ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – A former clinic director for Planned Parenthood said she became a pro-life activist after she finally witnessed a real abortion.
Despite having been raised in a life-affirming Catholic home, Abby Johnson lacked the apologetics and support to choose life when she found out she was pregnant while attending college.
"I was a vulnerable woman at the time," she told a pro-life fundraising event. But she still considered herself pro-life and believed she would never have another abortion.
In 2001, a woman from Planned Parenthood who was trying to attract clients approached Johnson. Touched by the woman's claims that the organization cared for vulnerable women with nowhere to go, Johnson began her career as a volunteer.
"What I didn't know at the time is that what takes place in these 'safe and legal' abortion clinics is actually no different than what takes place in the back alleys," she stated.
One year into her employment at the pro-choice organization, Johnson became pregnant again.
"I was already working at Planned Parenthood, so it was an easy decision to have another abortion. I had a discount and everything," she said.
She continued to justify her actions.
"Once you let sin in your life, that's all it takes," she warned.
Johnson quickly climbed the Planned Parenthood ladder. In eight years she was a clinic director with an employee-of-the-year award and felt she was at the peak of her career.
While she helped facilitate abortions, Johnson never assisted during the procedure until a visiting physician invited her to join him in September 2009. He performed abortions with ultrasound guidance, and she was interested in how that worked.
Johnson recalled the horror of watching the abortion instruments near the 13-week-old fetus, while trying to convince herself that it wasn't a baby. "The worst part was that I just stood there and did nothing," she said.
That day was a turning point for Johnson.
"The ultrasound exposes the lie of the abortion industry," she reflected.
She later estimated she had helped facilitate 20,000 abortions.
Johnson is now a pro-life activist and founded And Then There Were None, a ministry for former abortion-clinic workers. Her story is available in her book, Unplanned.