How a rekindled relationship with God helped a Christian nurse quit Planned Parenthood

The exterior of a Planned Parenthood clinic is seen on May 28, 2019, in St Louis, Missouri.
The exterior of a Planned Parenthood clinic is seen on May 28, 2019, in St Louis, Missouri. | Getty Images/Michael B. Thomas

A former Planned Parenthood worker said becoming a mother and a renewed faith in God helped her to quit her job at the largest abortion provider in the United States after over a decade. 

In an interview with The Christian Post, Caroline Strzesynski said that she currently works as a pro-life women's health nurse practitioner and plans to go to school in the fall for midwifery. Before she got to where she is today, however, Strzesynski worked at a local abortion facility and, later, Planned Parenthood. 

Caroline Strzesynski
Caroline Strzesynski | And Then There Were None

Strzesynski did not consider herself pro-choice or pro-life when she started working as an abortion recovery room nurse at The Center for Choice in Toledo, Ohio, in 1999, a facility that is no longer open. At the time, she only wanted to work in women's healthcare.

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She viewed her work from a "service-orientated perspective," and the staff treated one another as if they were a family. Strzesynski described the woman who founded the facility as a "great cook," and on most days, the clinic employees would take the time to enjoy a meal together.

"Somehow, there was a separation of what was really going on around us, and we really had good intentions of caring for women," Strzesynski told CP.

"So, I didn't see some of the horrors that other places had. I did not see filth. And it could be that I wasn't there long enough, or I just wasn't aware because I was focused just on my role." 

As for her experience in the recovery room, Strzesynski frequently saw women in tears after their abortions, which she noted is the standard reaction to the "hormonal jolt" of going from being pregnant to not being pregnant. 

About a year or two into her job as a recovery room nurse, there was an incident where a woman who had just undergone an abortion began suffering from blood loss, and she continued to grow weaker and weaker. The facility manager debated what to do and looked at Strzesynski, who insisted that they call 911.

According to the former recovery room nurse, abortion facilities often hesitate to call 911 in emergency situations as they're afraid that this could draw negative attention. The injured woman went to the hospital and needed a blood transfusion. 

For two years, Strzesynski worked as an abortion recovery room nurse before she started a job at Planned Parenthood as a lead clinician. The facility where she worked did not perform abortions, but it did provide abortion referrals. 

Strzesynski noticed a change in herself after the birth of her daughter and as she started to rekindle a relationship with God. After becoming a mother, Strzesynski transitioned to working part-time, a decision that she said the corporation did not take well. 

Planned Parenthood cut her hours more than anticipated, and she took another job to fill in the gap. She was working for them off of a contract at that point, as the corporation had paid for her to go to school to become a nurse practitioner. Strzesynski said her goal was to pay them back, which she eventually did. 

"But, at that time, because of all that went on, I became very bitter with Planned Parenthood," she said, noting how her work often distracted her from caring for her daughter. 

Strzesynski felt compelled to resolve the bitterness over the situation and said her Christian faith helped her to do that. 

"I grew up going to church, so I went back to church," she said. "And in that time, the pastor really encouraged people to be in the Word, not just come to a Sunday service, but to be reading daily." 

As she spent more time with Scripture and incorporated Christian values into her household, Strzesynski began to see her job at Planned Parenthood through a "different lens." Eventually, one shift at a Planned Parenthood sister location convinced Strzesynski to resign.

The former Planned Parenthood employee believes that it was around 2010 when her job sent her to the sister location to learn about Nexplanon, a contraceptive that is implanted in the arm. Unlike the facility where Strzesynski worked, this location performed abortions.

After she underwent training in the morning at the sister location, Strzesynski was to implant them inside of women as a proctor watched and then utilize what she had learned back at her facility.

As she drove to the location with her manager, the Planned Parenthood employee started to feel uneasy. A conversation began taking place in her mind, and she questioned why she was suddenly conflicted about work she had done before without issue.

"And then when I entered the building, that's when the scales were off, and I was seeing everything through a different lens," Strzesynski said.

