Nationally-Known Prolife Advocate Speaks at Rachel’s House Fundraiser
A capacity crowd filled the auditorium at First Baptist Church on March 15 for a Rachel’s House fundraiser that featured nationally famous prolife advocate Abby Johnson as guest speaker. As Johnson told about her heart-wrenching journey from a Planned Parenthood clinic director to a passionate anti-abortion campaigner, the mother of eight children shared the experiences which literally changed the course of not only her career, but her life. “When God decides to intervene to change a heart of stone into flesh, it literally happens in the blink of eye. That’s what happened to me,” she said.
Johnson resigned in October 2009 from her job at a Planned Parenthood clinic after watching an abortion on ultrasound. Her memoir, Unplanned, was made into the 2019 movie of the same title.
“I did not start out a prochoice person. My parents were prolife, and they raised to me to follow the Biblical pathway to marriage, and abortion would never be on the table,” she said. But it was. Johnson shared that she got pregnant in college and had an abortion. “To save everybody embarrassment, I just took care of this and nobody would ever have to know.”
Then, a year after her abortion, she met a Planned Parenthood representative on the campus of her college. “I wanted to help women,” she said, sharing that she decided to work with Planned Parenthood. When she looked back at the road that led her to her decision, she realized later it was a downward spiral. “I did not go from being a good Christian kid one day to the abortion clinic the next. Never in my life did I think I would one day be running an abortion clinic.”
Johnson grew up in Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Texas A& M University and Master of Arts in counseling from Sam Houston State University. She was raised in a conservative family opposed to abortion, but began volunteering for Planned Parenthood in 2001 after seeing their booth at a volunteer fair at her college.
She identified herself as 'extremely prochoice' at that point in her life as she worked at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, for eight years. In 2008, she was named the clinic’s employee of the year, but in September 2009, she had a change of heart. Johnson said she was called to assist in an ultrasound- guided abortion at 13 weeks of gestation, and said that she saw the fetus squirming and twisting to avoid the vacuum tube used for the abortion. Witnessing this scene was horrific, but coping with the fact she did not stop it haunted her. “I think (abortion ) has become so common because we don’t see the victims. We don’t see that child fighting and struggling for his or her life,” she reflected. Johnson continued working at the clinic for nine more days after that fateful abortion, but she soon met with Shawn Carney, leader of the local anti-abortion group Coalition for Life, and told him she could no longer continue assisting women in getting abortions. “We had an abortion
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quota. We were expected to sell abortions to pregnant women, and we were instructed to double abortions,” she recalled about her role at the Clinic. “How could that be? When I first joined Planned Parenthood, we were supposed to keep abortions ‘safe, legal and rare,’ “she recalled.
After her resignation from the clinic, Johnson said that her supervisors had pressured her to increase profits by performing more and more abortions at the clinic, but said that she could not produce any evidence to support her allegations. She said then that abortions accounted for 3% of all health services provided by Planned Parenthood. In 2011 Johnson stated that the figure was closer to 12%, and that Planned Parenthood artificially inflates the number of 'services.'
Johnson's allegations were called 'completely false' by a Planned Parenthood spokesperson. Following her resignation, the organization took immediate action to silence Johnson with a gag order and took her to court. The lawsuit was ultimately thrown out of court.
Johnson's story garnered national media coverage starting in November 2009, at which point she was endorsed by the antiabortion movement and compared to Norma Mc-Corvey, the 'Jane Roe' of Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in 1973. McCorvey joined the antiabortion movement in 1995. Soon after her resignation, Johnson began volunteering with the Coalition for Life, which regularly prayed outside her former clinic.
Today, Johnson travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on prolife issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry designed to assist abortion clinic workers in transitioning out of the industry. To date, this ministry has helped over 430 workers leave the abortion industry.
“One in four women is having an abortion before the age of 45. A million abortions are being committed every year in the U.S. alone — 2500 every day,” Johnson emphasized.
“We in the church have been too complacent when it comes to things that matter. Sixty percent of women walking into abortion clinics are coming from our churches. They are going to the clinic because they do not think the church is a safe place for them. We can rectify this, but it can only happen if the body of Christ unites to end this scourge across our country.”
