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What the Planned Parenthood wrongful termination lawsuit reveals

Oct 1, 2019

Mayra Rodriquez was fired from Planned Parenthood after 15 years of service at a clinic in Arizona. Last month, Rodriquez won $3 million for wrongful termination in her court case against the abortion giant, who fired her soon after she began raising questions concerning medical reports from post-abortive patients treated by one doctor in particular.

Her lawsuit stated that she had substantial concerns about the “health, welfare and safety risks” of patients. Multiple staff members had also complained to her about working with the doctor in question, noting that he would require them to sign an affidavit related to the success of the procedure before it was even performed.

On another occasion, Rodriquez reported a staff member who failed to report a statutory rape case, where a minor received an abortion. Planned Parenthood has been caught before urging minors not to reveal the age of their partners or assuring young women it will not report illegal sexual relationships, so this revelation isn’t surprising.

Rodriquez’s lawsuit also states that she asked questions about staff having open-door access to a medicine room. It was only after Rodriquez brought these concerns to a supervisor multiple times that the organization chose to fire her after 15 years of service—on what she says was a bogus claim of possessing narcotics in her desk drawer and poor work. 

Is this consistent with what we know about Planned Parenthood?

For years, many Christians have opposed Planned Parenthood for its devotion to abortion, but some have questioned whether a place that provides some health care services—like birth control and health screenings—to marginalized women, should be so quickly shut out of the conversation. Yet, as this and other incidents reveal, abortion is core to Planned Parenthood’s mission. 

In reality, the organization supports zero restrictions on abortion for any reason at any time, despite the fact that the public doesn’t stand with them on this. According to an NPR/Marist poll, 61% of the population wants restrictions of some kind. Though Planned Parenthood presumes to speak for women, it holds a minority view and knows that any negative press regarding the safety or legitimacy of its services will increase its negative perception.

Recently, Planned Parenthood headquarters fired its new president, Dr. Leana Wen, for not focusing stringently enough on abortion. The New York Times reported that Wen “wanted to significantly reorient the group’s focus away from the abortion wars and move toward its role as a women’s healthcare provider.” 

Months after that debacle, the organization chose not to accept federal funding to the tune of $60 million after a Trump administration rule that would bar them from referring for abortions. These combined incidents leave zero doubt about just how important abortion is for its business model, despite its regular protestations that abortion only 3% of its services. That statistic has been discredited for the misleading way it is calculated, and the latest scandals bolster that explanation. 

Rodriquez’ concerns about medical safety and protocol with minor patients should have been taken seriously, but abortion clinics nationwide often escape the stringent regulations of normal medical clinics. Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups have labeled new regulations to ensure women’s safety and security as “TRAP laws” that target abortion clinics to reduce access. In reality, these clinics want to be known as “healthcare providers” and should be held up to medical standards that uphold the dignity of the women they serve. 

Rodriquez isn’t the only Planned Parenthood worker who was fired or left the business after sounding alarm bells about questionable practices. Abby Johnson’s organization “And Then There Were None” exists specifically to help former abortion clinic workers leave and find legal, spiritual, and financial help. Thus far, Johnson’s organization has helped nearly 500 women leave the abortion industry, and their testimonies have helped shut down several clinics that were not abiding by sanitary or sanctioned practices.

What should Christians think about this?

When thinking about this exposé of Planned Parenthood and similar clinics, Christians should first consider the women affected by the clinic’s actions. Women should be treated with dignity and given the highest level of care. In this case, we should applaud the exposer of a company that exploits vulnerable women, refuses to comply with standard medical regulations, and fails its legal obligations to report rape. It’s clear Planned Parenthood doesn’t exist to serve women, but to serve its bottom line—one that is bolstered by more abortions. 

According to its 2017-2018 annual report, Planned Parenthood performed over 332,000 abortions and made over $1 billion revenue. Each individual clinic is responsible for bringing in its own revenue, thus the corruption at the local clinic level. With little oversight and a growing collection of former employees who have recognized the deception and sinister tactics of an organization they once thought existed to help women, it’s important for Christians to recognize Planned Parenthood for what it is. 

There are over 13,000 other women’s health clinics across the country, where low-income women can receive health screenings, birth control, pap smears, and any other true healthcare needs they have. Rodriquez’s case is just one of many that points to pregnancy resources centers as better options. 

Ericka Andersen

Ericka Andersen is a freelance writer. Her first book, Leaving Cloud 9: The True Story of a Life Resurrected From the Ashes of Poverty, Trauma and Mental Illness was released by Thomas Nelson in 2018. She lives in Indianapolis, Ind., with her... Read More