Kathleen Gilbert

Former Planned Parenthood director admits: I had two ‘traumatic’ abortions

Kathleen Gilbert
Kathleen Gilbert
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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.

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The first pro-abortion Republican enters the 2016 presidential race

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By Ben Johnson

EXETER, NH, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The large and expanding field of would-be Republican presidential candidates grew by one today, as George Pataki became the first GOP presidential hopeful this election season to openly support abortion-on-demand.

The 69-year-old long-shot candidate also has a history of supporting homosexual legislative causes.

In the weeks leading up to his formal announcement, George Pataki took out TV ads asking Republicans to refrain from talking about abortion and gay “marriage,” branding them “distractions.”

“In 12 years [as governor], I don’t think I talked about that issue twice,” he once said of abortion.

On same-sex “marriage,” he says, “I think, leave it to the states. I don’t think it’s a role in Washington.”

However, Pataki has a long history of enacting the homosexual political agenda as governor of New York from 1994-2006. He signed a “hate crimes” law that added the words “gay” and “lesbian” to New York state law for the first time.

He signed the Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Act (SONDA), which prohibits business owners from “discriminating” against homosexuals in housing or hiring, with an exemption only for religious institutions.

He also added sexual orientation to state civil rights laws, alongside such immutable characteristics as race and sex, in an apparent quid pro quo for a gay activist group's endorsement in his last run for governor. The New York Times reported that, under pressure from Pataki, then then-Senate Majority Leader “shifted his position on the bill as part of what is tacitly acknowledged, even by Senator [Joseph] Bruno's senior aides, to have been a deal to win an endorsement for Governor Pataki from the state's largest gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda.”

After the LGBT activist group endorsed Pataki in 2002, citing a long list of his service to the homosexual political cause, Pataki personally lobbied senators for the bill's passage, then signed it into law that December.

Coupled with his stance on gun control, environmentalism, and other issues, he stands well to the left of the Republican mainstream.

The three-term governor of New York, who belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, took his own advice by largely avoiding social issues today. The closest he came was his vow, “I'd repeal oppressive laws like ObamaCare and end Common Core.”

He added that he would “fire every current IRS employee abusing government power to discriminate on the basis of politics or religion. That is not America!”

Otherwise, Pataki's announcement speech hewed to stand pat Republican issues like reducing taxes, shrinking the number of federal employees, increasing military spending, and supporting entrepreneurship.

He began by thanking his supporters, in English and Spanish.

Smiling, his head pivoting between twin teleprompters, he said, “Let me tell you some of the things I'd do right away to get oppressive government off the backs of Americans.”

He would institute a lifetime ban on congressmen acting as lobbyists after they leave office. “If you ever served one day in Congress, you will never be a lobbyist,” he said. He favors forcing Congress to live under the laws it passes, so there will be “no special rules for the powerful.”

He cited his history of cutting taxes, reducing welfare rolls, and leaving his state with billions of dollars in surplus. “That's what our policies can do,” he said. “I know we can do the same thing for the United States.”

In recent weeks, he has called for a more interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. Today, he reminded his audience that he was governor of New York in 9/11. “I will not fear the lesson of September 11,” he said. “To protect us, first we must protect the border,” he said – an unexpected phrase, as Pataki supports amnesty for the at least 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

“We will stand with our ally, Israel, a democracy on the front lines of terror and barbarism,” he said.

Like former Sen. Rick Santorum, who announced he is running for president yesterday, Pataki agreed that “if necessary, American forces will be used to actually defeat and destroy ISIS on the ground – although he promised not to become “the world's policeman.”

Some of his campaign promises drew skepticism, such as seeking to develop self-driving cars and to cure Alzheimer's disease and cancer within the next decade.

The speech's venue was chosen deliberately by Pataki, who considered entering the presidential race in 2000, 2008, and 2012. The town of Exeter, New Hampshire, claims to be the founding place of the Republican Party. (Ripon, Wisconsin, makes a similar claim.)

More importantly, the first-in-the-nation primary skews more libertarian on social issues than evangelical-dominated Iowa and South Carolina, so Pataki has essentially staked his candidacy on doing well in New Hampshire. Fellow pro-abortion Republican Rudy Giuliani made a similar bet in 2008, banking on a good showing among transplanted New Yorkers in the Florida primary. He left the race after finishing a distant third.

Short of a stunning upset in the Granite State, Pataki has little chance of breaking through the pack this year. A Fox News poll ranks him dead last among 16 announced and potential candidates. Holly Bailey of Yahoo! News said, “George Pataki would never say this, but you do have to wonder if he's sort of, maybe, gaming for vice president.”

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Pataki is not the first “pro-choice” Republican to run for president.  Giuliani (who supported partial birth abortion) and Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (another potential 2016 candidate, who supports abortion during the first trimester) ran in 2008. Twelve years earlier, both California Gov. Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter supported abortion-on-demand. Arlen Specter later left the party and became a Democrat.

