Abby Johnson

Confessions of a former Planned Parenthood director

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To any woman I convinced to have an abortion, I am sorry. I am sorry that we did not tell you the truth about abortion. But please know that healing is possible.

I talked her into getting an abortion. And then I ran into her at the store.

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I used to have a standard line that I would ask people if I thought I recognized them. “Do I look familiar to you?” I would ask. I used to ask that question at least once a week, but I haven’t asked anyone that in at least four years.  

Four years ago, I saw a woman in a store and I knew that I recognized her.  I could tell that she recognized me, too, because every time we would pass each other she would give me a little smile. 

Finally, I just asked, “Do I look familiar to you?”

She started laughing and said that I did, but she could not figure out where she had seen me before.  As soon as she started talking, I knew. She had sat across from me at my desk at Planned Parenthood. I had talked her into getting an abortion. I remembered her story vividly. She was crying. I was reassuring her, saying things like, “Just because a decision makes us cry, doesn’t mean it’s not the right decision.”

I remember that I was trying to get her out of my office. We had been talking for at least 45 minutes and that was way over my 15 minute maximum for “counseling.” I knew I must have a stack of charts waiting in my box outside. I finally pulled out the final card to hurry this thing along. I told her, “If you don’t have the abortion today, you won’t be able to come back to us for at least a week and it will be more expensive. You don’t want that, do you?”

Reluctantly she said that she was ready to go back for the abortion. Good. My job was done. Every line was signed and every box was checked. 

I am sorry. I am sorry that we did not tell you the truth about abortion. I am sorry that you were deceived by people who you thought you could trust. I am sorry that we didn’t listen to you when you cried in our offices. 

I was now, once again, staring this young woman in the face. I had left Planned Parenthood. I was pro-life. I was sorry that I had done that to her. But what do I say now? I panicked and said, “Well, who knows? Maybe I will see you around again.” I rushed off, feeling ashamed.

I really hoped that would never happen again. But, it did. Several times. Each time, I would look into the woman’s eyes and walk the other way. How could I face these women? My sin was staring at me when I looked at them. I didn’t want to look at that sin. It was too real. 

After a while, it happened less and less. We moved to a different town for my work and I rarely saw people that I recognized from the clinic. And even if I did, I was more confident now. I was okay to tell them who I was and how I knew them. I was now quick to apologize for my part in their abortion. The more I healed, the easier it became. 

About six months ago, I received an email that I wasn’t expecting. My confidence was shaken in just a few seconds. A young woman had come to my clinic when she was just 16. Admittedly, I did not remember her. She told me her story through a message and I was heartbroken for her. She had gotten hooked on drugs, dealt with very serious depression and even attempted suicide after her abortion.

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She blamed me. “You told me I would feel fine after my abortion,” she said. I told her she wouldn’t have any regrets. But she did. She told me that I was the cause of her pain. And while I read her email, I felt that pain. I also felt that shame that I hadn’t experienced in several years. 

I probably read her email at least fifty times. Honestly, I thought about just deleting it…pretending that I hadn’t ever received it. But I knew I couldn’t do that. I had to respond. I had to apologize. After pondering about my response for two days, I finally sat down to write.

I took the blame. I apologized at least ten times in my first response. I didn’t make any excuses. I didn’t justify my words or actions. I just apologized, over and over again. And then I offered help. This young woman, who was now in her early twenties, needed healing. We have now had several conversations through email and phone. I was able to get her connected to a post-abortive healing ministry in her area. She is a different person. And because of her honesty, I am a different person. 

I recently asked a few former abortion clinic workers a question. “If you could go back and say something to a woman who had an abortion in your clinic, what would you say?” The responses were somewhat varied, but all had the same theme. They would tell these women that they were sorry. They would apologize for lying, for misleading them. 