She referenced the issue of the Supreme Court’s consideration of whether to reverse Roe v. Wade. “I believe they will come back with a decision, and I believe they will say something in this country has changed. My prayer is that Roe will be overturned completely and that states will be able to make their own decisions.” Johnson noted, “With the Supreme Court we have one fight, but if the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade, we will have 50 battles and the war becomes more difficult. If Roe is overturned, in half of the states women will not be able to get an abortion. There will be spiritual warfare you have never seen before in this nation. That is not the end of our fight, that is the beginning of our fight.”
She warned, “So if you are not already praying against spiritual warfare, you need to start. If you are not already involved in the Center (Rachel’s House), you need to be, because I predict this Center will see double the number of clients they saw this past year.”
Johnson pointed out, “Our pregnancy centers are going to be flooded and they won’t be able to handle that capacity. We are preparing right now for a post-Roe world. Planned Parenthood gets more than half a billion dollars of your tax money every single year. You don’t get a say about it. But you can do something about how you intentionally give your money. If you want to do something about a culture, it’s not just about saving a physical life but an eternal life. That’s how we win this war.”
Johnson closed her talk by sharing a story about a friend who worked in a pregnancy clinic in an area known as Abortion Mile which accommodated 10 abortion facilities. Women who went to the abortion clinics were required to get an ultrasound, and if they could not afford one, they visited the Pregnancy Center where Johnson’s friend worked for a free ultrasound.
Johnson said her friend encountered a woman who wanted a free ultrasound and who was adamant that she did not want to be counseled or told about the Gospel; she just wanted to get her ultrasound and go back to the abortion clinic for her procedure. “The woman’s heart was very hardened,” Johnson said, and there did not seem to be a way to approach her other than to do what she wanted. The client was about 16 weeks along, and Johnson’s friend was at a loss on how to influence the client’s decision. Johnson explained, “She asked the Lord what to do and seemed to receive the message, ‘Ask her if he wants to hold her baby’ hand.” Johnson’s friend didn’t understand this approach, but took the advice anyway. As she performed the ultrasound the Pregnancy Center staffer placed the client’s hand on her abdomen. Just at that moment, the fetus appeared to reach its hand up to touch the mother’s hand. “It looked like they were holding hands,” Johnson’s friend said. “The woman started crying and chose life that day,” Johnson said. “I recognize that every child that is born is a miracle. Every single day at Rachel’s House, miracles do continued from page
happen. All of you in this room have the ability to partner with God and this Center. Never stop fighting. Now is the time to increase outreach. Never tire of doing good until abortion is unthinkable,” Johnson told her audience.
Johnson is the author of two books. Unplanned, released in January 2011, details her work at Planned Parenthood and her conversion to abortion opposition; the book is the basis for a film that was released in March 2019. The Walls Are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell Their Stories, released in 2016, recounts stories of former abortion workers that have come through her ministry.
About Rachel’s House Pregnancy Clinic Rachel’s House/First Choice Georgia Pregnancy Clinic is a Christian ministry whose mission is to equip pregnant, at-risk women to make life-affirming decisions regarding their pregnancies via medical services and education, and to serve the broader community by promoting sexual integrity and facilitating abortion recovery.
The ministry provides: pregnancy testing, ultrasound, STI testing, options counseling, post-abortion recovery, educational materials, parenting classes, Bible study and referrals. In March 2020 the clinic celebrated is tenth year.
Highlights of 2021 include Elaine DeLoach’s appointment as Executive Director and the addition of RN Jill Miller as nurse sonographer; the addition of three new volunteers; a partnership with East Georgia Healthcare to continue to provide early prenatal care for uninsured women; donation and purchase of ultrasound equipment; and the organization’s first online fundraising event. In addition to De-Loach and Miller, other clinic staff include Susanna Meredith M.D., who serves as Medical Director on a voluntary basis; Michelle Jackson, R.N., nurse manager; Michelle Stinnett , Patient Services Manager; Susan Palmer, Administrative Assistant; and Gaby Davis, Clinic Translator.
Clinic volunteers are Rebekah Arnold Katie Beasley, Jessica Braddy, Ansley Hartley, Stephanie Jones, Sara McArthur, Ginger McRae, and Bobbie Robinson. Members of the Board of Directors are Britt Mc-Dade, Chair, Heather Gourley, Vice Chairman, Elaine DeLoach , Executive Direcor, Buck Moon, Treasurer, Brandy Sikes, Secretary, Trent Akins, Russell Clark and Stephanie Williams. For more information, visit www.rachelshouseprc. org.