‘Nobody Ever Expects to Meet Me’: Planned Parenthood Doctor Explains What Her Job Is Really Like

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By Christina Lorey

June 28, 2022

Q & A with Dr. Allie Linton, Associate Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin

Christina Lorey, UpNorthNews Reporter: Can you explain what Planned Parenthood really does?

Dr. Allie Linton, Planned Parenthood: The first thing I ever say is that nobody ever expects to meet me. Nobody expects to have an abortion, and the reasons why people ending up choosing to have an abortion are as varied as you can imagine.

Planned Parenthood provides healthcare. Full spectrum reproductive healthcare. Everything from pap smears to STI [sexually transmitted infections] testing to more specialized services, like gender affirming care.

UNN: There are numbers that suggest one in four women have an abortion. Odds are, we all know someone who’s had an abortion whether we’re aware of that or not. What does your “typical” abortion patient look like?

AL: The profiles of women who have an abortion are just — women. Every single thing you can imagine.

Oftentimes, the choice to have an abortion is a decison they’re making because they want to be the kind of mother they aspire to be to the children they already have. We also know that people are sometimes not in safe relationships and the choice to have an abortion is the way they are going to feel most safe in their life moving forward.

UNN: Many people say they’re scared about what the Supreme Court’s decision could mean—not only in terms of abortion, but other medical services. Will it eventually trickle down to everyone, men included, if the government is legally able to decide what we can or can’t do with our bodies. What would you say to people who are afraid of this possibility?

AL: I think what’s scary here is that legislators are making medical decisions. It’s non-medical people dictating how we can provide healthcare. I will say this: if we aren’t able to provide that care in Wisconsin, we will help to get patients over the state line and be there for them when they come back.

UNN: I want to leave this conversation with you talking directly to people who are on the other side of this issue. There are people, good people, whose religious beliefs are never going to change, and they believe abortion is a sin. What do you say to them? 

AL: I’d say everybody is entitled to their own belief system. I support everyone’s religious beliefs. But I also support bodily autonomy. Nobody expects to have an abortion. But people will have them. And they could be your neighbors, your family, your friends, and maybe even you.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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