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

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  4,152 Ratings  ·  633 Reviews
Retailers Choice Award winner, 2012Abby Johnson quit her job in October 2009. That simple act became a national news story because Abby was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas who, after participating in an actual abortion procedure for the first time, walked down the street to join the Coalition for Life. "Unplanned" is a heart-stopping personal drama of ...more
Paperback, 267 pages
Published October 21st 2011 by SaltRiver (first published 2010)
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Jeff Miller
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update: see bottom for update

In 2009 it made the national news that Abby Johnson the directory of a Planned Parenthood in Texas had resigned and went to the Coalition for Life for help. Now it was easy to celebrate this a a victory on the pro-life front and a mark in our column. It is easy to forget the person behind the story sometimes and the new book Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line by Abby Johnson tells here s
I have several pages of furiously scribbled notes from reading this memoir but I’m just going to pitch them and sum it up because anyone reading this book because they are pro-life probably doesn’t care about my thoughts. So here’s the barebones review with minimal soapboxing.

This book is not very well written, the author’s attempts to be seen as sympathetic make her appear weak and easily manipulated and there’s plenty of misleading language and embellishment. Basically, it was all I expected.
Natalie Vellacott
This challenging book details the battle between pro-life and pro-choice groups in America. The story is told by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director, supervising and overseeing abortions in her clinic, but now a leading advocate for pro-life groups.

Abby begins by explaining why she left Planned Parenthood--she witnessed an abortion procedure and for the first time understood that she has just participated in the killing of a child. She originally joined PP believing she could hel
Chelsea Meyers
Aug 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What's so wonderful about this book, besides being so poorly written and so utterly devoid of actual emotion and the glossing over of the 'hard' parts of the authors life, is the fact that the author clearly has a vendetta against Planned Parenthood.
What's also so amazing about this book is that it is clearly the type of book that someone who is pro-life is going to read and get a hard on over while telling everyone else, 'its such an amazing book'. Speaking as a literature major, no its not a
Johanna Torres
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an amazing journey and I felt like I got to experience the journey with Abby Johnson. As she was challenged to reconsider her beliefs on abortion, as was I. There were times when I wasn't exactly on board 100% with her but by the end of the book, I was completely on her team. The book was well written and well organized and I definitely didn't want to put it down. I'm proud of Abby for not being afraid to make public the good, the bad, and the ugly of her journey. Not many people h ...more
Shelby  Swing
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was thrust upon me by a friend of my mom’s (yeah, strange…). And I want to thank this friend of my mom’s right now. Because I would probably have never read this book if it hadn’t been for her. Why?
1) I had never heard of it…ever.
2) I don’t usually read biographies. Ever. I’m a fiction girl at heart.
3) Well…I don’t have a third reason. But maybe if I had heard of it and liked biographies, I still might not have read it, because abortion isn’t something I love to go reading about. It’s
Sep 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I think that when you have an opinion on something like abortion, you should be able to challenge yourself by viewing the "other side" and knowing clearly why you've chosen the side you're on. It was in that frame of mind that I picked up this book, hoping to get some logical, reasonable views from an anti-choice advocate who used to stand up for women's rights. Boy was I disappointed.

First of all, this book is written about as well as something you'd see coming out of a middle school English cl
May 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Conservatives
Recommended to Sasha by: Co-worker
Obviously, going in, I was well aware of the message a book like this would push. No surprise that ANY story in which an individual goes from pro-choice to pro-life would be heavy in God mentions. However, despite her effort to argue differently (in the introduction), the author was definitely very self-serving. She did an excellent job at painting herself as a helplessly misled, wide-eyed doe who was, in no way, aware of her surroundings. I call shenanigans. I'd also like to point out to anyone ...more
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As someone who is pretty pro-choice, I was definitely not in the target audience for this book. However, I was interested to read it due the author's claims that, as someone who had been on both sides of the debate, she was going to paint both the pro-life and pro-choice groups in an unbiased light and show the good and bad of both.

