Ex-manager testifies women were never told about STD status

By Amy Cherry 4:01pm, July 30, 2013 - Updated 6:06am, July 31, 2013
A former Planned Parenthood manager talks about the alarming health concerns she saw first-hand while working at the Wilmington clinic.
Planned Parenthood practices again come under attack at a second public hearing, this time in Wilmington.

WDEL's Amy Cherry was there.

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An ex-manager blasts Planned Parenthood in Wilmington for what she calls gross mismanagement and the neglect of patients.

In her first public testimony, Melody Meanor says more than 200 women tested for STDs, between 2011 and 2012, may have unknowingly spread disease.

"To this day, I believe that these women who were tested positive for chlamydia and gonorrhea, have never been told about their positive STD results," says Meanor.

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Meanor also believes more than 80 women who had colposcopies at the clinic, after an irregular pap smear, may not have been notified that they may be at high-risk for contracting cervical cancer.

She's urging any woman who's had an STD test, a pap smear or an abortion at Planned Parenthood to seek outside medical attention ASAP.

"I am so sorry for the women that hoped that they were getting quality medical care from Planned Parenthood of Delaware," says Meanor.

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Senate Minority Leader Greg Lavelle says Planned Parenthood needs to be held accountable.

"The long-term costs? It could be death. It's the inability to bear children, it's the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, all sorts of public health issues, serious stuff," says Lavelle.

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Lavelle tells WDEL Planned Parenthood wasn't invited to the public hearing, that was touted as being "bipartisan," but only Republicans spoke out, and Democratic Rep. Gerald Brady never showed.

"We wanted to make sure that these ladies, these women had an opportunity to give their testimony, to not be intimidated and challenged with respect to their testimony. If Planned Parenthood or others want to have a hearing, and open it up like we did, so people can come and sit and listen, I think that's a great thing," says Lavelle.

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In a written statement, sent to WDEL, Planned Parenthood calls Meanor's claims unfounded. But as a precaution, the clinic plans to launch a second audit into patients treated during that time period to ensure they're aware of their STD status.

Planned Parenthood admits their high standards weren't consistently met in the past, but says they've taken steps to address all outstanding issues, including retraining all staff.

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