There are messages that Planned Parenthood tells their employees constantly, and I heard those messages for eight years.
“Pro-lifers are only out to harm you and your families.”
“Make sure you don’t take the same route home every day from work. A pro-lifer could be following you home.”
“The goal of the pro-life movement is to stop abortion at all costs, even blowing up our clinics.”
“Pro-lifers don’t care about people in the clinic. They are only out there to make themselves feel good.”
“All pro-lifers are the same. The ones that shoot doctors are the same ones that pray outside of your clinics.”
“Don’t go to the clinic alone. There could be a pro-lifer hiding out, waiting to attack you when no one is looking.”
“Pro-lifers HATE you. They would never want to help someone that works in the abortion industry.”
“If you don’t have one, you should probably get an alarm system on your house. You never know what those pro-lifers could do to you and your family.”
“Pro-lifers are hoping you will lose your job and you won’t have any money. They think you should be punished.”
“When pro-lifers pray for you, they are praying you go to hell.”
“You will never find another job outside of this clinic. No one wants to hire someone that has helped with abortion.”
Does this make pro-life advocates sound very inviting?
Is there any truth to some of these statements? Yes. Are some “pro-lifers” violent? Yes. Do some “pro-lifers” shoot doctors and clinic workers? Yes. Do some pro-lifers yell out hateful things to clinic workers and women going into the clinics? Yes. Do some pro-lifers harass clinic workers at home? Yes. Do some “pro-lifers” wish death and hell on clinic workers? Yes.
However, is it the majority of pro-life advocates? No, it isn’t. I would, of course, argue that the people who engage in that type of behavior are not really “pro-life”. However, that is for another post.
Pro-lifers can certainly seem like a scary bunch of folks to people who work inside the walls of the clinics. Keep in mind that the way pro-life advocates are presented to the clinic staff is intentional.
So, would these workers ever come to a pro-lifer and ask for help? Yes. That’s what I did. For what reason would they turn to pro-lifers? They must seem so scary to them.
First, we have to remain hopeful that the pro-lifers they turned to did not fall into the pro-life stereotype that the abortion industry tries so hard to peg on all of us. Second, these workers have nowhere else to go. They have no one else they can trust. They find themselves having to trust the unknown. Scary.
When a clinic worker does decide to leave the abortion industry it’s usually because they suddenly realize that they have been living, believing, and speaking a lie. They have been betrayed. They have betrayed others. It’s a terrible feeling. I can’t think of any feeling that is worse.
You thought you were the good guy, only to discover that you were the enemy the entire time. So, these workers now have to put their trust in a group of people, the pro-lifers, who they were led to believe, over and over again, were their enemy. The first step is a leap of faith, reaching out to ask for help.
Hopefully, they find a group of pro-lifers that are ready and willing to help. Hopefully, this group of pro-lifers will get them in contact with people who can help them get a job, get them on the pathway to spiritual and emotional healing, or get them in contact with someone who can help.
The clinic workers biggest fear is money. How will they be able to support their family? How will they be able to pay their mortgage, buy groceries, pay doctor bills, pay for utilities? These are incredibly real issues that must be addressed because that’s a problem they will immediately face.
It is incredibly unfair for the pro-life movement to say things like, “just take a leap of faith and God will provide for you.” Really? Most hardcore Christians I know wouldn’t take that sort of leap. However, you’re asking someone who is probably new to the concept of God to take that kind of leap. Not fair. Quite honestly, it’s kind of irresponsible.
They do need to have a backup plan in place. You can’t just jump without a safety net. That would be foolish. If you had never walked a tightrope before, you would want a net underneath you, right? Well, these people have never, or have not in a long time, walked with God. They need a net under them.
Here’s where the problem comes. There is no net. There is actually nothing for clinic workers. No ministry. Nothing. We have hundreds of ministries for women who have had abortion’s, we have pregnancy centers, but nothing for those that have actually been inside the clinics themselves.
That is changing.
I have known since I left Planned Parenthood that I was supposed to reach out to clinic workers, I just didn’t know how. Now I do. I am starting a ministry for them. It is called, “And Then There Were None.”
This ministry will focus on providing a safe place for clinic workers to land if they decide to leave their jobs. It will be a place to safely share, to heal, and to find courage. And we are not simply waiting for them to come to us, we are pro-actively reaching out to them. These workers did not grow up wanting this for their lives. We can help change that.
Right now, I am in the early stages. We are working on our website. We are building our strategic plan. We are looking for donors. It is not always easy to convince people to give to a ministry where you may never meet the people you help. You may never know their names. You may never see them face to face. However, your support is saving them. It’s saving them from a road of darkness, of pure evil. Your support is bringing them into hope.
Planned Parenthood is terrified of former abortion workers. They are terrified of their own, the defectors. We are called, “Traitors.” We have betrayed women in the worst way, they say. But, we know better. We have heard the truth, and we have followed a path that we didn’t even know we had the courage to walk. They call us names because they fear us, and they should.
We become strong warriors for life. We have seen the ugliest side of this movement of “choice.” And, most of the time, we want to talk. And when we talk, people want to listen. Yes, abortion industry, be scared. Be scared of what we will expose about you. Be scared of the truth. The truth is what will bring you down.