So here is that apology to any post-abortive woman reading this right now. I am sorry. I am sorry that we did not tell you the truth about abortion. I am sorry that you were deceived by people who you thought you could trust. I am sorry that we didn’t listen to you when you cried in our offices. I’m sorry that you were treated like a number and not the beautiful person that you are. I’m sorry for the pain you felt. I’m sorry for any regret that you felt or continue to feel because of our dishonesty. 

As much as I wish I could, I can’t change the past. I can’t change the poor decisions that we have all made. But I can let you know that there are many of us who care about your healing. You don’t have to live with regret, pain and shame. If you haven’t yet, please take that first step and find help. Call your local pro-life group and ask about resources in your area. I have found freedom and healing from my past. You can find that freedom, too.

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He must have felt some shame in what he did. And to be perfectly honest, that breaks my heart. Shutterstock

The super-secret procedures we used at Planned Parenthood to hide the identity of our abortionist

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By Abby Johnson

I'm sharing this story with you, fully aware of how ridiculous it now sounds. 

When I worked for Planned Parenthood we had a specific protocol that we had to follow when picking up our abortion doctor. Looking back, I realize how crazy this was, but at the time, I felt like I was a part of some super secret high-level security task force. 

Our abortion doctor worked full-time with a university. Per his contract with them, he was not allowed to have any other paid positions. If he did, he had to give a percentage of that money to the university. Our doctor certainly didn't want to do that, so he needed us to be very secretive with his identity. We couldn't give out his name to our patients...if they asked for his name, we would give a fake name. He would come into the procedure room with a full head covering on and a mask that shielded his entire face. He didn't want to take a chance that he could be recognized by one of the patients. He even would sometimes introduce himself with this fake name we had given him.  

The primary problem was all of those pro-lifers outside. If they found out who he was, they could turn him in and get him fired for breach of contract. We were much more worried about the pro-lifers finding out his identity...after all, the patients were sedated and usually didn't remember much. 

We had a piece of paper that detailed our pick-up points for the doctor. He was from a town about three hours away, so he would come in the night before, stay at a hotel under an anonymous name and then we would pick him up at one of our "safe" locations. Usually, we would pick him up from a different hotel parking lot. So, "Point H" was the Hilton parking lot. "Point M" was the Marriott. "Point D" was the Holiday Inn. "Point B" was a bank parking lot. Only two people in our clinic had the super secret "point locations" and my boss. 

The day before "abortion day," my boss would send our doctor a message that said "pick up at point m. bluefish." It may say "bluefish." It may say "airplane." It may say "fire hydrant." That word was our secret word that only the driver, the doctor and my boss would know. I would have to say that word before he got in my car.  

The next morning would be "abortion day." I would pick up breakfast for the staff, drop it off at the clinic, help get the rooms ready for the day, grab a bed sheet (I'll explain later) and head to our meeting point. I would drive around for several miles before I actually went to the pick up spot to make sure that I wasn't being followed. Once I confirmed that no one was tailing me, I would head to pick up the doctor. I would pull in the parking lot and find the doctor's car. He would walk up to my car and I would roll down the window and give him our secret word. He would then get in the backseat of my car, lay down and cover himself up with the sheet that I picked up earlier. We would then drive around for a little bit just to, once again, make sure no one was following me. Then I would make the call to my boss to let her know that they needed to prepare for our arrival. 

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We had a wooden privacy gate that opened to a small parking space at the side of our building. This was also where our back door was located. Two people would be assigned to go out and hold the wooden gate open so I could pull into the space without interruption. We would then sit in the car until the gate was closed and a sheet was held up between my car and the back door...that way, none of the pesky protestors could get a photo of his face. He would then quickly jump out of the backseat of my car, cover his head with the sheet that had previously covered his whole body and run in the back door. We would then repeat this charade at the end of the day when he needed to go back to his car. 

Silly, right? It absolutely was. But it was worth it to him. He was bringing home $3k-$4k per "abortion day." And we had to do whatever we could to "protect" our doctor. We needed him. Abortion doctors are hard to come by. 

