In a recent webcast by the pro-life group And Then There Were None, three former Planned Parenthood workers spoke about the Justice Fund, a type of financial aid offered to women who want abortions but can’t come up with the money to pay for them. In practice, this fund gives women financial incentive to choose abortions.
In the webcast, former Planned Parenthood worker Sue Thayer (pictured) gave some background on the Justice Fund, explaining how workers at her facility suggested various ways for women to pay for their abortions. Workers only mentioned the Justice Fund if a woman had exhausted all her other options:
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.
Abortion workers would first try to convince women to add to their credit card debt or borrow the money. But if there was no other way a woman could pay, workers used the fund to ensure that the women went through with their abortions.
Not surprisingly, only a small fraction of Justice Fund money was put up by Planned Parenthood itself. There were some cuts made to workers’ salaries to add money to the fund. But the vast majority came from donations. Abby Johnson explains (emphasis added):
And this pot of money, Justice Fund money, it’s about $23 million a year. And it is given by Warren Buffett through his foundation… as basically a population control measure because Warren Buffett is very much a population control type of guy.… He gives it to the National Abortion Federation and then NAF distributes it, to all the affiliated Justice Fund providers. To all Planned Parenthood clinics. All Planned Parenthood clinics are Justice Fund providers. And any other clinic that is part of NAF, part of the National Abortion Federation. It’s just an association that they pay dues to. So $23 million a year going into this pot of money.
So all Planned Parenthood facilities as well as some other abortion facilities are eligible to use the Justice Fund.
The Justice Fund is only for abortions. As former Planned Parenthood worker Annette Lancaster notes:
The Justice Fund only paid for abortions. It didn’t pay for any other services that Planned Parenthood claimed that they offer women. It didn’t pay for breast cancer screening, it didn’t pay for any family planning services. It was only for abortions.
There is no fund at Planned Parenthood that helps women pay for cancer screenings, pap smears, or breast exams, which are actual health services women need. Instead, the fund exists just to finance abortions. That Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry offers financial aid to women who want abortions, but not to women who can’t afford cancer screenings or even contraception, shows where their priorities lie.
The women were given gift cards. And the gift cards paid not just for the abortion procedure itself, but for transportation, hotel bills, etc. Lancaster explains:
We would give them Visa gift cards. Like Visa, the check card. They’d be $25, $50, $75 – up to $100. Especially for women that were there for two day procedures. We would pay for their hotel rooms. We would pay for transportation for them to get back and forth from the hotel to the clinic and anything that they needed that they didn’t have funds for that we needed to pay for them to be able to stay and have that procedure done.
According to Abby Johnson:
[E]ssentially that is bribing these women….you’re basically paying, ensuring that they are going to come back to the clinic to complete their abortion procedure.
Some women exploited the system and were actually able to make money having abortions:
[W]e’d have women who were frequent flyers, as we called them, for lack of a better term. They would come in knowing that they could get these funds and they would walk from the hotel to the clinic, or they would catch the bus, or they would get something off the dollar menu, and they’d keep the rest of the money cash, so they were basically being paid – they were being paid to have the procedure done.
“Frequent Flyers” (a term used by other abortion workers as well) were women who came in for repeat abortions over and over again. A previous Live Action article told the story of Angie, who cheerfully went to an abortion facility for her ninth abortion. She saw the remains of her aborted baby and became hysterical with remorse for her abortions.
A number of abortionists and abortion workers have commented on how women coming for repeat abortions makes them uncomfortable. One abortion worker expressed disgust at a woman having her eleventh abortion. Other abortion workers have spoken about their uneasiness with these women as well.
The women who were given Justice Fund money had an added incentive to go through with their abortions. They actually made money having them.
None of the former abortion workers who spoke in the webcast talked about how common these Justice Fund abortions were, but with a fund of $23 million, one can imagine that a significant number of women across the country take advantage of this program.