INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — For two-and-a-half years, Marianne Anderson worked at a place she now describes as “a money-grubbing, evil, sad, sad place to work.”
From early 2010 through July 2012, Anderson was a nurse who, among other duties, dispersed sedatives intravenously to clients at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Indianapolis. That center is the state’s largest provider of abortions.
When she started working there, Anderson said she was “on the fence about abortion.”
“I think a lot of it came from working at Wishard (Hospital in Indianapolis) and seeing girls that had attempted abortion themselves,” she said. She thought women should have a “safe place” to go for abortion.
In an interview with The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese, Anderson said she started to feel uneasy about her job when women from the Planned Parenthood headquarters came to teach the “conscious sedation” process.
“They had this chant they would do: ‘Abortion all the time!’ They acted like an abortion was a rite of passage,” said Anderson.
And the “safe place” she envisioned for women to have abortions turned out to be not so safe.
“Several times there were difficulties with abortions while I worked there, where they had to call the hospital to come pick the woman up. One girl almost bled out. She was passing clots, her blood pressure was dropping,” Anderson recalled.
She told of another incident when a man brought in a Korean girl.
“I had no doubt in my mind this girl was a sex slave,” said Anderson. “This guy would not leave her side. They could barely communicate.”
“Girls would start crying on the table, and Dr. (Michael) King would say, ‘Now you chose to be here. Sit still. I don’t have time for this,'” said Anderson, referring to the abortion doctor.
She ultimately found Planned Parenthood to be “a money-grubbing, evil, sad, sad place to work.”
“We would get yelled at if we didn’t answer the phone by the third ring. They would tell us we’d be fired (if we didn’t), because they needed the money,” Anderson recalled.
“They would remind us in our weekly staff meeting that we need to tell (the clients) to avoid (the sidewalk counselors) because we need the money.”
Anderson was sickened by what she saw in the center’s “POC” room — which stands for “products of conception.”
“He would pour the (products of conception) through a strainer, then flush the remains down the toilet.
“One doctor would talk to the aborted baby while looking for all the parts. ‘Come on, little arm, I know you’re here! Now you stop hiding from me!’ It just made me sick to my stomach.
“The sound the suction machine made when it turned on still haunts me,” Anderson said.
She saw an ad for the book “Unplanned” by Abby Johnson, a former director for Planned Parenthood in Texas who quit her job in 2009 and became pro-life.
Anderson read the book and contacted Johnson, who eventually put her in touch with Eileen Hartman, a local pro-life advocate who runs the Great Lakes Gabriel Project, a Christian-based network of church volunteers who help women facing difficult or unplanned pregnancies.
“Eileen was the biggest help,” said Anderson. “She was there for me to talk any time I wanted. I got emails constantly that (the sidewalk counselors) were praying for me every day.
“I never for one second felt judged or put down by anybody. I felt so much criticism from inside that building versus the love I felt (from those) on the outside.”
Anderson was fired from Planned Parenthood in July 2012.
“I was always getting in trouble for talking too long to the girls, asking if they were sure they wanted to do this,” she said, and admitted to having a “pretty bad attitude” from being miserable in her job.
But Anderson had been looking for a new employer.
“As I was being fired, my phone was vibrating in my pocket,” she said. It was Community North Hospital in Indianapolis calling about hiring her for the job she currently has.
“I love my job now,” she said. “I work with wonderful, Christian people.”
Recently, Anderson attended a retreat put on by And Then There Were None, an organization Johnson created to help former Planned Parenthood employees heal.
“They wanted us to pick out a name every day for one of the babies whose abortions we were a part of, and pray for that child,” said Anderson. “I still do that. I can’t remember the number (of abortions) I came up with, but I figure it will take me several years before I get through the list.”
Anderson spoke publicly for the first time about her Planned Parenthood experiences at a dinner for Great Lakes Gabriel Project on Feb. 6.
“The worst thing I ever did in my life was work at that Planned Parenthood (facility),” she told the crowd.
“It’s been an ongoing journey for me. Talking about it is painful, but talking about it is healing at the same time.”
Hoefer is a reporter for The Criterion, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.