“People ask me how I went from being a good Christian kid to someone who ran an abortion clinic, someone who laid upon an abortion clinic table twice to take the lives of my own children by abortion.”
The speaker was Abby Johnson. She was keynote speaker at the Sixth Annual Wiregrass Emergency Pregnancy Service Banquet held Feb. 27 of last year.
Now an anti-abortion activist, Johnson is a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who experienced a life change while participating in an ultrasound guided abortion Sept. 26, 2009.
Today Johnson is an outspoken advocate for protecting the unborn. Her book “Unplanned” is also the subject of a movie by the same name. “I’d like to stand up here and tell you I have always defended life but that is not true,” she told those attending the WEPS fundraising banquet. “I worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years having gotten involved with the organization as a college student.
“That’s the way that sin works in all our lives,” Johnson said. “One little lie, one little justification, one little compromise at a time.
“God can change your life in the blink of an eye,” Johnson said. “And that’s what happened to me in the Fall of 2009.”
Johnson said she had been named Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year in April 2009. “I was excited because I got to attend the annual fundraising gala and sit at the head table with the person receiving the most distinguished award given every year, the Margaret Sanger Circle Award, named for the founder of Planned Parenthood,” she said.
Sanger, Johnson said, founded the first American Birth Control League Clinic in 1916. “She was a racist of the worst kind,” Johnson said about Sanger. “If you don’t hear anything I say tonight, I want you to take this away from my talk: Planned Parenthood was created for one reason and one reason alone and that was to eliminate the minority population, primarily the African American population, through widespread access to contraception and abortion.
“Today we see Margaret Sanger’s dream coming to fruition as currently in the United States there are almost as many African American babies being aborted as there are being born,” Johnson said, adding that 2,400 babies are killed daily in the name of “choice.”
Describing her childhood in “an amazing home with the best parents ever,” Johnson said that abortion was not discussed. “My parents taught me the Biblical pathway to marriage and as long as I followed that path, abortion would never be a topic on the table,” she said.
While in college, Johnson said, she met a woman who worked for Planned Parenthood and was recruiting volunteers for the organization. “I was 21 years old and I thought I knew everything. Who doesn’t want to help a woman in crisis? We all want to help women, right?”
Johnson said the “recruiter” told her that “pro-lifers” were good but misguided and without Planned Parenthood, low income women would have nowhere to go for health care. “When she told me that I thought, ‘That’s so sweet of them to do that. What a charitable organization.’”
Johnson said she later learned that more than 10,000 federally qualified health centers provide comprehensive health care at low or no cost. “That does not include rural public and hospital health centers, county health departments and more than 2,500 pregnancy clinics,” she said. “That does not include more than 10,000 group and private practice physicians across the country that accept government subsidy programs like Medicaid.
“‘Nowhere else to go for healthcare’ is a lie,” she added. “It is what women do not know about their bodies, their fertility, their unborn child, the abortion procedure itself and it’s what they do not know about the radical, life changing, life saving mercy of Jesus Christ, that leads them in the doors of the abortion clinic.”
“Women are still dying from abortions, still getting infections from unsterilized instruments,” Johnson said. “Abortion can never be safe because for an abortion to be deemed successful, a unique and individual human being must be killed. That is the antithesis of safety.”
Johnson said that while working for Planned Parenthood she was told that to meet budget the abortion quota would be doubled. “I don’t remember how I justified that conversation but somehow I did and about a month later, we had a physician come in from out of town who told me he performed abortions differently than our protocol.
“Our protocol was simple, we got the woman back into the exam room and we would immediately sedate her,” Johnson said, outlining the procedure she said was designed to dehumanize the reality. “(The ultrasound) shows women that inside of their womb is a living human being with a beating heart and that’s bad for business when your business is the destruction of human life,” she explained.
“Abortion supporters say that abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor. Nothing could be further from the truth because there is never a time when a woman walks into a room with a doctor who is going to be committing her abortion and sits down while he goes over with her the risks, benefits and alternatives to abortion.
“The abortion industry does not operate on information and consent,” she added. “They thrive off of misinformation and fear.”
Johnson said that on Sept. 26, 2009 she was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion on a woman 13 weeks pregnant. “My job was to hold the ultrasound probe on the woman’s abdomen. I stood there looking at that screen feeling apprehensive because I realized I was looking at a baby,” Johnson said. “Abortion science teaches us that pregnancy only magically turns into a baby when a mother decides that her pregnancy is wanted.”
Johnson said she watched the screen in horror as she saw the abortionist’s tool touch the unborn baby. “As it touched his side, he flinched and then he started flailing his arms trying to get away but there was no where for him to go,” she recalled. “The only word that comes to mind is ‘frantic,’ that baby looked frantic and in just a few seconds the doctor asked the tech to turn on the suction machine.
“The worse part was that when I had the opportunity to intervene and save the life of that baby, I did nothing,” Johnson said. “I remember wanting to sit this woman up and say, ‘Look what’s happening to your baby.’ But I didn’t.
“I went back to my office and I knew that my life would have to drastically change. It was really a moment of despair for me. I was really wrestling with God trying to figure out why had I done this for so long,” she added. “I realized that in my eight years, I had helped facilitate over 22,000 abortions. I didn’t know how to live with that kind of burden, how to live with that kind of sin—and quite honestly I didn’t know if I wanted to.
“In that moment of hopelessness just crying out to God, He spoke to me. There are few times I can say I heard the Lord speak to me but He said, ‘Abby, there is absolutely nothing you can do to make up for what you have done—and because of my grace and my mercy for you, you don’t have to.
“No one is beyond the the power of Jesus Christ and that’s what our goal must be in the prolife movement,” Johnson said. “If you truly want to save the life of a child, you need to convert a mother’s heart so that abortion becomes unthinkable to her.
“We have failed our young people because we are not connecting them to the true gospel of Christ,” Johnson said. “We teach them that being a Christian is fun. It’s not. It’s hard because Christianity is counter cultural and anything that is countercultural is hard.
“God is not worried about your happiness; God is interested in your holiness,” she added. “Part of the reason that moral decay is spreading like a cancer is because people have been silent, the church has been silent and people have been apathetic.
“Talking about abortion only on ‘Sanctity of Human Life Sunday’ is not good enough,” Johnson stressed. “We have to make abortion unthinkable. That is how you change a culture.
“There is one truth and that is the truth of Jesus Christ,” she said. “We have Jesus Christ on our side and we will win this battle.”