Planned Parenthood Loses Bid to Silence Former Clinic Director Turned Pro-Life
By Kathleen Gilbert
BRYAN, Texas, November 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A district court judge has denied Planned Parenthood's request for a gag order against Abby Johnson, the former director of a Houston-area Planned Parenthood abortion facility who quit her job following a conversion experience.
According to the Bryan-College Station Eagle, District Judge J.D. Langley dissolved a temporary restraining order against Johnson after concluding that Planned Parenthood's stated concerns over Johnson revealing security and business information was not enough to warrant the injunction.
The judge also denied a similar request Planned Parenthood directed at the Coalition for Life, the local pro-life organization that started the 40 Days for Life campaign five years ago at the same clinic where Johnson worked.
"I am gratified that Planned Parenthood has failed in its misguided effort to silence its former clinic director," said David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life.
Johnson said she was pleased with the court's decision, which opens the door for her to offer more specifics about her work at Planned Parenthood and the reasons she resigned.
Since quitting her job after watching an abortion procedure on an ultrasound machine, Johnson's story has received major media attention at a time when abortion has become the central issue in the national debate over health care reform.
While debating the health bill last week, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) used Abby's conversion story in his floor remarks supporting an amendment to ban federal funding for abortion.
"The truth about abortion that Abby witnessed on an ultrasound machine at Planned Parenthood underscores the fact that abortion is not health care, and it should not be funded in any way by the government," commented Bereit.
Since her resignation from Planned Parenthood, Johnson has spoken on behalf of 40 Days for Life and has joined the campaign to pray for an end to abortion outside her old workplace. She discussed her decision to work with the pro-life movement on a 40 Days for Life teleconference Monday night.
"When I saw that ultrasound, not only did I say, 'This is wrong and I will never participate in this again,' but there was a part of me that said, 'Not only will I not participate in it again, but I will fight to make sure women don't have to experience this, that women have better choices,'" she said.
Johnson encouraged the pro-lifers on the call to keep engaging clinic workers, even though their words appear to bear no fruit.
"You are in constant spiritual turmoil when you work in the abortion industry," said Johnson, noting that, to a clinic worker, a pro-life vigil is "a constant reminder of the reality that you are doing." "Sometimes the clinic workers may act like they don't hear you, they may never speak to you ... but they can't turn a deaf ear to what you're saying," she continued. "You never know who you're impacting."
Johnson is scheduled to appear on the FOX Network's "O'Reilly Factor" Wednesday night.
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