Planned Parenthood: Inside Out

Abby Johnson’s book has been released, and with it, a fuller story of the abortion industry’s institutional heavyweight than the public has heard before. She didn’t intend for it to be an expose of Planned Parenthood. But in recounting her years with them from recruitment through her rise in authority in order to share her journey from pro-choice to pro-life, Johnson reveals that what they planned was not what they peddled.

Along with about 21,000 other people across the nation and the world (that’s not a typo), I sat in last night on a webcast interview Johnson gave through David Bereit and Shawn Carney, ’40 Days for Life’ leaders who were directly involved in her conversion. I don’t know how many times I whispered ‘Wow’ under my breath as I listened and typed as fast as I could to transcribe the webcast for my own research purposes. I kept shaking my head thinking ‘this is astounding stuff’ and ‘this is stop-the-presses news.’

The Register’s Tim Drake apparently did the same thing, and publishes a fair amount of that powerful story here. Please read it.

But I strongly recommend the book to anyone interested in the story on both sides of the fence around abortion clinics. And a few extra copies to have on hand to give, no strings attached, to those who aren’t the least interested in hearing about it.

At the end of the call, Abby Johnson said:

Have a plan of action when somebody like me comes to you and says ‘I want to get out of this industry.’ You never know…We should expect it and we must be ready. I believe big things are going to happen. When somebody likes me walks into your office, you’d better be ready to help them.

For pro-lifers, I just want to say that….we can do this. And…this is possible. That the director of your abortion facility can be on this webcast next year, this is possible. This can happen. It would be awesome if the abortion industry had to shut down because they couldn’t staff the facilities. People are starting to see abortion for what it is…the taking of a human life.

That truth is powerfully told by this former Planned Parenthood director who saw it more clearly than people can imagine. unPlanned is not just the result, it’s the beginning of the end.

Choice to leave the abortion business

Abby Johnson’s story spread rapidly back when she went from being a leader in Planned Parenthood and one of their clinic directors, to a committed pro-life advocate, in short order. After witnessing the horrifying sight of one abortion on an ultrasound screen. Now, she tells her compelling and dramatic story in unPlanned, a new book about to be released. Great title, heart-stopping drama. It should certainly be a debate changer.

Monday evening, Johnson is participating in a webcast originally reserved for 3,000 total participants and has now grown to over 14,000. The webcast provider is maxing out its server to provide a bandwith capable of carrying this load. Promotions promise the crowd who signs on that they’ll hear Johnson talk about the following:

• What initially attracted Abby to volunteer and then work for Planned Parenthood — America’s largest abortion chain — even after being raised in a faithful Christian home
• The hidden personal secret that Abby had kept buried for years
• The shocking discovery that suddenly caused Abby to question everything Planned Parenthood had told her over eight years
• Planned Parenthood’s confidential plans to expand its biggest money-maker – abortion – all across America
• The abortion industry’s furious reaction when Abby decided to quit her job and join local and national pro-life efforts
• What Abby’s court battle brought to light about Planned Parenthood’s REAL agenda
• The single most effective way to reduce Planned Parenthood’s abortion business and change the hearts and minds of clinic workers

I had an advance copy of unPlanned, and interviewed Abby Johnson last week. We never got past chapter one, “The Ultrasound.” When I read it the evening before the interview, I was thunderstruck. After the final sentence of that chapter, I perceptibly exhaled. And realized I had been holding my breath. It was captivating.

Without giving anything away here, I just want to point out her preface, ‘A Note from Abby Johnson’, brief as it is. She says:

…I’ve spent years on the front lines of the face-off between pro-choice and pro-life advocates. Which side? Both sides…

I reveal my story not because I am proud of it. I am not. But my thinking and choices are not unlike those of so many people I have encountered. And until we each set aside our own preferences for how we wish others would think and behave, or how we assume others think and behave, we won’t be able to understand those with whom we differ in order to engage in real dialogue and discover truth.

People have asked her things like how she could have been so naive, or gullible, or inconsistent in holding Christian values but not acting on them, etc…  She understands the difficulty in understanding this whole business, on both sides.

To this day I have friends on both sides of this polarizing debate. We all long for a story that shows that “our” side is right and good, and “their” side is wrong and bad, don’t we? But…we have far more in common with the “other” side than we might imagine.

She’s singing my song. For years and years, I’ve tried to generate a conversation between those who disagree on the big life issues, with the presumption of goodwill that probably, people on both sides are acting on what they believe to be what’s best for women and/or children and/or other groups of human beings in the life debate (the impaired or dying, if the debate is euthanasia, for instance…). But after years of this, I’ve found precious few advocates of the most permissable abortion laws willing to talk to anyone who doesn’t share their views. It’s one thing to have friends on both sides, and I agree with Abby that I do as well. It’s another to generate that conversation, both talking and listening, engaging reason and charity toward the person and the argument.

So I asked her if she’s been able to do that with some of her former colleagues in the abortion business. She paused, and slowly said ‘No, I’m sorry to say that hasn’t been possible…’

The promotion from Ignatius Press says

Planned Parenthood took Johnson to court in an attempt to keep a lid on her story. Johnson won. unPlanned is the result.

The book is going to make a lot of people squirm. “If so,” she says, “welcome to my journey.”