Abby Johnson challenges New Zealand pro-lifers

Abby Johnson and Bishop Patrick Dunn
Bishop Patrick Dunn, Bishop of Auckland with Abby Johnson.

Over 500 people traveled to Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin to hear the powerful and inspiring story of Abby Johnson over the last week.

Abby is a former clinic director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Bryan/College Station, Texas.  She worked there out of a great desire to help women in need.  However, after eight years, Abby realised that she had been duped; that Planned Parenthood were only about the acquisition of money and that their services weren’t really as comprehensive as they liked to let on.

After viewing an ultrasound guided abortion of a 13-week-old little boy, Abby’s view of abortion changed and she came to understand over the coming days that she could no longer work at Planned Parenthood.

Abby was invited to come to New Zealand by Family Life International.  The time available was limited, so the decision was made to have presentations in the three city centres where Family Life International has a presence with their John Paul II Centres for Life.  It was hoped that Abby would convey how urgent it is to act, the best way to reach abortion workers, and to give encouragement to those who work so tirelessly for life.

Here are just some of the points that came through from the four talks Abby gave throughout New Zealand:

We must act
Babies are dying, women are being hurt from abortion.  It is horrific. If the government were setting up facilities where women could bring their already born children to be killed, what would you do?  Society would (hopefully) be outraged.  We must be outraged that babies are being torn apart or poisoned in their mother’s wombs.

Each one of us needs to do more
Abby asked for each person to think about what they could do to help make abortion unthinkable.  “If you are not doing anything at all then do something, if you are already doing something, then do more” was an important point that came through every talk.  Prayer is important – vital.  But prayer should lead us to act.

Christians need to start worrying about offending the heart of God
This statement cuts to the very centre of the issue.  We Christians are afraid of offending people.  But we need to worry about offending the heart of God.  Nothing must offend God more than the destruction through abortion of His little ones, made in His image and likeness – and our inaction, our apathy.

There are many ways to act
Every person has gifts to bring the pro-life movement.  Here are just some of the ways you might be able to make a difference:

  • Volunteer at your local pregnancy centre – counselling, answering phones, cleaning, gardening, office administration, fundraising, sorting clothes and baby equipment, teaching classes to mothers, pampering the mothers with beauty treatments…  Medical professionals are also needed:  doctors, nurses, midwives, ultrasound technicians…
  • Reforming the law around abortion.  It concerned Abby that while there is a big push for abortion to come out of the Crimes Act, New Zealand pro-lifer’s were not working on legislation to promote life (that I am aware of – MK).
  • Social Media.  Use social media to our advantage, to speak the truth about the humanity of the preborn child and to speak of the reality of abortion.
  • Education is vitally important.  Some people are born teachers and we have important teaching to do!
  • Presence outside abortion facilities.  We need pray-ers and people to counsel women who are going into the abortion facilities.

Our presence outside abortion facilities is vital
It was noted that most of the abortions in New Zealand occur in public hospitals and this can pose a problem. However this is a brilliant opportunity to educate the general public about what is going on in our hospitals and what abortion actually is!

When we stand outside of abortion facilities we are not there to protest!  It is a powerful witness to what is occurring within the walls of the building.  Sidewalk counsellors have an opportunity to talk to those who are going into the facility for an abortion.  They are able to listen and offer real alternatives and practical support to women who are facing their greatest hour of need at that time.  Those present are also able to reach out to abortion workers, to be a friendly face.  We are not there to condemn, we are there to offer hope and to serve.

Abby encouraged those present at the talks to try praying outside an abortion facility – especially the youth and priests, bishops and pastors of other denominations.  40 Days for Life is a great opportunity to do this.  It was encouraging for those present to hear that it is normal for those who go outside the facilities to feel nervous and “weird” about it.

Abby Johnson and Rebecca and Michael Loretz
Abby Johnson with Mr and Mrs Loretz in Auckland.
Voice for Life Canterbury and Abby Johnson
Youth from Voice for Life Canterbury traveled from Christchurch to Dunedin to hear Abby Johnson speak.
Bishop Colin Campbell and Abby Johnbson
Bishop Colin Campbell, Bishop of Dunedin meets with Abby Johnson
Abby Johnson in Wellington
There was a great turn out in Wellington.

