Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ‘I’m a Planned Parenthood Baby’

The progressive Congressional Democrat claims ‘prenatal care’ is a top priority for the nation’s largest abortion provider, even though the vast majority of babies whose mothers went to Planned Parenthood are dead.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addresses attendees at SXSW 2019.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addresses attendees at SXSW 2019. (photo: CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., raised some eyebrows last week when she brought up Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider in a hearing, and said “let’s talk about how many lives Planned Parenthood has saved and how many babies have been born because of the prenatal care provided by Planned Parenthood." She continued, “if you’ve never met a Planned Parenthood baby, I’m happy to let you know that I am one and that my mother received and relied on prenatal care from Planned Parenthood when she was pregnant with me.” 

Perhaps one reason many people have “never met a Planned Parenthood baby” is because the majority of preborn babies whose mothers went to Planned Parenthood are dead. According to the abortion provider’s most recent annual report, there were 354,871 abortion procedures and just 8,626 unspecified “prenatal services” between 2019 and 2020, a ratio of 41 to 1. The group’s 2018-2019 annual report featured just 9,798 “prenatal services” and 345,672 abortion procedures. 

Going even further back, Americans United for Life (AUL) noted in their 2015 report “The New Leviathan” that “Planned Parenthood switched, in 2009, from reporting ‘prenatal clients’ to reporting ‘prenatal services’” and estimated “Planned Parenthood reported both 7,021 prenatal clients and 40,489 prenatal services in 2009. That would average to 5.77 services for each pregnant woman. Applying that ratio to its 2013 numbers, PPFA’s 18,684 prenatal services included approximately 3,240 prenatal clients — a more than 80% decline from the 17,610 prenatal clients its clinics saw in 2004.”

 In the 2020 Heritage report “Planned Parenthood by the Numbers,” Melanie Israel, a research associate in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, applied the AUL ratio to Planned Parenthood’s 2018 numbers, showing “Planned Parenthood’s 9,798 prenatal services included roughly 1,700 prenatal clients—a nearly 50 percent decline from AUL’s 2013 estimate and a shocking 90 percent decline from their 2004 calculation.” Meanwhile, abortions at Planned Parenthood have been dramatically increasing, going from 289,750 abortions in 2006 to the 354,871 abortion procedures in the group’s most recent report. 

In 1989, the year Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was born, 111,000 abortions were performed by Planned Parenthood and prenatal care was provided to 3,400 women, according to an image of the 1989 report from the Secular Pro-life Blog that lines up with Congressional testimony from that time period.

Rep. Ocasio Cortez was born just six years before Pamela Maraldo, a nurse, was ousted as Planned Parenthood president in 1995 after two years in the role due to her “emphasis on reshaping Planned Parenthood into a broad health organization that could compete in the era of managed care — a focus that some of the group's affiliates felt would inevitably diminish their role as advocates for abortion rights.”

The abortion group has become even more vocal about how abortion is their primary mission in recent years even as the abortion numbers in their annual reports rise and the amount of other services decline. Dr. Leana Wen was ousted from her role heading the organization in July 2019 because she came to the organization to “advocate for a broad range of public health policies that affect our patients’ health,” but “the new Board leadership has determined that the priority of Planned Parenthood moving forward is to double down on abortion rights advocacy.” 

And while she encouraged people to “listen up” to Rep. Ocasio Cortez’s comments about prenatal care at Planned Parenthood, the current leader of the group, Alexis McGill Johnson, told The Washington Post in December that it’s “actually stigmatizing” to say that abortion is a “small part” of what Planned Parenthood does. “It’s really not a big deal that Planned Parenthood does this,” she said. “We are a proud abortion provider.” 

The 44th Annual March for Life, commemorating the anniversary of the 'Roe v. Wade' with the Supreme Court in the background.

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