Investigative

When hiring, abortion clinics choose political commitment over medical skills

One former clinic worker wrote a book about her experiences. Former clinic worker, Tonya P, who never identifies as pro-life in her book, describes how she got her job at the abortion clinic.

I was beginning to give up hope, and I was starting to think that I had gone to school for nothing, for something that I couldn’t even get a job in, and I was still paying on a student loan. Anyway, I was so glad to hear that [lack of experience] wouldn’t be a problem, ‘cause I’ve been working in the warehouse for two long years and I was tired of working at that warehouse. It was hard work with no good pay…

When she went to the job interview at the clinic:

Their main concern was how I did feel [sic] about abortion and I said that I was pro-choice, and that was all they wanted to hear, and that was the end of the interview.…

Finally, I could work in the field as a medical assistant.(1)

The clinic didn’t seem to care all that much about Tonya’s lack of medical experience. They didn’t ask her about her credentials. The fact that she was committed to the pro-choice cause was “all they wanted to hear.” They needed someone who shared a strong pro-choice ideology, who would be able to take the emotional stress of seeing things like this on a daily basis.  It is troubling that the clinic showed a lack of concern about what her actual medical credentials were – considering that she would be working in a surgical facility.

Abortionist Dr. Susan Poppema said that when looking to hire abortion workers, her clinic also seeks out those who are pro-abortion.  Their political beliefs are a strong factor in hiring. Poppema implies that “political commitment” can be even more important than medical experience.

She says:

We choose people to work here based on their political commitment as well as their medical capabilities. We can teach people what they need to know medically, but we cannot teach them political commitment; we can encourage it, but we can’t teach that as well.(2)

Women going into Poppema’s clinic had no control over whether they would be taken care of by an experienced worker or by a worker who was still in training.

One abortion clinic went so far as to require their workers to have had an abortion.  Dr. Bernard Nathanson was a former abortionist who turned pro-life.  He often spoke about his time in the abortion business. One story he told was about how his onetime friend and fellow abortionist set up a new clinic in New York.  Nathanson writes:

When [his friend, the abortionist]  moved into the massive New York market he was naturally too busy to do the counseling himself and hired counselors who met only two criteria: they had to be 21 or older, and they had to have had an abortion themselves. Nothing else. Education, degrees, experience were inconsequential to him.

There may not be sufficient evidence to claim that all abortion clinics are willing to hire inexperienced, untrained staff as long as their commitment to abortion is strong. But there are surely more examples out there than the ones I have provided.

  1. Tonya P From Behind Closed Doors: “Abortions” (Xlibris, 2013) 10 – 11
  2. Patricia Launneborg Abortion: A Positive Decision (New York: Bergin & Garvey, 1992) 189
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