I have always found the Hyde amendment to be interesting. We used to have an ongoing joke in the clinic. Pro-lifers were against abortion in “cases of rape, incest, and me.” I heard that so many times. “Well, I have always been against abortion, but now it has happened to me.”
It always seemed to me that the Hyde amendment allowed pro-lifers to not be so pro-life. No tax money for abortion, but maybe for some. Children are valuable and should be protected… well, most of them.
Yet, you rarely see pro-lifers up in arms about the Hyde amendment. Actually, they don’t usually talk about it at all. Many pro-lifers are happy to think that their tax money is not going to pay for abortion… well, not many of them anyway.
Recently, a woman released a video of me and a pro-life Senator from Texas. She said she released it with the intention of bringing attention to rape exceptions in pro-life legislation. What has transpired has been a terrible onslaught of name calling and division against me.
I have been called things such as “lying wh**e,” “baby killer,” “pro-choice,” “lying skank,” “money grubbing b**ch,” among other things that I won’t repeat. However, all of these things are from misguided pro-lifers. My Christianity has been called into question and now there is even a man desperate to have criminal charges brought against me, all because of one video and one unfortunate statement.
I was wrong not to stand up publicly against the exception put in the bill. I was wrong to act like the small percentage of rape conceived children didn’t matter. That is simply not how I feel. They absolutely do matter.
I made a statement that was in poor judgment and I apologize for it. While I worked hard at the Capital to ensure no exceptions would be made into law, I should have stood my ground publicly. I should have said that I would not support a bill that had exceptions. I should have said that this bill was unacceptable as long as exceptions were included. I should have given a voice to that one percent instead of victimizing them even further.
I have heard people say, “let’s get what we can and we’ll come back for the exceptions later.” I used to say that, but what I soon realized is that never actually happens. When have we ever gone back for the exceptions? When have we ever gone back for that one percent? Never.
What happens is that we get a bill passed that includes MOST and then we forget about the others, we can’t allow ourselves to forget. We have to include ALL right from the beginning. We can’t say it is a “pro-life victory” if any are left out.
We have to challenge these politicians. We have to keep them honest and hold them accountable. If they are pro-life, then they can’t bow to the pro-choice exception. If they do, we need to expose them. These elected officials speak for us. If they say they are pro-life and we believe them to be, then we must hold them to it.
I do NOT believe there is ever an acceptable reason to abort a child, no matter what; rape, incest, fetal abnormality, lack of money, nothing! I would never be for an exception. I believe ALL life should be cherished and preserved from conception until natural death.
I will never be able to remove the memory of that 13 week old child in the womb being murdered right in front of my eyes. I PRAY that I never forget. While that image haunts me, it is a constant reminder of what we are fighting for, the right to life for ALL children. That image in my mind keeps me humble. It is a reminder of why I fight for life and how I got to this side of the “fence.” I am no hero. I am a sinner. I am a repentant sinner.
Even though my words were poorly chosen, my intentions have also been grossly misconstrued and there is so much anger being thrown at me. I always expect it, but it hurts more when it is from people who are supposed to be on your “team.” When you stand up in the name of Christ, Satan works overtime. That is, I believe, what is currently happening.
I am in incrementalist. I don’t believe it has to be all or nothing. I saw incremental legislation work against us while I worked at Planned Parenthood. I know this legislation does decrease the number of abortions. I will be for any incremental legislation as long as all children are being protected.
Overturning Roe v. Wade is incremental, it doesn’t outlaw abortion. Defunding Planned Parenthood is incremental; it doesn’t affect abortion directly at all. All abortion legislation is incremental. Affecting abortion numbers in any way is important and key for me. I will continue to fight for the protection of ALL children.
I believe in ultrasound legislation. I think a woman seeing an ultrasound before an abortion is vital. She deserves to see her child. She deserves to make a fully informed choice. Ultrasounds are important to me because they have affected my life in a very personal way.
An ultrasound changed my heart, my mind, my spirit, and my soul. An ultrasound totally rocked my world. I believe in ultrasound legislation! I know it will save children from being aborted. Pregnancy centers report that, on average, 80% of abortion vulnerable women choose life after viewing their child and listening to the heartbeat during an ultrasound.
Are we going to save all of these children? Sadly, no we won’t. That is why I am so committed to groups like 40 Days for Life and why I believe so strongly in pregnancy resource centers. I am a sidewalk counselor so I can be a voice and help change the mind of a woman walking in to abort her child, at that very last minute. I am there to pray for her conversion until the very last second.
We will never legislate abortion away. Overturning Roe v. Wade won’t do it, Personhood won’t do it, and ultrasound legislation won’t do it either. It’s more than legislation. I truly believe that.
No, I’m not for exceptions. How could I be? I believe all live is valuable. I have been at the Texas Capital fighting to remove the exception because it’s wrong. However, I believe ultrasound legislation is right. I vow to work harder to ensure that no exceptions are ever put into legislation.
What has happened here is unfortunate. A small group of people have taken a video and my words, misconstrued them, and have now accused me publicly of still supporting choice. When the video was posted, no one came to me privately, in a spirit of love of genuineness to discuss the situation. But, redemption has come.