While I know we originally did this because we were trying to protect his job at the university, I know it was much more than that. Because eventually, he did lose his job at the university. He went on to run a urogynecological clinic. They didn't have a problem with him working another part-time job...yet the pick-up procedure never changed.

I can only conclude that is because he truly didn't want people to know that he was an abortion provider. He must have felt some shame in what he did. And to be perfectly honest, that breaks my heart. I often wonder about him and question why he continued to perform these procedures if he knew, somewhere down in his heart, he shouldn't have been doing them. I'm guessing it was the money. He had a daughter in college and he was paying for her education with the money he made at our clinic. But, I also think that somewhere in his soul he felt like he was helping these women. Maybe he had to tell himself that so that he could keep doing it over and over again. He was a father. He was a nice person. He was a brilliant urogynecologist. He delivered babies. He wasn't what you may imagine when you think of an abortionist. But yet, as smart as he was, as kind as he appeared, he bought into the lie. 

I think we in the pro-life movement have done a fantastic job of humanizing the unborn. Of course the unborn are fully human. And because of that, they should be protected with equal human rights. We have said it over and over again. We have shown graphic images. We have helped women connect with their unborn babies via ultrasound. We have discussed the development of the unborn child. We know so much about them because of science and medical technology.

But somehow through this incredible humanization of the unborn, we have dehumanized those who work in the abortion industry. Why? Because we need someone to blame. Abortion is so heinous, so unthinkable to so many people. Someone has to be at fault. Certainly it isn't the mother. She has fallen victim to our culture of death. She believed society when they told her that the most compassionate thing she could do for her unwanted child was to take its life. Of course she believed it. That message is everywhere. And we know that we can't save the child unless we love the mother, so blaming her would only hasten the death of the baby. 

So who's left? The abortion workers! They are to blame. But believe it or not, they have also fallen victim to our culture of death. They have been told that they are helping women. And we believed it because the women we "helped" would often come back to thank us...profusely. We were their heroes. We were their saviors. How could it be wrong if we had helped so many? 

What we didn't see were those same women five years down the road...when they are holding their "wanted" child in their arms for the first time. Would they be thinking of the child they aborted? The hole in their heart that they can't seem to fill? We didn't see them twenty years down the road when they held their first grandchild...still aching for the child they lost in the name of "choice." Pondering how many grandchildren they will miss because of that one procedure so many years ago. Or sixty years down the their lives come to an end. Would they have lived their whole lives with that same hole, that same emptiness that they could never seem to fill?

We were all blinded. Not because we were bad people, but simply because we were mindless. Mindlessness. That is the rampant state of being inside the abortion industry. And when you become mindful, that is when you decide to leave. 

I hope you will join me in our efforts to bring abortion to an end by the power of conversion. No one is beyond the power of conversion, because no one is beyond the power of truth. So far, six abortion doctors have put down their abortion instruments for good with the help of our organization. We know many more will follow them. Please join us in our fight for souls at

Let's work together to erase mindlessness.

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You won’t believe how much Austin is charging Planned Parenthood to rent this large clinic. This must stop.

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By Abby Johnson

(LifeSiteNews) - Sometimes you hear things and they seem so unbelievable that you don’t believe it. When I heard that the City of Austin, Texas was renting a building to Planned Parenthood for $1.00 a YEAR, and had been doing so since 1972, I didn’t believe it…or rather, I didn’t want to believe it. Yes, I know that Austin is our liberal dot in the middle of conservative Texas. But $1.00 a year for over 40 years? That couldn’t be right. But it is. It’s right here in black and white on the minutes of the City of Austin’s City Council meeting.

And not only do they lease city property to Planned Parenthood for $1.00 a year, they have given them a 10 year lease…with a 10 year extension.

