UNSAFE: Former abortion workers say patients were rushed through so fast, instruments weren’t sterilized


An abortionist quoted in the pro-abortion Ms. magazine wrote about how an abortion facility where she worked required her to commit abortions rapidly, one after another. This facility rushed women and allowed them limited time in the recovery room. She writes:

I learned… why one facility was labeled a “mill” by anti-choice activists. I remember driving several hours to the clinic, performing 26 abortions, driving home and falling asleep on my bathroom floor. Staffed by itinerant providers like myself, this clinic was simply too busy to accommodate all of its patients. They had little time to recover after their procedures but had to be moved along to open the procedure room for the next patient.(1)

Other abortion workers have written about similar practices in their own facilities. Former abortion worker Shelley Guillory, who worked at an abortion facility in Louisiana, said women were rushed through the abortion facility because the more abortions they did, the more money they made:

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.

She says this left little time for cleaning:

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.

READ: “Filthy” abortion clinic “treats patients like cattle” according to patient reviews


Another former abortion worker, Hellen Pendley, claimed that in order to do more abortions, they didn’t sterilize instruments in her facility:

If you reuse a vacuum aspiration cannula, you’re going to infect the next person. But when you get busy in a clinic, there is no time to sterilize instruments. I’m sorry. You wash them, you repack them, and you reuse them. And then, when the state comes in to look at your logbook, they have these nice little strips that you just stick on the autoclave and you put a date on there and you put a time, and we stick them in by the handful, and then we take them out and we show that we ran fifteen loads that day. When we didn’t.

Former abortion worker Catherine Adair wrote:

One of my jobs as a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood was to clean the room in between abortions. I clearly remember how quickly we were required to work so that the doctors didn’t have to wait for the next abortion… speed was more important than being thorough. Blood spatter was often on the wall, floor and table when the next woman came in for her abortion. It disgusted me, and I always wondered what the woman coming in thought and if she noticed it. Abortion clinics are ONLY interested in money, they don’t care about the safety and well-being of women.

Another former abortion worker, Kristen Breedlove, wrote:

On a typical day 20 girls were rushed though. It was almost like a factory line. They were just pushed through one at a time. They were given no personal attention …. A good doctor could do a suction abortion in three minutes.

READ: Women call visits to abortion centers ‘humiliating’ and ‘close to rape’

This problem is not limited to American facilities.  An abortion facility in England was cited for paying employees bonuses based on how many women went through with their abortions. This led to the facility rushing women in and out. A report stated:

Staff we spoke with talked about a lack of time and [the] need to keep the appointment on track. One member of staff said about the information provided, “They can’t take it all in, it’s so fast”. This presented a risk that consent was not fully informed.

We observed a member of staff passing the consent form to the patient to read and sign whilst they cleaned the room. There was no opportunity given for discussion or questions ….

One staff member described it as “feeling like a hamster in a wheel” and said the word, “Cattle market” came up quite a lot.

When abortion facilities rush women, they harm them by subjecting them to filthy conditions, reused instruments, and lack of informed consent. This is done because these abortion facilities want to make as much profit as possible.

  1. Anonymous “I Am an Abortion Doctor” June – July 1999

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