Well, she didn't. She admits that some of her Planned Parenthood coworkers were nice people (though of course the ones who were her friends betrayed her). But ohmygoo
I watched the Unplanned documentary with a lump in my throat. This is a powerful story of one woman’s choices and how those choices led her to be pulled into not only the worst experience of her life, but also led her to become a spoke person for the unborn. Her description of what she witnessed during an abortion procedure in her clinic is very hard to listen to – but necessary.

Had Abby Johnson never worked for Planned Parenthood, she might not have the passion for life and the drive to share
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am extremely pro-life, as any genuine Christian should be, so I was very interested in reading this book.

The book talks a lot about Abby's growing-up years and up through college, which is where she became involved with Planned Parenthood.

I found it fascinating to get a look at what goes on in the mind of someone who is pro-life and works at an abortion facility, and also hearing from people who are on the front lines of the pro-life movement, battling for the lives of innocent babies.

This i

God's grace

is truly



this says a thing or two to the pro-choicers out there. Brings the true Planned Parenthood and all their manipulations out. WONDERFUL BOOK
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful and inspiring book! I think it's been awhile since I've read something truly this moving.
I wasn't sure how this read would go since, (even though I'm dedicated to this cause) I've never really read a memoir before. I thought maybe it would be hard to stay with, boring, or just overall slow. Boy was I wrong! I couldn't seem to put it down! Especially during the climax in the story when Abby realizes she's been on the "wrong side of the fence." I flew through the chapters, and tha
Eva Leger
This is hard for me to rate. I "loved" half of it and "hated" half of it. I'll start with what I didn't like - the preachiness. I understand that God plays a big part in Johnson's life and that God played a big part in this part of her life story. What I don't like about this is being preached to. There are ways to explain yourself without preaching to others.
The saddest part about this is how many people will feel excluded and not read or finish the book. Her story is an important one and perso
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book! I was crying by page 6, but only teared up maybe one other time throughout. It was a very quick read, and I recommend it highly!
Jun 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After doing some research, found a few holes in her story. Not to mention, it's published by an extremely conservative publishing house. There's an agenda here and I didn't buy into it.
This book has been on my TBR for quite some time, and I finally made it a priority to read it after having the opportunity to hear Abby Johnson speak at a local event. Her story is in turns tragic and inspiring on many levels. While it is no great literary work, I didn't expect it to be, and, with a story like this, it doesn't need to be.

It is no surprise that this book rates higher with pro-life readers than pro-choice, but what I really appreciated about Abby's point of view was that she human
Fr. Kyle
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read many different types of books. No type of book, other than Scripture, has moved me as much as the confession. The first time I read St. Augustine's confessions I was in awe at his self-reflection and his honesty. I have not read another in this genre (I believe it has very few constituents) until I read Unplanned by Abby Johnson. Most might not put said book in the genre of confession but rather in the broader genre of say, autobiography, but I would beg to differ, due to the content ...more
Karen Locklear
Pathos defined.

That's not necessarily bad. Pathos has its place.

However, her emotional appeal has its skeptics, including four former co-workers, two friends, and a feminist radio talk show hostess out of Bryan, Texas. These people were very quick to speak out, and did, both to the media and in court. Apparently, Johnson had motive: she was mad at Planned Parenthood regarding an HR issue that put her on review, and she was having serious financial troubles. (Google the book or Abby Johnson and
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an absolute rollercoaster for me. I don't even know where to start on reviewing this, so please bare with me if I ramble or skip around.

I used to be pro-choice, as many of my friends and family can attest to. I was a staunch supporter of "women's rights to choose" and would argue with my pro-life friends about how they were wrong and how, if abortion was not legal, women and children would either be dying from backalley procedures or children would be growing up in abusive homes. A
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The incredible story of a brave woman who switched sides in one of the most controversial debate in America.

It all started one day when Ms. Johnson was asked to assist with the ultrasound part of an abortion. What she saw in that handfull of time convinced her to walk away from her job at Planned Parenthood and join the pro-life movement. And that transition was far from easy...

