Abortion clinic employees are not the enemy, a Planned Parenthood employee turned pro-life advocate writes in her new memoir.
Abby Johnson wrote in her soon-to-be-released book Unplanned that many Planned Parenthood clinicians genuinely think they are offering morally good services and are not the adversary in the pro-life movement.
Johnson knows what she is talking about. The Texas native was once a health center director at a Bryan, Texas, Planned Parenthood clinic.
Johnson shares that she too felt as though she was helping people despite feeling conflicted and convicted from time to time.
In her book, Johnson presents her own story as an abortion worker. She initially joined the Bryan clinic as a community volunteer and regularly administered STI and pregnancy tests and counseled woman about pregnancy prevention.
"I really believed that I was following God's will while I was working there. I really, really did," Johnson disclosed in a video promotion for the book and her documentary.
Johnson worked at the clinic for eight years, earning employee of the year in 2008 and being promoted within the clinic. As that continued to happen, she says that she began to feel conflicted.
"While I was working at Planned Parenthood, I would sit in the pews of church and I would struggle with what I did at Planned Parenthood and I would say, 'Is this a sin?'" Johnson recalls.
Johnson received her answer in 2009 when she was called in to help with an ultrasound-assisted abortion. During the procedure, she saw a 13-week-old baby being aborted before her very eyes. Soon after, she quit her job.
Her conversion, which she has talked about openly, led to a firestorm of media coverage and legal cases. Johnson resigned in October of last year. Soon afterwards, Planned Parenthood filed a temporary gag order and she contacted Coalition after quitting.
The lawsuit claimed that Johnson had taken sensitive documents in her final days and was using them to harm the company and the employees. A judge dismissed the injunction on Johnson and Coalition for Life, stating there were no legal grounds for the abortion provider's argument.
Planned Parenthood later dropped its lawsuit.
Since the entire ordeal, Johnson has traveled around the country speaking, protesting and blogging about her conversion.
Her story, along with a message for pro-life protesters, is documented in the book.
"So many people want to see these clinic workers as the enemy, but they are not," Johnson comments. "The sin of abortion is the enemy."
She explains that Planned Parenthood purposely deceives its employees. She says she was led to believe that without legalized abortion, many women would die trying to have an illegal one.
And so she thought, "I can't live with myself if I was to turn these women away and they were to go and have an illegal abortion and then possibly die."
She says other workers are also deluded into rationalizing the goodness of abortion.
In recounting her experience in a 2009 television interview, she told Mike Huckabee, "This is what the abortion industry doesn't want their workers to see. They don't want their abortion workers to see what is actually happening during an abortion."
She now reaches out to Planned Parenthood employees from her blog and encourages other pro-life groups to do so too.
She cautions pro-lifers against zealotry and encourages a milder approach when protesting clinics. Johnson sets Coalition for Life's 40 Days for Life campaign as a shining example. Their "peaceful, respectful" style, Johnson asserts, is the best way win the pro-choice lobby over. It's what won her over, she states.
"Without them, I wouldn't be here today," she says.
Johnson's memoir will be released January 22, the anniversary of the groundbreaking abortion case, Roe v. Wade. Amazon is set to release the book at an earlier date, Jan. 17.