Former occupation: Abortion clinic worker
Place: Haywood, California, USA
Judith Feltrow was upset when she learned about Operation Rescue and Randy Terry and she decided to become a volunteer for Planned Parenthood and to take a job in a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. But a lone sidewalk counselor kept vigil and finally was instrumental in bringing her both to Christ and into the Pro-Life movement.
"I've spent six weeks struggling with what I was going to say here today and it has been a painful struggle that has continued to send me to my knees. The preparation for this talk has made me aware of my unhealed places. Abortion hurts. It leaves scars. My abortion hurt me. The abortions I participated in hurt. Prior to becoming a Christian, I worked for Planned Parenthood in Hayword, California. I was a radical feminist, a member of the radical left.
Although I was involved in the pro-abortion movement for years, it was not until January, 1989 that I began as a volunteer for Planned Parenthood in Fremont. In April of 1990 I was hired for a full-time position with the clinic in Hayword. I was hired during the interview because of my history of political activism and my blind commitment to abortion.
To understand Planned Parenthood, and to love your enemy and pray for them effectively, you must understand the women who work there. We were dedicated - dedicated to women's right and dedicated to abortion.
That dedication took almost a bizarre, almost religious twist. The abortion clinic was our church, abortion was the sacrament, the babies were the sacrifice. I say the clinic was our church because the clinic was where we truly worshipped women's rights and women's reproductive freedom. Reproductive freedom says to the woman, there are no consequences, there is no sin. Abortion allegedly frees women. This is one of the greatest lies of the feminist agenda - that to be free, to be women, we must be carbon copy men. We must be wombless. Abortion supposedly redeems women by allowing them to recover their non-pregnant status.
Unfortunately the women end up paying a very high price emotionally, physically and spiritually. I often saw women who were injured emotionally by abortion. However, my supervisor told me, "If she's having a problem after her abortion, it is because she was having a problem before her abortion." This was a philosophy that I could not support.
Additionally, I could not reconcile that statement with the post abortion counseling brochure that we had in each counseling room.
It struck me that blaming the woman, making the emotional aftermath her fault, was perilously close to what batterers do to their victims. We at Planned Parenthood cared for women so much that we only charged $295.00 for twelve post abortion counseling sessions. This was more than we charged for an abortion, and it was an amount that was readily accessible to most of Planned Parenthood's clients.
It is difficult to work at abortion for any length of time and continue to believe that it is a safe procedure. Even with the best doctors, abortion days are full of minor and sometimes major complications.
I watched [an abortionist] perforate a woman's uterus and then lie about the severity of the perforation. He stated that the perforation was caused by the canula, with the machine off, when in fact the machine was on. This is a much more serious and sometimes fatal complication. We often had women come back with severe infections, caused by retained tissue or incomplete abortions, especially when training new doctors. The most horrifying complication that I witnessed was a woman who stopped breathing during the abortion. [The abortionist] just walked out of the room when he was finished. Despite my telling him that the client was not breathing, he left me alone with her. When [the abortionist] was forced to return, he didn't even follow emergence protocol for that situation. It was a miracle that woman didn't die.
It is extremely difficult to watch doctors lie and clinic workers cover it up. I would hear horrifying stories of women being dragged out of clinics to die in cars on the way to the hospital. I began to wonder if we were really caring for these women or if we were just working for another corporation whose only interest was the bottom line.
Despite what you may see among the staff at the clinics, clinic workers have very mixed feelings about abortion. Clinic workers may say they support a woman's right to choose, but they will also say they do not want to see the tiny hands and feet. They do not want to face the consequences of their actions. Planned Parenthood workers talk about how seeing the body parts is painful for them. Although workers can be protected from seeing the babies' butchered bodies, there is no inoculation to make clinic workers immune to the smell of blood that permeates the clinic on killing days.
Generally there is one clinic worker in charge of the babies. At Hayword Planned Parenthood, I was that clinic worker. I had to look at the babies. I had to store them. No one at Planned Parenthood wanted this job. I did not particularly want this job. However, I did not want to see the babies treated disrespectfully. This position put me fact to face with what abortion is - the death of a tiny human being. I had to look at tiny hands and feet. There were times when I wanted to cry. In order to keep my sanity, I established a personal mourning ritual. I sat Shiva for the babies. I said the prayers for the dead. I also named each baby when I placed them in the "contaminated waste" container. There were days when I would go home and think "You know, maybe this isn't right."
When I started at Planned Parenthood I say two types of women working at the clinic. One group were women who had found some way to deal with the emotional and spiritual toll of working abortion. The second group where women who had closed themselves emotionally. They were the walking wounded. You could look into their eyes and see that they were emotionally dead, not available for themselves or for anyone else. I resolved that I would not become one of the walking wounded. I would not shut myself off from what we did.
This meant that I had to admit to myself that life began at conception, and that what we did was murder. In the end, that stand literally paved the way for my salvation. Nevertheless, working at abortion left a scar on my soul and I still pay a price in muted feelings and emotional detachment.
Fortunately, God sent one pro-life activist to sidewalk counsel on a day when we were not doing abortions. This man did not judge me, his did not condemn me. In fact, he was friendly to me. He told me his name and asked me my name.
He talked to me about how cold he was standing out in front of the clinic in shorts. He gave me a tape by Carol Everett. He invited me to go to church with him and when I said no, he invited me to have coffee with him. He was persistently friendly. And although Steve did not condone my sin, he offered me unconditional acceptance. It took some time. It took enormous dedication and it took the patience of a saint. But over several weeks we developed a friendship across lines based on trust. He also asked the people in his community to pray and they did.
I saw a love in those people that I had never experienced and I wanted that love. God took a heart of stone and began to turn it into a heart of flesh.
Planned Parenthood would like for pro-lifers to be so intimidated that they leave them alone. They will tell lies, use lawsuits, restraining orders, injunctions and other tactics to keep us away from their clinics. They do this because a pro-life presence is so effective in front of clinic. We are bad for business. We are also bad for the turnover among the staff. Planned Parenthood volunteers escorts and staff have been instructed not to speak to the pro-life Christians. They have been told this because too many staff and volunteers have been hearing the truth and repenting.
Planned Parenthood's mission statement reads: "Planned Parenthood believes that all individuals have the fundamental right to manage their own fertility and that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and private. Further Planned Parenthood believes that such self-determination enhances the quality of life, strength, family relationships and contributes to population stability." Planned Parenthood claims to be committed to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct. However, most Planned Parenthood clinics are located in economically marginalised neighborhoods.
They are continuing Margaret Sanger's planned eugenics cleansing. Whether it is conscious or unconscious, Planned Parenthood is killing minorities with the blessing of the liberal left. It is a coerced self-determination at best. At worst it is genocide - the systematic killing of racial, political and cultural groups. God will not allow this to continue. What he asks of us is obedience and an unwavering commitment to Him."