Danielle's Reviews > Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line

Unplanned by Abby Johnson
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May 04, 11

bookshelves: to-read, autobiography, christian

Abby Johnson grew up in a Christian home, raised to be kind and honest, to work hard, and to always do her best in school. She excelled in her Texas high school and excitedly went on to college at Texas A&M University. While there, she felt overwhelmed, as many young college students often do, and her choices began to affect her negatively. Abby began dating an older guy and became pregnant. She was confused and lost, unsure what to do or how to handle the situation. Her boyfriend wasn’t supportive and simply assumed Abby would have an abortion. He drove her to an abortion clinic in Houston, and the deed was done. She would later become pregnant by him again, and that pregnancy resulted in another abortion.

Abby met Planned Parenthood staffers at a campus volunteer day at A&M and was taken in by their promises of health care services for women. She worked as a clinic escort and later as a counselor for them, thinking she was helping women, all while knowing that her parents didn’t approve of her choices, and knew she wasn’t doing what they’d raised her to do.

She rose through the ranks of Planned Parenthood, eventually becoming director of the office she’d first volunteered at. She married a longtime friend, gave birth to their daughter, Grace, and worked on her master’s degree in counseling. Even though her parents and husband did not support her career, she forged ahead, certain what she was doing was right.

But, just outside the clinic’s fence, there were always pro-lifers praying. There were the typical loud and harassing ones, with the large photos of mangled baby bodies, but the ones that caught Abby’s attention were the quiet ones who just stood there praying. One, named Elizabeth, struck up conversations with Abby and over time won her trust. Elizabeth prayed for Abby, and one day gave her flowers with a Bible verse and promise of prayer attached. Abby thought this gesture was odd, but kept the card and never forgot Elizabeth.

Abby’s life changed in October 2009 when a doctor visited the clinic to do surgical abortions while using an ultrasound machine. Abby was called from her office to assist, and as she watched the horror of what unfolded before her on screen, her mind and heart were changed. The ultrasound was so similar to the ones she’d experienced during her pregnancy with Grace, and when the baby looked frightened and in pain and tried to get away from the doctor’s abortion instruments, Abby knew she could never again be partner to abortions.

She went down the street to the local Coalition for Life office, and in tears, asked them for help. Abby left her job at Planned Parenthood immediately, and has since become a Christian pro-life activist, eager to counsel women away from the horrific and painful choice of abortion and toward choosing life for their babies.

Abby’s new book, Unplanned tells her story in riveting detail. The accompanying DVD offers a glimpse into her story, in her own words and through interviews with her family and Coalition for Life members who prayed for her.
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