Planned Parenthood Expands to Malls, Suburbia

Planned Parenthood has made measures to increasingly expand its facilities from its mostly trademark low-income neighborhood locations into suburbia, where the group hopes to target upper- to middle-class women with a series of convenient "express centers" and mall locations.

Leslie Durgin, a senior vice president at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said that the new express centers, which include such items as jewelry and books along with its standard array of contraceptives, represent a new look for the pro-choice organization.

"It is indeed a new look ... a new branding, if you will," she told The Wall Street Journal.

Even as Planned Parenthood representatives celebrate the new "contemporary, fun and lively look" of their new suburban expansion, pro-life advocates say that the recent move by the leading abortion provider is less about a genuine desire to "service" middle-class women than capitalizing on its profits through those who can pay the non-federally subsidized full price for an abortion.

"This is about revenue and profit, market growth and competition," wrote Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a preeminent evangelical leader, on his blog.

"It is a horrifying glimpse into the cold hard reality of what stands behind the abortion movement in general and Planned Parenthood in particular – the ideology of death and the love of money. Can we imagine a more lethal combination?" he added.

Jim Sedlak, vice president of the American Life League, said that the recent expansion by Planned Parenthood and its record $1 billion in annual profits last year should raise attention among pro-life groups for the need to oppose the over $300 million in tax payer funding the group receives every year.

"Why are we giving them so much money?" he asked.

Claire Keyes, an independent abortion center owner in Pennsylvania, claims Planned Parenthood's new business move may make it harder for poor women to get abortions.

"They've made a decision to go after the young and the hip and the affluent, and they're leaving poor women behind," she told the Journal.

While Planned Parenthood representatives argue repeatedly for the need to expand and effectively serve its role as "the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider," Mohler concluded on his blog that the nature of Planned Parenthood would always remain the same.

"Planned Parenthood may soon be coming to a mall near you, but no matter how much they want to burnish their image and go 'upscale,' their business remains death on demand. The Culture of Death creeps on – mile by mile, mall by mall," he said.

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