Noemi Padilla is a former surgical nurse who practiced her profession in New York until she came across a position at a women's clinic after moving to Florida. In the beginning, she thought the job at the Florida abortion clinic was a perfect fit for her because it would allow her to perform compassionate care for women.
"I felt walking in that I was going to be doing the best possible mercy care," Padilla recounted to Faithwire. "What better care to give than for somebody going through such a hard time at that moment?"
Padilla said she wanted to provide women with "the best possible care," but that was not what she would eventually carry out at the clinic. The former abortion nurse recounted how "there was very little actual nursing care" and very little compassion as her experience was "more like an assembly line...very robotic."
Months passed and Padilla found it increasingly difficult to come to work at the Florida abortion clinic. She lamented about the "moral issue," which became the reason "why we're the biggest liars to ourselves." She admitted that she could no longer "face myself in the mirror."
After two years working at the Florida abortion clinic, Padilla admitted that it became increasingly difficult to lie to herself that what she was doing was for the good of the patients. The former abortion nurse began to isolate herself from her non-clinic friends and peers and just spent time with her fellow clinic workers. She admitted, "Your entire life becomes the abortion clinic."
But Padilla lasted another two years, until a moment when she encountered a woman who underwent an unnecessary abortion. That's when the former abortion nurse said, "I couldn't lie to myself anymore."
After four years working at the Florida abortion clinic, Padilla left her job and sought assistance from And Then There Were None, an organization founded by pro-life activist Abby Johnson that is geared towards helping abortion clinic employees exit the industry and begin rebuilding their lives.
Padilla lamented that when a person decides to leave the abortion industry, they get shunned, lied about, and peers and employers will "give you horrible recommendations."
"They'll do anything so that you can't progress because they want you to need them and have to come back," Padilla remarked.
According to IBISWorld, the Family Planning & Abortion Clinics industry employs 27,522 workers in 2022. The industry has seen a 1.4% growth in 2022 and has experienced a 3.2% annualzed employment growth from 2017 to 2022.
Unlike other pro-life advocacy groups, Johnson's goal with Texas-based anti-abortion group And Then There Were None is to persuade as many workers in the abortion industry to leave the field, NPR reported in 2018. Johnson and her team work include visiting abortion clinics, where they hold up signs, distribute pamphlets and encourage employees to leave their joibs. The group offers temporary financial assistance, help with their resumes, spiritual and emotional support, and even retreats for those who do manage to leave their profession.
Johnson herself left a job as a clinic director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas in 2009. She described having a "spiritual awakening" while at work after she viewed an abortion through an ultrasound.