[Editor’s note: After Operation Rescue published a report earlier this month about two medical emergencies at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Hempstead, New York, we were approached by Patty Knap, a local pro-life activist, who wanted to share her recent experience with a woman who had endured a traumatic abortion at that same Planned Parenthood abortion facility. She was kind enough to write the following guest report for Operation Rescue.]
By Patty Knap
Hempstead, NY — Looking at the young woman who came to our pro-life center in Hempstead, New York, there was no hint of the pain she’d been through.
Tamara was out for a walk with her 15-month-old son in his stroller. It so happens she lives in an apartment building right next to the local Planned Parenthood. As she walked past, someone praying out front handed her a flier for our center, suggesting she come to us for baby things.
As I was putting together clothes and diapers for her little boy, she started talking, saying she’d had a horrible experience at Planned Parenthood.
About two years ago, she thought she might be pregnant and went to the Hempstead Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test. She knew they did abortions but just wanted to know if she was pregnant and maybe see an ultrasound.
The test that day showed she was pregnant, and is often the case at Planned Parenthood, their questions about Tamara’s life began. When they learned that the baby’s father had been in and out of jail, that her mother was very sick and probably dying (she has since passed away), that she provided care for her brother, and that she didn’t earn much money, the pressure to abort began.
Do you know how exhausting it is to have a child, especially with no support? If he’s in jail, you’re not going to be getting any child support. Who’s going to babysit when you work if your mother passes? Now is definitely not a good time for you to have a child. Why don’t you terminate and you can have a child when your situation changes?
While Tamara hadn’t given a thought to aborting when she went to Planned Parenthood that day, now she was considering what they said and felt maybe they were right. She cared about her baby’s father but he didn’t seem to be showing the motivation for a stable life – certainly not enough to be a father. As a felon, his employment opportunities were limited.
Within an hour, this young mother was persuaded to abort her first child. Sharing this story with me, she still seemed shocked that they’d been able to overwhelm her natural instinct to have her child. She even had a dramatic pro-life experience in her own family. Her mother had become pregnant through rape years ago. “He’s my brother and we all love him,” she said.
Yet she went ahead, and gave them her insurance card to cover the abortion.
Over the next few days, Tamara was bleeding and in increasing pain. By the fourth day, she went to the ER. She’d already begun to regret the abortion, and now wondered if “they’d done something” to her insides. She saw the looks on the doctor’s face, and then he told her she was carrying a dead twin inside her, as well as the foot of the first baby.
Tamara hadn’t been told she was pregnant with twins. Finding out she was now the mother of two deceased babies was “like a nightmare. How could they not have known that? How could they not tell me?” It was a horrible experience having to have the second baby’s body removed, along with the foot.
Four days after being pressured to abort at Planned Parenthood, the hospital doctors told her it was unlikely she’d be able to have another child after this trauma to her body. That was another devastation. Tamara was just 27.
After reality set in, Tamara talked with a lawyer about a case against Planned Parenthood. She was told she had a case based on her fertility having been destroyed. The lawyer told her to return to Planned Parenthood to get her records. Why the records weren’t subpoenaed isn’t known, but in any event, Tamara went back and asked the abortion facility for her records.
Tamara told them about the dead twin and realizing there would be a lawsuit, there was some hesitation in finding her records. At one point someone there said to her, “Well it shouldn’t have happened like that, but you’re alive. That’s the main thing.”
Then someone appeared with a checkbook and offered Tamara $15,000. It was implied that the payment would be in exchange for not pursuing a lawsuit. Tamara’s lawyer told her not to accept it.
As the case was getting started, something Tamara didn’t expect, happened. She became pregnant again. Her lawyer told her that was the end of the lawsuit.
Tamara didn’t say it, but it occurred to me that some people might have gone and had another abortion at another abortion center, they could proceed with the lawsuit claiming she was now unable to have a baby. This mother didn’t do that, just as she didn’t take that $15,000 Planned Parenthood offered her to go away.
She was thrilled to be pregnant again, and her love for this little boy was obvious when I sat with her. She continually held his hand, patted him on the head, adjusted his shoes and shirt, smiled and talked to him.
The father has a low-paying job, but he is working, and Tamara says he has been a good dad. It was a joy to be able to give her a “pack & play,” winter coat, shoes, toys, and books for her son, now 15 months. We gave her a few suggestions for a job, childcare, and other sources of assistance. She was very grateful and said she wished she’d known about us for a pregnancy test for her first pregnancy.
Operation Rescue has reached out to Tamara, offering her potential assistance through several pro life attorneys. Thus far she hasn’t responded. We continue to pray for her healing, for her son and his father, as we pray for a change of heart for those who work at Planned Parenthood.