Getting Access To Abortionists Who Hurt Women Isn’t Empowerment

Getting Access To Abortionists Who Hurt Women Isn’t Empowerment

I worked at Planned Parenthood in Arizona for 15 years and the number of women I saw harmed by abortionists would shock even the most ardent abortion supporter.
Mayra Rodriguez
By

When the U.S. Supreme Court heard June Medical Serv. v. Russo, Sec. LA Dep’t of Health, the case from Louisiana that compels abortion doctors to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals, a large group of people were left out: abortion workers. The case became about access to abortion, not about safety or what actually goes on inside these facilities.

I worked at Planned Parenthood in Arizona for 15 years, and the number of women I saw harmed by abortionists would shock even the most ardent abortion supporter. I worked my way through the ranks of Planned Parenthood, eventually becoming the administrator for both the Glendale and Phoenix locations and winning the Employee of the Year award in 2016.

I was fired because I reported the gross incompetence of the attending physician, how the number of women who experienced complications under his hand was so much higher than other abortionists, and how shady business practices were interfering with the health of our patients. I sued Planned Parenthood for wrongful termination. A jury heard my case and unanimously awarded me $3 million in damages last summer.

William Richardson, the abortionist at one of my facilities, had nearly double the number of complaints for a similar number of abortions than did other abortionists at Planned Parenthood in the state. Yet Planned Parenthood wasn’t concerned. Nurses complained Richardson would ask them to sign affidavits before abortions stating everything had been correctly removed from the uterus—to save time (and make more money, because more abortions done faster equal more money). That is a blatant disregard for the health of the patient.

Richardson also performed abortions on minors and never reported possible sexual abuse. He even placed an IUD in a patient before checking to make sure he had first gotten all the baby parts out of the uterus. Turns out he missed a few parts, so he had to take the IUD out and redo the abortion. Then he put the same IUD back inside the patient, all without telling her.

What happened to Richardson? He’s still doing abortions. He even has admitting privileges at area hospitals. There have been zero interruptions in his career. I would wager he is still hurting women, all in the name of “access.”

Unfortunately, requiring admitting privileges won’t stop these things from happening, but it will bring light to them and bring about more reporting of complications. When an abortionist is the one seeing the patient in the ER, the complication will be reported as abortion related.

In fact, it was because of a patient who went to the ER for a perforated uterus after an abortion that we found out what Richardson had done. The hospital automatically sent us the records because he had admitting privileges, yet it wasn’t recorded in the clinic.

There’s no guarantee it will be reported properly if the patient has no records. She may be ashamed or scared to say, but having this continuity of care will help hold the abortionists responsible for their messes.

My view wasn’t heard at the Supreme Court, and I wish it were. I believed I was helping women when I worked at Planned Parenthood, and it pains me to now admit I was wrong. I was facilitating a terrible experience for them and helping to end the life of their children.

Helping women have access to doctors who hurt them is the opposite of empowerment. Helping women have access to clinics that are dirty and gross is something I’m not proud of, which is why I need to speak out now. Nothing is stopping abortion facilities from employing shady practices, such as not sterilizing equipment, using expired medications, hiring inexperienced staff, and employing doctors who have a laundry list of complaints against them.

The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Now is the time to rectify that decision and put women’s health ahead of politics.

Mayra Rodriguez is a former Planned Parenthood director who oversaw clinics in Northeast Phoenix, Ariz. and who now lives in California with her husband and children.

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