The 3% Deception

Planned Parenthood’s 3% Deception


How the nation’s largest abortion chain uses a misleading figure
to distract the public from the staggering number of abortions it performs.


A claim repeated by Planned Parenthood is that abortion makes up “only 3%” of Planned Parenthood’s “services.” But they count everything given to, or done to, a given patient as a separate “service.”

For example: a pregnant woman who enters a Planned Parenthood clinic for an abortion may also receive a pregnancy test, STD screening, birth control pills, and other “services” that may be required for the abortion itself. Each of these counts as a “service.” In this scenario, a woman who walks in for an abortion receives not one, but four or more “services.”

The 3% figure is often used to hide the fact that abortion is a huge profit center for Planned Parenthood. At an average rate for a standard surgical abortion performed at 10 weeks (and it is no secret that they advertise and perform more expensive chemical and later surgical abortions), the 327,653 abortions it performed in 2013 represented an income of at least $147,771,503, which is far more than 3% of their reported annual income of $1,303,400,000.


Although abortions in the U.S. have declined since 1990, the percentage of abortions for which Planned Parenthood is responsible has steadily increased from 8% in 1990 to more than 30% today. Planned Parenthood is now responsible for nearly 1/3 of all abortions in the U.S.

If you look at services that could only be provided to pregnant women at Planned Parenthood, you see another picture. In 2013, abortions at Planned Parenthood outnumbered adoption referrals 174 to 1.


The bottom line is that the 3% figure is purposefully misleading. A much more instructive measure is to look at the numbers of clients, rather than the number of “services.” Based on data from their own annual report from 2013-2014, nearly one in eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion.


It is no wonder that Slate Senior Editor Rachel Larimore referred to the 3% figure as “meaningless – to the point of being downright silly…”