That’s the number of men and women Planned Parenthood of Illinois says have used their services in the past year, according to their recent annual report.
Let’s put this number in perspective:
In Illinois, there are about 2.6 million women of childbearing age, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood. If Planned Parenthood served 60,000 women in 2015, this means that less than 2.3% of Illinois women use Planned Parenthood’s services, and nearly 98% of women in our state receive their health care elsewhere. As a matter of fact, for every Planned Parenthood clinic in Illinois, there are 41 other clinics where men and women can receive the same healthcare services Planned Parenthood offers, and they don’t do abortions. .
Over the past six years, Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ patient visits have been drastically declining. As documented in their annual report, the number of patient visits per year, from 2009 to 2015, has dropped by 71,955.
Furthermore, in 2009, Planned Parenthood operated a total of 19 centers in Illinois. By the next year, they were down to 17 clinics, closing one in Schaumburg and another in Clinton. In 2016, the clinic in Effingham, IL also closed, bringing the final number to 16 clinics.
So how is Planned Parenthood coping with this downward trend in Illinois?
In their 2015 annual report, Planned Parenthood specifically outlines its efforts to expand and combat this downhill spiral. One significant action they took was the introduction of medication abortions, or the abortion pill, at their clinic in Decatur, IL (at which they were previously not offered).
In addition to this, Planned Parenthood states that it has also increased the gestational age limit of the babies they will abort from 17 weeks 6 days to 19 weeks and 6 days gestation. At Planned Parenthood, a medication abortion (RU-486), or the abortion pill, can cost up to $800, and a surgical abortion can cost up to $1,500.
Overall, if we compare the average cost (to taxpayers or the patient) of one patient visit to an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic over a range of six years, we see a startling increase. In 2009, one patient visit to an Illinois Planned averaged $95. In 2015, the average cost had risen to $153.
It’s seems that Planned Parenthood is increasing costs on women and adding more abortion services, in order to counteract their decline in patients. At the same time, however, abortion numbers are dropping in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health released statistics for 2014 showing abortions in the state reached their lowest level since the legalization of abortion in 1973.
Planned Parenthood trumpets that it is a leading provider of health care for women and men, but the numbers simply tell a different story. Fewer and fewer women and men are frequenting clinics in Illinois. Evidently, it seems that Planned Parenthood’s business and popularity among Illinoisans may be heading in a different direction. They are not anywhere close to the “leading” health care provider in Illinois.