Former Planned Parenthood abortion facility director Abby Johnson was sitting at her desk when a co-worker at the center asked for some help with a woman getting an abortion.
“I could not have imagined how the next ten minutes would shake the foundation of my values and change the course of my life,” she says in her new book “Unplanned,” an expose of the abortion business and the abortion industry.
Johnson ran that abortion facility — a Planned Parenthood “clinic” in Bryan, Texas, the home of Texas A&M University. She spent ten minutes assisting with an ultrasound-guided abortion, and her reflection on it would change her life as she stepped down from her position.
In “UnPlanned,” Johnson tells the dramatic story of the journey that unfolded as a result of that fateful day in September 2009 and how she literally “crossed the fence” from Planned Parenthood leader to an advocate fighting for women in crisis – and the lives of their unborn babies.
Johnson shares that story in detail that is intimate and, as a result, unnerving.“UnPlanned” is not an easy book to read; it’s also not an easy book to put down. She realizes both are true.
“Here’s my question for you,” she writes in “A Note from Abby Johnson,” which immediately precedes Chapter 1: “…are you ready to look through the (pro-life/pro-choice) fence and see goodness, compassion, generosity and self-sacrifice on the other side? “Did you just feel yourself squirm? If so, welcome to my journey.”
After Johnson quit her position with Planned Parenthood, the abortion business failed in its bid to silence her. It had pushed for a restraining order on Abby Johnson and a pro-life group that helped her conversion.
Planned Parenthood officials hit both Johnson and the Coalition for Life with restraining orders requiring them not to disclose information about the abortions done at its facility.
But District Judge J.D. Langley issued a ruling saying Planned Parenthood did not provide sufficient evidence that Johnson breached a confidentiality agreement concerning identity of an abortion practitioner who works at Planned Parenthood.
Judge Langley also ruled that Planned Parenthood provided no evidence to back up its allegations that Johnson took confidential patient records out of Planned Parenthood on the day she resigned. The judge also denied a Planned Parenthood request to prevent Johnson from seeking any lawsuit until a trial or any other court action had been made.
The court decision opened the door for her to offer more specifics about her work at Planned Parenthood and the reasons she resigned.
Since her departure from Planned Parenthood, Johnson’s story has received major media attention at a time when abortion has become the central issue in the national debate over health care reform.
“Stories like Abby’s have a purpose,” says Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life. “If we can better understand why someone has an abortion or how someone gets into the abortion industry and then how she comes out, we can come to understand the key to how our entire society can begin to emerge from the darkness of abortion.”
“Abby is not the first; she will not be the last,” Fr. Pavone continues. “She is part of a great ‘cloud of witnesses.’ I thank her for her courage, as I do to all who share their painful stories.”