I am grateful for a very insightful comment on yesterday’s post.
Ed commented, “Would PHCs located in certain difficult neighborhoods, cities or even cultures be at a disadvantage if the Cost-Per-Life-Saved metric became ubiquitous and became the sole (emphasis mine) measure of success?”
This is a great observation (thank you Ed!).
I believe that if a pro-life investor’s only criteria for investment was lowest Cost-Per-Life-Saved, then the scenario of under-investment in difficult neighborhoods, cities or cultures would be likely.
At a macro level, the result would be over-investment in markets that were more competitively favorable to pro-life PHCs. (Think areas that traditionally lean politically right)
Those PHCs would have “too much” capital, and would likely use that excess capital on activities that provided little, zero, (or even negative?) marginal return on investment.
Starved for Capital
Even worse, however, is that there would be under-investment in competitively difficult markets where Planned Parenthood has established a very strong brand presence in the hearts and minds of young women. (Think areas that traditionally lean politically left)
The reason why under-investment in competitively challenging markets is a bigger problem is because, in aggregate, the majority of abortions nationwide take place in those difficult markets.
Therefore, if the Pro-Life Business Industry wants to win the market share battle against Planned Parenthood and the Abortion Industry, at the national level, I believe the majority of pro-life investment capital would need to flow into the cities where Planned Parenthood is strongest.
That’s an economics argument though, and not necessarily how real business works.
I could also see an argument for building a strong, proven business model in the more competitively favorable cities first, and then expanding that model into the more difficult markets – knowing that the CPLS would be higher, at least until PHCs in those markets became more competitive.
Even then, there still might be a gap in CPLS between the competitively easier markets and more difficult markets, but perhaps that gap would shrink in real dollar terms over time.
What Will Investors Do?
My educated guess is that there are many pro-life investors who would not make low Cost-Per-Life-Saved (CPLS) their sole investment criteria.
I have some experience with this in my work with benefactors who invest in Heroic Media, where I serve as COO.
True, there are some benefactors who instruct us to use their investments in markets where their money can “save the greatest number of babies from abortion.”
However, there are also quite a few benefactors who want their investments to be used exclusively in the communities where they currently reside, irrespective of comparatively lower CPLS numbers in other markets.
Similar to how citizens of New York City know that they will pay higher prices for goods and services compared to prices in say, Austin, TX, where I live, knowledgeable pro-life investors in New York City who want their investments to “stay at home,” so to speak, would likely expect that, all things being equal, the CPLS for the PHC in their local market would be higher than the CPLS of PHCs in less competitively challenging markets.
And I think they would be OK with that, as long as the local PHC they supported was showing measurable progress over time, as measured by market share, against Planned Parenthood.