Planned Parenthood is an organization that prides itself in fighting for women’s rights, but former employees say the abortion giant mistreated them during their pregnancies.
Ta’Lisa Hairston, a former medical assistant at Planned Parenthood, told the New York Times she frequently advised pregnant women to take care of their bodies and get plenty of rest in the months leading up to delivery.
But Hairston said she was not allowed to take her own advice at work. She claims her managers ignored her doctors’ requests for frequent breaks and hardly gave her a chance to rest or even take a lunch break.
“I had to hold back tears talking to pregnant women, telling them to take care of their pregnancies when I couldn’t take care of mine,” she told NYT. “It made me jealous.”
According to the newspaper, Planned Parenthood has been accused of neglecting and outright discriminating against pregnant employees, while simultaneously preaching the mantra of women’s rights in the public sphere.
Employees in New York, Texas, North Carolina, and Texas report that managers in some locations refused to hire pregnant job candidates, denied requests from pregnant employees to take breaks, and even fired women after giving birth.
According to the NYT report, most Planned Parenthood offices do not offer paid maternity leave. Instead, they allow many mothers to take partially paid disability leave.
“It was looked down upon for you to get pregnant,” said Carolina Delgado, who used to work in the Miami office until 2012. “I don’t think that any supervisor had to literally say it for us to feel it.”
Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen told the paper “we must do better than we are now.”
“It’s our obligation to do better, for our staff, for their families and for our patients,” said Wen.
Abby Johnson, President of “And Then There Were None” and Former Planned Parenthood Director, says the NYT report is proof of Planned Parenthood’s hypocrisy.
"Planned Parenthood can't have it both ways - they cannot claim to fight for women yet treat their employees, especially their female staff, like trash when they become pregnant. When I worked at Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas as the clinic director, I was offered multiple times to have my pregnancy 'taken care of' for fear that a baby would interrupt my upward trajectory and work performance,” she told CBN News in a statement.
Johnson worked at Planned Parenthood for eight years before leaving and starting a pro-life organization.
Some Planned Parenthood leaders blame the lack of paid maternity leave on the lack of government funds. Multiple states like Washington and Idaho have cut funding to the abortion giant, leaving it searching for a reliable stream of income.
Christine Charbonneau, who runs the regional office in Seattle, told the NYT paying for maternity leave could force her to close abortion clinics.
Abby Johnson argues Planned Parenthood can afford to pay maternity leave, it’s just not a priority.
“It's a massive deception on the part of Planned Parenthood to claim they cannot afford to pay for maternity leave. I run a non-profit, one that helps abortion workers leave their jobs, with a budget less than one percent of Planned Parenthood's and I offer my employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave. It can be done if the priorities of organizations are in the right order - and they aren't at Planned Parenthood. They don't empower women through abortion. They don't empower women through maternity leave. And they don't empower women by discrimination,” Johnson said.