Many former Planned Parenthood workers have come forward saying that, in their experience, Planned Parenthood does not give women who are considering abortion accurate information about abortion’s health risks or about their baby’s development. These former workers say they were required to try to sell as many abortions as possible without regard for the pregnant woman’s welfare (much less that of the preborn child’s).
Live Action recently released a video featuring former Planned Parenthood employees Sue Thayer and Marianne Anderson, who say that Planned Parenthood actually has abortion quotas. They were given incentives to push for an expected number of abortions over a given time frame. Some of these incentives were pizza parties, awards, and lunches out. The video below shows what happens when women call Planned Parenthood to ask about their options:
In The American Feminist, a third Planned Parenthood worker reveals that she was told to sell at least 40 abortions a day. She calls the “counseling” given by Planned Parenthood workers “emotional manipulation.”
The American Feminist article describes how the worker, Annette B, witnessed an interaction between the clinic director and a woman who was unsure about having an abortion:
On many occasions, [Annette] saw women expressing doubts [about abortion], but observed the staff response as uniformly encouraging…. Once, Annette observed the clinic director meeting with a client. To Annette, the woman was asking endless questions and seemed anything but certain about her decision. The patient kept repeating, “I’m really not sure.”
When Annette and the director left the interview room, the director told the staff that the patient was “just fine” and ready to proceed. Annette spoke up and said she didn’t see it that way. … Annette got such heat for speaking up she did not do it again.
She finally asked, in a staff meeting:
“Do I have an abortion quota?” She asked. “Because that’s really what it feels like.”
Her employers first denied there was a “quota.” But as she argued, they admitted that workers were expected to sell 40 abortions a day.
Read more about Annette here.
Other former Planned Parenthood workers have written about how the abortion counseling at their facilities was biased and manipulative.
La Verne Tolbert, a former Planned Parenthood-New York City board member, admits:
[Planned Parenthood facilities] do not present all of the options, side effects, or consequences of having an abortion; … She [the pregnant woman] is assured that the ‘wart, cyst, or tissue,’ is easy to remove… Neither is she warned of the emotional or physical side effects of the procedure.
Planned Parenthood withholds this information from women because they know women are less likely to choose abortion if they know the facts.
Another former Planned Parenthood worker, Catherine Anthony Adair, counseled patients who were about to undergo abortions. By the time the women got to Adair, they had already paid for their abortions. Adair says:
The counseling was not meant to be an opportunity to discuss the woman’s decision to abort. It was merely a pre-operative screening… I never once asked what had led the woman to choose abortion – the attitude was that she was already there so she must be sure.
Legally, Adair had to ask the women if they knew they could carry to term or put the baby up for adoption. But she never elaborated on those options. “[W]e didn’t get into any options counseling,” she says. And neither did the Planned Parenthood employees heard in Live Action’s latest video, despite the fact that their centers claim to offer resources on all options for pregnant women:
Adair says she also never gave women facts about fetal development:
We never discussed fetal development. The baby was referred to as the “contents of the uterus” or a “clump of cells.” On the rare occasion a woman asked about the size of the baby, I would tell her it was about the size of the tip of my pencil, regardless of how many weeks into her pregnancy she was.
Another former Planned Parenthood worker, “Ellen,” says she was reprimanded for giving women information on abortion alternatives. From And Then There Were None:
“Ellen” recalled her time working at Planned Parenthood. Like many others, she felt uncomfortable with her job there, but it paid the bills and offered the benefits she needed. She was hired on as a patient educator and was reprimanded for quietly giving patients information on adoption services and resource centers in the counseling rooms, because she was not pushing the sale of abortion onto women who weren’t sure what they were going to do. “It took a huge physical toll,” Ellen said. “I would always come home from work and cry.”
Lavonne Wilenken, former Planned Parenthood facility worker, describes how Planned Parenthood workers would frighten pregnant teens into having abortions:
The counselor would say to the teenager, “Well, where’s the $250,000 that it takes to raise a child in society today?” And “What are your parents going to say when they find out that you’re pregnant?” And “What is your boyfriend doing? Is he going to help you? Where is he?” and “How are you going to finish your education if you have a baby? Don’t you know you can’t go to school if you have a baby?” Things like that, very subtle things that will push the girl over and make her decide.
Then they sort of do a “Mutt and Jeff” routine. First will come those questions. Next will come the very motherly, the very soothing, “But we can help you. We can help you out of your problem. Your parents don’t have to know. We can help you with the money. You don’t have to have any money and we can help you out of your situation because we know that you don’t want to be pregnant. You just want to be not pregnant and we know that you know that you can’t take care of a baby right now. You know that you’re not ready and we want you to do these things when you’re ready.” So they play on the emotions of the young girl who scared, frightened, doesn’t know where to go, but she’s been told this is the place to go to get help.
During her time at Planned Parenthood, Wilenken even witnessed abortion workers commit an abortion on a 17-year-old girl against her will.
Former Planned Parenthood facility director Abby Johnson says:
When I worked at Planned Parenthood, we had a training program for our “abortion counselors.” It consisted of three main parts.
1. Make sure all forms are signed by the patient to relieve us of any liability.
2. Do not discuss options with women coming in. We are there to affirm their decision to abort, not to confuse them with other options.
3. Do not discuss any emotional or physical risks associated with the abortion procedure. We do not want to “scare them.”
Obviously, these “rules” led to more women having abortions.
These are just a few examples of former Planned Parenthood workers who now admit they were told to lie and manipulate women in order to sell abortions. There are other examples, but this sampling of former Planned Parenthood workers, many of whom had never met each other, tells similar stories about what goes on at Planned Parenthood.
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