A former abortion worker named Shelley Guillory told her story in a webcast sponsored by the group And Then There Were None. And Then There Were None is an organization that reaches out to abortion workers and helps them escape the abortion industry. When a worker leaves, ATTWN gives her financial, legal, and emotional support, as well as a platform if she wants to tell her story.
Guillory worked at the Delta Clinic in Louisiana, a privately owned abortion facility that committed abortions up to 16 weeks. Abortions at this stage are done by D&E, which consists of dilating the cervix and pulling the baby out one body part at a time with forceps, dismembering her while she is still alive:
Below, you can see a picture of an aborted baby’s leg at 16 weeks:
Guillory describes terrible conditions at her facility, which did nothing but abortions. The workers, Guillory says, viewed women in a dehumanizing way:
We didn’t do any of the family planning thing, we didn’t do any of the sex education thing, we performed strict abortions – that was all we were there for. When [they] came to us they were not human. They were just a number. It was get ’em in, get ’em out. We found ourselves doing anywhere from 50 to 75 abortions a day. Now, mind you, there’s only so many hours in a day. Our day was an eight hour day. So imagine getting 75 abortions done in an eight hour day. You can imagine that there was no cleanliness done in between. Basically, the paper was changed, and the next patient was put on there, the canisters were put in. They were rolled in like cattle, abortions performed, then on their way, with a 10 minute observation after [an] abortion was performed.
This reference to women being treated “like cattle” is a familiar one, as even former Planned Parenthood managers like Ramona Trevino and Sue Thayer noted similar treatment of women at their facilities:
It is hard to imagine an abortionist working so fast that he can do 75 abortions in eight hours. The women were rushed through as if on an assembly line. The workers had no time to clean the room or instruments between patients. It is shocking that women were only watched for 10 minutes after their abortions, because complications may not be detected in that short amount of time. This facility risked the lives of every woman who went there for an abortion.
The facility also used a minimum of pain relief, with no general anesthesia, even for late-term abortions:
We didn’t do sedation. There was no sedation done, regardless of how far along, anywhere from eight weeks to 16 weeks. It was all done the same. No medication, nothing. You [lay] there and you took the pain, and that was that.
Because the facility was so crowded, not all the women fit in the waiting room. At times, there would be 50 to 60 women standing in a line, outside. If they were not able to arrange child care, they brought their children. Because all the women were told to come to the facility at the same time, it was not unusual for women to wait for over nine hours. Some waited as long as 14 hours. And during this time, they were not allowed to eat.
Guillory says more about the terrible conditions at Delta:
It was very, very – it was horrendous. I mean, it was filthy. You still had blood splattered from, I mean, weeks of procedures ago that were still on the wall. This building was not cleaned on a daily basis. It wasn’t even cleaned on a monthly basis. Our buildings got cleaned when we knew the state was coming in.
Despite the fact that conditions in the facility were so hellish, the facility never failed a single inspection. This was because they received prior notification of inspections and were given plenty of time to prepare:
And the way we knew the state was coming in was because we always got a phone call from within the State Department that they were coming in, so we knew what day they were coming in, what time they would be there and what charts they wanted pulled. So we never failed an inspection. Although we were, I would say, the most unhealthy place to have a human body have to go through any sort of procedure.
The inspectors never asked too many questions. They were happy to look only at the patient charts the facility gave them to look at. When Abby Johnson asked Guillory if the inspectors ever asked to pull charts at random, or ask to see anything the facility workers didn’t present to them, Guillory said no, and explained why:
Because we always had the same state surveyors that came in. They became our friends. We would feed them lunch. We had social chitchat. We laughed. It was never, ever a question. Never.
Interestingly enough, when Guillory worked at Delta Clinic, it was owned by the same person who owned Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia facility. The owner was not put out of business after the filthy conditions at Gosnell’s facility were brought to light. He is still in the abortion business. Gosnell was arrested and convicted for killing babies that were born alive in his facility. Two women also died at Gosnell’s facility, and conditions there were so horrific that it was called “a baby charnel house” by the Grand Jury that investigated him.
Delta Clinic was shut down after a law was passed in Louisiana saying that abortion doctors could only do abortions if they had admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Since none of Delta’s abortionists had such privileges, the facility was forced to stop doing abortions. The law was meant to protect women who needed to be admitted to the hospital due to complications. However, the Supreme Court declared such laws unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which dealt with a law in Texas that also mandated admitting privileges for abortionists. When the Texas law was struck down, the Louisiana law was also declared invalid. And now, Delta is again free to do abortions.
Delta’s website says:
[A]bortion is one of the safest surgical procedures for women in the United States. Fewer than 0.5% of women obtaining abortions experience a complication, and the risk of death associated with abortion is about one-tenth that associated with childbirth.
But conveniently left out of this statement is the fact that women have died from abortion complications at Delta over the years. Ingar Weber died there in 1990. Sheila Hebert died after an abortion there in 1984. There have also been a number of lawsuits. In one case, a woman sued Delta Clinic because the abortionist lacerated her uterus and failed to remove one of her baby’s legs. Another woman was hospitalized for a week after her abortion and needed a blood transfusion. A third woman was forced to use a colonoscopy bag for eight months due to her botched abortion. One of Delta’s doctors, James Whitmore III, was stripped of his licence in 2002. He injured one woman so badly that she needed a hysterectomy after her abortion. The board also cited him for unsanitary practices, claiming he “used improperly sterilized equipment, reused single-use items, and let tissue float in the sterilizing solution.”
And that’s just at this one facility. Legal abortion still takes lives today — yes, even at Planned Parenthood — though you won’t hear their names on the news: Lakisha Wilson, Keisha Marie Atkins, Cree Irwin-Sheppard, Tonya Reaves, Christin Gilbert, Jennifer Morbelli, Karnamaya Mongar… and the list goes on.