I don't know whether this was on purpose on the part of the ISU, but the ending of the boundary between amateur and pro had an element of evening the odds. In countries with subsidized skaters, especially in the days of the Soviet Union, skaters in the U.S.S.R., East Germany, and some other countries were professionals in all but name. Everything was paid for. This is how skaters such as Irina Rodnina, with different partners, and Katarina Witt managed to remain in skating for two or more Olympic cycles while American and Canadian skaters generally retired after just one. I think the average retirement age of an American ladies' singles skater from World War II to the end of the true amateur era was nineteen. They either left skating for a paying job or turned pro so they could earn a living by skating for Ice Capades or Ice Follies. As I say, I don't know whether the ISU would have backed the change of skaters' status for such a reason, but I'm sure the USFSA would have lobbied for it.
ISU's goal to monopolize skating wasn't possible without blurring the line between amateur and professional.
To keep skater's from leaving ISU's competitions money was offered to them. The better the skater the more money it was possible to earn while retaining "amateur" status.
I think the ISU should just let everything be OPEN, especially now with the COP. If you are a pro and want to return to compete at Nationals, ISU Championships (Euro, 4CC, GP, and Worlds), or the Olympics, fine! But you must meet the minimum score to compete.
However, back to the original question-- no, but she didn't help the situation. I think the sagging American economy (less people to come to shows), the post-whack boom in skating, and the high expectations on those who did turn pro kind of did pro skating in. When Lipinski turned pro, many of us die hards knew she wasn't gonna go out there and do the 3R/3R each time. However, a lot of non-die hards expected her to complete the tough elements she had used as an amateur. Just as a lot of fans wanted Ilia to do quad after quad when he turned pro, but of course, when he turned pro, he really wanted to explore skating as a mode of expression.
Perhaps competitions like the "medal winners open" will help breathe new life into pro skating. It won't be what we had in the 90's, but it's better than nothing.