When Abby Johnson Saw Her Aborted Baby’s Body, Her “Unplanned” Pro-Life Journey Began

Opinion   |   Father Frank Pavone   |   Mar 25, 2019   |   1:40PM   |   Washington, DC

As I wrote in the Foreword to the book Unplanned, on which the upcoming movie Unplanned is based, the story of the conversion of Abby Johnson from Planned Parenthood clinic director to pro-life advocate is actually the story of hundreds of people throughout our country who are leaving the abortion industry each day, and have been doing so for decades.

The fundamental reason is that human beings were not made to kill. We were made to nurture.

Killing is too contrary to our fundamental instincts of self-preservation and the preservation of our own children and species. And when somebody makes a deliberate effort to overcome those instincts, they have to bury their conscience in lies and dehumanize themselves in the process. That takes a lot of energy, and it gets very wearisome very fast.

That’s why one of the biggest challenges the abortion industry deals with day by day is staff turnover.

And that’s also why the direction of conversions is overwhelmingly from pro-abortion to pro-life. You don’t find associations of former pregnancy center workers who have become pro-abortion. But there are associations of former abortion mill workers who have become pro-life. The human spirit does not tire of saving lives; it does tire of killing them.

When Abby first came out of the abortion industry, we met frequently about the topic of the journey of healing that former clinic workers need to take. I had been working with Dr. Philip Ney since the mid 1990’s to learn the medically-based model of healing ex-abortionists, called “Centurions.” I write about some of the dynamics of this journey in the foreword to Abby’s book.

Some of those who came out of the abortion industry based on her book, along with some others who had come out previously, attended weekend healing retreats that Abby and I convened. It was amazing to listen to these brave people sit there and put their hands in the air and declare, with tears of regret, “These hands were splattered with the blood of the aborted babies.” And by the end of the weekend they were raising those same hands and declaring, with tears of joy, “These hands are now splattered with the Blood of Christ, who forgives, heals, and restores.”

And that healing work continues, as the work of Abby (And Then There Were None) and Centurions and Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More and numerous other healing ministries proclaim that abortion – and its multifaceted lies and wounds – will not have the last word.

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The journey of Abby, as traced in Unplanned, is in fact not only the story of those who leave the abortion industry, but also the story of our whole society. We are beginning to open our eyes after a long slumber, and reject the lies we have been told – and have told ourselves – about the unborn child and abortion.

And a key dynamic to how this happens is that we come face to face with what abortion actually does to the child in the womb. The movie Unplanned does this effectively, as we watch what Abby watched on the ultrasound and see the living baby sucked down the plastic cannula. We may want to keep in mind here the testimony of abortionist Martin Haskell that “the fetus passes through the catheter and either dies in transit as it’s passing through the catheter or dies in the suction bottle after it’s actually all the way out” and the testimony of abortionist Harlan Raymond Giles that in that suction tube the baby’s heart can still be beating for up to a minute (sworn testimony given in US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin — Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S).

We come into contact with that baby again in the movie as Abby expels her child in her own bathroom during the process of her own chemical abortion, as she views the aborted baby in the “POC” (products of conception) room, and as pro-life advocates pray over two medical waste barrels of aborted babies before they are hauled away from the clinic.

The last thing abortion advocates want to talk about is abortion. The last thing abortion advocates want us to talk about, much less to see, is abortion.

And yet, as the promotion for Unplanned says, “What she saw changed everything.” What we see – and invite others to see — will change everything, too.

LifeNews Note: This is the first installment of a series of articles in the coming days that will help unpack the contents and significance of the movie “Unplanned” and equip us to bring others to conversion, healing, and activism.