Guttmacher joins NAF and Planned Parenthood in failure to protect women from abuse


On June 22, 2018, The Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, announced the termination of their Vice President of Domestic Research, Dr. Lawrence B. Finer for allegations of “inappropriate sexual behavior” toward current and former Institute employees.

Finer is well-known in contraception and abortion research and had been with The Guttmacher Institute since 1998. He had received numerous honors in the field, including an Ortho-McNeil Best Scientific Paper Award from the National Abortion Federation. Guttmacher Institute Board Chair Mary Shallenberger and President and CEO Ann Starrs said in a joint statement:

On June 15, we received an anonymous report of sexual harassment against Dr. Finer via a member of our Board of Directors. Dr. Finer was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a comprehensive investigation. Based on what the investigation has uncovered, we terminated his employment on June 22. There were rumors of inappropriate conduct, and a formal, separate complaint was made against this individual earlier this year. While we believed at the time that we had resolved the complaint adequately, we now know that the actions we took were not nearly enough to address the problem.

Guttmacher’s decision not to act more quickly after the initial complaint is questionable; in an email to Rewire.News, one alleged victim accused Guttmacher of only firing Finer once they knew that staff members were going to go to the media. She wrote, “Staff feel that leadership acted quickly in firing Larry Finer only after they knew it was likely to go public.”

Rewire.News has also stated that four different women, who wish to remain anonymous out of fear for the safety of their careers, had contacted them regarding abuse by Finer:

Two of the women described being “groomed” by Finer for sexual relationships, and referred to his behavior generally as inappropriate and “creepy.” One woman said colleagues told her Finer was known for going after younger women “at work and at conferences” and was well known in the field for focusing attention on younger women just starting out in their careers: flattering, pursuing, and eventually seeking intimate relationships with them.

Starrs and Shallenberger concluded their statement by saying, “Our goal is to do right by the victims of this behavior and to restore the trust of our staff, our donors, our colleagues and all those who rely on Guttmacher’s work.”

Guttmacher’s work, however, involves advancing abortion, which is not only an attack on preborn children but also an attack on the women who suffer years of emotional turmoil at the hands of the abortion industry. Women who abort say that they felt they had no other choice, and studies show that after abortion, women are at greater risk for depression, drug abuse, and suicide.

Image: Denise told Planned Parenthood she was raped and they did NOTHING (Image credit: Live Action Twitter page)

Denise told Planned Parenthood she was raped and they did NOTHING (Image credit: Live Action Twitter page)

Unfortunately, The Guttmacher Institute is just the latest abortion-related organization to deal with problems of internal inappropriate sexual behavior. On June 22, Live Action published an article highlighting the long-term sexual harassment, racism, and verbal abuse occurring within the National Abortion Federation. Employees of NAF wrote the following online about working at the organization:

  • Poor management who care nothing about the employees. […] CEO yells and cursing at staff because she can. […] Lawsuit waiting to happen.
  • If you’re protecting verbally abusive, racists, and sexual harassers at a ‘feminist organization’, clearly your priorities are not straight and NAF would be better off without you.

In addition, former NAF staff member Katherine O’Connell told Rewire that NAF’s head of security Mark Mellor would “leer at hotline staff and other staff members.” What made her the most uncomfortable, however, “were the unwanted glances and touches she received from Mellor on a regular basis. She said he would routinely look her up and down, and occasionally run his hands down her back or place them on her waist.”

O’Connell said she went to NAF’s general counsel about the situation but was told “the matter was being handled internally.” Her concerns, however, were never addressed. Other employees called Mellor’s behavior “creepy,” “extremely inappropriate,” “extremely unprofessional,” and “deeply inappropriate.”


America’s abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, has recently come under fire from Congress for its participation in covering up the sexual abuse of its patients. Live Action’s Aiding Abusers docuseries exposes Planned Parenthood’s decades-long habit of aiding sexual predators by coaching them on how to get away with their crimes, refusing to report suspected or even known cases of rape and incest because it wasn’t worth the hassle, and allowing victims as young as 12 years old to go home with their abusers after Planned Parenthood made money off of their abortions.

One victim, Denise Fairbanks, was raped by her father for years, beginning when she was 13. When she became pregnant by him at age 16, he took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. Denise told the staff there that her father was raping her, but they failed to report the abuse. They committed the abortion and returned Denise to her abuser. He continued to rape her for another year until Denise confided in a coach who contacted police.

“Somewhere there’s a young innocent girl – barely a teenager. And right now, she’s suffering from the horrors of sexual abuse… Like I was,” said Denise. “And she may be taken to a Planned Parenthood. Like I was.”

In addition to victim testimonies, there are court documents and police reports as well as undercover videos, all pointing to the same conclusion: Planned Parenthood has a history of failing to report sexual abuse as required by law.

As more women come forward with stories of sexual abuse and inappropriate behavior inside the abortion industry, major media outlets may have to break their silence on these horrific cases of abuse, expose the industry’s secrets, and save other girls and women from suffering the same fates.

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