Pro-Lifers Spent Years Lobbying Abortion Activist Who Quit Planned Parenthood

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Lifers Spent Years Lobbying Abortion Activist Who Quit Planned Parenthood

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 3
, 2009

Bryan, TX ( — News that the director of a local Planned Parenthood abortion business has drawn national interest and encouraged members of the pro-life community. With the "rest of the story," a pro-life leader tells that the decision to quit Planned Parenthood wasn’t a sudden reversal for Abby Johnson.

Johnson had been the director of the Planned Parenthood center in the city that is home to Texas A&M University — until she turned in her resignation on October 6.

She says she ultimately had a change of heart after watching an ultrasound of an abortion procedure and realizing that abortion destroyed the life of the baby.

But David Bereit, the national director of the 40 Days for Life pro-life prayer campaign, told on Monday that there is more to the story — that he and local pro-life advocates had been doing the legwork for years to set up Johnson’s ultimate decision to leave the abortion business.

The Planned Parenthood clinic was the location of the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign in late 2004 and the prayer and fasting initiative has been held outside the doors of Johnson’s former workplace five additional times since 40 Days for Life began its rapid spread to 282 cities across the country.

“This amazing conversion demonstrates the importance of a constant, peaceful prayer presence in front of abortion facilities,” Bereit said.

“From that first campaign in 2004, we’ve prayed for Abby – and for all abortion workers – that they would come to see what abortion really is, and that they would leave the deadly business. In this case, those prayers have been answered. We are so proud of Abby’s courage to leave the abortion industry and publicly announce her reasons for leaving," he explained.

In Bereit’s email, he shared more from Johnson about her decision to quit Planned Parenthood.

“I left on good terms and simply had a change of heart on this issue," she said.

"Over the past few months I had seen a change in motivation regarding the financial impact of abortions and really reached my breaking point after witnessing a particular kind of abortion on an ultrasound," she added.

In the wake of her departure, Planned Parenthood has gone to court to seek a restraining order against both Johnson and the Coalition for Life, the local group that originated 40 Days for Life.

A court hearing on the order, which addresses disclosure of confidential information, is scheduled in a Texas court on November 10.

Shawn Carney, the director of the Coalition for Life and a 40 Days for Life board member, has been working with Johnson since she left her job last month.

He notes that Johnson has joined members of his group to pray outside the abortion center.

“It’s truly been a testament to the power of prayer and the courage of Abby to leave a job she felt she could no longer do in good conscience,” Carney told “It has been a joy for all of our volunteers who have prayed outside of the clinic for the conversion of the clinic workers to witness that conversion actually happen."

Johnson is one of eight abortion industry workers who left their jobs during the fifth coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign that concluded yesterday in 212 cities and was the highest-ranked of the eight.

Others who quit their clinic jobs included nurses, office staffers and security personnel.

In addition, a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Kalispell, Montana announced that it will close its doors on November 20, citing a decline in business as the reason.

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