Friday, March 11, 2011

"UnPlanned": The Abby Johnson story

Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life LineUnplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line by Abby Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Abbey Johnson was the director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Bryan, Texas until the day she walked off the job and sought refuge at the Coalition for Life offices down the street from that clinic. She tells the story of how she went from naive college student, wanting to help women in crisis situations, to Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year and director of one of their most successful abortion clinics in just eight years. When she was called to assist at an ultrasound-guided abortion one day her heart was changed forever. She knew she could no longer work for Planned Parenthood and even more shocking, she realized she needed to join forces with those who had been praying outside her workplace for all those eight years.

She talks to her readers like old friends. She reveals herself to us with all her flaws, including her own secret abortions. I most appreciated the fact that she didn't try to make excuses for herself or others. She just told her story with openness and honesty. I was also deeply moved by her love for her friends on both sides of the abortion issue. She even speaks kindly of the notorious late-term abortionist who was murdered in his own church, Dr. George Tiller. She was appalled at the abortions he performed, even though she thought he had a kind and gentle manner. She never approved of late-term abortions, even as she served at the helm of an abortion clinic.

As one who has participated in peaceful prayer vigils outside Planned Parenthood clinics, I've experienced the feeling of helplessness as women are ushered into the clinics by volunteers who do their best to shield women from hearing the voices of pro-lifers offering support and help. Too often, the peaceful pro-lifers' voices are drowned out by the radical vocal minority who wave large signs depicting aborted fetuses or shout, "Murderer!" to the scared and confused women seeking help at the abortion clinic. I've seen the workers zip in and out from behind the tall iron fencing, avoiding all eye-contact with the prayer warriors. I've wondered what good could we possibly be doing standing there outside the abortion clinic, praying to our unseen God, while women in crisis are inside being stripped of the life within their wombs. How can our quiet prayers be heard when other voices shout words of damnation to the patients and staff on the other side of the fence? I've wondered what sort of monsters those people must be who work and volunteer at such a place of horror.

Abby Johnson answered my questions and helped me understand that many of the people working for Planned Parenthood believe they're doing a service for women. They may be sincerely doing what they think these women need. It wasn't the accusations, condemnations or death threats that changed Abby Johnson's heart. In fact, those things usually only strengthened the resolve of the people who work in the abortion industry. It wasn't those things that turned her from director of an abortion clinic to pro-life sidewalk counselor. It was the faithful, sincere, loving prayers and friendship offered by the volunteers for Coalition for Life that finally softened her heart enough to see the evil that was going on around her.

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to see the abortion industry shut down. Rhetoric and talking points won't do it. Politicians can't do it. The only way this will happen is to change hearts and minds one person at a time, through love, compassion, gentleness and understanding.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

Rachel @ Rachel's Recipe Reviews said...

Wow. I didn't know she had a book. Sounds great--I'm definitely going to have to read this one!