The greatest lie women have ever been told is that they need abortion in order to achieve their dreams, to have the career they want, to be the movie star they worked so hard to become, to keep their partner. I told this very lie to countless women in order to convince them to pay us at Planned Parenthood to get rid of that growing life inside of them. It is also the same lie that the abortion industry has built their case on in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Women, don’t believe this lie. At its very core, this lie demands you attain justice and equality at the expense of a human being who shares your DNA, who will have parts of your personality and physical qualities, and whose very existence is a miracle.
Women have achieved immense progress in the workforce, education, and in positions in government over the past 40 years. There are many more women as members of Congress, in state legislatures, as governors, presidents of universities, and Fortune 500 CEOs and Board Members than in the past 30 to 40 years, according to the Pew Research Center. While abortion has been legal and available this entire time, the number of abortions have been dropping steadily since the 1980s — the same time women were making their rise in the workforce. Women have also earned more bachelor degrees since men since the 1980s and American colleges and universities are currently enrolling six women for every four men.
One of the reasons this lie about abortion empowering women to have the life they want works so effectively is due to the lack of support women have at their place of employment, their school, and even within their families. Pregnancy is viewed as a hindrance to women and the unborn child is a “problem” that needs to be “taken care of” because caring for a child is no easy task. This burden almost always falls on women. Have you ever heard of a man being asked by his company how he plans to balance his work/life responsibilities when he becomes a father?
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New York Times columnist Ross Douthat argues that society needs to redistribute this burden between the sexes, holding men accountable for the children they father and giving mothers the support they need. He rightly asks, “Is it really necessary to found equality for one group of human beings on legal violence toward another, entirely voiceless group?”
It shouldn’t be. I don’t believe there is a middle ground on the issue that abortion violently takes an innocent human life. I do believe there is a middle ground on working towards solutions where women are at a point where they do not need to choose between the life of their child or their personal dreams.
I run a small ministry, And Then There Were None, that helps abortion workers get out of the industry and find new jobs. We have fewer than 20 employees but we have offered 12 full weeks of paid leave when a woman has a baby since our inception in 2012. We have very low turnover amongst our staff. They know we put our money where our mouth is. If this small of a ministry can offer 12 weeks of paid leave, why isn’t every corporation, Fortune 500 company, church, and pro-life group offering it? This should be a priority for all organizations that purport to support and empower women.
When I worked at Planned Parenthood, the saddest room was not the procedure room or even the room where we had to account for all of the body parts of the fetus: it was the recovery room. The women there were empty of the life within them that had existed just minutes before. They were crying, some softly, others not so soft. Many of them had blank stares or sat with their heads in their hands as they slowly came to realize what they had done. They had believed the lie and it was incredibly painful to watch.
I know what it feels like to believe the lie. I had two abortions myself and nothing I can do can bring those babies back.
What I can do is help women in situations like I was in when I chose abortion, to advocate for widespread maternity leave policies, to stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court today and tell my story.
It is my hope that women will see through the greatest lie they have been told and come to understand how devastating it would be for them to believe it.
LifeNews Note: Abby Johnson is the CEO and Founder of And Then There Were None, which helps abortion workers leave their jobs and find life-affirming ones. She’s also the author of “Unplanned“, which has been made into a feature film of the same name.