In 1988, General Alexander Haig opposed a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So did Texas Gov. John Connally in 1980.

George H.W. Bush supported abortion and voted for Planned Parenthood funding early in his career but changed his position by the time he ran for president the second time, in 1988.

President Gerald Ford was the last Republican nominee to proclaim himself “pro-choice.” 

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Ireland ‘defied God’ by voting for gay ‘marriage’: Cardinal Burke

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By Pete Baklinski

OXFORD, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Cardinal Raymond Burke lamented how formerly Catholic Ireland has gone further than the pagans in the pre-Christian days of old and “defied God” by calling homosexual behavior “marriage” in the referendum last week.

“I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage,” he told the Newman Society, Oxford University’s Catholic organization, in an address Wednesday about the intellectual heritage of Pope Benedict XVI. The Tablet, Britain’s liberal Catholic newspaper, reported his remarks.

On Friday, 1.2 million Irish people voted to amend the country’s constitution to say: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” A little over 734,000 people voted against the proposal. 

Burke said that he could not understand “any nation redefining marriage.”

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The cardinal also emphasized the important role that parents play in protecting their children in a culture increasingly hostile to God’s laws. “The culture is thoroughly corrupted, if I may say so, and the children are being exposed to this, especially through the internet,” he said. One practical piece of advice that he offered families was to put computers in public areas to prevent children from “imbib[ing] this poison that’s out there.”

During the same Oxford visit, but during a homily at a Mass the day before, Burke called marriage between a man and woman a “fundamental truth” that has been “ignored, defied, and violated.”

Burke warned during the homily of the dangers of “various ideological currents” and of “human deception and trickery which strives to lead us into error.”

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Why young Christians can’t grasp our arguments against gay ‘marriage’

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By John Stonestreet

May 28, 2015 (BreakPoint.org) -- For five years, Dr. Abigail Rine has been teaching a course on gender theory at George Fox University, an evangelical school in the Quaker tradition.

At the beginning of the semester, she tells her students that “they are guaranteed to read something they will find disagreeable, probably even offensive.”

Writing at FirstThings.com recently, she related how five years ago it was easy to find readings that challenged and even offended the evangelical college students “considering the secular bent of contemporary gender studies.”

But today, things are different. “Students now,” she says, “arrive in my class thoroughly versed in the language and categories of identity politics; they are reticent to disagree with anything for fear of seeming intolerant—except, of course, what they perceive to be intolerant.”

And what do they find “intolerant”? Well, in her class, an essay entitled “What is Marriage?” by Sherif Girgis, Robert George, and Ryan Anderson, which was the beginning of the book “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense.”

In their article, Girgis, George, and Anderson defend what they call the conjugal view of marriage. “Marriage,” they write, “is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other … that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together.” They defend this view against what they call the “revisionist view” of marriage, which redefines marriage to include, among other things, same-sex couples.

“My students hate it,” Dr. Rine wrote. They “lambast the article.” “They also,” she adds, “seem unable to fully understand the argument.” And again, these are evangelical students at an evangelical school.

The only argument for conjugal marriage they’ve ever encountered has been the wooden proof-texting from the Bible. And besides, wrote Rine, “What the article names as a ‘revisionist’ idea of marriage—marriage as an emotional, romantic, sexual bond between two people—does not seem ‘new’ to my students at all, because this is the view of marriage they were raised with, albeit with a scriptural, heterosexual gloss.”

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

As Rine points out “the redefinition of marriage began decades ago” when “the link between sexuality and procreation was severed in our cultural imagination.”

And if marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction,” then it seems mean-spirited to Rine’s students to argue that marriage by its very nature excludes same-sex couples.

And where do students get the idea that marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction”? Well, everywhere—television, church, school, their homes, in youth groups.

Rine writes, “As I consider my own upbringing and the various ‘sex talks’ I encountered in evangelical church settings over the past twenty years, I realize that the view of marital sex presented there was primarily revisionist.”

In other words, once you say, “I do,” you get “the gift” of sex which is presented as “a ‘gift’ largely due to its [erotic], unitive properties, rather than its intrinsic capacity to create life.” Even in the Church, children have become an optional add-on to married life rather than its primary purpose.

What can we do to win back our children, our churches, and the culture? In our recent book “Same Sex Marriage,” Sean McDowell and I lay out a game plan. We offer strategies for the short-term and the long-term, with the ultimate goal: re-shaping the cultural imagination towards what God intended marriage to be, starting with the church. Come to BreakPoint.org to pick up your copy.

As Chuck Colson once said in a BreakPoint commentary about marriage, “We Christians are very good at saying ‘No.’ But we’ve got to get better at saying ‘Yes’: showing how God’s plan for humanity is a blessing. That His ways, including faithful, life-giving marriage between one man and one woman, lead to human flourishing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Reprinted with permission from Break Point.

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