It was an honour to meet so many wonderful people throughout the country as I travelled with Abby and Heather. So many of you are doing many wonderful things to promote life and you genuinely want to do more.  It was encouraging for me to see that.  For more information about what you can do to help Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin or in the other regions of New Zealand, I would love to hear from you.  Send me an email here.

Together we will make abortion unthinkable in this land!

 

 

 

 

Abby Johnson to visit New Zealand

Abby JohnsonIn just five weeks, Abby Johnson will be hitting New Zealand shores to tell her inspiring and powerful story.

It was on October 5, 2009 that Abby walked out of the Planned Parenthood facility where she was clinic director and into the doors of the local pro-life organisation Coalition for Life.

Coalition for Life are the founders of 40 Days for Life – that incredible prayer vigil that has now spread throughout the world, saving the lives of thousands of babies and their mums and other family members from the devastation that abortion brings.  Numerous abortion facility workers have also left because of the prayers of the faithful vigil goers.  Abortion facilities have closed.  Countless people have had their eyes opened to what is happening in their own backyard.

Abby and the Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood facility are part of those inspiring 40 Days for Life statistics.

Abby’s Planned Parenthood clinic was the very first site of 40 Days for Life.  Not only has Abby left and become a powerful and inspiring pro-life advocate, but that clinic closed in 2013.

So, who better to tell you just what Abby Johnson is like than those people who have prayed for her since she first walked through the gate of the Planned Parenthood facility in Bryan, Texas all those years ago?

Shawn Carney is the Campaign Director for 40 Days for Life and a good friend of Abby Johnson.  Earlier this month he wrote a post “The top 5 things I know about Abby Johnson… 5 years later” to celebrate Abby’s five year anniversary of leaving Planned Parenthood.   It is a great read and good introduction to the inspirational woman that is Abby Johnson.

Abby’s visit to New Zealand is one of those rare opportunities to personally hear the testimony of someone who has been immersed in the abortion industry.

Not only is she inspirational, Abby can show you how to effectively reach those who work in abortion facilities and abortion vulnerable women.  You will hear the inside story of what is REALLY driving the abortion industry and organisations like Planned Parenthood and New Zealand Family Planning.

Find out more about Abby’s visit on our web page  fli.org.nz/abbyjohnsonvisitingnewzealand

Abby Johnson visiting New Zealand

‘Epic news’: Pro-life leaders ecstatic over closure of clinic, site of first-ever 40 Days for Life

Abby Johnson and Shawn CarneyExciting news has been released this morning that the Planned Parenthood clinic that Abby Johnson, the great pro-life advocate, once was clinic director of, is to be closed down!  Abby Johnson will be visiting New Zealand April 24th to 27th, 2014.  Her visit will coincide with the conclusion of Family Life International NZ’s first ever 40 Days for Life Campaign in Auckland.

by John Jalsevac
Reposted from LifeSiteNews.com

BRYAN, TX, July 18, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Before 40 Days for Life became an international phenomenon operating in hundreds of cities around the globe, it was a humble prayer campaign organized by local Texas pro-life activists who were disgusted at the presence of an abortion-providing Planned Parenthood clinic in their community.

Now leaders with 40 Days for Life are hailing the pending closure of that clinic – located in Bryan, Texas – as a sign of the power of prayer, as well as the fact that the momentum is now firmly on the side of pro-life.

Planned Parenthood announced this morning that the abortion-providing facility would be closing, along with two other clinics, thanks to funding cuts pushed through by Republicans. The news came on the same day that Governor Rick Perry signed the state’s new late-term abortion ban into law.

“This is epic news, 15 years in the making!” said David Bereit, the national director of 40 Days for Life. “Thousands of dedicated community members have faithfully prayed and held peaceful vigils outside this abortion center, offered hope and alternatives to turn away prospective Planned Parenthood customers, and educated the community about the harm of Planned Parenthood.

“These efforts, combined with the decisive action of the Texas legislature, have finally brought about this closure that is an answer to prayer,” Bereit said.

Even more than the site of the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign, the Bryan, Texas, Planned Parenthood office may be most famous as the clinic where pro-life activist Abby Johnson worked for eight years as clinic director.

“This is what grace truly looks like,” said Johnson today after hearing about the clinic’s closure. “Knowing that the former abortion clinic I once ran is now closing is the biggest personal victory of my life.”

