On June 24 Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced yet another merger, this one with Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.

A month ago PP Heartland announced it was merging with Planned Parenthood of Southeast Iowa.

When these merges are complete, PP Heartland will have “approximately 30 health centers located throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma,” according to its press release.

Planned Parenthood mergers are becoming more commonplace. PP Heartland is itself a merge less than 2 years old between Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa and Planned Parenthood of Nebraska/Council Bluffs.

In 2008 all 5 Illinois Planned Parenthood affiliates merged into one: Planned Parenthood of Illinois. At that time National Right to Life reported this was “only one of several recent consolidations among Planned Parenthood affiliates in Kentucky, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Arizona.”

I spoke with Jim Sedlak of American Life League today, which also runs the Planned Parenthood watchdog group STOPP.

Jim gave some interesting figures.

At its height in 1978, Planned Parenthood had 191 affiliates. After the 2 PP Heartland mergers it will be down to 82.

The number of Planned Parenthood clinics has likewise declined. In 1995 they peaked at 938, this after Planned Parenthood announced in 1993, when Bill and Hillary were attempting to pass nationalized healthcare, a goal of having “2,000 clinics by the year 2000.”  Today there are 797.

This is not to say Planned Parenthood is itself in decline.  It has reported an annual income of $1+ billion for its last 3 annual reports, since fiscal year 2005-06.

Sedlak and STOPP are able to get inside information. He told me PP recognized during the Bill/Hillary healthcare years it had a problem. At that time PP had affiliates of all sizes, taking in from $1 million to $20 million annually. Getting the small affiliates to agree with the large affiliates was difficult.

As described in an interesting 1995 New York Times article, the affiliates disagreed on then-PP President Pamela Maraldo’s plan to “‘reinvent’ Planned Parenthood” to provide broader healthcare. Sedlak said the smaller affiliates didn’t want anything to do with the new plan, while the larger affiliates jumped on it. Ultimately the plan failed and Maraldo resigned.

Sedlak told me PP initiated a concerted effort about 5 years ago to merge affiliates bringing in less than $2 million a year with other affiliates to get to a combined income of over $8 million, this to establish homogenous affiliates so that decisions would be more uniform across the organization.

Combining affiliates also means paying fewer CEOs, CFOs, and fewer medical directors, the latter of which are becoming harder and harder to come by.

At present the largest PP affiliate is Mar Monte of California, with an annual income of $84, Sedlak told me.

Bottom line: PP is simply getting leaner, and of course, meaner.

That 1995 NYT article let me know some things stay the same. Here’s the opening line:

  At a time when both abortion rights and Federal financing of family planning are under attack in Congress, Planned Parenthood, which has long led the fight for both, is in upheaval.

That could have been written today.

[HT for PP Heartland merger: Steve Brody of Dubuque County Right to Life]

Reprinted with permission from


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