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OPINION

Planned Parenthood abortions dip below previous years

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Planned Parenthood, the country's leading abortion provider, finally saw a decline in the number of lethal procedures its affiliates performed in a year, according to its latest annual report.
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The new report showed Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) clinics did 329,445 abortions in 2010, which marked a drop of more than 2,000 from the 2009 total of 331,796. Previously, Planned Parenthood's abortion total had increased for 15 consecutive years, according to the National Right to Life Committee.

David Bereit, president of 40 Days for Life, acknowledged in an email to supporters, "hese are not huge declines -- and the abortion numbers still demonstrate a STAGGERING loss of life -- but the tide has begun to turn.

"And these numbers were from BEFORE 2011, a year the abortion chain's president, Cecile Richards, just described to abortion advocates as 'the most difficult year in our history.'"

The PPFA report, which was released Dec. 29, showed other declines that provide hope to pro-life advocates:

-- Total revenue for the 2009-10 fiscal year fell to $1.05 billion from $1.1 billion the previous year.

-- The number of "emergency contraception" kits distributed declined to 1.46 million in 2010 from 1.54 million. Also known as the "morning-after" pill, "emergency contraception" 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.

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PPFA continued to compile a lackluster record on adoption promotion, maintaining a downward path on adoption referrals to other agencies from 4,912 in 2007. Planned Parenthood's affiliates reported only 841 referrals in 2010. Adoption referrals totaled 977 in 2009.

The organization also amassed a large portion of its revenue from taxpayers. Government grants, contracts and reimbursements totaled $487.4 million in 2009-10. That was 46 percent of the abortion giant's total revenue. PPFA reported $363.2 million in government grants and contracts in 2008-09 but did not report the amount of Medicaid reimbursements in that total.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, urged Congress to proceed with an investigation of PPFA that is in its early stages.

"With over a billion in net assets and a business model centered on abortion and government subsidies, it is time for Planned Parenthood to end its reliance on taxpayer dollars," Dannenfelser said in a written statement. "Despite an unprecedented effort by statewide and federal leaders to defund them, a wave of former employees willing to testify against them, and uniform agreement amongst Republican presidential candidates that they should be defunded, Planned Parenthood continues full-steam ahead. They are unwilling to answer to the pro-life American majority that wants out of this business."

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PPFA focused on non-abortion services in a news release accompanying the report's publication. It mentioned its "pregnancy termination services" only once. "STD testing and treatment was the most common service, followed by contraception," Planned Parenthood said in the release.

Tom Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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