A major news report Thursday revealed numerous accounts of discrimination against pregnant workers at the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood.
The New York Times interviewed more than a dozen current and former employees who said Planned Parenthood often discriminated against pregnant workers.
And paid maternity leave appears to be something the abortion giant publicly lobbies for but privately does not give its own employees. An exception is its posh Manhattan headquarters where its executives make six-figure salaries. There, Planned Parenthood employees get six weeks of paid parental leave, according to the report. Otherwise, only six of Planned Parenthood’s 55 regional offices provide paid maternity leave, the report continues.
“It was looked down upon for you to get pregnant,” said Carolina Delgado, a former employee of Planned Parenthood in Miami, Florida. “I don’t think that any supervisor had to literally say it for us to feel it.”
Another former employee, Ta’Lisa Hairston, told the Times that she also faced discrimination. She said she wanted to work at Planned Parenthood because she believed in its mission: “giving women a voice to do what they wanted with their bodies.”
Hairston was a medical assistant for Planned Parenthood in White Plains, New York, when she became pregnant in 2017, according to the report. She said she had high blood pressure and several nurses’ notes explaining that she needed to take frequent breaks to keep her unborn baby healthy; but Planned Parenthood ignored her needs.
“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 said. “It made me jealous.”
Here’s more from the report:
When Ms. Hairston asked for regular breaks, including 30 minutes for lunch, her supervisors brushed her off. Ms. Hairston said she sent multiple notes from her nurse at Full Circle Women’s Health to the regional office’s human resources department, stating that the extra breaks were medically necessary. No one responded, and nothing changed, according to Ms. Hairston and the former human resources manager.
Ms. Hairston’s hands and feet swelled; the clinic’s plastic gloves no longer fit. Her blood pressure got so high that her doctor put her on bed rest when she was seven months pregnant.
She returned to work on strict orders to not work more than six hours a day and to take regular breaks. One day in March, she worked a much longer shift. She soon became so sick that her doctor told her to go back on bed rest. A few days later, on March 23, she went to the hospital. Doctors performed an emergency C-section. She was 34 weeks pregnant.
Hairston said the discrimination did not stop there. She said she was guaranteed 12 weeks of maternity leave by the Family and Medical Leave Act, but Planned Parenthood began calling her after week eight pressuring her to return to work. She later resigned.
Her story is one of many.
Abby Johnson, president of And Then There Were None, who worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years, said she was not surprised by the report.
“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 said.
According to the New York Times:
In interviews and legal documents, women at Planned Parenthood and other organizations with a feminist bent described discrimination that violated federal or state laws — managers considering pregnancy in hiring decisions, for example, or denying rest breaks recommended by a doctor.
In other cases, the bias was more subtle. Many women said they were afraid to announce a pregnancy at work, sensing they would be seen as abandoning their colleagues.
Some of those employers saw accommodating expecting mothers as expensive and inconvenient. Others were unsympathetic to workers seeking special treatment.
Johnson also could not believe suggestions in the report that Planned Parenthood cannot afford to give its employees paid maternity leave.
“I run a non-profit, one that helps abortion workers leave their jobs, with a budget less than 1 percent of Planned Parenthood’s and I offer my employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave,” she said. “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.”
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion chain in America. It performs about 320,000 abortions a year and receives about half a billion taxpayer dollars annually, despite numerous scandals involving potentially illegal sales of aborted babies’ body parts, Medicaid fraud and failures to report sexual abuse of minors.
Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion. Its leaders also recently have boasted about record donations.
Planned Parenthood also has been in an ongoing legal battle to stop its employees from unionizing, even relying on the Trump administration for help.