“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12, KJV
When we first walked into the office of Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life activist, the first thing that stood out was a 2008 Employee of the Year Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication to Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas. Then, Abby pointed out a picture on the wall, asking us if we knew what it was. The picture was of Margaret Sanger signing the first deed for the first Planned Parenthood clinic.
“Planned Parenthood gave that to me as a Mother’s Day present,” Abby said with the irony intentionally permeating the room.
For about 45 minutes, Abby Johnson shared her testimony and her thoughts on the current state of pro-life advocacy in America, in addition to the important work of her ministry, And Then There Were None, which helps minister to abortion clinic workers and bring them out of the abortion industry.
While the interview will be featured in the ACLJ’s next pro-life documentary and a series of web-exclusives, there were three takeaways from the interview that were too powerful to not share right away.
1. Redemption is For Everyone
Abby Johnson’s testimony speaks to one fundamental truth about the Christian faith and our pro-life pursuits: the redeeming power of God’s grace is for everyone, including those who have abortions and those who work at abortion clinics.
Abby was adamant that we must not respond to the dehumanization of unborn babies by dehumanizing others, whether they are advocates of abortion, women who have abortions, or even the abortion workers themselves.
Abby’s personal testimony proves this point true. The now-mother-of-five had a surgical abortion before working for Planned Parenthood and another medical abortion once she was already working there. Both times, she felt like she was misled and not truly informed of what the procedure would be like and what the aftereffects would be. But she continued her work, eventually becoming the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic.
But one day, everything changed when an abortionist showed her how he performs ultrasound-guided abortions. She assisted in the procedure by holding the ultrasound probe on the pregnant woman’s belly so he could, in his words, see the target. She talked about looking at the screen and thinking that it looked exactly like a baby. The full profile made her feel anxious. Then, as the doctor inserted the suction tube and got closer to the side of the child and touched the side of the baby, the baby moved. The baby flailed his arms and legs as if he was trying to move away, but there was nowhere for him to go.
The abortionist asked the technician to turn on the suction machine and said, “Beam me up, Scotty.”
“I knew I had witnessed a human death,” she said. The ultrasound had exposed the lie of the abortion industry to her. And now, she fights for life.
2. The Business of Big Abortion
For a few minutes, Abby shared the facts that she learned from her time working at Planned Parenthood and climbing the ladder to become a clinic director. What she exposed is what we’ve been working hard to expose for years.
She talked about selling abortions to women (“It’s not hard to sell an abortion to a woman who is vulnerable and scared, if they’re in college and have some goals. We can say they can’t reach those goals unless they have an abortion.”) and the quotas that had to be met.
For her small clinic in Bryan, Texas, the quota was around 1,500 abortions per year. But, because it was a smaller clinic, the abortionists traveled in from out of town several days a month. So to meet quota, they had to perform a lot of abortions each “clinic” day.
Planned Parenthood told her that she had to net $313.29 per abortion. It wasn’t hard to do, she said, after paying the $75 per abortion commission to the abortionist and covering the other small costs of medicine ($1.25 per bottle) and staff.
Even at her small clinic, she said that abortion accounted for about 40% of their overall budget. She explained that Planned Parenthood is willing to be a “loss” leader in family planning services because they know they will make up for it in abortion revenue. She also discussed how Planned Parenthood distorts their statistics to make it look like abortion is only 3% of their services – which we know is an outright lie.
The creative math and accounting works like this: when a woman comes in for family planning visit, pap smear, STD test, HIV test, and ten packs of birth control pills, that would be 1 visit with 14 procedure codes. But they unbundle that so it looks like it’s 14 separate “services.”
Alternately, for abortion, they take all the services and make them all procedure codes under one visit. So it’s difficult to know what the real numbers are.
Planned Parenthood also notoriously keeps their prices secret. According to Abby, the system was simple. The later the abortion, the higher the cost.
5-10 weeks: $450
10-12 weeks: $595
12-14 weeks: $695
14-16 weeks: $895
Planned Parenthood lies and deceives to protect one thing – their bottom line, which is driven by abortions.
3. What Our End Goal Should Be
The interview ended with a simple question to Abby – we wanted to know what her hope was for the pro-life movement and abortion in America. Her answer was as powerful as it was simple.
“My goal is to not just make abortion illegal. My goal is to make abortion unthinkable.”
Be on the lookout for our new pro-life documentary in 2016 and continue to stand with us as we fight to defend every unborn life – no matter how small – in courts across America, at the Supreme Court, in state legislatures, and in Congress.
Let’s make abortion unthinkable.
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