Former clinic worker: Marlene Costa

Nurse Marlene Costa worked in New York abortion clinic for short time before leaving in 1989. This is what she has to say:

“The women did receive counseling, if you could call it that..I was one of the so-called counselors. There was absolutely no factual information given on fetal development, not a word spoken about the risks, & the counseling was completely biased..They were told that the fetus was a ‘blob of tissue,’ not to feel guilty about it, not to beat themselves up about it and [were] comforted if they had apprehension about it.”




There was definite pressure to sell abortions…I was told ‘get the cash & get them out.’ in fact, my coworkers made fun of me for staying ‘too long’ with the patients, giving comfort..They prided themselves on how much money they raked in each Saturday morning.

Costa never witnessed abortion procedures or saw the remains of aborted babies. She worked strictly with the women. However, despite the fact that she was insulated from the worst aspects of the clinic’s work, she quickly became disillusioned with the clinic’s focus on making money at the expense of vulnerable women:

“I still believed in the right to abort at that time..I just began to get sick at the heartlessness & callous atmosphere. It was all about the money.”


“I assisted him during exams of women and was repulsed b/c I actually witnessed him ‘coming on’ to the attractive patients while examining was disgusting.”

Like many clinic workers, Costa had an abortion before working at the clinic. There were protesters outside the clinic when Costa had her abortion. However, they did not reach out to her with compassion. Rather, in her own words, one woman “slammed me with a Bible while I tried to enter the clinic.”  This behavior from pro-life protesters did not cause her to reconsider her decision. She says:

“I think non-biased education, with videos, pictures, etc. on human development, in addition to ultrasounds would be the most effective in preventing abortions.”

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