By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency     1/9/2020

WASHINGTON D.C. (CNA) — Planned Parenthood released its latest annual report on Monday, showing a continued increase in the number of abortions performed. 

The nation’s largest abortion provider released its 2018-19 annual report on Jan. 6, showing significant increases both in the number of abortions performed and in the amount of government funding it receives. 

According to its latest report, Planned Parenthood affiliates around the country performed 345,672 abortions in the 2018-19 fiscal year ending June 30, a three percent increase from 332,757 abortions in the previous fiscal year.  The organization performed 321,384 abortions in the 2016-17 fiscal year. 

The organization still received $616.8 million in government funding in 2018-19—a rise of more than eight percent from the $563.8 million it received in 2017-18. 

The government funding comes from federal, state and local health grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements. According to the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, the organization’s taxpayer funding has increased nearly 27% since 2010. 

Despite previous House Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, the necessary votes to do so never accumulated in the Senate. The organization and its affiliates receive federal dollars in the form of Medicaid reimbursements. 

According to the Hyde Amendment, federal tax dollars cannot directly pay for elective abortions. And while Planned Parenthood says that it uses no federal dollars for abortion services, critics say that the funding it receives as the nation’s largest abortion provider is fungible—freeing up other resources within the organization for abortions. 

In 2019, the Trump administration finalized the “Protect Life Rule” mandating that recipients of federal Title X family planning funds not be co-located with abortion clinics, and not refer for abortions, in the spirit of the program’s original intent not to fund abortion as a method of family planning. 

Planned Parenthood challenged the rule in court and formally withdrew from the program in August rather than comply with the new rule. 

Adoption referrals by Planned Parenthood dropped by more than 25% for 2017-18 to 2,831. That number went up by 34% in the 2018-19 report to 4,279 adoptions—still only around 1% of the number of abortions performed. 

The organization reported slightly less total revenue in 2018-19 than in the previous fiscal year, but a greater amount of total assets at more than $2.2 billion. 

The report’s release comes just ahead of the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, on Jan. 24. The annual event marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across the country in 1974. Last year, more than 25,000 people attended the march and subsequent rally on the National Mall. 

In 2020, the march is taking place under the theme “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.” The theme was chosen to mark the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States, promoting a pro-life message of “empowerment” of women and taking aim at the false equation of abortion with independence.  

“We need to speak about confusing messages on women,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life told CNA when the 2020 theme was announced in October.  

“Right now, as we know, none of the Democratic candidates are with us on this issue, and even more, they’re wildly out of touch with mainstream America on this issue.” 

“To listen to their many, many, many debates, you come away with a very different understanding about what it means to be pro-woman,” she told CNA.