A court has ruled that a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who was fired after she became a whistleblower should be awarded $3 million in damages.
Mayra Rodriguez had worked for more than 15 years with Planned Parenthood, most recently at locations in Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona, before she began an internal campaign to address what she saw as health and safety concerns, Fox News reported.
“My motivation has always been to care for women, to help, that they are being taken care of, that they received the compassionate and high-quality care. And so obviously, when I saw that was not happening, I was very concerned,” she said, according to the Catholic News Agency.
Rodriguez filed her lawsuit in 2017, claiming she was fired for reporting “high complication rates” of one doctor. At the time, she was in the country illegally.
“Planned Parenthood publicly states they want to help and stand up for immigrants, that they care about these women, but it’s not true. They shamed me for my immigration status,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “But here we are, the jury heard the truth.”
Planned Parenthood whistleblower Mayra Rodriguez gets $3 million from an Arizona court after her wrongful terminationhttps://t.co/od3jXTQWTP
— Ben Owen ✝️ 🇺🇸 🇮🇱 (@hrkbenowen) August 19, 2019
Rodriguez’s attorney, Tim Casey, said the jury understood Rodriguez was relaying vital concerns.
“It vindicated what she found and it ought to help our community be safer,” Casey said, according to the Arizona Republic.
Planned Parenthood was still blaming Rodriguez even after the award was announced.
“We believe the evidence was compelling that it was our former employee’s failure to follow organization rules and procedures, which are designed to protect both patients and the public, that led to her dismissal. The amount of damages awarded runs strongly contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence,” Planned Parenthood Arizona President Bryan Howard said in a statement. The Western Journal reached out to Planned Parenthood for comment but has not yet received a response.
The lawsuit said that Rodriguez noticed a pattern of complications and went to top-level supervisors because the doctor in question was a friend of the doctor’s immediate supervisor.
“Ms. Rodriguez was concerned about the substantial health, welfare, and safety risks to these patients, as well as the substantial risk to the health, safety, and welfare of the inevitable future of PPA patients,” the lawsuit said.
After leaving Planned Parenthood, Rodriguez was helped by And Then There Were None, a ministry started by Abby Johnson to support former abortion workers.
“I’ve stared down Planned Parenthood in court. I know how hard it is watching your friends lie about you,” said Johnson, the woman whose story was the basis for the movie “Unplanned.”
“It’s always good to take down Planned Parenthood but it’s not without hurt,” Johnson said.
“When Mayra came to And Then There Were None with her incredible story, I felt solidarity with her, having gone through a similar situation when I worked for Planned Parenthood. Standing with her through the trial and rejoicing in the ultimate victory has been amazing,” Johnson said in a statement.
Rodriguez said her case shows that the truth will come out, no matter what.
“I hope my case is a lesson to other workers that shows them that the truth will prevail,” Rodriguez concluded. “I also hope my case is a lesson to employers who abuse their power — sometimes the underdog wins and justice will be done.”
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