As dozens of its clinics closed amid a dwindling U.S. abortion rate, Planned Parenthood has moved to diversify its business model by getting into transgender hormone therapy.
The 2016-17 Planned Parenthood annual report showed the nation’s largest abortion provider struggling to keep its doors open as fewer women undergo abortions and patients seek health care services elsewhere.
In response, “We’re expanding access to care — from pioneering research on self-injectable birth control to offering new services for our transgender patients,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in the report’s introductory message.
“Planned Parenthood has focused on expanding services to people who are too often overlooked by the larger medical community — including trans patients,” says the report, released Sunday. “17 states now have Planned Parenthood health centers that provide hormone therapy.”
Providing sex-change therapy may not be enough to reverse Planned Parenthood’s ongoing skid — a 2016 UCLA study found just 0.6 percent of the U.S. adult population identified as transgender — but it offers an opportunity to develop a new client base as women continue to stay away in droves.
The 101-year-old organization’s decline continued last year: Planned Parenthood recorded 2.4 million patients, down slightly from the “more than 2.4 million” in 2016 and a 20 percent decrease from 2010, when the Planned Parenthood boasted 3 million patients.
At the same time, Planned Parenthood lost a whopping $43.4 million in “assets,” including properties, as affiliates shuttered at least 33 clinics, most recently the Dec. 29 closure of a clinic in Iowa’s Quad Cities region.