In an interview on PureFlix, former Planned Parenthood director Annette Lancaster gave her reasons for leaving the abortion industry. Lancaster says she didn’t have strong feelings about abortion when she was hired to manage a Planned Parenthood facility. “I never really saw myself as pro-life or pro-choice,” she said. “It was something that never really affected me personally or anyone close to me at that time. So, I didn’t really think about it either way.”
She had not sought out a job at Planned Parenthood; rather, a head hunter had sought her out. But when she was hired by Planned Parenthood, she was happy. She said:
I was actually excited. I had known the name Planned Parenthood. It was a very large name… It was in management, which was what I wanted. So, I went into it thinking, this is a great management experience. I’ll be the manager of an entire clinic. And this will just be the best thing ever… It was health care. I was going to be helping women. And so, I thought it was a great opportunity.
But once there, Lancaster was upset by the way abortion workers at Planned Parenthood were trained to pressure women into having abortions and to lie to them about abortion. Her bosses expected her to sell many abortions, and reprimanded her when her abortion numbers fell, leading Annette to wonder if Planned Parenthood had an unofficial abortion “quota.” But when asked why she ended up leaving the abortion business, she gave several reasons.
One was an encounter with a patient who asked a disturbing question on the abortion table:
[T]here was a patient on the table in the procedure room and she grabbed my hand, and looked me in my eyes, and asked me, “Will God forgive me for this? Do you think God is gonna forgive me for this?” And I knew what I wanted to say. I knew what my heart was saying, but I gave her the typical Planned Parenthood answer that I was taught, which was to answer her question with a question.
And so, I said, “Do you believe in a forgiving God? Do you think God is going to forgive you for this?” And I just kind of left her with no answer.
But Lancaster was left unsettled by the experience.
She went on to relate the tragic story of her cousin’s daughter, who had an abortion and suffered fatal complications:
While I worked in the clinic, I tried to be really proud of what I did. I was a clinic manager. I was helping women …
I had a cousin. Her daughter ended up going to an abortion clinic. It wasn’t a Planned Parenthood facility, but it was an abortion clinic in North Carolina. She was very young. She was either 16 or 17. She had an abortion procedure.
She kept calling back, saying, “Something’s not right. I don’t feel well. I’m hemorrhaging more than what I expect.” And of course, was told, “Hemorrhaging is normal. You’re going to have a really heavy period.” And she was basically ignored until her mother had to call the ambulance because she was hemorrhaging so badly that she passed out. She ended up being admitted to the ICU and then eventually passed away because she lost so much blood.
Annette felt “very responsible” for her second cousin’s death:
I thought I should never have encouraged her or her family to have an abortion. That is another time that I started thinking to myself, Annette, what are you doing? Someone has actually now died from the procedures that we say are so safe. What are you doing?
She was also troubled by the illegal things she saw going on at Planned Parenthood:
It also really bothered me about all of the illegal activities that were taking place. You know, you have such a large organization that says, “We’re so great and we’re here to help.” But then you falsified paperwork. You have managers falsify paperwork and documentation. We’re falsifying ultrasound images so that we can perform procedures. … You’re teaching your employees to lie to women so that you can get money.
Lancaster was troubled by these events. One day, pro-lifers put literature from the pro-life group And Then There Were None — a ministry that helps abortion workers to leave the industry — all over Lancaster’s car. Another worker told Lancaster to throw out all the cards, so she threw out all the cards but one. She called And Then There Were None, and they gave her the support she needed to leave Planned Parenthood and find a new job.
Lancaster now tells her story to educate people on the practices of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.
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