Planned Parenthood to Pro-life, Abby Johnson’s story

Posted on August 4, 2011


Note: This article was originally published in SPU Students for Life’s newsletter Unheard Voices in March 2011.

Two years ago Abby Johnson was the director of one of the largest Planned Parenthood clinics in the U.S. now she is a pro-life advocate. In 2008 she had been employee of the year at Planned Parenthood now she is revealing Planned Parenthood’s secret: abortion is a cash business.

On March 22, 2011 Abby Johnson, author of the best-selling book Unplanned, spoke at the INB Performing Arts Center in Spokane, Washington.  According to the event’s MC Susan Meyer, CEO of Spokane Transit Authority, the purpose of this event was to seek truth and present the consequences of “choice”.

In accordance with this purpose to seek truth, the event started off by showing two videos that represent contrasting perspectives on the issue of reproductive health. The first video, “My Planned Parenthood” presented the views of Planned Parenthood employees and other supporters who believe that Planned Parenthood is the only source of healthcare for low income women. The second video was the trailer for the documentary film, Blood Money, which declared to be a shocking portrayal of the “inconvenient truth of abortion”. One of the women in the video describes abortion as the “ultimate exploitation of women” and another woman stated that “conception marks the beginning of life”.

When Johnson then takes the stage after a standing ovation, she begins with stating, “Abortion in this country is graphic, abortion is murder, abortion is disgusting.”

Johnson began her story stating that she was raised by “ultra conservative parents” who were pro-life and in high school she would describe herself as being against abortion. When she was 20 years old and in college she found herself pregnant and her mind was blank, she said.

After working at Planned Parenthood for eight years her life changed in a way that she never thought it would. Since beginning her career at Planned Parenthood she had wondered if she was destined to hell and had hoped that she wouldn’t die until after she had retired.

Planned Parenthood has two budgets: family planning and abortion, said Johnson. One day as she was looking at the budgets she noticed that the quota for abortions to be performed had doubled and she thought that is must be an error because she believed that Planned Parenthood truly wanted to reduce abortions. When she pointed this out to her supervisor she was told that her priority needed to be abortion because that is where the money is.

In September of 2009, Johnson was asked to assist a visiting doctor with an ultrasound guided abortion on a 13 week fetus. At this point, every internal organ has formed and Johnson said that she had flashbacks to her own daughter’s ultrasound. During the abortion procedure Johnson said that she saw the baby get poked by the instrument followed by the baby fighting and struggling for her life until she was backed in the corner of the uterus. Upon seeing this obvious struggle for life, Johnson said that she remembered the Planned Parenthood script:” the fetus does not have sensory development until 28 weeks”.

What does it mean to be pro-choice? For Johnson it meant helping take away the motherhood of thousands of women, it meant watching a baby get ripped and torn away from the mother’s womb. “Choice”, Johnson said has been perverted to something appealing but “choice” is a myth, a myth that must be exposed.

Apathy of Christians toward abortion, Johnson said, is the reason that it has remained legal in our country. In the U.S. one third of women have had an abortion and 78 percent of those women are Christians. “I didn’t grow up in a church where they spoke about abortion,” Johnson said that her pastor didn’t speak up about the sanctity of life. According to Johnson, people in the church who are hurting from abortion do not know what to do or where to go—the silence of the church is deafening because abortion affects everybody involved.

Silence not only ignores the issue, Johnson pointed out, silence communicates that abortion is not a big deal because the word “abortion” is not in the Bible but both Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5 speak to the fact that God created us and knew us when we were in the womb. According to Johnson, silence also communicates that this sin is too big for God but nothing is too big for God. For those who have a hard time hearing about abortion in church, Johnson said, they’re the ones who need to hear it most.

“We are fighting a spiritual battle,” Johnson said which is why her challenge was for everybody to contact their church and ask how to get involved. Whether involvement is prayer or volunteering at a pregnancy center, there is a place for everyone in this movement. Johnson prays outside the clinic where she used to work.

“There is no excuse for anybody to walk out of here tonight and not get involved.”

“What are we doing?” Johnson asked. “We are the hands and feet of Christ and we better use them.”

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