Many of us have read books that we had a hard time
putting down. This year’s One Book, One Diocese fall selection is that kind
of book. It is "unPlanned," by Abby Johnson.
This true story of a young lady who wanted to help
women in crisis situations clearly demonstrates how easy it is for good
intentions to be misdirected. Abby admits that she was duped by Planned
Parenthood, her employer for eight years, as she progressed from simple
college volunteer to acclaimed clinic director. She initially volunteered to
help to make abortions rare, but instead she found herself an active
part of the abortion industry. By God’s grace, her mind and heart were
stirred when a series of events, including the witnessing of an abortion,
helping her to realize what the business that employed her was really all
Abby’s superiors encouraged her to strengthen the
financial viability of her clinic by increasing the number of abortions
performed there, an aspect of their "services" about which she felt somewhat
ill at ease. Abby had a number of disturbing experiences that opened her
eyes not only to what was happening in Planned Parenthood, but also to a
transformation that was beginning to take shape in her mind and heart. When
she found herself directly participating in an abortion at her clinic, she
immediately wanted no longer to have any association with any person or
business that provided them, so she resigned her position as director of the
local clinic. Her life from then on would never be the same.
Some readers may remember the media stir in late
2009 when Planned Parenthood took Abby Johnson to court (just a few weeks
after her resignation), claiming that she had compromised client
confidentiality. The case was quickly dismissed by the judge for lack of
evidence, and Abby’s former employer has not accused or contacted her since.
Her allegiance has since shifted to the Coalition
for Life whose prayerful and peaceful presence outside of her clinic had
been instrumental in her change of heart. Her extensive public pro-life
testimony continues to help convert the hearts of many who, like her, have
been misguided by deceptions and falsehoods put forth by the abortion
One of the most effective modern pro-life
initiatives is the 40 Days for Life campaign during which pro-lifers fast
and pray for abortion providers and their potential "victims." Their 24/7
presence for 40 consecutive days and nights at facilities that offer
abortion services provides a visible witness of their peaceful and prayerful
intentions while also giving sidewalk counselors the intercessory support
they need in order to be effective. Those who cannot be physically present
are asked to offer prayerful support from their own homes.
It was during a 40 Days for Life campaign being
conducted just outside the gate of her clinic that Abby began her journey to
"the other side." And the rest, as they say, is history.
A Catholic edition of Abby’s book that includes an
Introduction by David Bereit of 40 Days for Life and a Foreword by Father
Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is called the "Ignatius Press Edition"
(2010). It may be purchased at local Catholic bookstores or online. The
Introduction issues a warning: "Reading this book could be a life-altering
experience!" Why not give it a try?
You may reach Fr. Eickhoff at the Office for
at 402-488-2040 or