Here is a remarkable study in contrast.
Last Thursday, while the Family Policy Council of West Virginia was ushering representatives from Pregnancy Care Centers (PCC) across West Virginia onto the floor of the West Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate, Planned Parenthood was about 1.5 miles uptown protesting the U.S. House of Representatives’ move to defund Planned Parenthood.
Downtown, 134 lawmakers took the time to affirm the life-saving, women’s health-loving, family-supporting work of the thousands of staff and volunteers who support their local PCC (maybe you call them Crisis Pregnancy Centers).
Uptown, supporters of an unfettered abortion industry dodged the rain and the use of the word “abortion” except to point out how mean “anti-abortion” people were and how Planned Parenthood – who performed more than 330,000 abortions in 2009 – does not use Federal Funding to perform abortions (note how they never deny doing them, just not using your tax dollars to do it).
I feel sorry for PP, what with all the scandal and proposed cuts in funding! So, I’m offering them some advice to help them tighten their budgetary belts and, while I’m at it, put a few fallacies to rest. So, here’s what I might tell Planned Parenthood if I were their budget analyst:
First, don’t miss the forest for the trees. You’re still a money-maker, baby. Let’s assume the PP execs are right and you don’t use the $363 million, a subsidy you receive annually, to perform abortions. That leaves $800 million (approximately) leftover for you to be able to provide your self-styled, “life-saving” family planning services. Look, I don’t mean to say that it won’t hurt to lose $363 million of my $1.1 billion annual budget. But, I think I might be able to trim a few things to make it work. Don’t you? But, seriously, you still have $800 million annually! You can assemble a dream team or film the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy – TWICE every year - with that kind of cash!!
Second, sell more product, trim the fat. If, as you tend to argue, you would like to make abortion “safe and rare,” then what’s the problem? This should be a blessing in disguise for you! Less money = abortions are more rare + abortion still legal = you’re happy, right?
But, then again, if I were looking to trim areas of my budget, perhaps I’d start with the most cost-intensive portion: salary for abortionists and anesthesiologists, medical equipment rental, etc. The average cost for an abortion is $468. Multiply that times 330,000, and we’re looking at real money (I’ll do the math for you, it’s: $154,440,000). But, if you insist on performing abortions, ok, do more of them – they just won’t become rare. But, abortion is your product, so sell more. You see, your problem is that business for you is down and you have a whole warehouse full of product that you just can’t move. Well, it’s a bummer for your bottom line, but it’s a wonderful thing for babies.
If you can’t move your product, then do with less. Trim abortions . . . er . . . product sales by half each year, and you have an immediate savings (in the 10-figure range) by simply allowing children to be born. Indocrinate . . . er . . . Teach them correctly and, in about 20 years, they’ll start paying back on your investment.
Plus, I would wager about 1/3 (if not more) of your budget, PP, goes to salaries and facilities. Close down a few abortion mills . . . er . . . clinics, trim Cecile Richards’ $385,163 salary (and, while we’re at it, cut the position of “VP for Contraceptive Enterprise.” What kind of position is that anyway?), and force a pay cut across the board. . . er . . . utilize your legions of volunteers more heavily, and you’re realizing some huge savings.
That doesn’t even begin to touch the sensible earnings you should be making off of the multi-million dollar trusts and other investments they should have made by now. Or, did you leverage your entire stock against increasing the number of abortions? Hmmm. Better get your marketing team on the phone. Sounds like your “safe and rare” message isn’t matching reality in the board room.
Third, come up with better ways to disguise your shell game. Ok, perhaps you don’t use our tax dollars to directly fund abortion services, but the American people aren’t buying it! You do, for now, now have a $363 million cushion with which to provide abortions to the women upon which you prey . . . er . . . to whom you market your services. In other words, I know you have made your budgetary decisions I referenced in the first point, but I know you want to perform abortions.
Here’s the thing, though: they are crazy expensive! So, keep backfilling your budget for “family planning” and “woman’s health” and other innocuous – even good - sounding services that the Feds will pay for so that you can use donor-raised funds to pay for early, mid, and, as we are learning, even late-term abortions.
Fourth, don’t ever actually start performing mammograms. I know, I know. The Komen Foundation has bought into the myth that you actually perform mammograms, but we all know now that you actually just refer them out (by the way, is there a fee for that? If so, stop!).
Meanwhile, there are thousands (literally) of other clinics – free ones – across this country who provide this service, without the morally messy and (as we’ve already seen) expensive abortion baggage. Look, mammograms are important – my mother is a breast cancer survivor! But, these things are not cheap! You’re already paying anesthesiologists and OB/GYN docs the big bucks to sell your product . . . er . . . perform your abortions, don’t start paying radiologists to analyze the images gathered from those pricey mammography machines.
While you’re at it, you might emphasize teaching abstinence over passing out free condoms. Look, I know you’re getting a great deal with those condoms, right? I mean, I hope you’re not paying store prices for those things! You hand out millions for free (hint: potential revenue stream!). If you’re smart, you’ll hand out the really, really cheap ones so that if . . . er . . . when they fail, the young men and women you’ve groomed to be your clients reached out to will come right back to you for backup birth control an abortion. (Remember, that’s your moneymaker!)
Fifth – and this is the most important one of them all so I’m going to really emphasize it here – RAISE YOUR OWN MONEY!! Is is this too much to ask? I know you just recently lost a big one in Justin Bieber, but, for pity sake, ask for a small share in the next Sex in the City movie or give Gwyneth Paltrow another call and ask her to lean on some more of her Hollywood starlets again. It looks like you’re off to a good start there, but that’s a gold mine for you.
Plus, and let’s be honest here, if abortion is as great as you say it is, if your product is as effective as you think it is, if your “family planning services” really are that fantastic, then this should be an easy sell. After all, this is America, the land of opportunity a place where, if you have the right message and the right product, you can make a killing (not pun intended). Look, if Vic and ShamWow can do it, so can you!
Or, maybe, just maybe, there’s something you’re not telling us here. Are you losing market share because the generation you expected to be the most ingrained in your thinking isn’t as dedicated to your product of abortion on demand as you predicted?
Well, in that case, may I suggest you diversify?
About Jeremy Dys
Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.