I have been able to talk and develop a relationship with a woman who is a leader in the pro-life movement and who was also conceived in rape. We have been able to discuss this in a loving manner. I have been able to appreciate her perspective and learn much from it.
Even though we may not agree on every argument or every detail in the pro-life movement, we are able to discuss it and dialogue with respect for each other. That type of relationship is invaluable. We both agree this situation was not handled correctly, but what is done cannot be undone.
While we may not always agree on different tactics or methods, our goals remain the same. We want to save the lives of children and protect women, men, and families from abortion. It is shameful that we tear down our own.
We need unity in this movement, not division. The pro-choice movement is one of the most united in our country. They support each other. They build each other up. Why can’t we do the same? Why do we allow them to win? Why can’t we link arms and support each other in this movement?
No, we may not agree on everything, but th
at is okay. We all want to end abortion. We all want to save the lives of children. We all want to save women and families from the tragedy of abortion. Let’s work together to make that happen.
I will continue to fight for the lives of these children. ALL of them. Many, many blessings to all of you!
Elizabeth Sexton says
Dear Abby (haha remember her?) I am so sorry for any troubles you are going through. You inspire me every day and I keep you in my prayers! I am doing 40 days for life – finally! Can’t wait for tomorrow – Lent AND 40 Days for Life – A Season of Double Blessings!!!! When you are down and troubled, please know there are so many of us Thanking the Lord for you a LOT! Love always.
kim clark says
I am so sorry that people in the pro-life movement have treated you poorly instead of handling that situation with love as Christ himself teaches. I have read your book and am so impressed with your efforts and how God is using you to defend life. I have been praying for you and will continue to keep you in my prayers. Thank you for publicly defending life…your story is such a beautiful testament to the power of prayer.
Abby, thank you for all you do to defend life. Please know that there are many, many people who support you and pray for you. You are correct – “When you stand up in the name of Christ, Satan works overtime…” Be strong! I pray for you often and will continue to do so.
Praying for you still- protection both physically and emotionally. We still need your voice to be heard, so don’t stop. Since reading your book, I feel the urgency and have contacted my senators about the Pence Amendment. I have become more educated in facts, emailed friends and posted on Facebook. Thank you for sharing your story and shaking up so many people from their (my) complacency.
Abby, you and so many others were there to help as I tried to convince my best friend to choose life about a month ago. I’ll never forget the outpouring of support and I’m inspired to do more to help other girls who are considering abortion.
Dear, sweet Abby,I am almost finished reading your book, and it is just amazing what God has done and is DOING in you and through you.I am so inspired by you to remember that LOVE will end abortion.
You are so beautiful. Don’t let satan bring you down. The Father knows your heart and your intentions and He will continue to make them known. He will defend you! And so will those of us who are thanking God daily for the beautiful work He has begun in you. I have so much love for you in my heart even though we’ve never met! I hear you are coming to Buffalo, NY, to do a talk and I. CAN’T. WAIT!!!!!!!:):)
PS hide inside the heart of Jesus and Mary through this Lent. I understand this is s very special time for you and your family…so excited for you coming into the Church!!!! wheeeeee!!!:)
Judie Brown says
On behalf of all pro-lifers who always ask questions before going public with any comment on substance, not personality, I apologize to you for those within our ranks who have devolved into a mentality that apparently permits man to judge what is only between a person and the Lord.
These are the “pro-lifers” who give all of us a bad name. I pray that you are not any longer suffering from their despicable behavior.
I too have met them, and all I can say is thank you for setting the record straight and for being Christian enough not to return the verbal assaults. Let us pray for our enemies.
As always Abby, your strength is an inspiration to me. Praying for you always, and so blessed that you are out there on the front lines of this movement. You rock! Never let anyone tell you differently.Much love and many prayers,
My Catholic women’s book club just finished your book, and we loved it! I’d say everyone in our group is pro-life, but reading your book has inspired some of us to take on a more active role in the pro-life community. I personally live just two blocks from an abortion facility (not a PP one, though) and feel convicted that I should go and pray there; even more so after reading your story.
Stay strong sister!
WI Catholic says
Abby, When I ssaw the video, I was very unhappy about the way it was being used, and the lack of love.
You are a ‘new’ pro-lifer who has come a LONG way in a VERY” short time — much like Saul of Tarsus did a total turnabout when he met the Lord on the road to Damascus. YOU met the child when you held the scanner for the ultrasound.
What drew you to be ready for YOUR Damascus moment was the love and prayers of others, not the scorn of some. I am so glad that you have people surrounding you that can raise you up, not tear you down, as you learn.
Also, welcome HOME, Abby and hubby!
Dear Abby, when i first heard about U i didnt really pay attention. Guess what made me start paying attention-PP’s desperation to discredit U & then i realized you must be a threat to them. I’ll keep you in my prayers especially regarding all these attacks and sufferings being inflicted on you. But do not allow them to waste, offer them up to HIM. HE must have a soft spot for you to have brought your purgatory on here in this life than in the afterlife.
Lots of Love
Helen Westover says
Judi – she is for incrementalism. She shut down the discussion, but has admitted it.
Abby Johnson says
I am ABSOLUTELY for incrementalism. I have never made that a secret…Judie knows that. Good grief…I am for saving babies…let’s do it however we can.