Human Interest

Abortion facility harassed young woman who refused abortion

Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson collected former abortion workers’ stories for her book, The Walls Are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell Their Stories.

In one story, an abortion worker recalls what happened when a young woman came to her abortion facility with a brown paper bag containing pills she ordered online. The young girl (called Melanie in the story) had ordered the pills online, believing they would cause an abortion. The abortion workers immediately told her that it was dangerous to take pills ordered online. Instead, they offered to sell her their own abortion pills. They took Melanie’s money and gave her the pills Mifeprex and Misoprostol which, if taken together, usually cause a woman to abort her child.

Melanie took the abortion facility’s pills and went home, expecting to lose her baby. The abortion worker telling the story describes how happy she was that Melanie was given abortion pills that were “safe.” (Although such pills are not as safe as the abortion industry makes them out to be).  The worker believed that Melanie had been “empowered” by the abortion facility, which had given her the tools to abort her child. They had respected her “right to choose”:

Because women had the right to choose, Melanie was empowered to take charge of her reproductive rights in a safe and responsible manner. The cause I had proudly chosen to champion had protected and served this scared young woman, who obviously wasn’t prepared to shoulder the burden of parenthood.…

I truly felt that I had helped Melanie that day. I was giving her that voice and choice that I had shouted about until my voice was a mere croak. I wasn’t going to let anyone compel her to procreate, and if her rights were under attack, I was going to be one who would stand up and fight back. I was a walking, talking slogan for the abortion industry.

But in a few days, the abortion worker would come to realize that her facility was not there to support women’s choices, but to sell abortions to vulnerable women.

Melanie came back for her follow-up appointment at the abortion facility, and a routine ultrasound was done. The ultrasound showed that her baby was alive and well – the pills had failed to cause an abortion. In clinical trials, out of 1000 women pregnant for 49 days or less, 10 – 13 stayed pregnant after taking abortion pills. In later gestations, those up to 56 days, the number of babies surviving rose to 30 – 50. Melanie was among this small percentage of women.

The trouble began when Melanie told the abortion workers that she had changed her mind and wanted to have her baby. The abortion nurse and other workers began to pressure Melanie, telling her that her baby would be horribly deformed if she did not abort. They insisted she take the pills again. But Melanie refused to take them and left, determined to have her baby. The abortion worker says:

 Melanie hopped off the table, collected her things, and headed for the door. The nurse followed at her heels.

“Hon, if you allow this pregnancy to go to term, the baby will have a lot of problems. It will suffer. You don’t want that, do you?”

“Leave me alone,” Melanie finally muttered before disappearing through the door that led to the waiting room.

The nurse and other abortion workers were angry that Melanie refused an abortion. They had no respect for her “right to choose” to have her baby. The abortion worker telling the story continues:

The nurse’s patronizing tone quickly changed to one of contempt. She slammed Melanie’s chart on the desk and unleashed a chain of expletives. She was accustomed to dealing with numb, compliant women who allowed themselves to be herded along, offering little input or resistance.

Melanie was the subject of ridicule and gossip that day and the following week. Staff chattered about the girl who had walked out against medical advice – the girl who had refused treatment and as a result was going to give birth to a “retarded” and “deformed” baby.

In reality, Melanie’s baby was not at serious risk of health problems. Women on the Web, a pro-abortion group that distributes abortion pills, even concedes that the chances of deformity or disability in a baby who survives the abortion pill is “very small and hardly measurable.” Women on the Web promotes the use of abortion pills and distributes them to thousands of women every year, so they certainly have no pro-life bias.

The abortion facility staff repeatedly called Melanie on the phone, harassing her and trying to get her to come back for an abortion:

Multiple times a day over the next week I overheard the nurse on the phone urging Melanie to come back to the clinic for the procedure. She would rattle off the list of conditions that her child was sure to have, if it managed to make it to full term: mental retardation, severe deformities, fetal demise, etc. I wasn’t sure if she was being truthful or not.

As we have seen, the nurse was not being truthful.

After repeated calls and harassment from the abortion facility, Melanie stopped answering her phone. Finally, tired of the constant phone calls, she had her number changed so the abortion facility could not keep calling her.

The whole episode left the abortion worker disillusioned with the abortion business. She had seen how the facility was not “pro-choice”, but pro-abortion. Though quick to provide Melanie abortion pills, they did not respect Melanie’s choice to have her baby. The only choice they cared about was abortion. The abortion worker says:

If the abortion movement were to stand by its slogans, Melanie had a voice, and she had exercised her freedom of choice. We weren’t trying to force her to procreate. We were doing everything in our power to make sure that she didn’t, regardless of the fact that she clearly and repeatedly indicated to us that she did in fact want to keep her baby. I imagine that Melanie did feel that her rights were under attack. And we were the aggressors. Apparently standing up and fighting back wasn’t her style. More passive in nature, she chose to halt our constant harassment by changing her phone number.

Why were the abortion workers so determined to make Melanie abort her baby? They may have really believed, contrary to studies, that the abortion pill would cause her baby to be deformed. Maybe they were afraid of a lawsuit. Maybe they were determined to get more money. Or maybe they just felt that abortion was the best option for Melanie, despite what she wanted. Regardless of their motives, the abortion facility harassed this young woman until they couldn’t harass her anymore. They tried as hard as they could to bully her into aborting her baby.

Melanie’s experience is more evidence that many abortion facilities are so dedicated to abortion that they are willing to overlook what the woman actually wants. There are countless stories of abortion facilities pressuring and even forcing women to have abortions against their wills. Melanie’s situation may be unique, but the attitude of the abortion workers is not.

The narrator of the story does not know what became of Melanie and her baby. We can only hope she found the support she needed for herself and her child. The fact that she stood up to the abortion facility’s constant bullying shows how dedicated she was to protecting her baby. We can only hope that her dedication to her baby and the inner strength she showed in defying the abortion workers helped her face the future with her child.

Source: Abby Johnson The Walls Are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell Their Stories (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2016) 89 – 92

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