I started to think about services that are grossly underfunded in our beautiful city. The first that came to mind was our animal shelter. Austin runs one of the very few no-kill shelters in the state. They never have enough money. In fact, I called our Austin Animal Center and was told by one of their employees that they “never have enough money to care for the animals in the shelter.” When I asked if they were funded by the city, her answer was, “Barely.”

So let me get this straight. In this liberal Mecca of a city, we are allowing Planned Parenthood to lease a building so that they can continue the mass killing of our babies…yet, we won’t even properly fund our animal shelters? The building leased by Planned Parenthood is 3,720 square feet. I looked up the going rate per square foot in the area where this building is located…it’s on average $500/sq ft. So, this building is worth $1.86 MILLION.

Let’s talk about another underfunded program in our city: Mammograms. According to population statistics, there are approximately 130,000 women over the age of 35 in the city of Austin. This does not include the outer lying cities like Round Rock, Pflugerville, Georgetown, Buda or any other surrounding towns. Of those 130,000, approximately 26,000 are living below the poverty line. We have only TWO free or discounted mammogram service providers in Austin…for 26,000 women. Wow. If Planned Parenthood really cared about women’s health, it seems like they would want to pay that $7,000 in appropriate monthly rent in order to help fund women the breast screenings they need, because as we KNOW, Planned Parenthood provides NO mammogram services anywhere in the United States.

Here in Austin, we don’t appropriately fund our animal shelters and we don’t appropriately fund services for women to receive the lifesaving breast screenings that they need. But we DO allow Planned Parenthood, our country’s largest abortion provider, to rent a city building for $1.00 per year.

Let’s also not forget that Planned Parenthood nationally gets over half a billion dollars of our federal tax money. They don’t need any more of our dollars.

If you are an Austin resident and this makes you as sick as it makes me, please voice your concern to our city council members. I have provided their names and phone numbers below. Make your voice heard. It honestly doesn’t matter where you stand on the issue of abortion. This is a fiscally irresponsible move on the behalf of our city council and they need to hear from us.


Mayor - Steve Adler
Phone: 512-978-2100

District 1 Council Member - Ora Houston
Phone: 512-978-2101

District 2 Council Member - Delia Garza
Phone: 512-978-2102

District 3 Council Member - Sabino "Pio" Renteria
Phone: 512-978-2103

District 4 Council Member - Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Phone: 512-978-2104

District 5 Council Member - Ann Kitchen
Phone: 512-978-2105

District 6 Council Member - Don Zimmerman
Phone: 512-978-2106

District 7 Council Member - Leslie Pool
Phone: 512-978-2107

District 8 Council Member - Ellen Troxclair
Phone: 512-978-2108

District 9 Council Member / Mayor Pro Tem - Kathie Tovo
Phone: 512-978-2109

District 10 Council Member - Sheri Gallo
Phone: 512-978-2110

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"I have never felt those types of intense emotions before. I prayed to God that night to show me a way out." Shutterstock

Horrified abortion worker couldn’t believe what she saw in the petri dishes. That’s when she called me.

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By Abby Johnson

(LifeSiteNews) - Sometimes people ask me why I’m so committed to helping abortion facility workers leave the abortion industry. Well, besides the fact that I was once one of them, there are other reasons. I wanted to share this brief story from a former abortion worker who contacted my ministry ( for assistance.

"I left the abortion clinic I worked [for] on August 8th. My husband and I were in no shape financially for me to leave and there were many great perks that came with my job there. I had excellent pay, health and life insurance that were no cost to me, three weeks of paid vacation annually, tuition reimbursement, and 401K that they would match dollar for dollar to what I contributed. 

“Every morning as I walked in, I would hear a kind voice outside the fence (a bit distanced from the shouting crowd) that would offer to help me find a new job. I usually ignored it. I sat behind bullet proof glass every day and watched the sad, hardened faces of so many women walk up the steps to the clinic and walk out drugged, teary eyed, and heartbroken. 

“I was set up to start training in the pathology lab in the coming weeks and I was scheduled one day just to ‘sit in’ and see what happens in there. 

