BRYAN, TX, July 11, 2013 ( – When former Planned Parenthood clinic manager Abby Johnson heard a rumor that the clinic she previously led is no longer performing surgical abortions, she immediately picked up the phone and called to find out if it was true.

Johnson, who is now a nationally renowned pro-life activist, says she was “elated” when the employee who answered confirmed the news, and explained that the clinic had to stop surgical abortions thanks to Texas’ new ultrasound law, which went into effect early last year.

The law – which was passed in part thanks to Johnson, who testified at the legislature on its behalf and campaigned for its passage – requires a 24-hour waiting period following the required ultrasound. However, the Bryan, Texas clinic where Johnson once worked said it is unable to find an abortionist who is able to come in for both the ultrasound and the abortion. 


“I just felt like it was another victory,” Johnson told in a telephone interview. “It was a small victory, but it was a personal victory for me.” 

“I personally participated in abortions at that clinic. I saw patients in the recovery room after surgical abortions that were sobbing after they realized what they had just done,” Johnson said. “And I’m just thrilled that women are not going to be going through at that clinic any more.”

In her autobiography, UnPlanned, Johnson wrote about how watching a 13-week unborn baby struggle during an ultrasound-guided abortion jump-started her conversion to the pro-life cause. “The image of that tiny baby twisting and struggling kept replaying in my mind,” she wrote. “And the patient. I felt so guilty. I’d taken something precious from her, and she didn’t even know it.” 

Meanwhile, the Bryan clinic is continuing to perform medical, or drug-induced, abortions. But even these may soon come to an end, if Texas passes the hotly contested late-term abortion ban currently making its way through the legislature. In addition to banning abortions past 20 weeks, the law includes provisions requiring abortion clinics to follow FDA guidelines in administering the drugs that cause medical abortions. 

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The problem for Johnson’s former clinic is that those guidelines require a licensed physician to be present throughout the abortion, which would require three visits by the abortionist. “If they can’t get an abortionist there for two visits, they certainly can’t get one there for three visits,” she said.

If indeed the medical abortion part of the business gets shut down, Johnson says she believes it’s only a matter of time before the office shuts down altogether. 

“I know that they’re probably just holding on by a very thin thread. We’re hoping that this will be the final straw for them once this bill gets passed,” she said. 

While the pro-life activist says all her attention right now is on making sure SB1 passes, she admits, “To know that I played a part in getting rid of a significant number of abortions in my former clinic is a really good feeling.”