Christine Charbonneau, who heads a Planned Parenthood regional office in Seattle, blamed the lack of paid maternity leave on financial constraints.
While some states have made cuts to government funding of Planned Parenthood in recent years, government funding of the company remains fairly stable. In August, the Senate rejected a bill that would have blocked federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
According to a 2018 report, Planned Parenthood's taxpayer funding has increased by 61 percent in the past decade, from $336.7 million in 2006 to $543.7 million in 2016.
Despite defunding efforts, the organization received only two percent fewer tax dollars in 2016 than in 2015. "Government Health Services Reimbursements & Grants" constituted the largest source of funding for Planned Parenthood in 2016-2017, providing 37 percent of the organization's revenue.
Current and former Planned Parenthood employees from Florida told the Times that regardless of official policies, a general culture of discouraging pregnancy among the staff is prevalent at the organization. Coworkers would often announce at work that they were "not planning on having children or were gay or single." Pregnant workers requesting breaks or special treatment were seen as lazy and uncommitted.
Several spokesmen for Planned Parenthood denied any discrimination.
"All the individuals identified in the article were treated fairly and equitably, free of any discrimination," said Vincent Russell, the head of Planned Parenthood's Hawthorne, N.Y. office, which oversees the clinic where Hairston had worked.
The Times said many of the employees they spoke with said they hoped that an article might spur change and address the lack of paid maternity leave available at the company. "It was looked down upon for you to get pregnant," Carolina Delgado, a former Planned Parenthood employee from Florida, told the Times.
"I don't think that any supervisor had to literally say it for us to feel it."