Planned Parenthood promotes itself as a healthcare provider, but in reality, it performs less than 1 percent of all Pap smears and less than 2 percent of all breast exams in the entire nation. Planned Parenthood’s real focus is abortion. That one “service” alone makes Planned Parenthood more money than any other it provides. When pregnant women come to Planned Parenthood, they are often subjected to an aggressive sales pitch encouraging them to choose abortion. A first trimester procedure is explained below by Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist:
Former Planned Parenthood workers such as Abby Johnson, Catherine Adair, La Verne Tolbert and Lavonne Wilenken all have spoken about the dishonest and biased “counseling” they were expected to provide at Planned Parenthood. Live Action recently featured the story of former Planned Parenthood worker Rhyan, who explained how phone calls from women seeking abortion were given priority above all other calls. She says women were pressured to make appointments before they even got off the phone.
And Then There Were None, a pro-life ministry that reaches out to abortion workers and helps them to leave the industry, provides healing retreats and offers support to former abortion workers who want to tell their stories. Former Planned Parenthood manager Annette Lancaster recently told her story in a webcast sponsored by the ministry.
Women at Planned Parenthood were “expected” to have abortions
Lancaster’s time at Planned Parenthood did not go smoothly. Even though she worked in a facility that sold abortions, she did not want women to abort and then regret their abortions later. If a woman seemed unsure or ambivalent about having an abortion, Annette sent them home. When a woman had trouble consenting to an abortion, Lancaster told her to take more time to think it over. Lancaster was definitely not pro-life, but she felt women should not be pressured into abortions. So instead of aggressively pushing abortion on uncertain women, she encouraged them to take more time to think it over – even if this meant giving them a refund.
But that is not Planned Parenthood’s way of doing things. Giving a woman more time to think means she might decide against abortion, which would eat into profits. Lancaster quickly got in trouble with Planned Parenthood’s administration, who made it clear that they were not happy with the way she was doing her job:
I was told, “Why did you only do 25 procedures today? Why did you send this many women home?” Because I was the type of center manager that if a woman was unsure, she wasn’t getting the procedure done today under my watch. I was quick to give people a refund, or send women home and tell them, you know, to continue thinking about it…
When I sent women home because they’re unsure, or I could see in their faces and their answers, their responses to the counseling questions, they were just not certain about their decision – what was I expected to do? Was I expected to go out and just find women to have abortions? Or was I expected to just go ahead and let these women go through with a procedure? I believe they really wanted me to, of course, not go out on the streets and find women, but the women that were already there in the clinic were expected to have those procedures.
Annette became disillusioned with Planned Parenthood, but stayed in her job. Eventually, a pro-life activist put postcards with the web address of And Then There Were None on her car. At first Annette was irritated. But then, later, her boss at the facility ordered her to throw out the flyers immediately and not look at them. However, her boss’s insistence that she not look at the flyers made her curious. She wanted to know what it was she was forbidden to see. She ended up keeping a flyer, and eventually visited And Then There Were None’s website. With the help of the group, she ended up leaving the abortion industry.
Planned Parenthood exploited women using “emotional manipulation”
Now Annette clearly sees how Planned Parenthood exploited women. When asked what she hated the most about working in the abortion industry, Annette said:
I think for me it was the fact of the lying to the women. I have labeled it as emotional manipulation. We were taught to teach these women, well, whenever they asked the question, “Is God going to forgive me?” “Well, what type of God do you serve? Do you think that God will forgive you?” It was answering a question with a question. Never truly answering someone’s question and for me that became very frustrating because I hate it when people do that to me. You ask a question and you never truly get an answer. You get another question back to you. But that was what we were taught to do to these women who came in. You know, “Do you think I should do this?” “Well do you think you should do this? Do you think this is the right thing for you?” And after a while of doing that it wears on you. You know?
Annette has now told her story both through the webcast and in an interview in The American Feminist, the publication of Feminists for Life. But when she first left, Annette did not want to go public. Through And Then There Were None, she got support and help to heal, which made her change her mind. She says:
When I first made that phone call, I didn’t want anyone to know my name. I didn’t want anything to do with the ministry. I didn’t even know why I was calling. [Laughter] I wanted everything to be secretive and anonymous. But this organization truly is like a sisterhood to me… there’s no judgment. There’s is just love. It’s hard to explain, it’s hard to put into words, but that’s the best way I can explain it. It’s love. It’s healing through love, and it’s the best thing that I’ve ever been a part of.
All the former abortion workers who have left Planned Parenthood say the same thing: Planned Parenthood pressures women into abortions for its own financial profit. As more and more workers come forward with their stories, Planned Parenthood’s false claim of being a legitimate health care provider may become harder and harder for it to defend.