You may have seen The New York Times article
that came out just before Christmas, revealing the results of an investigation into Planned Parenthood amidst complaints from employees that it mistreats and discriminates against its employees who are pregnant.
The article notes, “A dozen lawsuits filed against Planned Parenthood clinics in federal and state courts since 2013 accused managers of denying workers rest periods, lunch breaks or overtime pay, or retaliating against them for taking medical leave.”
This has prompted commentary about the financial constraints that might lead to this kind of behavior, as well as the fact that pregnancy-related discrimination is a problem across the country. The pregnancy center movement has also taken note of the hypocrisy of Planned Parenthood’s behavior in the light of its criticism of those life-saving alternatives to abortion.
But there’s another angle that comes to my mind, as someone who oversees a number of international ministries related to healing the wounds that abortion inflicts, not only on those who obtain the procedure, but on those who provide it.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business. Each year, under its auspices, over 300,000 pregnancies are deliberately ended by ending the life of the child growing in the womb.
Its employees are hired and trained to advertise and sell these procedures, schedule them, prepare the clients for them, perform them, and clean up after them.
In preparing people for the procedure, they have to answer people’s questions about whether this is “a baby,” about how developed the baby is, about whether the baby will feel pain during the procedure, about what happens to the baby’s body after the procedure, about the risks of abortion as compared to those of continuing the pregnancy, and more.
To say that their answers are less than honest would be an understatement.
In my day-to-day work, I interact on a regular basis with people who used to be abortionists and clinic workers in offices like Planned Parenthood and other branches of the abortion industry. Along with Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Philip Ney, who developed a medically-based healing program for such individuals to resume a normal pattern of life and work after working in the abortion industry, I help to guide such people to healing and forgiveness.
In a nutshell, these people have spent years justifying their actions by dehumanizing the child in the womb. And they do a good job at persuading themselves and others that this is not really a child.
But here’s the rub: in dehumanizing the child, they dehumanize themselves.
The rigorous psychological and spiritual journey of healing and rehabilitation through which we guide them involves reversing the layers of denial and lies they have told themselves (and others), and realizing the extent to which performing abortions has damaged them as well as the people whom they thought they were serving.
One of the lies these former clinic workers have to confront is that the child is not a child at all.
In the mind of the abortion provider, pregnancy is a disease. In the well-known medical textbook “Abortion Practice,” abortionist Warren Hern writes, “If this analysis seems to veer uncomfortably close to suggesting that pregnancy is a kind of illness, it does: many, if not all, aspects of pregnancy can be understood best in terms of the cognitive framework of illness” (p. 4).
So my point is simple: Is it at all surprising that an industry that considers pregnancy a disease, and pretends the child in the womb isn’t a child at all, would find themselves stumbling over the need to treat pregnant mothers with the respect that they and the children within them deserve?
Psychologically, these are two highways running in opposite directions, without ever intersecting. In order to succeed in their work, they have to devalue pregnancy, childbirth, and the unborn baby herself. They are caught in a web of deception and evil that has numerous unintended consequences.
In the brief publication “Access,” Life Dynamics, Inc. years ago documented a key problem the abortion industry faces, namely, extraordinarily high staff turnover. The reason is simple: it is so unnatural to kill children, and the psychological dynamics required to sustain that activity for any amount of time are just too taxing.
This is also why abortion textbooks like “Second Trimester Abortion” (Ed. Berger et al, 1981) identified a long time ago the difficulty that pregnant staff at abortion facilities have in doing the procedure, because it reminds them of their own children.
What The New York Times uncovered about Planned Parenthood is inexcusable and must stop. Planned Parenthood’s new CEO announced “a major new initiative to... ensure a culture that supports pregnant ... staff.”
My suggestion: Maybe a good way to start building that kind of culture is to stop devaluing and killing children in the womb.
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels to about four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on abortion, and was asked by then-candidate Donald Trump to serve on his Pro-life and Catholic advisory councils. He has served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.