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Let’s summarize the state of Planned Parenthood, from 2006 to 2013.

The obvious place to start would be how many services they’ve provided, via their annual reports. In handy chart form:

Service 2006 2013 % Change
Contraception 3,989,474 3,577,348 -10.33%
STI Testing 3,018,853 4,470,597 48.09%
Cancer Test/Prevent 2,007,371 935,573 -53.39%
Abortion 289,750 327,653 13.08%
Other Health 1,119,977 1,147,467 2.45%
Other 162,935 131,795 -19.11%

That huge decline in cancer testing and prevention looks fishy. It turns out there’s an easy answer, dating to 2009.

Women in their 40s should stop routinely having annual mammograms and older women should cut back to one scheduled exam every other year, an influential federal task force has concluded, challenging the use of one of the most common medical tests.

In its first reevaluation of breast cancer screening since 2002, the independent government-appointed panel recommended the changes, citing evidence that the potential harm to women having annual exams beginning at age 40 outweighs the benefit.

Testing is harmful? That may sound impossible, but if the prevalence is low while the false positive rate isn’t low enough then, surprisingly, a test can become useless. I’ve explained this effect in the context of terrorism, but if you’d like a more explicit and simplified version I recommend Yudkowsky.

Anyway: this table is a bit misleading, as we don’t have any metric of how big Planned Parenthood has grown over the years. If they’ve expanded, then an uptick in the number of services wouldn’t be much of a surprise. There are three size indicators buried in the reports: total expenses, revenues, and assets. I figure expenses are the best judge, as revenues can include donations as well as payments for services. Assets are probably the least representative, as those are dominated by buildings which float in value with the real estate market.

But just copy-pasting values isn’t good enough. $100 in 2006 dollars was worth $115.55 in 2013, according to this inflation calculator, so we need to adjust all our dollar amounts. On top of that, Planned Parenthood’s fiscal calendar ends on June 30th, yet the service counts in their annual reports follow the calendar year. The best way to handle that is by prorating the values from fiscal 2005 and 2012 with their pairs from 2006 and 2013.

The final result:

Charting Planned Parenthood, for the years 2006 and 2013. Abortion services track the size of PP, cancer screening dropped due to a change in medical guidelines, STI testing is waaaay up, and contraception is slightly down.

Interesting, the number of abortions provided is a close match for PP’s growth. STI testing exploded, which makes sense given the increased prevalence of some STIs. The decrease in contraceptive services may be due to interference from the states.

Note that this isn’t a “pro-choice” examination of Planned Parenthood, it’s just doing a fair analysis of public data. If you want to see the “pro-life” equivalent of the above…

A highly deceptive anti-choice summary of Planned Parenthood for 2006-2013. A 13% increase in abortions became 166%, while a 53% drop in cancer screening became 76%. None of these numbers are given the proper context.This graph is as dishonest as you can get! That 13% increase in abortions has been scaled to visually represent a 166% increase. The horizontal axis has tic marks and the endpoints are connected by lines, making it falsely look like a trend-line. The graph only includes one other service that PP provides, the one with the greatest decline. The viewer is given the impression that cancer screening is representative of non-abortion services, when it isn’t. No attempt is made to explain why cancer screening declined, nor to put the figures in context with PP’s size. The author was clearly looking to lie with numbers, rather than honestly explain.

Time and time again, we find the anti-choice movement is forced to use lies, ignorance, and emotional manipulation merely to tread the cultural waters. It is rotten to the core, and should be vigorously opposed by anyone with a conscious.

[HJH 2015-10-01] This graph is downright comical in context.