"And so, when I saw the women at that point, I wasn't just seeing a woman in her circumstance anymore. I was seeing the life within, and I was seeing the generational impact." 

God made His presence palpable, according to the former Planned Parenthood employee, who told CP that she started to pray. Later, she found herself in the backroom with the sister location's abortionist and her medical resident, and the behavior Strzesynski witnessed greatly disturbed her.

CP asked Strzesynski for more information about what she saw and heard that day, but she said it was something she preferred not to share.

Strzesynski left without completing any of the procedures she had been assigned. As she left, she knew she would resign, a decision that became even more certain after conversing with her clinic manager. 

The manager had carpooled with Strzesynski to the sister location, and on the way home, the manager shared that the meeting she had attended included a discussion about abortion quotas. The manager said that abortion numbers at Planned Parenthood were not decreasing, and when Strzesynski commented that this was "not good," her boss chuckled. 

"I'm like, 'Well, isn't the point to put ourselves out of business, right? We provide all these contraceptive services so that there aren't these pregnancies that are unwanted, and we reduce abortion numbers,'" the former abortion worker remembered saying to her manager.

"And she said, 'That's what we want the public to believe,'" Strzesynski said. "And I said, 'Well, wait a minute. I thought 97% of what we did was preventive service, and only 3% was abortion.' And she said, 'Caroline, abortion is how we make our money.'" 

Strzesynski conversed with God about her decision to quit the abortion industry and called a friend to pray and fast with her. At the time, Strzesynski was the primary breadwinner between her and her husband, even though she worked part-time.

She did not have any other jobs lined up when she decided to quit working for Planned Parenthood, and her husband did not share her faith in God. In addition to seeking spiritual support from her friend, Strzesynski met with a pastor to gain some clarity. 

"I met with the pastor because, at the time, I was trying to figure out, do I have to leave like right now, or do I give six weeks professional notice and that gives me time to find a job?" Strzesynski recalled. 

Although she was working for the nation's largest abortion provider, Strzesynski noted the facility where she was employed functioned like a regular gynecological office, so she gave six weeks' notice instead of leaving immediately. 

When Strzesynski told her husband about her desire to quit, she remembered that he felt hesitant about her decision, questioning if this was truly what she thought she needed to do. 

Strzesynski said her exit from Planned Parenthood was a quiet one, although they did call her afterward to offer more money if she stayed. She also received an email asking why she had not completed any of the procedures at the affiliate location, and Strzesynski wrote back with all of the issues she had seen that day. 

She said the organization didn't follow up with her about the concerns she had raised.

Things came together for Strzesynski job-wise, as the local health department responded to an email she sent inquiring about a position there. 

Around 2014, the pastor Strzesynski spoke to about quitting Planned Parenthood connected her with the CEO of a local pregnancy resource center. The pregnancy center CEO took Strzesynski on a tour of the facility, an experience that Strzesynski described as "eye-opening." 

"When you work at Planned Parenthood, you don't trust pro-lifers, right? We think they just deceive women to continue their pregnancies," Strzesynski said.

"And I don't know if we're thinking that they don't provide any further resources or what, but when you look at it through a different lens, you're like, no, the deception is at Planned Parenthood."

The pregnancy center had an upcoming fundraising gala, which Strzesynski was invited to attend and share her testimony. Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and founder of the pro-life group And Then There Were None, also attended the gala, where she met Strzesynski. 

After Johnson left Planned Parenthood, she founded ATTWN to help other abortion clinic employees find other work and share their testimonies. Since meeting Johnson, Strzesynski has shared her story through ATTWN at various pro-life events. 

Amid questions about the pro-life movement's future goals following the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade, Strzesynski said that one thing pro-lifers can do is continue supporting women facing difficult circumstances that may drive them towards abortion. 

"I don't know what the answer is for that," she said. "Honestly, I don't have any one thing other than we need the support and we need to do it, and we need to not just march. We need to not just talk, but we need boots on the ground." 

"You know, this gets down to James," Strzesynski said, citing James 2:17-26. "Faith without works is dead, and we need the works alongside the faith piece."

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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