I am asking all of you reading this to please pray for those still working in this evil industry. Pray that they will be touched by truth.
Pray that they will find a place to turn and that they will be embraced by the love of Christ. Pray that they find the peace and joy that only He can bring.
A person who says is pro life and go shooting out clinics or yealling at people cannot be prolife.
… even though sometimes we really want to do stupid things like that, due to the hipocrisie of many pro choicers…
Kelsey Hazzard says
If there’s any way for Secular Pro-life to help with this project, please let me know. I’m sure ex-abortion-workers come from a lot of different faith backgrounds.
Abby Johnson says
I would LOVE that, Kelsey. 🙂
What a wonderful thing to do! We will be praying! Keep us posted.
Love this, Abby. Can’t wait to find out more about the ministry.
Angela Welliver says
This is awesome Abby! Keep us updated I would love to have the website address when you get one up : )
While I pray for those that are still working in that evil industry, I pray for Abby Johnson! Thank you so much for persevering and making a way for those that will follow your example and leave the legalized murder industry! I pray that God continues to give you the guidance and strength needed to continue fighting the good fight for life! I may desparetly be needing work, but no matter how desperate I am, I will never go back to work for a clinic where they kill babies! God has an ultimate plan for all of us! I’m so glad he chose such a courageous and smart woman like Abby Johnson! God Bless you!!!
Go Abby! This is much needed. You have my prayers.
Very good- I agree with it for the most part although if the abortion worker decides to start following God, you do step out on a leap of faith without a safety net- He is your safety net. The apostles all set out with Jesus, no back-up plan, nothing. All they had was Him. They left family, friends, jobs…they gave it all for a Man they barely knew.
As for the “pro-lifers” who bomb clinics, shoot doctors, haress the workers and/or women going inside a clinic, yell hate, and wish them to hell, I call them anti-abortion. One can be anti-abortion without being pro-life, while all pro-lifers are pro-life and anti-abortion.
Abby Johnson says
Paula,How can we expect someone to trust God if He is a very new concept for them. They feel like they deserve to be punished…so why would God protect them? There are so many things running around in their head. You just can’t simply expect them to make that leap.
Abby, that is great. We were praying for the staff and the abortionist at our local PP clinic throughout the 40 Days campaign! Will continue to pray for them.
Linda Rogers says
What an awesome picture of God’s grace and goodness. And now He has chosen you to be His instrument to help others leave the abortion clinics. What a tremendous ministry!
So good to have you, someone who’s been there, know what you would have needed at the time you left. What a wonderful way to support them!
This is wonderful Abby! I am looking forward to the website and to see how I can help.
So great to let God use you this way! So needed! Prayers for you and this cause!
All the messages at the beginning of this post are like something from a cult or an abusive relationship. “No one else is going to want you! It’s us against the world! Enemies are everywhere!”
Very excited to see where “And Then There Were None” goes. “)
Knitted in the Womb says
Wow. I never really thought about this! You are so right. I hope that you are able to work with networks of Crisis Pregnancy Centers so that your ministry can quickly spread all across the US…you are right that it is SUCH a need.
My stomach turned when reading some of the info about the Gosnell clinic, and how under age girls–girls who were really not old enough to make an adult decision about which side to be on–were working in that clinic. How many other cases are like this? How many young women are scarred by how they have participated?
May God bless your ministry!
Anne Ward Palmer says
Thank God for you, Abby..Your calling reminds me of a friend of mine who worked with the dancers who came from the strip clubs..At first she tried to tackle the industry thru the courts, but then she realized the Lord was calling her to pull the dancers out and help them…She pulled many out and helped them get jobs and healing..Word spread from one dancer to another about her..They called her their mom…Both of these things are tremendous, needed ministries… I pray that the Lord will bless your efforts! God speed…Anne Ward Palmer
So needed Abby! A woman who was praying and talking to the workers at the abortion clinic in our area managed to make a difference and 2 workers walked out. One was able to find employment but the other is having a difficult time finding employment. The woman who prayed is doing what she can with those connected to her to get a car for this woman. This woman called me because the ex worker now lives in our city where I work at a pregnancy center. Unfortunately we can’t help her with actual finances but we are making sure to connect her to every community agency and organization and have helped as we can. I can see how this kind of help would be a true blessing for those willing to walk away.
Lisa Comer says
If we know of someone who wants to get out of the industry, who/where should they contact to receive help with the transition?? Your email Abby? Or a different contact?
Thanks for all you do,
I cannot say how happy I am for your “And Then There Were None” outreach. We have been praying at my workplace for God to draw people out of the abortion industry and into work where they can truly be helping and not hurting women.
Thank you for your work and for your public stand.
Please stay strong, Abby!
Abby, your book called me back into the pro-life movement after almost 20 years absence. What pushed me out back in the early ’90’s was the angry pro-life community who felt it was their obligation to shout down the abortion-minded women, reminding them that they were killing their babies. They were insistent that God would want them to be so vocal.
