Former Clinic Worker: Catherine Anthony Adair, An Interview

Catherine Anthony Adair worked in a Planned Parenthood clinic. She left her job and now is a part of the pro-life movement. Here is an interview that Clinicquotes did with her.

What were your feelings on abortion before you got the job at the clinic?

I really didn’t have any feelings on it, I was much more concerned about feminism and women’s rights, and I felt that abortion, as a politic issue, was part of the feminist framework of forwarding women’s rights. I didn’t have any understanding that abortion could/did have any negative implications for women, and I certainly didn’t consider the baby involved. Looking back, I can see that my own abortion I had several years before working at Planned Parenthood greatly affected my views in abortion. I had found it highly traumatizing, and my way of dealing with the emotional aftermath was to bury it and not deal with my emotions. Instead, I turned to radical feminism.

How did you decide to work there, what led up to that decision?

I was finishing college and looking for a job when I saw Planned Parenthood was looking for clinic workers. I jumped at the chance because to me Planned Parenthood represented the feminist movement.

When the women came in for an abortion, did they receive counseling before hand?

The clinic where I worked was almost exclusively an abortion clinic. Abortions were performed all day, every day. The counseling occurred after the woman had paid for her abortion. The counseling was not meant to be an opportunity to discuss the woman’s decision to abort. It was merely a pre-operative screening. We went over her health questionnaire she filled out in the waiting room, I took her blood pressure and pulse, described the abortion procedure, and made sure she chose a birth control method to use when she left the clinic.I never once asked what had led the woman to choose abortion – the attitude was that she was already there so she must be sure. We did have to ask her if she was aware she could continue her pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption, but we didn’t get into any options counseling. We weren’t under any pressure to sell abortions, they had already been paid for by the time they came into the counseling room.

We never discussed fetal development. The baby was referred to as the”contents of the uterus” or a “clump of cells.” on the rare occasion a woman asked about the size of  the baby, I would tell her it was about the size of the tip of my pencil, regardless of how many weeks into her pregnancy she was.At the time I worked for Planned Parenthood ultrasounds were only done if the woman was unsure of the dates of her last menstrual period,or if the doctor ordered one.

ultrasound at 8 weeks

Women were not given the option of viewing the ultrasound.

Did you ever witness an abortion procedure? What did you see? 

I was a medical assistant in the room for hundreds of abortions. I witnessed the baby being suctioned out of the uterus and watched blood and tissue work it’s way through the tube into a metal bowl. The baby was dismembered during the process. The nurse would account for the baby parts and put it into a baggy, which I then put in a box with the other aborted babies. We then had to count them at the end of the day to ensure we had all of them to go to the lab.

When I saw a second trimester abortion, I saw dismembered arms and legs, with perfect feet and hands.

legs of an eleven week old unborn baby

What (if any) services did the clinic offer to post-abortion women? Was there a follow up appointment or any counseling offered?

We did not offer any post-abortive services, except for the occasional patient who chose to have her 6 week follow-up at the clinic. Most women saw their own doctor. There was absolutely no talk of any kind of mental health help or counseling, because that would have been tantamount to admitting that women suffer emotionally after abortion and Planned Parenthood is always going to deny that.

What led to you leaving the clinic?

I left the clinic for several reasons. First, I had become very disillusioned. I realized that Planned Parenthood was not the feminist place I thought it was. I realized it was racist, classist, and demeaning for women. I also was having terrible nightmares and anxiety attacks. One of my recurring nightmares was me floating through space in a sea of baby limbs torn from their bodies. In the dream I couldn’t breath or escape – I would wake up screaming. I couldn’t deal with it emotionally, so I left and I didn’t talk about my experience for over a decade.

9 week old unborn baby
Share on Facebook

Former Clinic Worker: Catherine Adair

This clinic is in Boston on Commonwealth Avenue, it is all abortions all day, every day that’s what we did, Monday through Saturday, all day. I was a medical assistant, again let me remind you that I had no medical training whatsoever. And as a medical assistant you were in the abortion room with the doctor and the nurse, you bring the patient in and get them ready.… You put her on the table, get her ready and that’s the position she’s in when her “healthcare provider” comes into the room. If she’s lucky, he might use her name or make eye contact, but generally speaking, he or she doesn’t…

One of my jobs was to count these baggies, these plastic bags, because the bags had to match the number of abortions we did that day. And what they call the bags, are POCs, products of conception and the clinic workers would joke that they were pieces of children.… I know why people joke, I know why there is this gallows humor you sort of have to do that to survive and when you think about it you’re dealing with death day after day…

We did second trimester abortions there…. I went in and they hadn’t taken the baby out of the room yet and I stood there looking at this jar with these body parts in shock. And I sort of backed out of the room not sure if I had really seen what I had seen.… Because this was a baby – I could see hands, I could see feet. This was a person, this was a human being.… You would think I wouldn’t go back to work the next day but I did because who was I gonna talk to?

unborn baby’s foot at 14 weeks

…. The Iron Curtain there is very strong; you question Planned Parenthood, and boy, people really come down on you.

Before she meets with a counselor, or talk to anybody about the decision, they already have her money. When they call to make an appointment, they don’t ask “why are you thinking about having an abortion?” They ask “when was your last period, and how are you going to pay for this.”…

I think Planned Parenthood, one of its goals is to go younger and younger and younger, its name branding… They want to enter the schools, and that way, when someone is a teenager and pregnant, “oh yeah, Planned Parenthood.” They know that name, it’s the first thing that they think of.… It is a culture and a belief that… children are the enemy of women, and that’s what we’re fighting against.”

Values Voter Summit 10/8/2011,


Planned Parenthood’s mission is to pressure as many women into having an abortion as it can,” a former abortion facility worker has revealed. From Catherine Anthony Adair’s op-ed piece in The Washington Examiner:

In 1997, I began working at a Boston Planned Parenthood clinic as a young, idealistic college student who strongly believed in what I had been told about the organization, that I would be helping other young women access safe and affordable health care.

My time there was not spent providing prenatal care to pregnant women, providing counseling or basic health care services or educating women about reproductive health.

Instead, I spent my days urging women to terminate their pregnancies. My superiors constantly reminded me of our abortion-centered business model: abortions first, everything else came second.

I began to recognize their emphasis on performing abortions each time a woman would express concern or have second thoughts about having an abortion. When I notified management, though, they told me not to worry and encourage her decision to move ahead with the procedure. …

Planned Parenthood’s mission is to pressure as many women into having an abortion as it can.

The misinformation, lack of counseling and coercion extended to facility workers purposely obscuring information on fetal development, Anthony Adair wrote.

In fact, clinic workers would purposefully avoid providing information on fetal development, what the child looked like, the child’s anatomical development and the pain he or she could feel. I was continuously reminded that when referring to the baby, the appropriate terminology was “clump of cells” or “contents of the uterus.”

Then women would know what was really growing inside them: a little person with a beating heart, functioning nervous system, tiny hands and feet. The child is entirely disregarded. There is no counseling, no care, no waiting and no discussion. Once a pregnancy is confirmed, it is off to termination.

Planned Parenthood takes specific advantage of women who are too young or misinformed to know better than to trust them with their well-being. Those who know the truth have a duty to speak out.

“Planned Parenthood lies about itself” Washington Examiner November 22, 2011 

Share on Facebook