Because I work for one of those annoying companies that is always trying to push bundled services, I was really amused that anti-choice bloggers are trying to push the “bundling” sales phenomenon when it comes to Planned Parenthood’s numbers, like counting health services is comparable to your phone and cable provider’s stats.
The 3 percent pie slice in the 2005-06 financial report, representing 264,943 abortion customers served, can only be described as deliberately misleading.
One way Planned Parenthood massages the numbers to make its abortion business look trivial is to unbundle its services for purposes of counting. Those 10.1 million different medical procedures in the last fiscal year, for instance, were administered to only 3 million clients. An abortion is invariably preceded by a pregnancy test–a separate service in Planned Parenthood’s reckoning–and is almost always followed at the organization’s clinics by a “going home” packet of contraceptives, which counts as another separate service. Throw in a pelvic exam and a lab test for STDs–you get the picture. In terms of absolute numbers of clients, one in three visited Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test, and of those, a little under one in three had a Planned Parenthood abortion.
The argument, essentially, is that when PP figures its stats it separates the
sluts women who need pelvic exams or other services from the sluts women who need pelvic exams and an abortion. Say Sally goes in every year for her annual checkup so she can continue getting her birth control prescription filled at PP at a reduced cost. Sally gets a pelvic exam and an STI test, fills her scrip and goes on her way. Every month for the next year Sally returns to refill her birth control prescription and pick up some free cherry-scented condoms (way better than grape). Mary, on the other hand, thinks she might be pregnant, goes in for a pregnancy test, finds out she’s pregnant, and has a pelvic exam and STI test and a counseling session to find out where she goes from here. In the end, Mary chooses to have an abortion, and leaves afterward with a scrip for birth control. Mary doesn’t come back to PP for any further services.* So,
If Sally = A and Mary = B,
A = 1 + 1 + 12 = 14
B = 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 +1 = 6
A + B = 20
Or, by Charlotte Allen’s math,
One slut + one slut = two sluts.
* Is it convenient in my math that Mary doesn’t return to fill her BC prescription? Maybe. But many pregnant teenagers who opt for abortion use PP intermittently for crisis control and not for ongoing services (your humble blogger did the same) and none are less deserving of the services than the others.
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