Sue Thayer, a former Planned Parenthood manager turned pro-life advocate, died this week, leaving a legacy of life and love for mothers and babies.
An Iowa native, she died on Tuesday, Dec. 21 after a battle with cancer. Thayer served as the director of outreach for 40 Days for Life and founder and former director of Cornerstone For Life Pregnancy Resource Center. She shared her conversion story in speeches all across the world, and exposed Planned Parenthood’s numerous horrific practices, even filing a whistle-blower lawsuit accusing the abortion chain of Medicaid fraud.
Pro-life leaders remembered her as a passionate and joyful advocate who encouraged thousands of pro-lifers through her work at 40 Days for Life and helped countless women and children.
“I imagine Sue’s entrance into Heaven being surrounded by children,” said pro-life advocate Abby Johnson, another former Planned Parenthood manager and friend of Thayer’s. “I imagine Christ looking at her and saying, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ I pray I can live my life as well as she did. She will be greatly missed by many.”
Like many abortion workers, Thayer began working at Planned Parenthood because she wanted to help women. But the deeper she saw behind Planned Parenthood’s flashy veneer, the more troubled she became.
Thayer later exposed how Planned Parenthood pushed monthly abortion quotas and preyed on women and girls, putting abortion profits ahead of people’s lives. Eventually, she left Planned Parenthood and began a pro-life journey that would lead to the closing of the facility she once managed.
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Shawn Carney, co-founder and president of 40 Days for Life, said Thayer was the first former Planned Parenthood manager to ever lead a 40 Days for Life campaign outside of her former workplace. The facility where she worked for 17 years ended up closing as a result.
Friends for more than a decade, Carney said he and his team at 40 Days for Life will miss Thayer deeply.
“She was enthusiastic about sharing her story around the world and letting people know that if she could have a change of heart anyone could and if she could lead a local pro-life effort outside of her former workplace anyone could,” Carney told LifeNews. “All of this was on full display in her joy and love for the pro-life movement, ending abortion, and Jesus Christ. We loved her dearly and she will be deeply missed.”
Johnson remembered how she and Thayer bonded through their shared experiences as former abortion workers who quit and became pro-life advocates. She said Thayer encouraged other former abortion workers to quit, too, through 40 Days for Life and Johnson’s ministry, And Then There Were None.
“Sue was an amazing friend,” Johnson said. “She was the one who would always call or text at just the right time. She was a constant encourager. She was the friend that you could call and ask, ‘Will you pray for me?’ and you knew that she would drop everything and pray for you that moment.”
40 Days for Life created a video tribute to Thayer to honor her legacy. Watch it here.