A former Arizona Planned Parenthood director, who claimed she was wrongfully terminated for alerting her supervisors to bad and dangerous practices by an abortion doctor, has won $3 million in damages in a lawsuit against her former employer.
Mayra Rodriguez ran three Planned Parenthood clinics in Arizona and worked for Planned Parenthood for 17 years. In the year before her firing, she was given the Employee of the Year award by her boss.
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But her relationship with Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation, began to sour when she reported "high complication rates" for a doctor with whom she worked. Rodriguez alleged falsification of affidavits and patient records, incomplete abortions, and failure to report a minor who had an adult partner, which the law requires. After she repeatedly made claims that Planned Parenthood was endangering the health and safety of its patients, the abortion giant fired Rodriguez in October 2017.
Rodriguez then sued Planned Parenthood for wrongful termination. During the trial, Rodriguez, who is undocumented, said Planned Parenthood tried to use her immigration status against her, calling her a "liar." "Planned Parenthood publicly states they want to help and stand up for immigrants, that they care about these women, but it's not true. They shamed me for my immigration status."
In the trial, Rodriguez's attorney, Tim Casey, did not ask for a dollar amount for his client. The $3 million in damages awarded to her came directly from the jury, who took three hours to reach their verdict.
Rodriguez's story is similar to that of Abby Johnson, who was also an award-winning director of several Planned Parenthood clinics. Johnson had a change of heart on abortion after assisting with a suction abortion and watching on the ultrasound as the unborn child tried to avoid the abortion instrument. She later joined forces with pro-life protesters outside her own clinic, and like Rodriguez, ended up facing Planned Parenthood in court. Her story is told in the motion picture "Unplanned," which was released earlier this year.
"I've stared down Planned Parenthood in court. I know how hard it is watching your friends lie about you. It's always good to take down Planned Parenthood but it's not without hurt," Johnson said in a statement after the verdict.
Johnson has since gone on to found And Then There Were None, an organization that has helped more than 525 abortion industry workers leave their jobs, and that stood by Rodriguez throughout her trial.
Rodriguez feels vindicated by the verdict.
"I hope my case is a lesson to other workers that shows them that the truth will prevail," she said. "I also hope my case is a lesson to employers who abuse their power: sometimes the underdog wins and justice will be done."