It felt like a victory over Goliath. At the site of a former Planned Parenthood abortion facility, the sign that once stood for the gateway to abortion now laid futile on its side. The killing of innocent lives would no longer take place within these walls. The image of this sign being taken down is an iconic symbol for the progress pro-life efforts are making across the country. In 2013, a record 44 abortion mills have closed. A combination of factors has contributed to the closures: failure to meet health and safety standards; defunding at the state level; declining business and a shortage of abortionists. While these are welcome developments, we must ask ourselves, what is the abortion industry’s next move?
It’s clear that Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion advocates are feeling the pressure. And their response is revealing their true priority—to keep the abortion business going, no matter what. Planned Parenthood has been in the process of instituting an abortion mandate. It would require all affiliates to have at least one facility to perform abortions. Never mind that this runs contradictory to the public face Planned Parenthood tries to maintain as a comprehensive women’s healthcare provider. In fact, affiliates in Texas and New York decided to continue their focus on family planning and other health services, so they publicly disassociated with Planned Parenthood. For example, Planned Parenthood of South Texas rejected the mandate stating, “There are far greater needs in our area than abortion.” Apparently, these needs are of decreasing importance to Planned Parenthood. Their annual report shows that their total healthcare services are at the lowest level since 2006. In the last two years, cancer screenings have fallen 29 percent. Meanwhile, abortions have increased to a record high of 333,964, further proof of where their interests lie.
If overall services are declining and facilities are closing, how is the abortion business growing? The answer is consolidation. Planned Parenthood may portray itself as a benevolent non-profit organization, but the truth is it’s a business. And as any successful company, it has responded to changes in the industry by adapting its business strategy. The focus is on operating efficiently. Rather than having a high quantity of smaller facilities, Planned Parenthood is developing larger, centralized complexes—mega abortion mills. And the over one-half-billion taxpayer dollars it receives are funding these projects.
In 2013, Planned Parenthood closed at least 24 facilities, with nearly 80 percent being offices that don’t provide abortions. This year, the decision was made to close two facilities in Colorado. Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains announced the consolidation, “This has finally led our organization to make difficult, yet strategic decisions.” The closures were offset by the expansion of the Colorado Springs location called, “a new, spacious center with the capacity to serve all (existing) patients and more.”
Planned Parenthood is also more than happy to step in when other abortion mills in the area have closed. In Michigan, Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan spoke out against pro-life laws as the cause of abortion facility closures in their state. Yet, in their statement they assured the public that the local Planned Parenthood facility would continue to provide abortion services. Louisiana is considered the most pro-life state, but Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast plans to counter that. It is currently building a 7,000 square foot abortion facility in New Orleans. It’s anticipated that this location will become a regional abortion center, bringing in women from across the southeast where abortion restrictions are prevalent. Mississippi women will be particularly vulnerable, as the state has only one abortion mill in operation.
The largest model of Planned Parenthood’s strategy is in Houston, Texas inside a massive 78,000 square foot complex. It’s centrally located in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, as this map dramatically shows. These minorities are Planned Parenthood’s most highly targeted demographics. One entire floor is dedicated to aborting babies up to 20 weeks. With the passage of Texas’s recent pro-life legislation, smaller abortion mills are being forced to close, as they cannot afford to adhere to the new standards. Therefore, more business will be fed to this location as it meets the ambulatory surgical center requirements. This tactic is representative of Planned Parenthood’s goal nationally, which Obamacare will richly fund. They’ll continue to adapt to changing conditions and use whatever means necessary to ensure they’re the abortion provider of choice.
We’re entering a new era in the fight for life. Pro-abortion activists can’t ignore what’s taking place. “This kind of change is incredibly dramatic. This change is so different from what’s happened in the past,” said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute. However, it’s important for us to remain vigilant and acknowledge how the opposition is responding to such pressure. We have a responsibility to be prepared, because we know they won’t go down without a fight, and it looks like our largest struggles are still ahead.