“In a tiny room with a ‘Biohazard’ sign on the door, I met God. In tiny little petri dishes, neatly displayed with a patient's name sprawled on each label with the giant letters POC printed on them were the tiny little faces of God's children. Some of them weren't recognizably human but most of them clearly were.

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“There I sat face to face with about twenty people. Twenty people who you couldn't see walk through the door, twenty people who didn't get to plead their case in the counseling room, twenty people whose little hearts were barely able to beat, twenty people who didn't get a choice, twenty people who would be tossed in a freezer at the end of the day to wait and be carted off to a burn site as medical waste. ‘Medical Waste’ or ‘Product of Conception’ were the only names these people would ever be given inside our clinic. 

“I left work that day with such a heavy sorrow in my heart. I have never felt those types of intense emotions before. I prayed to God that night to show me a way out. I shamefully went into work the next morning and I heard the kind voice outside the fence again. But everything was different that day. I decided when I left I was going to reach out to these people and I wasn't going to remain a part of this."

That “kind voice” on the other side of the fence had been telling her about And Then There Were None. When this worker left work that day, she contacted us. It was then that her healing began.

How important is her conversion? It is invaluable. Not only is she now a strong pro-life advocate, she has found salvation and healing in Christ. So, is her conversion important? You can bet your eternal life it is.

In this movement, we must strive for conversion in every person we meet. Whether they are pro-life in name only, on the fence about abortion or an active abortion supporter, it is our job to act as missionaries to them. I can’t confidently say that “this person’s” conversion is more powerful than “this person’s.” What I can say is that every conversion is a victory in Christ. Every conversion is a victory for the unborn and their mothers.

One heart at a time. Let’s make abortion unthinkable. 

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For a fleeting moment, I wondered if this was my punishment. I had convinced her to kill her first baby. Now she had killed her second baby. ADF video screenshot

We were looking forward to adopting her baby. Then I got the devastating phone call: ‘I had an abortion’

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By Abby Johnson

I don’t remember the exact year. I wasn’t running the clinic yet. I was still working as an “abortion counselor.” I was contacted one day by a friend of mine who had a 18-year-old daughter. He was telling me about how wild his daughter was…she was into drugs, very sexually promiscuous and had now found herself pregnant. He needed me to talk her into having an abortion. 

That was a normal scenario for me. Parents would call or come in. They would try to convince me that having an abortion was absolutely the best thing for their daughters. It didn’t take much to convince me. I was confident that no teenager needed to be a parent. I was sure that abortion was pretty much always in their best interest. 

My friend and his daughter came into the clinic and when I saw her, I was absolutely sure she needed to have an abortion. She had tattoos all over her arms and chest. I could tell she had gotten them to cover up her cutting scars. She had dyed, jet-black hair, piercings in her face, and it appeared as though she had not taken a shower in about a week. Yes, this poor girl did NOT need to have a baby. It looked like she couldn’t even take care of herself. It wasn’t tough to convince her that an abortion was really the only option that made sense. She was 18…she had no job, she had no money, she was already failing at school, she did drugs, she hung out with the wrong people, not to mention that her dad had threatened to throw her out of the house if she didn’t have the abortion. 

I could tell that she really didn’t want to go through with it. But I just tried to ignore the tears that were welling up in her eyes. She didn’t know what she wanted and she certainly didn’t know what was best for herself…that’s what I told myself. 

They came back a couple days later for the actual procedure. Labs were done, paperwork was complete, and money was collected. I remember her asking me if I could come back and hold her hand during the abortion procedure. I could tell she was pretty nervous. “It will only take about five minutes,” I reassured her. 

For a fleeting moment, I wondered if this was my punishment. I had convinced her to kill her first baby. Now she had killed her second baby...the baby who I had already grown to love in just a few short days…a baby that I was going to raise as my own.

