WASHINGTON (BP)--Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the country's No. 1 abortion provider, recently reported its affiliates performed 332,278 of the procedures in 2009, marking an increase of 8,270 abortions from 2008.

The total includes procedures performed by surgical means in its clinics as well as those done by use of the abortion pill RU 486.

It is the 15th consecutive year Planned Parenthood's abortion total has increased, according to the National Right to Life Committee.

Planned Parenthood may be responsible for far more abortions, though, because its affiliates distributed 1.5 million "emergency contraception" kits in 2009. "Emergency contraception," also known as the "morning-after" pill, works to restrict ovulation in a woman, but it also can act after conception, thereby causing an abortion. This mechanism of the drug blocks implantation of a tiny embryo in the uterine wall.

While abortions continued to increase at Planned Parenthood affiliates, adoption referrals continued to decline. Planned Parenthood reported only 977 referrals in 2009. It made 2,405 referrals in 2008 and 4,912 in 2007.

Though Planned Parenthood protests that abortion "is only a small part of its services," in the last 15 years "it has gone from committing 9.3 percent of all abortions in the United States to committing 27.5 percent," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League.

Planned Parenthood has grown its abortion business while receiving more and more funds from federal, state and local governments. It was the beneficiary of $363.2 million in government grants and contracts in the 2008-09 fiscal year, which was $13.6 million more than in 2007-08. Planned Parenthood's total revenue in 2008-09 was $1.1 billion.

The House of Representatives voted Feb. 18 to eliminate all federal funding of Planned Parenthood in legislation to provide funds for the U.S. government through September. The Senate, though, is not expected to support the measure.

Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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