Abby Johnson

Confessions of a former Planned Parenthood director

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"Women's health?" That's what Planned Parenthood would have you believe. But is that really what they stand for? Shutterstock

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Why are so many Planned Parenthood clinics closing? Hint: It’s not why you think.

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With all of these Planned Parenthood facilities closing, pro-lifers are being accused of “shutting down places that provide healthcare to women.”  But, are we?  Are pro-lifers closing these facilities?  Last time I checked, it is Planned Parenthood who is making the decision to close down their centers. Let’s take a look at why that is happening. 

Several Planned Parenthood clinics in Oregon and Iowa recently closed, citing that they simply didn’t have the clients needed to keep their clinics open. Why the lack of clients?  Probably because of the lack of basic services.

The general population seems to think that Planned Parenthood does a whole lot more than they actually do. Does Planned Parenthood provide actual prenatal care?  No. They actually phased out their prenatal care program a few years back, stating that the pregnant patients were “too cumbersome.” Some clinics do continue to tout that they provide this service just so they can continue to include it in their annual report. These centers provide prenatal vitamins and then log that under “prenatal care.” Planned Parenthood actually doesn’t provide any service to pregnant women except for abortion, of course. Maybe if they actually started to provide for their advertised services, they would make enough money to stay open. 

Planned Parenthood states they provide care for “breast health.”  But that is also a stretch. Planned Parenthood is a level-one breast cancer service center. That means they are not allowed to provide any breast health service past a manual breast exam. You know, the same type of breast exam that you do in the shower every month. It’s the same breast exam that you can receive from any nurse or doctor anywhere in the country. Planned Parenthood does not provide breast ultrasounds, breast biopsies, mammograms or anything other than manual breast exams. Maybe if they started providing women with real breast health care, they could keep their doors open. 

The general population seems to think that Planned Parenthood does a whole lot more than they actually do. Does Planned Parenthood provide actual prenatal care?  No. They actually phased out their prenatal care program a few years back, stating that the pregnant patients were “too cumbersome.” 

Planned Parenthood provides no primary care. You can’t visit a Planned Parenthood if you have strep throat, a sinus infection, or the flu. They can’t treat your high blood pressure, your elevated cholesterol or to help regulate your diabetes. They have no national protocol that allows them to provide any of those primary care services. You can be seen at Planned Parenthood for limited STD screening and treatment, birth control, a limited woman’s exam or an abortion. Other than that, you are pretty much out of luck. Maybe if they started to provide these primary care services, they wouldn’t be so hard pressed to find clients. 

In Texas, we have seen many Planned Parenthood facilities close shop. The reasoning here is different. Planned Parenthood is choosing to close rather than bring their current centers up to legal safety standards. In San Antonio, an annual inspection report showed that the Planned Parenthood facility had serious sterilization issues. They weren’t separating clean and dirty instruments. They weren’t testing their autoclave machine to ensure that it was still working. Lots of problems. We see this in many facilities. There was an abortion clinic in Beaumont with the same issues. They have also been cited for untrained staff, dirty equipment, expired medications given to patients…the list goes on and on. So, instead of fixing these problems, Planned Parenthood has chosen to close these facilities. They chose to close their filthy centers. Pro-lifers didn’t force them to close. They chose to close them all on their own. 

You see, if Planned Parenthood was really concerned about the health and safety of women, they would be bending over backwards to implement these changes. They would be reinventing themselves as true healthcare centers that can treat primary care issues, provide prenatal care, etc. And, my goodness, they would definitely take the money and time needed to clean up their centers!  But instead, Planned Parenthood has exercised their right to choose. By doing this, it is them who have let down the women in their community. They have chosen to abandon these poor women. 

So, while Planned Parenthood is making their choices, we pro-lifers will step in and actually help women find the services they so desperately need. Don’t worry, Planned Parenthood, we’ll gladly pick up the slack that you have put down.

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Abby Johnson

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Abby Johnson is the former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Bryan, Texas. After witnessing an ultrasound-guided abortion, Abby converted to the pro-life cause. She is now a leading defender of the unborn. Since leaving Planned Parenthood, Abby has founded a non-profit called And Then There Were None, which specializes in reaching out to men and women in the abortion industry, and providing them with the spiritual, financial, and logistical help that they need to exit the industry. 

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