Why I Left Planned Parenthood

In 1991, Sue Thayer, a struggling mother living in a small, rural Iowa town, answered an ad for an entry-level assistant at a nearby Planned Parenthood facility. The job offered good benefits, was close to her home, and—to Sue’s mind—promised an opportunity to help other women. Within a couple of months, she had been promoted to office manager, a position she held for the next 17 years. Sue did the hiring, firing, and training, oversaw patient records and scheduling, maintained the building and the books. She enjoyed the family counseling side of the business, believing she was helping women who needed help. Opposed to abortion, she took solace in the fact that abortions weren’t performed at the small facility where she worked. But, as years passed, Sue found it harder to reconcile her conscience with the realities of Planned Parenthood’s practices. She began to question other aspects of the corporation … and to realize how much the business depends on abortions for its profits. Planned Parenthood presents itself as a non-profit, but it’s actually very profit-oriented. At monthly managers’ meetings, those managing abortion facilities were given quotas, and those who didn’t meet them had to provide a plan for increasing their numbers. The company is just as high-pressured about selling birth control pills. Their contract with drug manufacturers lets them buy these pills in bulk at a big discount … say, $2.98 for one 28-day cycle’s worth. When a woman asks for a cycle (often having seen ads for “Free Contraception”), Planned Parenthood sends the bill to Medicaid—for $35. But staff members are also urged to press the woman...