Analysis

‘I was no different than a slave trader’: Former Planned Parenthood worker says abortion was pushed on minorities

In 2016, The American Feminist published an article profiling former abortion workers. One worker, named Rhyan, worked at Planned Parenthood for four months, but quit because she became disgusted with the constant pressure put on her to sell abortions. She also saw that patients at Planned Parenthood were treated differently depending on their race.

Originally hired as an appointment scheduler, she quickly discovered her real job was talking as many women into abortions as possible. The American Feminist article states:

The sales began with the automated answering system that picked up all calls first. The pleasant, recorded voice invited callers to press one number if they wanted birth control, another for a well woman exam, and another for abortion. All abortion calls were automatically jumped to the front of the calling queue. Rhyan added that “If you were calling for birth control, you could wait 20 minutes to get a phone operator.” “Closing the sale” on abortions was also supported by Planned Parenthood’s policy of requiring callers to set an appointment prior to discussing costs.

Abortions were more lucrative to Planned Parenthood than visits for birth control or Pap smears. Therefore, calls from women seeking abortions were more important to scheduled and were given top priority. Women seeking birth control or actual health care services were forced to wait, when abortion calls were immediately sent to the top of the queue.

Planned Parenthood’s focus on abortion is apparent in the statistics revealed in the video below. Planned Parenthood only does 0.97% of the nation’s Pap smears. They do only 1.8% of the nation’s breast exams. But they do 30.6% of the nation’s abortions. Planned Parenthood does not own a single mammogram machine, and does not do mammograms.

Another part of Rhyan’s job was determining whether women were eligible for financial help for their abortions. Pro-abortion groups, like the Justice Fund, sometimes offer funds to cover abortions for women who cannot afford them. Former Planned Parenthood worker Sue Thayer talked about the Justice Fund in a webcast sponsored by And Then There Were None, a group that helps abortion workers escape the abortion industry:

The Justice Fund in Iowa was a special account set up for when women came in and couldn’t quite come up with the money for their abortion. Staff that did the intakes were trained to [say] you know, can you take out another credit card? Do you have a partner [or] parent, anyone who can help you pay for this? If they came up empty then they would turn to the Justice Fund. Staff and owners, but staff a lot, would have payroll deductions, you know, money coming out of their checks every other week, to go into that, to help women get what Planned Parenthood said was the services they need. So kind of putting the strong-arm on staff to donate to that fund so that women could get their abortions.

The Justice Fund only paid for abortions. There was no financial aid available to women for Pap smears, breast exams, pelvic exams, or birth control. Financial aid was given only for abortion.

Rhyan explains how the main factor determining whether women would be offered financial aid was race:

[Rhyan] soon observed that she was supposed to screen and offer assistance to callers “who sounded “hood” or “ghetto” – but not to ask callers who sounded “white or preppy” if they might need financial assistance. This was never explicitly stated, Rhyan said, but, “I’m human. I can figure out the pattern.” Her supervisor would listen to calls; anytime she offered financial screening to a client who sounded white or “Valley girl,” her boss would say, Why did you ask her that? “I realized it was a certain type of person they were asking me to screen,” Rhyan said. They were expecting to schedule about 40 abortions daily, so if the client sounded black, Rhyan, who is black, would hurry up and screen her to keep calls moving.

Every day, Rhyan saw how Planned Parenthood pushed abortion on her fellow African-Americans, offering them financial aid on the basis of race. She eventually became so disgusted with this that she now refers to Planned Parenthood as “Plantation Parenthood.” She says, “I woke up one day and realized I was no different than a slave trader.”

Why was Planned Parenthood offering financial aid only to African Americans? Were they more eager to abort minority babies than white babies? Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a eugenicist who even spoke before the Ku Klux Klan. Sanger launched “The Negro Project,” a birth control campaign that targeted southern Blacks in an attempt to reduce their numbers. The now infamous words she wrote in a letter to Clarence Gamble revealed her desire to eliminate the African American race: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

A past Live Action investigation revealed modern-day Planned Parenthood’s willingness to target Black babies for abortion:

In a document in praise of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s “Margaret Sanger – Our Founder,” Planned Parenthood called Sanger “a trailblazer in the fight for reproductive rights.” But even they had to acknowledge Sanger’s racism:

The history of racism and ableism in America is an issue we must all address — including at Planned Parenthood. It is important that we understand our collective history and the legacy it leaves on those still impacted by an unjust system. We also believe that the way to move forward is to acknowledge Sanger’s wrongdoings, encourage open conversations, and continue to address racism and ableism wherever they exist – outside or inside our organization.

Rhyan’s story indicates that racism is still alive and well inside Planned Parenthood.

Source:  Ellen J Reich “An Insider’s Look into the Abortion Industry” The American Feminist Fall/Winter 2016

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