I was willing to go to hell for legal abortion. Then I saw a 13-week baby die in front of my eyes.
Every day, I took the same route to my house from the Planned Parenthood facility I managed. The marshals that came to provide “safety training” for us once a year recommended we change up our route home. They came to warn us about how dangerous the pro-lifers were outside our facility. Ha.
“You never want to take the same route home. Always change it up. You never know when one of them could be following you,” they said.
Can you love people into truth? Absolutely. I think the better question is: are you willing to? Are you willing to look past their sin and see the creation that God made? Are you willing to reach out with mercy and love instead of anger and condemnation?
I wasn’t too worried about the pro-lifers outside my facility. I knew them. They knew me. They were always offering me help and seemed to genuinely care about me. That was annoying. It was basically impossible to hate people who were so nice to me, even though I had been taught to hate them by all of my supervisors. On September 26, I had seen something that had shaken me to the core. I had watched a 13 week old baby die by abortion. I watched him struggle for his life. I saw it right in front of my face on an ultrasound monitor. I was numb, shocked, horrified…and quite honestly, I felt so stupid. How could I have fallen for the lies of this organization? How could I have let it happen for eight years?
On October 4, I sat in my living room, held my daughter and wondered. Did I have the guts to admit that I had been wrong for so many years? Did I have the courage to admit that I was a liar? I hate liars…and I realized that I had been the biggest one I knew. Could I walk away from my friends? Could I walk away from my huge salary and promise of promotion?
Follow Abby Johnson on Facebook
That Sunday afternoon, I didn’t know. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable. But I just couldn’t justify what I had seen. I knew I couldn’t rationalize my behavior, my life.
For several years, I had asked myself a question: “If I died, would I go to heaven or hell?” I remember thinking that I would probably go to hell for my active and proud participation in abortion. And somehow, I had convinced myself that was okay…that I was willing to spend an eternity in hell in order to provide abortions.
But on October 5, I sat in my office and asked that same question. This time, my answer was different. No, I was not willing to possibly spend an eternity in hell so that women could continue to take the lives of their children. No, I would no longer be an accomplice to this brutality. But where would I go? Would these pro-lifers really accept me? I mean, they always said they would, but how could I believe that? How could they just accept me…knowing my past? How could they forgive me for how I had treated them for so many years? I didn’t know what their reaction would be, but I knew I had to take that chance.
So, I took a left instead of a right out of our parking lot. I drove to their office. I spilled my guts. I admitted that yes, I had been wrong…so wrong.
And they forgave me. They didn’t start listing off the faults of my past. They didn’t make me grovel or give an apology. They just forgave.
I remember after my story hit the national news, a reporter had called and asked to talk to one of the staff members from the pro-life office where I had turned for help. This reporter wanted the scoop. How bad was I when I worked in Planned Parenthood? What were some of the terrible things I had done to them out on the sidewalk?
I was waiting for all of my embarrassing, dirty laundry to be aired when she answered his questions. But instead, this is what I heard from her. “I don’t even know that person anymore. Abby is a new creation in Christ and that’s the Abby I want to talk about.”
I had never known love like that from a friend. And now I had it…from a woman that I had only met three weeks earlier…from a woman who I had cursed and yelled at…from a woman who had seen the very worst side of me. But here she was, offering me this gift of forgiveness. Certainly it was a gift that I didn’t deserve from her. But there it was, no strings attached. I often think about that moment and realize that is probably the closest thing to Christ’s forgiveness that I will ever experience here on earth. The slate was wiped clean.
Can you love people into truth? Absolutely. I think the better question is: are you willing to? Are you willing to look past their sin and see the creation that God made? Are you willing to reach out with mercy and love instead of anger and condemnation? Are you willing to just meet people where they are and care for them no matter how far they are from where you want them to be? Can we attempt to love like God loves?
It always makes me laugh when I tell people how many abortion clinic workers have left their facilities through my ministry, And Then There Were None. They are so shocked! They can’t believe 128 people have come to us in the past two years. Who knew these people could have such a profound change of heart? We pray for this to happen, and then when it does, we are surprised!
Friends, these workers are leaving the abortion industry because they are finally able to see that there is real help for them. They don’t leave because people have told them that they are “baby killers.” They certainly don’t leave because someone tells them they will “burn in hell” for working in the industry. They leave because we are now able to give them help and healing. They leave because they want something better for themselves. They leave because we are finally helping them see that we do genuinely care about them.
We always need to remember that these workers are not our enemy. Abortionists are not the enemy. Our enemy is sin. No matter how rude they are to us, no matter how much they ignore us, no matter how many times they tell us to “get a job” or something similar…they WILL eventually leave. But that will only happen if we BE Christ to them. We don’t have to preach to them. I remember hearing one time that “God is a gentleman.” God will not force Himself on someone, and we shouldn’t either.
Pray. Be kind. Love them. And if you don’t think you can love them, then stay away from them. The only thing that will keep an abortion worker in the industry longer is a pro-lifer who condemns them.
What if you were the reason an abortion worker took a left instead of a right? You can be. I thank God every day of my life for the people who made me “change my route.”
For more information about what you can do to help abortion facility workers, visit www.abortionworker.com.
Follow Abby Johnson on Facebook
Finished reading? You can make a difference, too!
Support pro-life and pro-family journalism with a donation today!
View CommentsClick to view or comment.