In 2008, Abby Johnson, the manager of the Bryan, Texas (100 miles from Houston) Planned Parenthood, became that organization’s Employee of the Year.
By 2009, she quit for conscience’ sake. Why?
That year, for the first time, she saw an ultrasound of an abortion of a 13-week old unborn child in her own clinic. This was not a blob of tissue, a clump of cells, a non-living being. This was a baby that was fighting for his life.
Although Abby Johnson was a good salesman of abortions and thought that she was helping women through her work, seeing that baby fighting for his life caused the scales to fall from her eyes.
Abby says that after she saw that ultrasound, “I knew that I had been part of a lie. I had been a part of a corrupt system, a corrupt organization, that really preyed upon women in their vulnerable states, and I knew that I needed to leave.”
She has now written a book (with Cindy Lambert) called Unplanned, and PureFlix (“God’s Not Dead”) has now turned that book into an excellent movie.
Abby Johnson has also started an outreach, And Then There Were None (ATTWN), to help abortion workers leave the field. I have interviewed Abby before and have previously written about her story. But here is an update about ATTWN, since I interviewed for Christian television two of her assistants at ATTWN recently.
One of them is Meagan Weber, who told me, “[Abby] wrote her book hoping that a worker would pick it up as a skeptic and see the truth, and see themselves through her words, and within three months of her book’s release in 2011, she had 17 abortion workers contact her for help.”
In effect, Abby and those 17 workers became the beginning of her work to help transition abortion clinic workers out of the field. Her reasoning is simple. She says in her ATTWN website, abortionworker.com, “We always say that nobody grows up wanting to work in the abortion industry. Nobody. Our vision statement for ‘And then there were none’ is ‘No abortion clinic workers, no abortion clinics, no abortions’—it starts with the workers. We see ourselves as being part of a pro-love movement. That we want to love these workers out of the clinics. We want to love them to a path of healing, and we want to love them back into a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
As an abortion worker, Abby Johnson had thought that what she was doing at Planned Parenthood was helping women. But she learned the hard way that the real bottom line of Planned Parenthood was its bottom line.
Weber, who serves as Abby Johnson’s Assistant, told me, “They asked her to increase the number of abortions at her facility by half, and so she said, ‘Don’t we tell the media that we want to reduce the number of abortions to make them safe, legal, and rare?’ And her supervisor laughed and said, ‘Well, Abbey, how do you think we make our money?’ And she really was blindsided by that.”
Weber also says, “Leaving your job in the abortion industry is not like leaving your job in a fast food outlet. It has the same high turnover rate, but you don’t just leave your job, you leave your friends, you leave your ideology…you go from one day championing women’s rights and abortion rights to the next day having to humble yourself and say, ‘I was wrong. I was part of a very evil system,’ and they have to come to terms with that. So there is a lot of emotional trauma, and there is abandonment.”
I also have spoken with Laura Ricketts of ATTWN for Christian television. She observed, “As we walk through the process of healing them, as we meet their practical needs with financial assistance, with resume writing, with jobs search help, as we help them pay their bills, get back on their feet, once their practical needs are met, they are ready to meet their emotion and spiritual needs.”
So far the organization has been able to help hundreds of clinic workers get out of the abortion field. Meagan states, “And so here we are seven years later, and we’ve helped 550 workers and 7 full-time doctors.”
The movie alone helped cause about a hundred abortion clinic workers to respond…to consider coming out. Ricketts told me, “I think one of the most exciting things about the movie is the impact it had across the country and now across the world. We saw hearts changed, abortion clinic workers leaving their jobs.”
Abby Johnson says, “My story is really an exposé. It’s pulling back the curtain into an industry that has been normalized. Abortion has been so incredibly normalized in our society, and it’s anything but normal.”