In Komen Struggle, Media Ignore Planned Parenthood's Worth a Billion Dollars

Komen's contributions are a drop in the bucket. But it's not about the money.

On learning that Susan G. Komen for the Cure was about to defund Planned Parenthood, both traditional media outlets and leftist media sites exploded with indignant rage. Hysterical bloggers on left-wing websites declared that Komen had joined the GOP “War on Women,” and claimed thousands of women would be harmed or even left to die if Komen stopped funding Planned Parenthood.


Leaving aside the question of the type of “care” Planned Parenthood provides its customers, the group’s own numbers tell a different story – that Planned Parenthood could easily have survived financially without receiving Komen grants.


Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, for the 2010 fiscal year, shows the “reproductive health group” took in $1.048 billion dollars in revenue. The same report shows that Planned Parenthood took in $18.5 million dollars in “excess of revenue over expenses” during the 2010 fiscal year. Planned Parenthood also reported that its net assets totaled $1.0096 billion at the end of the 2010 fiscal year. In other words, Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar “non-profit” that makes millions in profits.


By contrast, the amount of funding Komen provided to Planned Parenthood was comparatively small. Komen provided $680,000 in grants to Planned Parenthood during the 2011 year. In 2010, they provided $580,000 in grants to Planned Parenthood.


Simple math shows that Komen accounted for less than 5 percent of Planned Parenthood’s “excess of revenue over expenses” in 2009-2010. Komen provided less than a tenth of 1 percent (specifically, .055%) of Planned Parenthood’s revenues during the year 2009-2010.


Planned Parenthood isn’t in dire financial straits. On January 24, 2012 – a week before the controversy broke – it was reported by The Real Deal that Planned Parenthood bought a new headquarters in New York City for $34.8 million.


At 2011 funding levels, Susan G. Komen would have needed to have given money to Planned Parenthood for more than 50 years to equal Planned Parenthood’s acquisition of its new headquarters in New York City.


But for all the attention the media gave to Komen’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood, the broadcast networks exhibited a singular lack of curiosity about Planned Parenthood’s own finances. In their coverage of the Komen controversy, none of the big three broadcast networks reported that Planned Parenthood was worth a billion dollars. Not once. Nor, for that matter, did The New York Times and The Washington Post.


Instead, traditional media outlets hyped – and in many cases actively assisted – Planned Parenthood’s efforts to force Komen to reverse its decision.  


Left-wing funded media outlets were far too busy providing a forum for Planned Parenthood leaders and allies to provide their spin on the Komen question to raise serious questions about Planned Parenthood’s financial status. The Huffington Post published an article from Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, with the title “On Planned Parenthood and Women: What You Can Do.” Alternet published multiple articles from Jodi Jacobson, editor-in-chief of the pro-abortion blog RH Reality Check, including one with the hyperbolic title “The Cancerous Politics and Ideology of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”


Good journalists would have actually examined Planned Parenthood’s financial situation before claiming that women’s lives would be put in jeopardy. But it seems that traditional journalists have become more interested in “pro-choice” advocacy than actual reporting when it comes to the issue of abortion.