Planned Parenthood Director Who Quit Now Rejected by Episcopalian Church

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 13, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Director Who Quit Now Rejected by Episcopalian Church

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 13
, 2009

Bryan, TX ( — The religious denominations that embrace abortion do so supposedly because they are tolerant and welcoming of people who disagree on issues like abortion. Yet, that is not proving to be the case for Abby Johnson, the former Planned parenthood director who quit after converting to the pro-life perspective.

Johnson, quit her position last month as the director of a local abortion business after seeing an ultrasound of an abortion procedure.

Her October decision has drawn national attention, exposed how Planned Parenthood does abortions for significant profit, and saw the abortion business fail to silence her now that she has resigned.

Johnson now faces a battle of a different kind — getting her local Episcolalian Church to accept her new status as a pro-life person.

"Now that I have taken this stand, some of the people there are not accepting of that," she told The Washington Times today.

"People have told me they disagree with my choice. One of the things I’ve been told is that as Episcopalians, we embrace our differences and disagreements. While I agree with that, I am not sure I can go to a place where I don’t feel I am welcome," she said.

The rector at St. Francis would not talk about Johnson’s situation with the newspaper.

"I do not intend to be dismissive," the Rev. John Williams wrote the Times in an email, "but my pastoral responsibilities to this faith community preclude making public comments."

"I am sure you understand how important it is for me to foster healthy communication around this emotional issue – that is only possible, as I said, in the context of my pastoral ministry to all," he said.

The Times indicates having problems finding a church home is nothing new — with pro-life denominations rejecting her before her conversion.

"I was raised Southern Baptist but didn’t find the Southern Baptist community was very accepting of my work at Planned Parenthood," she said.

She said she and her husband Doug "had been told by a couple of churches … that because I worked at Planned Parenthood, we could not be members."

"I thought that because this church was so accepting, maybe I was doing the right thing," she said of joining the Episcopal Church. "A lot of people would consider the Anglican faith a pro-choice faith."

She told the Times that another employee who went to the church with her was told by Planned Parenthood officials not to associated with her and so she stopped attending. The abortion business claimed in comments to the Times that that isn’t true.

Johnson is not sure on what to do about her church membership.

"We really, really love that church," she said. "We don’t want to leave."

She talked with the Times about her faith in terms of working at an abortion center.

"It felt there was a spiritual conflict in what I was doing, but you just begin to rationalize it. I didn’t want to leave these women without options, so you begin to think you are doing the right thing, although it doesn’t feel right," she said of why she ran an abortion center before she saw the light.

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