WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a webcast announcing Tuesday’s release of her tell-all book, Abby Johnson, a Texas Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate, disclosed that she herself has undergone two abortions. She described the abortions as “traumatic” and said that they ultimately laid the foundation of her mistrust in Planned Parenthood’s claim of making abortion “rare” through increased contraceptive availability.
Abby Johnson, who had directed a Bryan, Texas clinic, and who converted after assisting in an ultrasound-guided abortion on a 13-week gestation child, described to the nearly 22,000 people attending the Internet broadcast Monday how she underwent the procedure in 2000 and 2003 - both times while on contraception. “I didn’t think I was a person who would choose abortion, but in the end I did,” she said, echoing the sentiments of MTV star Markai Durham, whose reality-TV abortion experience made waves last month.
She says she remembers little about her first abortion, a surgical procedure, and that until now she dared not speak about it. “I never talked about it with anyone ... I suffered that burden alone.” When she became pregnant again despite continuing to contracept, she said, “I remember feeling just like the ultimate failure.” She said about the medical abortion she underwent to get rid of that baby that “if not the worst, it was one of the worst experiences of my life ... physically and emotionally.”
“It was a traumatic experience for me,” she said, noting that she “suffered very terribly” physically for 8 weeks after taking the abortion drug. While she says she went back to volunteer at Planned Parenthood to help justify the abortion, “on the inside I was still feeling like I had failed as a woman, my body had failed me, God had failed me ... it was just an overwhelming sense of failure.” Based upon her experience counseling abortion-bound women, she said, “that’s pretty much the consensus.”
Johnson’s new book, Unplanned, is available for purchase Tuesday. David Bereit, host of the webcast and National Campaign Director of 40 Days for Life, said he was confident that Abby’s message about the truth of the abortion industry would be a “turning point moment that will mark the beginning of the end of abortion.”
Johnson revealed on the webcast that she began volunteering at Planned Parenthood in college despite knowing hardly anything about the organization - and was only drawn to their booth for superficial reasons. “Honestly, it was the hot pink. That was my favorite color, and the booth was drowning in hot pink,” she said.
That encounter started her on a journey into the heart of the abortion industry that she concealed from her pro-life parents for a year and a half; by the time Abby left her volunteer position, she says, she was being groomed to become COO of Houston’s Southeast Texas Planned Parenthood facility.
However, her experience of aborting twice despite having used contraception made her begin to question her employer’s talking point of making abortion more “rare” by distributing more contraceptives. When she counseled women at the clinic, Johnson found that “almost all of them were contracepting, but they were choosing abortion. And I just thought, what is happening here, what is going on?”
“It didn’t make sense to me. It didn’t seem like our goal of expanding use of contraceptives was actually reducing the number of abortions, but I thought ... it makes sense on paper, it makes sense when I say it, it has to make sense practically,” she said. “But I wasn’t seeing that when I was counselling these women.”
Although studies http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/new-study-links-contraception-hike-with-increased-abortions have backed Johnson’s intuition about the relationship between more contraception and more abortion, the claim that contraception decreases the abortion rate continues to be a top talking point of Planned Parenthood.
Johnson recounted how Planned Parenthood’s obsession with expanding abortion, both through increasing monthy quotas and through the use of dangerous telemedicine-like medical abortions, was beginning to make her uneasy. Her employers had mapped out “green dots” of non-abortion-providing Planned Parenthood clinics, and abortion-providing “red dots,” on a map of America.
“Their specific goal was to turn every green dot into a red dot,” she said. “That was their goal. Their goal was abortion training and turning every green dot into a red dot.”
Johnson shared several other details, including her insights on the essential work of pro-life sidewalk counselors, how she finally broke free of the industry, and her bitter showdown with her former employer as the abortion giant tried to silence her in court.
The former abortion clinic director challenged other Planned Parenthood employees and abortion supporters listening to the webcast to question why their work carries such a stigma.
“It is difficult to staff people in [Planned Parenthood’s] industry. They have a very high turnover rate. People are beginning to see an abortion for what it is - the taking of a human life,” she said. “There is a peace and there is a joy that you can have .... You don’t know what it feels like. ... You’re probably embarrassed to say what you actually do. You don’t have to be embarrassed anymore. ... You can come to a side of the fence where there is compassion and love and healing.”
Johnson also encouraged pro-abortion listeners to “try to criticize this book, try to find something that is not true in your life or in the abortion clinic where you work. I bet you’ll have a hard time.”
Johnson’s book is a joint project of Tyndale Press, the largest Christian publishing company, Focus on the Family, and Ignatius Press. Ignatius Press is offering a special edition with bonus content, including a forward by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, and an introduction by David Bereit.
Webcast host David Bereit said the book was bound to send “shockwaves” through the abortion industry.