Planned Parenthood Combining Affiliates
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2018-06-06

We frequently report news about the closing of Planned Parenthood medical facilities, but we do not talk very often about the closing of Planned Parenthood affiliates.

In the Planned Parenthood world, the national office in New York City is named Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPFA does not operate any medical facilities anywhere in the country. The medical facilities are all operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates. Each affiliate is a separate corporation with its own board of directors, its own CEO, its own medical director, and many high-level executives. In order to use the name Planned Parenthood, the affiliate must be certified by the national office, agree to follow PPFA rules, and pay annual dues to PPFA.

In 1987, Planned Parenthood had 181 affiliates across the country. It began consolidating affiliates to obtain cost savings and to ensure consistent support of its programs. When Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, PPFA had 168 affiliates and it hired Pamela Maraldo to reinvent Planned Parenthood and change it to a full-service healthcare organization. For two years, Maraldo tried to put such a plan in place but was met by fierce opposition from a large number of affiliates. They didn’t want to change from a contraceptive/abortion-only business.

After abandoning Maraldo’s reinvention plan, Planned Parenthood made a concerted effort to reduce the number of affiliates. By 2000, it was down to 127. Ten years later (2010), the number was just 86. 

As Planned Parenthood was forced to close medical facilities due to massive pro-life focus on its operations, the number of affiliates continued to drop and stood at 56 at the end of 2017. Some of those affiliate closings were driven by the fact that Planned Parenthood now requires every affiliate to perform abortions in at least one of its medical facilities.

Affiliate mergers occur throughout the year, but May and June are especially active months. In June, Planned Parenthood Federation of America is getting ready for its next fiscal year. PPFA operates on a fiscal year that begins on July 1 of one year and ends on June 30 of the following year. It is not unusual for Planned Parenthood to make organizational changes as it prepares for the next fiscal year.

Last year, PPFA’s affiliates closed a large number of its clinics in June. This year it is merging affiliates. In the last few weeks, PPFA announced two such mergers:

  1. Planned Parenthood Heartland and Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota merged to become Planned Parenthood North Central States.
  2. Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region and Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee merged to become Planned Parenthood Tennessee and North Mississippi

Thus, as we write this, Planned Parenthood is now down to 54 affiliates—a 70 percent decline since 1987 and a 57 percent decline in this century. You will recall that this decline in affiliates was also accompanied by a 37 percent decline in medical facilities (from 938 in 1995 to 595 in 2017). All of these numbers confirm what pro-lifers across America have reported.

Planned Parenthood continues to shrink as the pro-life movement increases pressure on its operations. Congratulations to all organizations fighting Planned Parenthood. You are winning!