Over the years, Planned Parenthood staffers have exposed systemic abuses and toxic attitudes at the abortion corporation. Despite these allegations, the corporation’s media allies continue to portray it as an organization deserving of increased taxpayer dollars. Yet, as Live Action News previously reported, several Planned Parenthood staffers have been jumping ship due to long-held dissatisfaction with the corporation for various reasons. Some staffers who remained have chosen to unionize, and some have exposed the corporation’s abuses, low wages, and the failure of affiliates to offer paid medical leave. Just this month, hundreds of past and present employees signed an open letter accusing the CEO of Planned Parenthood Greater New York (PPGNY) of mistreatment, abuse, racism, and mismanagement of funds. After Planned Parenthood Federation of America fired her, employees claim the corporation did so only because of public pressure.
But these aren’t the only times that employee whistleblowers have come forward detailing the systemic toxicity of the abortion corporation, which singlehandedly commits 40% of the nation’s abortions.
Staffers at PPGNY, which is the corporation’s largest affiliate, reported this year that CEO Laura McQuade was known to “yell, berate, slam her fists, verbally abuse, humiliate, and bully employees.” Planned Parenthood employees at other facilities across the country have reported similar behavior.
In 2013, a complaint was filed against Planned Parenthood Delaware medical director and abortionist Timothy Liveright for allegedly “yelling, screaming, and cursing” in front of employees and patients, and for “sexual[ly] harass[ing]… female employees.”
In 2005, Aymara Castro said Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas subjected her to “unlawful sexual harassment, and to disparate terms, conditions and privileges of employment because of her sex.” She won her claim, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found the corporation had “failed to take corrective action to stop the harassment and retaliated against her for engaging in protected activity.” Planned Parenthood was ordered to pay Castro $40,000.
In December 2018, The New York Times exposed the abysmal way Planned Parenthood discriminated against pregnant employees. “[M]anagers in some locations declined to hire pregnant job candidates, refused requests by expecting mothers to take breaks and in some cases pushed them out of their jobs after they gave birth,” the Times reported, “in clear violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).”
PPGNY staffers claimed CEO Laura McQuade mismanaged funds, leading to a deficit of $6.2 million after having inherited an $18 million surplus. But this isn’t the only the most recent incident of mismanagement reported at Planned Parenthood facilities. In 2005, the Miami Herald reported that Planned Parenthood cut ties with several Florida centers over allegations of “terrible mismanagement and possibly fraud.”
In 2010, a Texas media outlet concluded “poor management and financial problems were the ultimate reason for El Paso Planned Parenthood’s closure.” In 2011, staffers at a California affiliate alleged that Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s CEO was mishandling finances, leading Planned Parenthood Federation of America to disaffiliate the center. In 2018, Planned Parenthood staffers spoke to the Nashville Scene “under the condition of anonymity due to fear of facing retaliation,” alleging mismanagement and a prioritization of profits over patients at the Nashville facility.
In some instances, the financial mismanagement extended to fraud. In 2010, Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest was fined after an audit uncovered the facility “used incorrect codes and provided insufficient documentation for some claims billed to Medicaid.” In 2012, 10 separate audits in four states showed $7.8 million in Medicaid overpayments to the corporation. That same year, former staffers claimed Planned Parenthood was committing Medicaid fraud.
In August 2013, Karen Reynolds, a former employee of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, accused the corporation of wrongly billing government programs – and as a result, Planned Parenthood was forced to pay $4.3 million in fines. Just two years later, former Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Accounts Receivable Manager Patricia Carroll blew the whistle leading to a Medicaid fraud investigation. That same year, seven former employees urged lawmakers to investigate the corporation for a number of potentially criminal and fraudulent acts.
Leadership inaction and retaliation
Staffers at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York claimed their complaints had long been “met with silence, indifference, and an increasing disregard for staff wellbeing.” In March 2019, PPGNY employees outlined potentially dangerous safety issues at the affiliate, but said they were met with hostility. “Many in senior leadership… are now uncharacteristically quiet and standoffish, raising suspicion that they are being subject to threats and intimidation from the highest levels of management,” they wrote. In May of 2019, a staffer told PPFA there was a “culture of intimidation and retaliation” at PPGNY.
Other staffers across the country have suggested the same — that speaking up incites retaliation from leadership. This year, Texas Planned Parenthood staffers claimed they were fired out of “direct retaliation for both voicing complaints to the CEO and their ongoing efforts to unionize within the past year.”
A 2019 report alleges former Planned Parenthood Mar Monte employee Elizabeth Winchester was fired “after she twice complained to her supervisor and CEO… about how they were handling [a] harassment and assault complaint.” In 2017, Mayra Rodriguez, a former facility director in Arizona, she was fired when she attempted to expose cases of botched abortions, employee abuse, and a failure to report minority abortions and sexual abuse. Rodriguez sued and was awarded $3 million.
Former Planned Parenthood Los Angeles staffer Mark Dawson claims he was fired after complaining about an executive’s financially profitable conflict of interest. In 2013, Delaware staffers claimed their facility was endangering staffers and patients. The complaints were ignored by leadership.
Additional staffers say they were fired after requesting disability accommodations. In 2012, former Planned Parenthood of Central Washington manager Shannon Sharp won $136,000 in a wrongful termination lawsuit after the corporation fired her rather than provide reasonable disability accommodations for her neck and back injury.
Staffer Angela Brown’s lawsuit claimed Planned Parenthood “intentionally and willfully discriminated” against her by making it difficult for her to take medical leave when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Brown’s attorney told the media her termination was “retaliation for an employee who was seeking leave.”
Even former PPFA president Leana Wen was not exempt from the heavy hand of retaliation. After Wen was fired, she claimed the corporation threatened her into silence after she suggested Planned Parenthood prioritized abortion over health care.
These and more instances prove that the problems at Planned Parenthood aren’t limited to a single affiliate or center. The corporation itself is toxic — but perhaps it is unreasonable to assume that a corporation that kills innocent children could be any other way.
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