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Funding Criticized As Planned Parenthood Services, Patients Drop

Supporters of Planned Parenthood gather at a rally on Feb. 11, 2017.

Photo: Lauren Chapman (IPB News)

Supporters of Planned Parenthood gather at a rally on Feb. 11, 2017.

An anti-abortion group is criticizing a decline in Planned Parenthood’s services and clients over the last decade. The attack comes as the number of abortions increased slightly.

The number of patients at Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is down about 50 percent since 2007. The organization went from 35 clinics to 17 in that time.

Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter says that’s proof the organization is failing.

“When we look at their own numbers and see services dropping in every single category across the board except for one and that is abortion, it makes it clear that that is core to their business model,” Fichter says.

The number of abortions performed in Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics is up by about 5 percent since 2007 but the number of total abortions in the state has been dropping since 2010.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Ali Slocum points to a significant change as cause for its patient decline.

“When emergency contraception went over the counter regardless of age, it meant fewer unintended pregnancies and thus fewer abortions and that meant fewer patients were coming through Planned Parenthood doors,” says Slocum.

Slocum attributes a dramatic drop in the number of Pap tests to new recommendations to have the test every three years instead of every year. She also add there have been major advances in contraception since 2007.

“Long acting reversible contraception has been a meaningful addition to contraception options for our patients, and that also means fewer patients through our doors,” Slocum says.

Fichter says its review of Planned Parenthood’s reports plays into the national debate to defund the organization.

“It’s hard for an organization to come forward with hat in hand and say they need millions of taxpayer dollars when they have $16 million in revenue while their services are going down at the same time,” says Fichter.

Planned Parenthood is in danger of being defunded for a year under health reform bills being considered in Congress.

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