We got her back to the procedure room and got her hooked up to our monitors. The IV sedation was administered. Because she used recreational drugs, we had to give her a few more vials of the sedation in order for it to take effect. The ultrasound showed that she was about 10 weeks pregnant. Phew. I was glad she wasn’t too far along to have the abortion at our clinic. I wanted to make sure that we took care of this for her since I knew her dad. 

The procedure was done in just a few minutes and I wheeled her back to the recovery room. I got her all set up with a warm blanket, put her feet up and let her rest. I knew the recovery room nurse would be getting her up in about 20 minutes, so I figured I would come back to check on her around then. 

About 15 minutes later, I walked into the recovery room and she was still sleeping. The room had gotten pretty full, so the nurse asked if I could get her dressed and give her the discharge instructions. I had done that hundreds of times before, so I said that I would be glad to help. I grabbed her brown paper bag and sat down on a stool beside her and woke her up. After I gave her the instructions, I checked her vitals. Everything seemed to be pretty normal and she said she felt okay to stand up. I grabbed her arm to help her stand and I heard a literal splash on the floor. I looked down and saw blood everywhere. It was running down her leg, like water out of a faucet. I looked at her face and she was white as a ghost. She looked like she was either about to faint or vomit. I started yelling for the nurse…she had stepped out for a minute to grab a taco to snack on. I sat her back down in the chair. I knew both of our procedure rooms were full. I needed to get her back into one so the doctor could see her. I grabbed a wheelchair in the hall and kept yelling for someone to help me. 

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Finally, with a mouth full of food, I saw the nurse casually walking back to the room. I guess when she saw me she realized there was an emergency, as I was outwardly panicked. I had stepped in the blood all over the floor. My bloody shoeprints were everywhere. It looked like a crime scene. I put her in the wheelchair and she fainted. 

The doctor had just completed an abortion on the patient in exam room number 2, so I knew I needed to get her in that room immediately. But there was all that blood in the recovery room. I told the nurse to stay with her. I ran back to the recovery room, grabbed two handfuls of blue absorbent pads and started spreading them all over the floor. I couldn’t clean it up at the moment, but I could at least cover it up. 

We carried her out of the wheelchair and set her up on the exam table. Blood was still pouring out of her. The doctor’s assistant put the ultrasound probe on her belly and the image of her uterus we saw on the screen was black…it was completely filled with blood. The doctor turned on the suction and started suctioning the blood. Within seconds, we watched her uterus fill back up with blood. More suctioning…more blood. Soon, the doctor had filled a whole jar of blood. I unhooked the tubing, ran into the POC lab and dumped the blood into a biohazard bag. Blood splashed all over my arms and scrubs. I ran back into the room and hooked the jar back up to the tubing. 

She had regained consciousness, but was in and out. I knew we needed to call an ambulance. I was begging to call. “NO, no ambulance,” our doctor said. They were pushing more and more vials of sedation into her IV. I knew she was WAY over the maximum dose, but they just kept giving her more and more. Her blood pressure was dangerously low. I looked at my supervisor and said, “Please let me call the ambulance.” She was quick to tell me no. “We don’t need an ambulance pulling into our parking lot with all of those protestors outside.” I remember yelling back at her, “I don’t need my friend’s kid dying on this table.” The doctor started giving injections of a blood coagulant directly into her cervix. He was packing her uterus full of gauze. 

Finally after about an hour, the bleeding stopped. The doctor had perforated her uterus during the abortion procedure. I got a wet towel and wiped her off. I wanted to get as much blood off of her as I could. I wheeled her back into the recovery room. 

I knew we needed to clean up the exam room. I knew we had more patients to see. We were now backed up and behind on our schedule because of this mishap. I turned the corner and I’m pretty sure I let out an audible gasp. The exam room looked like a war zone. There was blood soaked gauze all over the floor. Blood had splattered everywhere. The end of the table was covered in dried blood. The ultrasound machine had blood all over it. I didn’t even know where to begin. After about 30 minutes, the room was back to normal. Our receptionist came to tell me that her dad was asking about the time. He wanted to make sure everything was okay since it was taking so long. I couldn’t tell him the truth. I was counting on her not remembering because of the amount of sedation she received. I was covered in blood, so I knew I had to change before I went to talk to him. Luckily, I kept a pair of extra scrubs in my desk for situations just like this one. 