Having had an abortion in ’74, I firmly believed that this tactic would only hurt their cause; driving a woman quickly into the clinic in order to avoid the catcalls. I tried to explain that these women were hurting and confused. They needed to create a loving and compassionate stance; one that would allow women to believe they had found someone who really cared.
Having no effect in changing their practices, I left.
Then I read “UnPlanned” in January of 2011. I decided then and there to get back into the movement and have been involved in the 40 Days For Life campaigns since then. Your book convinced me that there is a need for the loving and compassionate pro-life position which doesn’t condemn these women, but offers them calm in their chaos.
I stand with my “I Regret My Abortion” sign and have had some fantastic converstations with women who have had abortions and long to share their hidden pain. Women have also come up to me explaining that they helped their daughter get an abortion and regret it terribly. There is much healing to be done in this area and I refer them to Rachel’s Vineyard retreats and Bible studies for help.
I usually stand outside a late-term abortion clinic every Friday and have had several mommies change their mind. The most recent was a 20-year-old woman who was 22 weeks pregnant. I was able to get her to follow me to a crisis pregnancy center where she saw a sonogram of her baby and have kept in touch with her since then. This week she asked me to be Godmother to her baby boy who is due at the end of August. God is good!
I yearn to have a clinic worker approach me. For now, I just tell them that I’m praying for them. For the most part, they ignore me —- but I know they hear me. I would be very interested in following your ministry and learning the best practices for approaching these workers in a loving way to help them understand the lies that they desperately hold onto.
God Bless you, Abby. He certainly has you on a path which will help many women (and men) towards healing. It is a privilege to walk the walk with you as a mentor.
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[…] Abby will be officially starting a non-profit ministry for former abortion clinic workers. “And Then There Were None” will offer emotional, financial, spiritual, and legal assistance to those desiring to leave […]
Breaking through the Abortion Nightmare By Judie Brown | TRINITYSPEAKS says
[…] through her latest venture, a ministry she calls And Then There Were None (ATTWN). This work is dedicated to providing a literal safety net of love and understanding for those who want to leave the […]
So excited for this new ministry! I will be sharing this with my friends and family. I’m excited to found out how I can help! God Bless you and your work 🙂
I was quite interested to read your article and the comments from your readers. I came across this article through a friend’s link. I’m not a troll- I read this with an open mind and two distinct thoughts came to me.
Firstly, I live in the UK and as such abortion is available on the NHS. Sometimes there are private clinics that are contracted by the NHS, but mostly the people performing abortions are the same obstetricians, gynaecologists, nurse-practitioners etc that are in the hospital when you come to have a baby. People that perform and arrange abortions are generally government employees. I think in the UK if someone desperately wanted to get out of performing abortions that a trained medical professional would not really have an issue getting another job. There are also employment agencies- people really would not need the help of pro life activists. There was recently a case in the NHS where a consultant (senior doctor) lost his job because he emailed people bible quotes and told people he was praying for them. In the UK it’s quite offensive to “minister” to people uninvited, and you would probably get more people avoid you and the NHS legal dept would probably get non-molestation orders/restraining orders and remove you from hospital grounds.
Secondly, what is your goal? To close abortion clinics and stop all abortions? To re-employ all the doctors and nurses in delivering all these unwanted babies? At what level? From other articles I have read there are already lots of medical professionals in the US who should be trained in abortion skills but who opt out at medical school. The same doctors who perform abortions here also use the same techniques in the case of miscarriages (removing the dead foetus medically can prevent psychological trauma and potential infections). What about medically necessary abortions, like ectopic pregnancies, or other conditions where the mother’s life is seriously in danger? Surely the skills and facilities used for these procedures would not exist in isolation?
And here is the reason why I support the right of women to legally seek an abortion: when I was 23 my roommate had an abortion. The reason she got pregnant? Her boyfriend was abusive. He made her do some horrible, demeaning things, but this was like psychological warfare. When she told him she was pregnant he laughed at her then sodomised her. The change I saw in her after this was horrifying. I genuinely think that if she had had to carry her baby to full term she would have killed herself. So which mortal sin would have been worse? An abortion of a pregnancy at 8 weeks that 4 people know about? Or a young woman killing herself and her unborn child, leaving behind parents and a whole family and friend circle that love her, plus there would have had to be a post mortem and an inquest, which would say she killed herself because she was pregnant. I know which I supported. I am pro life- I am pro my friend’s life, and the thousands of women like her.
I wish abortion wasn’t necessary, but sometimes it is, and I pray for the men and women who perform these procedures- sometimes against their own beliefs- but in the best interest of their patient.
In reply to Laura: you speak with forked tongue. You cannot be pro-life if you state that sometimes, abortion is necessary. There is NEVER a reason for MURDER to be necessary. Thou shalt NOT kill. Your prayers for those who commit murder and allow their unborn to be murdered should be for the salvation of their souls.
Thdoeore M. Seeber says
This is a good ministry, I just heard about it, 9 months (a new baby! In more ways than one. Metaphorically anyway) later.
I now want to know- have you partnered with any job posting boards? Ex-abortion industry workers I would think would have skills that are in demand in geriatrics, for instance.