Abortion industry wages, high and low

Scripture has it that laborers are worthy of their hire. Even abortion workers get paid. But how much?

Jill Stanek, pro-life blogger, activist, and nurse, published a post this evening about a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Pennsylvania. In a column headlined “Slave wages and astronomical insurance premiums,” Stanek reports that Planned Parenthood Keystone (PPKEY) offers its employees working 30 or more hours per week a health insurance plan requiring biweekly payroll deductions of $512.60.

Stanek goes on:

I’m told that PP Keystone workers other than clinic managers and clinicians make only $10-11/hour and are limited to a 35-hour work week. These people include receptionists, medical assistants and “front end and back end staff,” according to my source….How a PP employee making $11/hour, or $1,540 a month, could afford insurance for his or her family is beyond me.

This insurance plan reportedly went into effect November 1, meaning it’s Obamacare-compliant. Maybe PPKEY, like PP of Northern New England, is an Obamacare “navigator” that can help people sign up for subsidized insurance. If so, they already have clients in-house.

The contrast between part-time pay and the cost of health insurance (even under Obamacare) doesn’t shock me. I’m accustomed to seeing figures like that. I’ve had my share of jobs that saw most of my pay going to insurance. Stanek’s post is about more than insurance , though. She contrasts the wages of the lower-paid employees with that of PPKEY’s CEO Kim Custer who, according to Stanek, made $133,165 in 2012. (I have been unable to verify that figure, although I did find that Custer is listed in 2012 annual reports as interim CEO at the Keystone affiliate and full CEO at a larger PP affiliate nearby.)

How does that compare to what goes in in my own back yard? The PPNNE executives’ pay for tax year 2012 is a matter of public record on IRS form 990. Steve Trombley, who has since left the organization, enjoyed base compensation of $243,669 as CEO. Meagan Gallagher’s base salary as Senior Vice-President for Business Operations was $147,069; she has since succeeded Trombley as CEO. The medical director earned $219,616; the vice-president for development settled for $145,017.

That’s three-quarters of a million dollars for four employees, out of $19.6 million in total expenditures for PPNNE in 2012, according to their annual report. There are at least three other employees with six-figure compensation, according to the form 990. One is the highly effective public policy director with whom I cross paths regularly at the State House. It’s a competitive world out there, and the executive salaries reflect that.

(But remember: whenever there’s a cut in government funding to PP, actual or threatened, it’s the cancer screenings that feel the pinch, not the executive salaries. At least, that’s what PPNNE’s representatives told the public after they lost a state family planning contract in 2011. But I digress.)

I don’t know what the rank-and-file workers earn. You know – the ones who have the most contact with clients and patients. How much are the people making who greet patients at the door? How about the intake workers who talk to abortion-minded women? The workers who clean up the “procedure” rooms? The providers who come under contract to do abortions? The security guard I met outside PP in Manchester during 40 Days for Life?

The numbers might be comparable to those in similar industries. The top-to-bottom wage disparity may simply be the free market in action. It would be interesting to know what value a free market assigns to the people standing next to a woman as her child is “terminated.”