I changed my clothes and walked out to the waiting room. I reassured my friend that everything was totally fine. I told him that we were just really busy and had gotten really behind. He accepted that answer…because of course he would never suspect that his friend would lie to him. 

Another hour went by and I saw that she wasn’t in her recovery room chair anymore. I was so pleased to find out that she was getting dressed and was about to leave. “We dodged a bullet on that one,” I thought to myself. But I was still really bothered that we didn’t call the ambulance when I had KNOWN that she needed it. Oh well. She was going to be fine. And my boss was right; those protestors would have had a field day if an ambulance pulled up at our clinic. Better not give them another reason to make us look bad. I assured myself that we did the right thing. 

After she was dressed, I sat down at the table with her while she was eating crackers and drinking juice. I asked her how she felt. I remember her saying that she felt really tired…and that she was “surprised” that the sedation had actually worked on her. Thank goodness. She didn’t remember a thing. We had really gotten away with it this time. I walked her out to door, gave her to her dad and they left. I knew I would see her dad soon, but I would just act like nothing happened. We didn’t need to talk about it anyway. It was over. 

A few months later, I got a call from this young woman. She started telling me horrific details about her life…things that were honestly hard to believe at first. To make a long story short, it turned out that she had been terribly abused by her father…my “friend.” He turned out to be a person who I really didn’t know at all. 

She came to live with me and Doug for quite some time. She would come, she would get her life in order, she would move out and then she would fall back into the same dangerous lifestyle. Then she would come back. I kept telling myself that one day, she would really work everything out for good. She would get thrown in jail, and I would bail her out. I just couldn’t give up on her. I grew to love her very much; like a little sister. I felt like I needed to protect her. She had been hurt by so many people. And I think I knew in the back of my mind, that I was also guilty of hurting her. 

This relationship went on for years. Things had appeared to get a little more stable in her life and I was really proud of her. Yes, she was still a little rough around the edges, but I had complete faith that she was going to be a success story. 

In January 2012, I got a phone call from her early in the morning. Doug and I were off to the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco. We had just gotten into our car and were headed to the airport. I had just entered my second trimester with my son, Alex. When I answered the phone, I could tell something was wrong. 

“I’m pregnant,” she said. I wasn’t prepared for those words at 8am…not from her. I looked at Doug and told him what she said. I wanted to be careful with my reaction, so I just asked her, “How are you feeling?” She told me that she was really scared, but that she wanted to have the baby. She said she didn’t know how she was going to raise a baby, but that she didn’t want to have an abortion. I felt a huge sense of relief. I asked her if she knew how far along she was and it turned out that she was two weeks ahead of me. We started talking about options. We ended up deciding that maybe open adoption would be the best option. But she wanted me and Doug to adopt her baby. I thought that was a great idea. I told her that we would start gathering information about private adoption. I still remember the last thing I told her on that call, “I will be back in two days. Try not to worry. We will discuss all of this as a family when we get back. I love you so much.” 

We got off the phone and I think Doug and I sat in silence for about two minutes. We would have two babies…maybe two weeks apart. The reality was sinking in for both of us. Finally, Doug said, “This will be great! It will be like having twins!” I couldn’t help but laugh at his optimism. But yes, it would be great. A baby is always great. 

When we got to San Francisco, we started talking to some adoption attorneys that we knew. It seemed like the whole process would be a piece of cake. I think Doug and I were actually getting really excited about the idea. Things seemed to be falling into place in just a few short days. I knew I still wanted her to talk to an adoption counselor. I wanted to make sure that she was comfortable with this decision, so I started lining up that meeting. 

