The Corner

Politics & Policy

If Planned Parenthood Discriminates against Pregnant Employees, Should We Be Surprised?

Supporters of Planned Parenthood hold signs during a rally in Los Angeles, Calif., May 4, 2017. (Andrew Cullen/REUTERS)

According to new in-depth reporting from the New York Times, Planned Parenthood locations across the country have routinely discriminated against pregnant employees.

More than a dozen current and former Planned Parenthood employees told the Times that the group has been “sidelining, ousting or otherwise handicapping pregnant employees.” Women who worked for Planned Parenthood in California, Texas, North Carolina, and New York said that managers “declined to hire pregnant job candidates, refused requests by expecting mothers to take breaks and in some cases pushed them out of their jobs after they gave birth.”

The Times report also noted that the majority of Planned Parenthood locations don’t provide paid maternity leave, despite advocating paid maternity leave policies as a political-action group.

“It was looked down upon for you to get pregnant,” said one woman who worked for Planned Parenthood in Miami. “I don’t think that any supervisor had to literally say it for us to feel it.”

Meanwhile, a former Planned Parenthood hiring manager in California said supervisors openly debated whether to promote women who were likely to get pregnant in the near future and gave preference to those who were not, which is illegal under federal law.

Given that these women work for an organization that specializes in ending pregnancies, perhaps this type of mistreatment shouldn’t come as a shock — though it certainly deserves to be roundly condemned.

Consider Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, which indicates that the group performed 321,384 abortion procedures last fiscal year while providing fewer than 8,000 instances of “prenatal services.” In early 2017, Live Action contacted 97 Planned Parenthood facilities and found only five clinics that provided prenatal care. Evidently, the group’s focus lies in ending fetal life rather than sustaining it.

Meanwhile, previous investigations of Planned Parenthood have revealed that the national umbrella organization routinely imposes abortion quotas on its clinics across the country, incentivizing workers to convince women to obtain abortions. In one interview, a former Planned Parenthood manager and a former clinic nurse explained that executives rewarded clinics that met abortion targets with pizza parties or extra paid time off. Clinics that didn’t offer abortions were given quotas for abortion referrals made to other Planned Parenthood facilities.

“I felt like I was more of a salesman sometimes, to sell abortions,” former Planned Parenthood nurse Marianne Anderson said. “We were constantly told we have quotas to meet to stay open.”

Is it any wonder that a group that profits from “terminating pregnancies” and offers little to no pregnancy care would neglect to have policies in place preventing managers from overworking or discriminating against pregnant mothers on their own staffs?

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