Thinking Out Loud

November 16, 2009

Planned Parenthood Director Resignation Gets Mixed Reaction at Church

This story deserved more than to be buried in a link list of suggested reading a few days from now.   It’s more significant than that.   And if you think you’re already on top of this one, just hang in there for a few paragraphs, or jump to the asterisk  * below for a rather strange twist updating as of November 15th.

Here’s a sample of how the story begins at The Christian Post:

The director of a Planned Parenthood abortion center in Texas has resigned and embraced the pro-life movement after witnessing an abortion through an ultrasound.

(Photo: Coalition for Life) Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas

Abby Johnson had worked at the clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas, for eight years before departing from the facility after her change of heart.

“I left on good terms and simply had a change of heart on this issue,” she told 40 Days for Life, which had been holding prayer and fasting initiatives outside her clinic since fall of 2004. “Over the past few months I had seen a change in motivation regarding the financial impact of abortions and really reached my breaking point after witnessing a particular kind of abortion on an ultrasound.”

According to reports, Johnson had never seen an abortion take place on an ultrasound but happened to be present during one procedure, in which she saw a 13-weeks-old fetus trying to move away from the doctor’s probe

“I just thought, ‘What am I doing?'” she told ABC News. “And then I thought, ‘Never again.'”

Here’s another summary at World Magazine:

In late September, the abortionist at Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas, needed assistance, so he asked the center’s director Abby Johnson to hold the ultrasound probe during a dilation and evacuation abortion. Johnson watched as the 13-week-old unborn child attempted to avoid the probe. “I saw a full profile of the baby from head to foot,” she told me.

Once the abortion procedure began, Johnson saw the child “crumple” under the pressure of the vacuum and then in an instant the child was gone. The reality of seeing the baby moving struck her as she stood in shock and dropped the ultrasound probe, she recalled: “My heart was racing. I kept thinking about my daughter.”

Blogger Stevan Sheets has an embedded 2-minute news report from local station KBTX.

I thought if any blogger would have commentary on this, it would be pro-life proponent La Shawn Barber, but her blog simply mentions the story in passing in a couple of posts, including a 3-minute embedded report from CBN News.

* End of story, right?   Not quite.  Johnson is finding some of the greatest resistance to her decision coming from her home church; as this story on the website Stand Firm reports:

Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic director whose about-face on abortion prompted her to resign her job, says she’s gotten flack for her decision from an unexpected quarter: her own church.

Her Oct. 6 decision to leave Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas – after viewing an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus two weeks earlier – made headlines, especially when she ended up volunteering at the Coalition for Life center a few doors away. Her former employer filed a restraining order to silence Mrs. Johnson, but a judge threw out the case on Tuesday.

Now she is facing a different kind of music at her parish, St. Francis Episcopal in nearby College Station, the home of Texas A&M University.

Whereas clergy and parishioners welcomed her as a Planned Parenthood employee, now they are buttonholing her after Sunday services.

“Now that I have taken this stand, some of the people there are not accepting of that,” she told The Washington Times. “People have told me they disagree with my choice. One of the things I’ve been told is that as Episcopalians, we embrace our differences and disagreements. While I agree with that, I am not sure I can go to a place where I don’t feel I am welcome.”


Abby, if you’re reading this, I’m sure the whole world is looking a lot different than it did a few weeks ago.   Stand strong on what you know your heart — and God’s Spirit — is showing you and telling you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.    Psalm 139: 13-16

——Read the full stories by clicking the individual links.   The Stand Firm story is reprinted in full and the Washington Times article it refers to is worth reading in full.    An attempt by Planned Parenthood to obtain an injunction silencing Johnson failed as reported in this story in Metro Catholic.

Also, here’s a repeat from a few days ago of a link to seven pictures — be sure to see all seven — in the London Telegraph showing a human fetus (or foetus, as the Brits spell it) developing in the womb.



  1. Behind the scenes:

    I had been tracking this story for several days as a possible item to include in a weekly “link list,” when I decided that it deserved more profile than it was getting.

    Originally, I was going to lead with the World Magazine summary, but it begins rather abruptly and was written by a student reporter, which might rob it of some credibility for some readers.

    So I went with the Christian Post story excerpt to lead off, only to end up feeling that something was missing.

    Since I didn’t want to just quote news sources, I went to the blogosphere, only to find people like La Shawn Barber not really having much to add, and Alltop bloggers relatively silent, possibly due to some having run with the story a few weeks earlier.

    It was then I discovered the November 15 item on the Stand Firm blog and actually modified the headline to make that the unique point of interest.

    As any journalist will tell you however, “burying the lead” is not a good idea, but it was either that or reformat the entire story, and sadly, I don’t get paid for doing this, and it was already after 7:00 PM EST, and we’re at the end of the line when it comes to world timezones. So the best I could do was highlight the newer information with a red asterisk.

    I’ll try to do better next time.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — November 16, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

  2. Also worth noting is Get Religion’s coverage of the coverage, including the observation that this woman had been previously denied membership by a pro-life congregation, due to her job with PP at the time of application. Here’s hoping that the God-honouring churches of her area throw their arms wide open, should she leave her parish.

    Get Religion link:

    Comment by N.W. Douglas — November 16, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

  3. Thanks for posting this.

    Comment by Jami Leigh — November 17, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  4. Hi there.

    Nice information keep up the good work.



    Comment by carl — November 20, 2009 @ 4:44 am

  5. […] Paul Wilkinson’s blog […]

    Pingback by RE: Abortionist Gets Saved « Live Life Loud — November 23, 2009 @ 11:39 am

  6. A special thanks to Abby Johnson, the ex-director of the Bryan Texas Planned Parenthood office on 29th Street:

    Abby Johnson now encourages thinking and loving individuals to place a special value on others who are (also humans made in the image of God) and in the same stage of development that “They were”!

    The thoughts that dance in the mind of humans, is conceived in their heart and hinges on the pivotal question that ushers in the undeserved “Death penalty” for the unborn; or the joyous excitement, anticipating the soon coming birth of a child.

    The question that answers the complex motive for a person’s actions after conception is “Is the pregnancy and baby wanted or rejected by one or both parents (or families) of the child”?!!!

    And if most women-with-child was loved by the child’s father,
    she would smile and happily say “No abortion” why bother.

    Ask God and the person you mated with to forgive you,
    forgive yourself and live the abundant life.

    Sincerely ProBaby,

    Arthur Trafford

    Comment by Arthur Trafford — November 23, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

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