Accusations against Planned Parenthood for discrimination against pregnant employees and new mothers lead to a weak vow from them that they’d “do better.”
The largest organization provider of reproductive services is being accused of “sidelining, ousting or otherwise handicapping pregnant employees, according to interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees,” The New York Times reported.
In some cases, women were supposedly ousted by the organization in the hiring decision if the woman was pregnant, even denying rest breaks. Additionally, some women were afraid to announce their pregnancies in fear that they’d be shunned by their co-workers and “in some cases pushed them out of their jobs after they gave birth.”
Former Planned Parenthood employee, who worked in the Miami office in 2012, Carolina Delgado told the NYT, “It was looked down upon for you to get pregnant.”
“I don’t think that any supervisor had to literally say it for us to feel it.”
Planned Parenthood’s president Dr. Leana Wen told the NYT they will “do better” and are investigating the allegations, as well as reviewing the cost of providing employees with maternity leave.
“I believe we must do better than we are now,” Wen said. “It’s our obligation to do better, for our staff, for their families and for our patients.”
“At Planned Parenthood, we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment, and we strongly enforce our non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies,” Wen said in a statement responding to the NYT article, according to CNN.
“If we learn about accusations, we move immediately to investigate and address them. For confidentiality reasons, we cannot comment on specific allegations, but make no mistake: if concerns are raised or complaints brought, we investigate immediately and, where necessary, take decisive action.”
Out of Planned Parenthood’s 55 regional offices, 49 of them don’t provide maternity leave, while only about 20 of those offices allow for employees to use short-term disability in order to earn a portion of income while on leave, according to the NYT.
A former medical assistant, Ta’Lisa Hairston, told the NYT she joined Planned Parenthood because of their mission to “give women a voice to do what they wanted with their bodies.” However, she was pregnant working for the organization and found the managers ignored her doctor’s note on needing frequent breaks, which led to high blood pressure, long shifts, swelling, and eventually an emergency C-section.
She added that she felt “discriminated against” after Planned Parenthood contacted her to return to work early, having only taken 8 weeks of her 12-week maternity leave.
“I didn’t get into the medical field to be treated like this,” Hairston said.