On the eve of the release of Unplanned, Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate, admitted having received two abortions.
During a pre-release webcast Monday night, Johnson shared for the first time publicly that like many of the women she counseled in her Bryan, Texas, clinic, she too had an abortion.
"I never thought I would be a person who would choose abortion, but I did," she shared.
Johnson said she was raised in a Christian family and had thought of herself as being pro-life. However, while volunteering for Planned Parenthood, Johnson found out that she was pregnant. She told listeners when the pregnancy test revealed that she was pregnant, she stated, "I was just blank."
Johnson described that she was engaged and unprepared to become a parent. After she received a surgical abortion, Johnson said she repressed the thought of what she had done and told no one.
"It was something that I shared that burden alone," she said about her experience afterwards.
Johnson said she believed that the incident would be the first and last time. But later, she found herself pregnant again. This time, Johnson received a drug-induced abortion.
"It was one of the worst experiences of my life," she described.
Johnson suffered for eight weeks from related complications. She said she felt like she had failed as a woman. Even after that, Johnson continued working for Planned Parenthood, believing she could help reduce the number of abortions.
"I went back to being a volunteer and I tried to justify [my decision]," she divulged.
Then little by little, she began to see a different side of the abortion provider. In the chapter, "Boardroom," she recalled being told in a meeting that the quota for the number of abortions performed per day was going up.
The former director said she felt conflicted about the meeting because the message delivered directly contradicted the previously stated goal of reducing abortions. Then came the day she was called in to help perform an ultrasound-guided abortion.
"I couldn't believe that this company that I loved and trusted would lie to me," she said of watching a 13-week-old running from the probe.
The rest is history.
Johnson's 2009 conversion created a firestorm of media coverage. She was soon called on to appear on television programs, and was later sued unsuccessfully by Planned Parenthood.
Over a year after the ordeal, Johnson has written and published her story in a book entitled, Unplanned. The book has already received accolades from pro-life advocates Lila Rose of Live Action, Dr. Alveda King and Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List.
The book releases Tuesday. Previously, it was set to go public on January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Shawn Carney, director for 40 Days for Life campaign, shared on the conference call that he and his wife often prayed for Johnson. He marveled at how God had answered his prayer and led her to their office.
"It is the miracle of the Holy Spirit," he shared.
Johnson urged pro-life advocates to "show compassion and mercy for the workers and women that are going inside" abortion clinics.
David Bereit, 40 Days for Life national campaign director, urged webcast subscribers to purchase advance copies of the books in order to make a statement in the war against abortion. The book was offered a special discount.
"Let's together make a statement that day one this book is on the scene," said Bereit.
Already the book has made a statement. The Monday night webcast drew over 20,000 registered attendees to hear Johnson speak. Bereit said organizers originally believed that there would be 3,000 on the line.
The group also received over 600 questions for Johnson. Staffers organized the questions into categories and asked Johnson to answer the most popular query from each category.
At the end of the webinar, Bereit announced that online links to the specially discounted book was moving slowly because of all of the orders being placed. He reported that the problem was "a good problem to have."
On the Web: www.unplannedthebook.com