Former abortion workers share their stories as Abby Johnson launches new pro-life ministry
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS, June 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic is still trying to recruit abortion workers, but now she is recruiting them out of the abortion industry, rather than in.
Abby Johnson, the former director of a Texas abortion clinic, launched her new ministry And Then There Were None through a live, international internet webcast attended by nearly 6,500 people on Monday night.
The nonprofit hopes to reach out to the estimated 9,000 abortion clinic workers in the United States, encouraging them to leave the industry and providing the means to help them do so.
The new organization will provide emotional support for workers scarred by what they have witnessed, legal help to those harassed into silence by the abortion industry, spiritual guidance from members of their own denomination, and financial assistance as they look for a new job.
ATTWN’s motto is: “No more abortion clinic workers, no more abortion clinics, no more abortions. It starts with the workers.”
“We don’t ever want money to be a reason that someone feels like they need to stay inside the abortion industry,” Abby Johnson said. “This is a job that is evil, and they feel that evil inside of them everyday when they go to work.”
Johnson, the 2008 Planned Parenthood employee of the year, said finding a new job to replace the high wages offered by abortion can be difficult. After telling an abortion clinic director that some employees wanted to leave, the director replied, “Well, good luck getting another job, because you’ve worked in the abortion industry, and nobody will want you.”
Those words, though intimidating, hold a great deal of truth, she said. Two former abortion clinic workers said they have yet to match their old salaries but would never think of going back.
Sarah, a former abortion clinic worker who took part in the broadcast, said it took her 18 months to leave the industry.
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Although the ministry has yet to launch, Johnson said she has had 17 abortion clinic workers leave the abortion industry and have conversions on the issue of life.
Another former abortion clinic worker, Annette, said she only became involved with abortion because she “wanted to help in a nonprofit, particularly with youth in the Latino community” – and she first learned about Planned Parenthood “through a program that was specifically [tailored] for the Latino community.”
She had been told clinic workers would present the possibility of motherhood, adoption, or abortion to expectant mothers in equal terms, but learned that workers only attempted to hustle visitors into abortions. She regretted her experience with “those young girls that I guided to the clinic not really knowing what’s going on.”
After hearing Abby Johnson’s testimony at an event, she met with her backstage. “The next day, Monday morning at 9 a.m., I walked into my bosses’ office, and I quit.”
“In the end abortions hurt women, hurt families, and even hurt workers,” she said.
And Then There Were None is working on a two-page pamphlet for sidewalk counselors to give to clinic workers, which Johnson said should be available in a few weeks. In her book Unplanned she describes how pro-life workers changed her life, and she hopes they will bring many more out of the darkness of the culture of death.
David Bereit, the national director of Forty Days for Life and a member of the board of directors who acted as emcee of the hour-long program, recalled how he met Abby while praying outside her abortion facility.
“Abby was somebody I specifically prayed for by name,” Bereit said. “Little would I have known years ago whens praying outside Abby’s abortion facility that I would be on the board of the ministry she would be launching.”
Jenny Stone, who works for Live Action and is operations director of And Then There Were None, said she was attracted to the ministry, because “it’s new, it’s unique, and it’s a vital aspect of the pro-life movement.”
Sarah agreed. “Anybody who is a sidewalk counselor, keep doing it,” she said. “You may not feel the reward right away, but the significance and your presence and the accountability it brings is tremendous.”
Johnson, the mother of a three-and-a-half week-old baby, said she is hopeful, through education and prayer, there will come a day when no one will want to work in an industry that makes money from the worst kind of travesty.