Over the past five years, a growing number of abortion workers across the country have had a change of heart and left their jobs. It's a trend that is leading others to do the same.
"It does seem to be snowballing," said Jewels Green, a former abortion worker just outside Philadelphia. ...
In 2009, after being asked to assist with and witnessing an ultrasound-guided abortion, Abby Johnson realized she could no longer work at the Texas Planned Parenthood where she had worked for the previous eight years.
"I didn't know where to go or what to do," explained Johnson. "All of my friends were involved in the abortion movement."
Yet, says Johnson, she felt she could trust the people praying on the other side of the fence.
"They had always told me, 'If you ever want to leave, we'll be here for you,'" said Johnson. "I decided to put them to the test." ...
"I broke down and told them, 'I know what I've been doing is wrong, and I want out,'" recalled Johnson. "They just looked at me and said, 'We're here to help you.'"
The turning point is different for each worker.
For Jewels Green, that point occurred when she became aware of the abortion of a child who tested positive for Down syndrome.
But that was long after her own abortion and work in the industry.
"I was coerced into having an abortion I didn't want when I was 17," said Green. "Weeks later, I tried to take my own life. Within months after recovering in an adolescent-treatment unit, I marched in a pro-abortion walk and began volunteering as an escort. I was trying to reconcile my guilt."
Green shared that she was always intuitively pro-life. However, after hearing the story of a gestational surrogate, a woman who carries a child for another couple, and learning of the abortion of that child after a genetic test came back positive for Down syndrome, Green made the decision to self-identify as pro-life.
In 2011, Green spoke out publicly, sharing her testimony on what would have been her own aborted child's 23rd birthday.
For Sue Thayer, her conversion came when the Planned Parenthood business she managed decided to start doing "telemed" abortions. A telemed abortion involves an offsite doctor meeting with a patient via webcam and a locked drawer with medication being opened. The woman takes the first set of pills at the abortion business, and then she goes home to take a second set of pills. She then awaits the contractions that expel the baby.
Thayer began working at Planned Parenthood in Storm Lake, Iowa, in April 1991. She worked there until she was fired in December 2008.
"Our business didn't do surgical abortions, and I felt I was doing my part to prevent the need for abortion," said Thayer.
That changed in mid-2008, when Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa announced that they would begin offering telemed/webcam abortions.
"I was being asked to perform invasive vaginal ultrasounds, to stock the drawer with abortifacients, to watch the patient take the first set of pills, and supervise and train others to do that," explained Thayer.
When she became vocal about her concerns and her reticence, she lost her job.
Planned Parenthood, however, didn't have the final word.
In the fall of 2011, Thayer headed up a 40 Days for Life campaign outside her former employer. On March 1, 2012, the Storm Lake, Iowa, Planned Parenthood business closed.
Catherine Adair, a former Boston Planned Parenthood worker, said that she was converted because of the undercover work of Lila Rose's organization Live Action.
"I was present when young girls came in with their abusers and Planned Parenthood performed their abortions," said Adair. "When Live Action came out with their videos, I felt vindicated. I knew it to be true, and they showed it to be true. That allowed me, for the first time, to tell others what I had experienced."
Green said that "deception" is one of the biggest hurdles for abortion workers to overcome in leaving the industry.
"The veil of lies is so thick," said Green. "The euphemisms that surround the culture of death make this psychologically accessible." ...
Johnson went on to write the book Unplanned about her experiences, and she has founded the organization And Then There Were None to assist other abortion workers interested in leaving the industry. ...
Initially contacted by 17 abortion workers who wanted to leave the industry, Johnson and her husband financially supported those individuals so that they could make a transition from the abortion industry. Since the official launch of her ministry this summer, 13 additional abortion workers have left.
"Former abortion workers have seen and heard and experienced things that people cannot imagine," explained Johnson. "Our first goal is to provide stability, so they can get out of where they're working and have families that are healthy and happy. Our second goal is recovery, so that they feel mentally and physically healthy."
In addition, the organization offers spiritual healing and legal assistance.
"People are finally starting to come forward because they realize that if someone else has done it, they can do it," said Johnson. "I hope it's not just a trend, but that there's permanence to it. The more who go public with their story — it will be like a domino effect."
Johnson said there are currently four pending lawsuits against Planned Parenthood over fraudulent billing.
"Former abortion workers have real stories to tell about real clients," she added. "Workers coming out could be the beginning of the end for the abortion industry."
Friday, September 28, 2012
From the National Catholic Register: