Politics & Policy

REPORT: Planned Parenthood Accused of Discriminating against Pregnant Employees

Healthcare activists with Planned Parenthood protest in Washington, D.C., June 28, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/REUTERS)

Planned Parenthood routinely discriminates against its pregnant employees, refusing to provide them with adequate rest and often firing or refusing to promote them, according to a New York Times report published Thursday.

Planned Parenthood supervisors regularly refuse to hire and promote pregnant women or women they believe are likely to become pregnant and, when an employee does become pregnant, they are refused break periods and discriminated against when they return from maternity leave, according to former Planned Parenthood employees in California, New York, Texas, and North Carolina.

“It was looked down upon for you to get pregnant,” said Carolina Delgado who worked for a Miami affiliate until 2012. “I don’t think that any supervisor had to literally say it for us to feel it.”

According to those former employees, supervisors routinely discussed the likelihood of a particular employee becoming pregnant when deciding who to promote and, in response, employees would often emphasize that they were single, gay or did not plan to have children.

Ta’Lisa Hairston, who worked in the Human Resources department at a New York affiliate, was forced to undergo an emergency C-section just 34 weeks into her pregnancy after her health suffered when she was refused the regular break periods prescribed by her doctor.

While Planned Parenthood has long-advocated legislation mandating paid maternity leave, it does not provide paid maternity leave to its employees.

“I believe we must do better than we are now,” Leana Wen, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement provided to the Times. “It’s our obligation to do better, for our staff, for their families and for our patients.”

Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, receives over $700 million in public funding each year.

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