The Nov. 29 issue of Our Sunday Visitor weekly newspaper just came across my desk, and one of its main features not to be missed is a Q-and-A with a young Texas woman named Abby Johnson, who made national headlines a few weeks ago over the abortion issue.
She’d worked for several years as a volunteer and then as an employee of Planned Parenthood — even being honored as employee of the year in 2008 – but she decided she could no longer do her job after she viewed an ultrasound of an abortion performed by a physician at the Planned Parenthood clinic she headed as director in Bryan/College Station, Texas.
She tells OSV’s Valerie Schmalz that as the center’s director she didn’t normally assist the physicians there. But on this particular day the doctor chose to do “an ultrasound-guided procedure” on his patient — which Johnson said was in itself unusual — and asked Johnson for her help in holding the ultrasound equipment.
“What I saw during the procedure was so gruesome to me, and something I had never experienced before, that I just thought, ‘I’ll never do this again,’” she says.
The day she left her job — not an easy choice because she and her husband and their daughter are dependent on two incomes – she walked outside and joined two people praying outside the clinic. They were there as part of the Coalition for Life, a local group that originated 40 Days for Life, now a national movement. Johnson said in the past she was always critical of prayers and protests outside clinics.
She said her husband and other family members have been very supportive of her. She noted that they were never really “sold” anyway on Planned Parenthood’s mission.