Abortion is more than a hot-button issue. It’s an emotionally charged roller coaster. Most everyone has a view on it, and some people devote their lives to one side or the other. But that passion can be misdirected and misused, to the point of pushing people in the opposite direction.
Rewire recently posted a short documentary entitled “Care in Chaos” about the disruption outside of abortion facilities in Charlotte, N.C., and Fargo, N.D. The film followed Calla Hales, the young administrator of the abortion clinic in Charlotte, as she tried to get answers from the local government on sound ordinances. Protestors outside her clinic set up loudspeakers daily that created an atmosphere of confusion and chaos.
They were seen yelling at women going into the clinic, shouting into the microphones and bullhorns, and creating quite a scene.
But one woman in particular broke my heart. She knew the name of the pro-choice escort at the Charlotte clinic, Shelly, who accused this woman of taking photos of her car and license plate and following her home. The woman representing the pro-life side stared straight at Shelly and said:
“Nobody really cares that much about you, Shelly. Period.” I want to tell Shelly that this woman is wrong. That people do care about Shelly and all those people working with her in the abortion clinic.
What that pro-life woman said was not loving. It was not representative of a movement that claims to love both mom and baby. Many, and I hope most, sidewalk advocates are not like this woman. Most people in the pro-life movement do care deeply about helping women and are not like this individual.
I say that as someone who knows. Because it was the love of a sidewalk advocate that prompted me to leave the abortion industry.
I was the manager of a Planned Parenthood in Texas for eight years before I left. Now I’ve helped over 418 abortion workers leave their jobs in the abortion industry and find new ones. No one knows what Shelly and her co-workers face every day except for them and for those like them, who used to do that kind of work day in and day out. This is a big reason why many in our ministry, And Then There Were None, bond so quickly. They all saw what was going on at abortion facilities and eventually turned away, but are still haunted by what they did.
I remember my old job. We watched as protestors screamed all day at our clients. We watched as they created an atmosphere outside not of peace, but of confusion. It was a circus.
But other times, those days were my favorite as an abortion worker — and I mean this in a way that should make every pro-lifer think twice. We were glad that the clients reacted by running inside to us for comfort. We were the ones they felt they could trust — not the crazy people screaming on the sidewalk. We became their safe haven, thanks to the protestors.
Sometimes, as is shown in the film, the scene on the sidewalk would be too chaotic, and women would turn away from their abortion appointments. But I can tell you from experience that they would usually just come back another day when things were calmer.
I bet Shelly knows that. She sees that women run to her so they can get safely inside the abortion clinic and away from the circus on the sidewalk. Many of our former abortion workers felt the same way. They felt like they were helping women.
But in the end, they saw that abortion was not the answer, that the very abortion clinic they worked for was not a safe haven but a trap. They saw women crying after abortions in pain and regret. They saw that clinics would do anything for more money, including cutting corners when cleaning instruments, administering drugs, and securing health records.
The least-told stories in the entire abortion conversation in our nation are those of abortion workers. Finally, we are telling those stories. And we want abortion workers to know that they are cared about. They are loved. And there is a way out of the industry if they choose.
LifeNews Note: Abby Johnson is a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic manager, who has become a pro-life advocate. She now heads up the ministry And Then There Were None.