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A protester at New York's Foley Square on Feb. 26, 2011 opposes funding cuts to Planned Parenthood in the GOP's budget. Dave Bledsoe / Flickr
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Planned Parenthood: ‘We absolutely do celebrate’ higher abortion totals

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Though Planned Parenthood has long claimed abortion is a tiny part of its mission, the president and CEO of one of its affiliates says the organization “absolutely” celebrates when its offices perform more abortions.

Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, wrote a blog post that verified a wide-spread story that the affiliate had given a Colorado office an award for increasing the number of abortions it performed.

A former abortion industry worker took a picture of a special commendation Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains bestowed upon the Aurora, Colorado, office for “exceeding abortion visits first half of fiscal year 2012 compared to first half of fiscal year 2013.” The worker then sent the photo to And Then There Were None, the ministry of former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson.

“Political groups with an extreme agenda took to social media ... to claim they’ve found proof that Planned Parenthood has 'quotas' for how many abortions the organization should provide,” Cowart wrote. “The entire basis of their claim was a photo of a certificate that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains gave to a health center for increasing its abortion services – which these groups blasted as 'sickening' and 'appalling.'”

“Yes, we absolutely do celebrate our progress in ensuring that more people have access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion. And we always will,” she admitted.

“Our mission,” she wrote, is to see its services engaged by “as many people as possible. We aim to expand access to all of our services, and we commend our dedicated, passionate staff when they succeed in reaching more people who need care.”

Instead of addressing pro-life concerns that Planned Parenthood celebrated increased abortion rates, Cowart focused much of her post on Abby Johnson's claim that the industry sets targets or quotas for its offices to meet, including specifying the number of abortions for each office.

“First, and plainly, Planned Parenthood does not have 'quotas' for any of our services,” Cowart wrote. She derided that claim as “baseless,” saying it is “just the latest in a long line of attacks that are really about perpetuating stigma and judgment.” She did not explain how criticizing Planned Parenthood's industry practices would stigmatize the women who chose to patronize it.

There is no doubt abortion is vital to Planned Parenthood's business model. In 2012, Planned Parenthood performed 327,166 abortions while collecting $540.6 million in taxpayer funds at the federal, state, and local level. Abortion makes up an estimated 38.4 percent of the revenues Planned Parenthood derives from its “health centers.”

“Nobody does more than Planned Parenthood to prevent the need for abortion,” Cowart wrote, citing its commitment “to provide sex education and birth control.”

That commitment has come under fire, as Live Action has released undercover video of Planned Parenthood counselors encouraging investigators posing as underage girls to watch pornography and to engage in violence and coprophilia as forms of sexual stimulation.

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