Abby Johnson Shares Abortion Conversion With 21K in Webcast

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 11, 2011   |   12:27PM   |   Washington, DC

More than 21,000 people tuned in to a Monday night webcast featuring former planned Parenthood abortion center director Abby Johnson, who is quickly becoming a pro-life hero.

Johnson, in late 2009, resigned from her position as the director of a Bryan, Texas abortion center after assisting in an abortion and the story of her pro-life conversion and returning to her Christian faith has already propelled her new book, Unplanned, to the number 11 position on Amazon.

During the webcast, Johnson admitted having had two abortions — putting her in a large category of pro-life advocates who had abortions and later came to thoroughly regret their decisions. This was the first time the pro-life convert admitted publicly she had had an abortion, on the eve of the release of the new book.

“I never thought I would be a person who would choose abortion, but I did,” she shared.

Johnson talked about how she was raised in a Christian family and considered herself pro-life until she decided to volunteer at Planned Parenthood. There, she discovered she was pregnant and she told webcast views she “was just blank” when she saw the results of the at-home pregnancy test.

Engaged and not prepared to become a mother Johnson had a surgical abortion and said she felt isolated and alone immediately after the abortion procedure.

“It was something that I shared that burden alone,” she said about not having any help or support following the abortion.

She explained she thought the abortion would be a one-off but, when she later found herself pregnant again, she decided to have a second abortion. This time, she opted for the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, which has killed at least 13 women worldwide and injured 1,100 women in the U.S. alone as of 2006, according to the FDA.

“It was one of the worst experiences of my life,” she said about having the abortion at home and seeing the dead body of her unborn child afterwards.

Complications from the abortion drug went on for eight weeks, she explained. Johnson said she felt like a failure but continued working at Planned Parenthood, where she had the notion she could help reduce abortions through promoting contraception.

“I went back to being a volunteer and I tried to justify’ the abortion, she said.

Over time, Johnson said she began to see Planned Parenthood for what it is, an abortion business, and she attended leadership meetings where Planned Parenthood officials promoted abortion quotas and said she had to meet them. She felt that contradicted the abortion reduction message Planned Parenthood officials state in public.

“I couldn’t believe that this company that I loved and trusted would lie to me,” she said.

Eventually, the last straw came when she was asked to assist in a surgical abortion, which she recounts in the first chapter of the new book.

Shawn Carney, director for 40 Days for Life campaign, told webcast participants that he and other local pro-life advocates in southeast Texas frequently prayed for Johnson and he said her conversion to the pro-life perspective is the work of God — “a miracle of the Holy Spirit.”

He told the webcast was a rousing success.

“Last night 21,613 people jammed onto the “Unplanned” webcast to hear former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson reveal what she experienced inside the abortion business — and why she resigned her job and joined the pro-life movement,” he said. “The positive comments are still pouring in.”

He said the number of people wanting to order the book, combined with some pro-abortion attacks on the Ignatius Press web site, is making it hard for some people to order.

“Unfortunately, the flood of orders — combined with what appears to be a vicious, orchestrated “denial of service” attack by those who don’t want you reading Abby’s book — caused the Ignatius web server to crash during our webcast, and many people could not get their copies of “Unplanned,” he explained. “Ignatius Press worked late into the night fortifying their web servers — and now they’re ready.”

Carney is hoping pro-life people rally to purchase the book today and give it a boost.

“Day one is the most important day of sales for a new book. Let’s rally together today to set sales records and send “Unplanned” up the bestseller charts on the
first day it is available,” he said. “That will send shock waves through the abortion business, and will get the attention of the secular media — helping to spread this message far and wide.”

Now a pro-life advocate, Johnson is urging pro-life people to pray for abortion center workers like her so they, too, can get out of the abortion business.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a prominent pro-life political group, calls Johnson’s story one that can change the abortion debate.

“Her story is so moving that Planned Parenthood unsuccessfully tried to sue her to prevent her from telling it,” she said. “Abby plans to expose what she witnessed during eight years climbing the ranks of Planned Parenthood and why she abandoned it for the pro-life movement.”