About 48 hours later, we were on our way back to Texas. I called her to let her know. No answer. No big deal. I figured she may be at work. I left a message and told her I would call her as soon as we landed. And I did. Again, no answer. I left another message. I felt sick. I tried to shoo off my fears. 

I could hardly sleep that night. I woke up and called again. No answer. I left another messge. I knew. I knew in my heart what had happened. She had an abortion. I didn’t want to know it. I didn’t want to even consider it. But I just knew. Another call. Another message. And again. And again. 

Three days had gone by. She finally called. She was crying. “You are going to hate me,” were the first words out of her mouth. I remember fighting back tears as I said, “I will never hate you.” 

“I had an abortion.” I felt like my heart stopped for just a second. I couldn’t get any words to come out. She said she was going to come over. 

A few minutes later, I heard her come in the front door. I wanted to hug her…but I wanted to slap her. I wanted to tell her it was going to be okay…but I wanted to scream at her. How could she do this? She knows what I do. She knows that we are pro-life now. She knew that we were going to do everything we could for her and her baby. I hated her selfishness. I knew what this was about. She didn’t want the lifestyle change. She just couldn’t stand the thought of going without drinking and partying for nine months. It felt like she had taken something that was mine. 

I quickly reigned in my judgmental thoughts as soon as I felt her fall into my arms. She was sobbing. I realized at that moment that the “why” didn’t matter. I had to focus on her in this moment. I had to meet her in her brokenness. 

We sat down on the couch and she just laid her head on my lap. I just kept running my fingers through her hair. I didn’t need to say anything. It felt like we sat there in silence forever. Her baby was gone. She couldn’t go back now. 

She ended up telling me about how her boyfriend really wanted her to have the abortion. I thought back in my own life and knew that feeling all too well. I also had a boyfriend who pushed me to have an abortion many years before. I always said that I looked at her like my little sister. But instead of learning from my poor decisions like I had hoped she would, she had followed in my misguided footsteps…unstable relationships, controlling boyfriends and now two abortions. 

I couldn’t help but wonder about the “what ifs.” The biggest “what if” that plagued my mind was this: what if I had told her the truth about her first abortion? What if I hadn’t kept that a secret from her? What if she knew the harrowing details that I had failed to disclose to her? 

For a fleeting moment, I wondered if this was my punishment. I had convinced her to kill her first baby. Now she had killed her second baby...the baby who I had already grown to love in just a few short days…a baby that I was going to raise as my own. Maybe God was getting me back. But I knew God didn’t work that way. I pushed that thought to the side. 

There were two things behind her decision to abort: free will and secrecy. Her free will…my secrecy. She deserved to know what happened during her first abortion. She deserved to know how we had damaged her body. But I was too cowardly to tell her. 

I have since told her everything that I just wrote above, but sadly, it was too late. Now, she and I are sharing this story together in hopes that it will shatter any secrecy that you hold on to. Scripture is clear about secrecy. When we hold onto secrecy in our lives, Satan has power of it. 

Maybe you have an abortion in your past. Maybe you talked a friend into getting an abortion. Maybe you drove a family member to an abortion clinic. And now, maybe that secrecy is between you. Secrecy changed the path of my friend’s life. You have heard the childhood saying that “secrets hurt.” Yes, secrets can hurt, and they can also be deadly. If I hadn’t held on to my secret, maybe her child would be alive today. Maybe we would have another child in our family. Maybe my children would have another sibling. I will never know. 

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Abby Johnson

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Abby Johnson is the former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Bryan, Texas. After witnessing an ultrasound-guided abortion, Abby converted to the pro-life cause. She is now a leading defender of the unborn. Since leaving Planned Parenthood, Abby has founded a non-profit called And Then There Were None, which specializes in reaching out to men and women in the abortion industry, and providing them with the spiritual, financial, and logistical help that they need to exit the industry. 

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