Warning: This post contains links to videos on abortion that are graphic and disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.
Dear Planned Parenthood CEO, Cecile Richards,
In your statement on a recent controversial video of Planned Parenthood staff, you said:
"Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide.. As always, if there is any aspect of our work that can be strengthened, we want to know about it, and take swift action to address it."
I write in response, to request Planned Parenthood address an urgent need for care of post abortive women (and others) who have been deeply affected by their experience at Planned Parenthood and by staff comments in this video and further releases.
Women who have had an abortion at one of your facilities but were not well informed, have spoken. They have expressed great pain and heartache after learning of the reality of their baby's development early in pregnancy and of abortion procedures, which were not explained to them beforehand.
After the release of the first Planned Parenthood video, Misha, who had an abortion at Planned Parenthood seventeen years ago, revealed she couldn't sleep for three days:
Misha's story is that at about 10 weeks pregnant, Planned Parenthood staff told her that her pregnancy was just a 'blob'. She was pro-choice and believed them. Unlike now, there wasn't information on foetal development she could search on the internet. After the abortion, she went to a library to look up pictures of foetuses and was distressed by what she saw. She regretted her decision and felt like that she had been denied her right to make a choice because she had been lied to and was not provided the information she deserved.
The Planned Parenthood viral videos have caused Misha to relive those painful memories, made even more hurtful by staff comments about harvesting body parts of foetuses at 10 weeks, when she was told her pregnancy was just a 'blob'. She cried for days and days and couldn't sleep. However, although Misha expressed her pain to Planned Parenthood, not a single representative of your company offered her support links or help.
Ms Richards, despite the graphic nature of these videos and inevitable mental health issue for some post abortion women, you have offered no counselling for them. Misha's experience at Planned Parenthood is similar to many other testimonies of women shared on Silent No More:
"I was 15 years old when my mother and I returned to Planned Parenthood after the contraception they provided months before failed. I was told I was 11 weeks pregnant and that my pregnancy was a 'clump of cells'.. I was not given any counselling of any kind whatsoever. Today, I deeply regret my abortion." - Shadia
"My name is Barbara and I am 43 years old. When I was 21, I had an abortion with the help of Planned Parenthood of West Bend, Wisconsin. Planned Parenthood told me at that time that my baby was nothing but tissue at that point in my pregnancy. I was about 10 weeks along. It was nothing but lies.. There was no counselling afterwards, and no one to talk to.. Please stop this happening to other women.. "
"There was absolutely no counselling about the possible emotional aftermath of having an abortion. I became suicidal and had no one to turn to. And to find out that what I was aborting was not a "blob" of tissue, but an identifiably human form, complete with heartbeat, finger and toes. Planned Parenthood was woefully wrong to lie and not offer any post-abortion counselling." - Susan, New Jersey
Ms Richards, please ensure Planned Parenthood's compassionate care is not limited to women before an abortion but afterwards too. Planned Parenthood should offer all women counselling after an abortion, should they need it. The Planned Parenthood website is confusing on the availability of post abortion counselling at various Planned Parenthood locations.
Particuarly let those women hurt by comments of Planned Parenthood staff know where they can get counselling. Please apologise to these women, Ms Richards. Not just for the 'tone' of staff comments but for the failure of Planned Parenthood for decades to inform women of human development and explain abortion procedures that they had a right to know.
CEO, Women and Babies Support (WOMBS) International Ltd
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please call 911 (USA) or 000 (Australia), otherwise the National Suicide Prevention Line (USA) at 1(800) 273-8255 or Lifeline (Australia) at 13 11 14.
If you are experiencing emotional problems such as inability to sleep, constant crying, anger, anxiety or inability to concentrate, please seek help with a local counsellor or therapist. For assistance, call now:
24 Hr International Helpline:
866 482 5433 (USA)
(exit code) 1 866 482 5433 (Intl)
Or, if you are in Australia:
1800 090 777 (Aus)
Otherwise, our online directory at http://abortiongroup.com/index.php/get-help/findservices or Care Net at http://www.care-net.org/find-a-pregnancy-center may assist you in locating a counsellor near you.
Pregnancy centers usually offer free counselling both before and after crisis pregnancy and abortion.