Yesterday Planned Parenthood wished itself a Happy 97th Birthday. Its Facebook page and Twitter feed featured the image of a single candle, atop a frosted and sprinkled cupcake, with the following words: “97 years ago the first Planned Parenthood clinic opened in Brooklyn,New York. Today, we celebrate the 3 million patients that come to us every year for high-quality, affordable health care.”

The American Life League took the meme head-on, with a counter-candle and a counterfactual of its own: “Planned Parenthood is celebrating its 97th birthday. But the 6,300,000 babies aborted in its facilities won’t even have one.”

Predictably, Twitter lit up in loud, 140-character disagreements on the subject. Such disagreement isn’t surprising. Our nation remains deeply divided on the merits of the Planned Parenthood business, but there’s quite a bit going on below the frosting-fight.

So, before you take a bite out of that cupcake, or even fling frosting at “the other side,” here are a few things to consider about Planned Parenthood:

  • “Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of sex education. It uses millions of taxpayer dollars to create explicit books, videos, social media pages, curriculum and campaigns that promote sexual experimentation which leads to an increased need for contraception and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment.” (Source: Alliance Defending Freedom)
  • “[I]n 2010 Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed 329,445 abortions. In 2009, the number of abortions was 332,278 and in 2008 the number was 324,008. The Guttmacher Institute (originally founded to be the research arm of Planned Parenthood but later becoming an independent body) reports that the total number of abortions in the United States in 2008 was 1,210,000. Therefore in 2008, PPFA provided approximately 27 percent of abortions in the United States.” (Source: America’s Abortion Provider: What Everyone Should Know About Planned Parenthood)
  • “According to estimates, a first trimester non-subsidized abortion costs approximately $550. As reported in their 2010 annual report, Planned Parenthood performed 329,445 abortions, yielding approximately $181,000,000 in revenue—solely from abortions performed that year. In contrast, Planned Parenthood made 841 adoption referrals in 2010… In the annual report for fiscal year 2010, the organization claimed an excess of revenue over expenses of 18.5 million dollars… PPFA’s 2010 annual report indicates that it received approximately 46 percent of its income from federal, state and local government grants and contracts. In other words, taxpayer dollars fund nearly half of PPFA’s budget. In 2010, $487,400,000 was paid to PPFA by the government. Another $233,800,000 of PPFA’s budget came from contributions and gifts.” (Source: America’s Abortion Provider: What Everyone Should Know About Planned Parenthood)
  • “Planned Parenthood keeps medical standards low to keep overhead low. This puts women at risk. Hundreds of medical complaints have been filed against the organization, and many women have suffered botched abortions or died because of their practices. Medical citations include: non-medical personnel performing medical functions, failing to disinfect and remove blood stains from tables between abortions, using abortion pills after their expiration date, reusing unsanitary sponges to clean instruments, allowing fetal matter and frozen blood to build up on freezers.” (Source: Alliance Defending Freedom)

That is just the beginning. We haven’t even begun to discuss the psychological, emotional, and physical trauma that many a woman faces after trusting Planned Parenthood with the life-altering decision to abort her child.

There is a better way to help women. “A Passion to Serve” illustrates that reality.

If you, or someone you know, are facing a difficult, unexpected pregnancy, there are thousands of people who are prepared to help you. People are reading and waiting to take your phone call.

Don’t get fooled by the pretty little cupcake. There’s so much hiding under the frosting.