"We did hear some women talking about Planned Parenthood staff talking about procedures out in the waiting room, in front of everybody," Pauls noted. These public conversations included "what their health history was."
While such instances were not frequent, "we did hear that from enough women that that's not rare," he said.
Another brand "weakness" was that women who frequented Planned Parenthood clinics when they were younger had moved on to other health care providers as they grew older, even though they still referred younger clients to clinics.
There might be several reasons for this, Pauls explained. Older women may have stopped the "risky sexual activity" of their former years, or they might have better health insurance and be "in a position to afford and get good health care at a doctor or an OBGYN," he said.
"They say that they still believe that Planned Parenthood is as good or better than" other providers, Pauls said. Women appreciated what Planned Parenthood did for them – providing them with birth control and performing abortions – but they "still weren't totally comfortable with the experience of having to go there."
Planned Parenthood has recently insisted that it is an important provider of women's health care. Yet it is not holistic health care, Pauls insisted.
"It's a place to get, in their words, to 'fix a mistake'" and "solve a problem."
For instance, clinics did not offer "real counseling" for women considering abortion, "because if they did, it would be an admission that abortion harms women," Pauls said.
Rather, clinics focused on "helping women feel alright about abortion, and giving them these defense and coping mechanisms for the inevitable pain and difficulty they go through," he said.
For instance, clinic workers told women of their abortion "you won't even think about it later on" and "it's no big deal, women do this all the time."
They would encourage them that "it's actually a good thing that you're doing for your family or your future family or your education or your career."
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"A lot of times they'll even refer to abortion and their need to go to Planned Parenthood as a necessary evil," Pauls said.
"She feels like she really has no real choice, so Planned Parenthood is the only way really to move forward without kind of experiencing this death of her current self or her future self."
In contrast, pregnancy centers can step in and offer "holistic" health care that Planned Parenthood doesn't, Pauls insisted.
One significant "surprise" from his research was that "none" of the women "knew what a pregnancy help center was" or had "much knowledge or interest in it." This was despite the fact that 2,400 pregnancy help centers outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics almost four to one.
These pregnancy clinics don't perform abortions but instead provide women financial, material and emotional support to have their baby and can even offer medical care and psychological counseling.
"Women are interested in this holistic approach to health," of "being healthy in mind, body, spirit, soul, vocation," Pauls said.