This was an utterly inspiring story from a woman who has been on both sides of the debate, and I was inspired by her br
Jan 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
i really had to power through this one.
i wasn't a fan of her writing style. sometimes i felt like certain points were randomly placed in the book just to make it longer.
my other complaint is with all the references to god. it was kind of a turn off and i can't imagine how people with other beliefs would feel about all of these references and bible quotes. i may not go to church, but i was raised catholic. and i'm pretty sure i believe there is a god. but because i believe in a woman's right to
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-list
I landed a review copy of this after a friend had graciously mailed me her copy. Once I opened the cover, I was hooked. It's fast-moving and tightly written. It might tear your heart apart, but it will undoubtedly give you hope for the future. Johnson's story is powerful in part because it could be the story of so many of us. She brings to light, so well, that on both sides of the pro-life and pro-choice lines, many people have the goal of helping women (as opposed to increasing abortions). Her ...more
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a story. Kept thinking of Joseph in Genesis 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." How encouraging to watch God work in his own time, redeeming the lost and answering the long prayers of his people.
Elle M.
Jun 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Abby was pro-life to begin with so there really wasn't any change in belief and just a change in where she works. She comes across as naive, unsure of what the heck is going.
Abbey Johnson was the director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Bryan, Texas until the day she walked off the job and sought refuge at the Coalition for Life offices down the street from that clinic. She tells the story of how she went from naive college student, wanting to help women in crisis situations, to Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year and director of one of their most successful abortion clinics in just eight years. When she was called to assist at an ultra-sound guided a ...more
Beth F.
This was an emotional story and probably not the wisest thing to read when you’re pregnant and riding a public bus. If they were looking, I’m sure several people would have seen me crying. Fortunately, I think most people on the bus are fairly self-absorbed so I’m not too worried that I may have inadvertently embarrassed myself.

Anyway, I first heard about this book on a mom board I belong to where it was causing some drama (imagine that, abortion causing drama on a women’s internet chat board??
Rating: 3.5 stars

Plot (mild spoiler warning):

The subtitle for this book pretty much says it all. Abby Johnson started as a volunteer for Planned Parenthood. She had a great desire to help women, prevent them from getting in crisis situations, and to decrease the number of abortions. A recruiter working a Fair at Abby's college convinced Abby she would fulfill these desires by working with Planned Parenthood. As time progressed, Abby moved up the Planned Parenthood ladder until she was director t
Christine Abraham
unPlanned by Abby Johnson is a dramatic autobiography about a former Planned Parenthood director and her eight-year journey from pro-choice to pro-life. This book is an examination of abortion from both sides of the fence and from Abby’s personal abortion experiences. While at times the book is difficult to read, the message is one to be embraced from both sides. Abby’s message is one of compassion. She viewed her own compassion for her clients inside the walls of Planned Parenthood, while at th ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
"Often, during times of congregational or silent prayer, I would freeze up, afraid to speak to God from my heart...what if I were going to hell because of my job? with so many other troubling thoughts, I let it pass out of my conscious awareness. I was leading an unexamined life, filled with inconsistencies."

Was genuinely on the edge of my seat through this book. I felt what she felt, understood the things she had justified, and related her turning points to moments in my life when a burde
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Share your Blogs!: Book Review: "Unplanned" by Abby Johnson 1 7 Nov 17, 2013 10:13PM  
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Abby Johnson’s life was changed on October 6, 2009. That was the day that she resigned from the largest abortion corporation in the nation…Planned Parenthood.

Abby worked and volunteered for Planned Parenthood for eight years. For the last year of her employment, Christ had been working on her heart. Although she didn’t understand why, Abby had begun to question her work and the motivations of the
More about Abby Johnson...

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“Never trust a decision you don’t want your mother to know about.” 16 likes
“If I have this child? Why wasn’t it obvious to me that I already had a child, who was growing inside of me? Once you are pregnant, there is no if. That child, though tiny and in an early stage of development, already exists!” 7 likes
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