The mission of And Then There Were None is quite clearly communicated in the name of the organization. Every single worker who exits the industry is a victory. Often, when a worker reaches out to us, they are hostile, distrustful, and usually desperate. As an organization, we completely understand their hesitancy to reach out. Pro-lifers, especially those on the sidewalk, are not historically known for their kindness to the abortion clinic staff. But due to authentic love from sidewalk advocacy organizations, these relationships are changing.
Noemi, one of our precious “Quitters” completely embodies and embraces our mission. Through her efforts and sharing her experience as a member of the ATTWN tribe, ten former abortion clinic workers, her former co-workers — including a doctor — have quit the industry.
It was sheer convenience that drove Noemi into the arms of the abortion industry. As a transplant from New York to Florida without a driver’s license, she relied on public transportation. Every day her commute was well over an hour, and she would pass a women’s clinic. In her bold, New Yorker fashion, Noemi went right in and told them why they should hire her, and they did on the spot.
As a teenager, Noemi had her own abortion. She felt that without the ability to make that choice, she would never have finished college, would have had no future.
“At the time, I was 100% pro-choice,” she says. “I felt that abortion was a lifeline for me. While I did think it was the right of every woman, in my mind, I focused on the women who were pregnant because of rape or incest, or the ones who had horrible fetal anomalies. I felt like I was doing something positive to help women in these situations.”
At first, the clinic treated Noemi like royalty. From a $500 bonus to a brand-new phone, she felt appreciated and respected at work. The environment rapidly changed when she started voicing her opinion about the unsanitary habits and conditions of some of the other staff.
“The staff were so inappropriate and unprofessional. When I approached the executive director with my concerns, she certainly did not respect or appreciate my feedback,” Noemi said. “They didn’t care about germs or unsanitary conditions in the clinic. The one thing they cared about was meeting the quota of 24 first-trimester abortions a day. They even rewarded us with lunch. If we hit 12, we got pizza. If we got to 24, then they would buy us a good lunch.”
At Noemi’s clinic, abortions were done every day of the week. VIPs who wanted a private experience would come in on Sundays.
“We all dealt with the pressure and pain of it in different ways,” she said. “Some girls drank. Some did drugs. I used food as my coping mechanism and gained a lot of weight during my time there. My manager would ridicule me. She would publicly single me out and tell me what to order or throw my food away. The verbal and emotional abuse was humiliating.”
The more Noemi spoke up, the worse things would get for her. When a woman who was clearly too far along came in the clinic and she spoke up about it, she was told to “mind your place and stop thinking you are Super Nurse.”
“The owner even came in and said that she would do a procedure herself,” Noemi said. “This woman had no medical training at all!”
Noemi’s clinic aborted babies up to 23 weeks and six days along. Clients would come from other states, their travel paid for by the National Abortion Federation.
“Ultrasounds were often tweaked. It is so easy to do, it just depends on where you put the marker on the cranium. Changing a 12-week-old baby to a 15-week measurement on the ultrasound was simple,” Noemi said. “Even though we were not supposed to, we accepted women past our limit. We never turned anyone down, no matter what.”
Noemi became close with a woman who was not abortion minded. She meant to enter the pregnancy center next door but wound up inside the abortion clinic instead. Noemi did her ultrasound and the woman asked to hear the heartbeat. At first, she was hesitant. They never turned the volume up during ultrasounds.
“When I turned it on, the sound of that baby’s heart touched me. I hadn’t heard that sound for years,” Noemi said. The woman cried and hugged me. She even came back another time with her husband so he could hear the heartbeat and see the baby on the screen. This woman continued to come, and I watched her baby grow. It was a big deal. It was a happy moment.”
Noemi was shocked when this same woman was sent to the clinic for an abortion due to a fetal anomaly.
“I begged her to get her records. I went to the doctor and said we needed to wait for the records. ‘They want this baby. We can wait,’” Noemi pleaded. “The doctor told me, ‘No way—we are pushing this one. This is a money maker.’”
Noemi is an extremely intuitive person and an excellent nurse. Her instincts were correct. When the records were finally acquired, they showed that there was nothing wrong with this woman’s baby. She confronted the doctor with this information.
“Oh well,” the doctor told her. “Too late now.”
By this point, Noemi had had enough. “I told this woman the truth and gave her copies of her records. I knew it would never get better. I had to take an honest look at myself and for the first time admit that I had just killed a baby. This time, there was no way to sugarcoat it.”
Noemi had heard about ATTWN. The clinic received the mailings and heard about abortionworker.com from pro-lifers on the sidewalk. She had even encouraged a few girls who quit before her to reach out and see what they are all about.
“My friend told me that she did reach out and that they are the nicest people,” Noemi said. “She said that they helped her. This was before I quit, but I just kept sending more workers to them. They would all say wonderful things and ask me when I was going to leave. At that point, I was crying and praying every day before going into work.”
The day that Noemi finally quit was an ordinary Monday. She had no intention of quitting that day.
“I could not even put on my scrubs. I had a panic attack,” she said. “I heard a voice in my head telling me that I could just quit. I called the doctor and told her that I simply could not do this anymore. They did not take me seriously and fully expected me to stay. They guilted me about their full schedule and I told her that was not my problem.”
Noemi called her brother and asked him to take her to the beach. She needed time to think. The doctor continued to blow up her phone, guilt her, and tell her that they couldn’t do the job without her.
“They would have given me whatever I wanted to stay,” Noemi said.
Noemi felt such brokenness and was in a dark place when she first quit. She loved nursing and she feared that the clinic would somehow come after her license. She had a deep desire to use her nursing skills for positive things. She finally made the decision to do what she had recommended so many of her previous co-workers do; she called And Then There Were None to get some help for herself.
“The day after I called ATTWN, I had another job,” Noemi said. “It was a miracle, really. My resumé had literally been sitting on someone’s desk for a full two years. The day after I quit, they called me out of the blue and offered me the job. I knew this was not a coincidence. God kept my resumé on that desk for two years.”
Noemi is now a bright light in the ATTWN tribe and in the pro-life community. She jumped right in and did the hard work to heal. She attended retreats. She worked with her counselor; she connected with other Quitters like her and allowed herself to trust them enough to lean on them for support.
“It took me a while to open up in therapy,” she said. “There are a million reasons that broken people work in these clinics. There is not a healthy person working in these places.”
“I love my Quitters more than some of my own family,” Noemi said. “They truly offer me unconditional love, even on my worst day. They will call me out when I need it, but they still love me and accept me. They are my tribe and my lifeline. Sometimes I still berate myself for wasting four years of my life in that clinic, but now I see it as part of God’s plan. We are not sharing secondhand information. We were there. Quitters can help pregnancy centers understand the verbiage and tactics of the industry.”
In addition to attaining mental and spiritual health, Noemi has worked hard to become more physically healthy and has lost a significant amount of weight. She knows she needs to be strong both mentally and physically to do what she loves best, use her skills as an excellent nurse to help others. She has shared her story with pregnancy centers, spoken on panels with other Quitters, attended the March for Life and Pro-Life Women’s Conference, was interviewed for the upcoming documentary Unthinkable, and is the Clinic Nurse Manager of Oasis Pregnancy Center.
Noemi often thinks of those who are still involved in the abortion industry.
“If you are an abortion worker, I recommend that you look around at the people you are surrounded by,” she said. “Are they your forever people? Will they have your back no matter what? Take a chance. Cross that line and you will see unconditional love.”