After a recent report by The New York Times outlined allegations that Planned Parenthood offered little to no support to pregnant employees, its president Dr. Leana Wen issued a statement in response, saying, "It's our obligation to do better, for our staff, for the families and for our patients."
Wen could not comment on specific allegations, according to her statement, but brought up plans to solve the issues at hand. "That is why Planned Parenthood is launching a major new initiative to review, revamp, and strengthen our parental leave policies and ensure a culture that supports pregnant and parenting staff," she wrote. "We will be seeking the advice of external experts who will work with the national office and affiliates to advise on best practices and assist us with implementation. We will announce the results of the review, specific actions to be taken, and resources required in the fall of 2019."
The New York Times specifically mentions the experience of pregnant Planned Parenthood employee Ta'Lisa Hairston, who was unable to properly take care of her own high-risk pregnancy after the human resources department ignored her notes explaining the need for lunch breaks and time to rest. She told the Times, "I had to hold back tears talking to pregnant women, telling them to take care of their pregnancies when I couldn't take care of mine." She added: "It made me jealous."
The Times report also pointed a number of worrying facts, including that only six of Planned Parenthood's 55 offices offer paid maternity leave, as well as allegations that pregnant women were unfairly passed over for promotions or new-hire positions. Read the full report, here.