Former and current employees at Planned Parenthood have accused Laura McQuade, the now-ex-CEO of the abortion business’ Greater New York clinic, of “systemic racism” and abuse.
McQuade was ousted after more than 300 present and erstwhile staffers at Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, signed an open letter published late last week, calling for her to be terminated as the chief executive of the New York branch, which McQuade had led since 2017, when she moved there after leading the Planned Parenthood of the Great Plains affiliate for three years, according to a new report from The Kansas City Star.
In part, the letter read, “The CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY), Laura McQuade, has proven to be a toxic leader and autocrat, and we, the current and former staff of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, write this letter to demand her immediate removal.”
We are expressing our profound lack of confidence in Laura McQuade, our Chief Officers, and our Board of Directors. In her two-and-a-half year tenure, McQuade has created a culture of fear and intimidation; we have witnessed her cull dissenters and surround herself with enablers. Through abusive behavior and financial malfeasance, we have watched her fundamentally threaten the fiscal and operational viability of Planned Parenthood’s largest affiliate and its 900 employees.
Though the Planned Parenthood workers said they are “deeply committed” to protecting access to abortion, they claimed the “scrutiny” the abortion mill has faced in recent years has resulted in executives intimidating employees who have wanted to speak out about internal corruption in what they described as a “toxic” work environment.
McQuade would allegedly “berate” and “yell” at staffers, “slam her fists,” as well as “verbally abuse,” “humiliate,” and “bully” her subordinates. Her abuses reportedly included racially charged attacks. Planned Parenthood staffers accused McQuade of “racism and weaponizing of the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion against staff.”
In their letter, McQuade’s critics referred to the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, as a racist woman:
Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist, white woman. That is a part of history that cannot be changed. While efforts have been made to undo some of the harm from institutional racism, many of these issues have worsened under McQuade’s tenure. After years of complaints from staff about issues of systemic racism, pay inequity, and lack of upward mobility for Black staff, highly-paid consultants were brought in three separate times to assess the situation. Each time, employees of color were brutally honest about their experiences, but nothing changed.
McQuade, who made $428,321 in 2018, has also been accused of “financial mismanagement.”
Meanwhile, outwardly, Planned Parenthood has endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the call to defund and dismantle police departments around the country. McQuade herself claimed Planned Parenthood “must eviscerate systemic racism and injustice in order to achieve true freedom.”
“It’s time to address white supremacy in our own institutions. PP pledges to reckon with our own racist history, acknowledging and correcting implicit bias in our organization, and creating space for Black organizations and leaders,” she wrote in a tweet on June 1, according to The Star.
In a statement issued Friday, Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, asserted accusations of “misconduct, abuse, racism and more, do not align with Planned Parenthood’s standards or our values.”
“The allegations are serious, and we expect the Planned Parenthood Greater New York Board of Directors to hold themselves accountable to their mission and values by centering their patients, their staff, and their community,” she added.
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