notions about the abortion giant, each person responds with a different reason: diabetes testing, breast cancer screenings, the flu shot and controlling asthma.
“There are a lot more reasons than you think,” the narrator concludes.
Despite what the ad claims, abortion is a key focus for Planned Parenthood. Its push to do more abortions is one of the things former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson said prompted her to leave the business and become pro-life.
Planned Parenthood does more abortions than any other group in the U.S., approximately 320,000 every year. In 2014, the abortion chain even gave an award to one of its affiliates for “exceeding abortion visits” for the quarter and killing more babies in abortions.
Its own annual reports also reflect a focus on abortion. Randall O’Bannon, Ph.D., the director of education and research for the National Right to Life Committee, analyzed Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 report and found:
Unsurprisingly, the one constant at Planned Parenthood is an unyielding commitment to abortion. Even as the number of abortions has fallen substantially nationwide, abortions at Planned Parenthood have remained steady. This was true as Planned Parenthood’s total delivered services, such as contraceptives and its vaunted “cancer screenings” dropped, and even as many of its clinics closed and its smaller affiliates disappeared in mergers.
… Planned Parenthood said it delivered 11,238,414 patient “services,” just five years earlier, in 2009. But by 2014, the number was down to 9,455,582, according to this latest annual report.
“Cancer screenings” fell from 1,830,811 to just 682,208 in that same period of time. “Breast exams/breast care” fell by more than half, from 830,312 in 2009 to 363,803 in 2014 and Pap smear tests dropped nearly two-thirds, from 904,820 to 271,539.
The surprise is not the overall drop off in the number of services – many businesses were struggling in America during that time – but that Planned Parenthood was able to keep its abortion business humming when everything else was in decline.
Lately, Planned Parenthood has not been shy about touting its abortion mission either. A new Washington Post feature of its CEO Cecile Richards began with the headline, “The abortion rights movement is bolder than it’s been in years. That’s Cecile Richards’s plan.”
NARAL’s “Ilyse Hogue was met with cheers in Philadelphia as she told the crowd [at the Democratic National Convention] about the abortion she’d chosen to have because “it was the wrong time” for her to have a child,” the blogger wrote. “… Finally, the nation was put on notice that there’s no shame in terminating a pregnancy regardless of the reason.
“So why, then, is Planned Parenthood’s Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands branch running an advertisement downplaying abortion and featuring all of the other great services their clinics provide?” the blogger continued.
Planned Parenthood knows its market, and it has a lot of money to spend (thanks, in part, to millions our tax dollars) on advertising directed at specific audiences. In political arenas, the abortion giant has been more bold about its abortion focus; but its leaders know that the average American still thinks abortions are morally troubling. Planned Parenthood ads that avoid the word “abortion” are the group’s attempts to hide its true mission from the American public.