“From running that facility, to then advocating for its closure, and now celebrating that dream,” she wrote, “shows that my life has indeed come full circle. I am honored to have worked with so many who helped with my conversion and the closure of this facility. We will continue to fight until every abortion clinic in this country has shut its doors.”

Since leaving the abortion industry Johnson has gone on to found And Then There Were None, a new ministry which has since helped 60 other workers to leave the abortion industry over the last year.

“I was surprised when Abby Johnson walked through our doors back in 2009,” said Bobby Reynoso, executive director of the Coalition for Life, “but today I am not.”

“Victories like these should be expected when a community of faith stands up against the greatest injustice of the day,” Bobby said. “How little was my faith then, but today I’m reminded once again of how great a God we serve.”

That first 40 Days for Life prayer campaign took place outside the Bryan clinic in 2004, and has since grown to involve 575,000 volunteers in 501 cities around the globe. The campaign has been partly or directly responsible for saving at least 7,536 babies from abortion, closing 37 abortion centers, and helping 83 workers to quit their jobs in the abortion industry

“As the birthplace of 40 Days for Life and the place where Abby Johnson resigned after eight years working for America’s largest abortion chain, this is a huge victory for the entire pro life movement!” said Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life campaign director.

“Peaceful and prayerful local opposition to abortion is ending abortion from the grassroots up,” he said.

Abby Johnson: If Gosnell deserves death and hell, tell me, what do I deserve?

Abby JohnsonThe following is by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who, through the Grace of God, left her job, found peace and forgiveness in Christ and has vowed to work to promote life and to protect the unborn. This is a story about what drives her, why we who have never been involved in abortion must display Christian love and compassion at all times, and her hope (as is ours) that Gosnell will one day find the Grace he needs to repent and find true peace.  Reposted from LifeSiteNews.com.

Abby Johnson: If Gosnell deserves death and hell, tell me, what do I deserve?

I am vehemently against the death penalty. Now stay with me…this is not a post about my opinion regarding that. You can disagree or agree with me on that some other time. I did want to share a little bit about why I take the words of prolifers so seriously. I have heard so much vitriol spewed from the mouths of “Christian prolifers” since the Gosnell trial has concluded. I feel like I must address it.

When I was confirmed as a Catholic, I chose Mary Magdalene as my confirmation saint. I felt an immediate connection to her. She had sinned so much…and was forgiven in even greater amounts. She knew she didn’t deserve forgiveness…but she received it anyway. And because of this, she clung to Christ. She knew she was nothing without Him.

I have also done my fair share of sinning. And I have also been forgiven much more than I deserve. I abused and betrayed women in the worst possible way. I convinced them to kill their children. Did I slit the necks of children after they were born? No. But, I was an accomplice to murder. Thousands of times…women I knew, women I didn’t, my friends, even my family. I lied to people. I lied to women when they came to me for accurate information. I was among the worst sinners…those that help to take and destroy life. I am no better than Kermit Gosnell.

I took my own children’s lives…twice. Not because I was coerced. Not because I didn’t know better. But because I thought children would be an inconvenience to my lifestyle. I am responsible for their deaths…no one else.

So when someone talks about Gosnell and says things like, “murderers and people like him don’t deserve to breathe the same air as I do,” or “I hope he burns in hell,” it hurts a little. Because that was me. But I am still here…breathing that same air…and trying to spend my life righting my wrongs. And it’s not just me. I know they hurt others like me, as well. People who have left the abortion industry and will work every day to recover from their sins. People who are still in the industry and think they will be shunned by the pro-life movement…maybe they would reach out to us if they knew we would accept them. I am always terrified that clinic workers will see some of the words from prolifers. I have been told by several former workers that they will never come forward with their stories because they are so scared of how they will be treated by us…by us…the supposed “Christian” movement. Their fears are real and legitimate.

I know some will say, “but you repented, that is the difference.” But what if I hadn’t…not yet. What if I was still inside the abortion industry? What if I was still an accomplice to murder? What if it took me longer to realize the truth? Do I deserve to die? Are we saying repentance is about our timing? Certainly, it is not about us. It about God and His perfect timing.

Right now, I shouldn’t be in this movement. I should be the COO of the 4th largest revenue generating Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country. I should be overseeing the largest abortion facility in the Western Hemisphere. I should be making six times the amount of money that I make in the pro-life movement. But I’m not. Why? Because of forgiveness. Because of mercy. Because of grace. Because of God. And because of real pro-lifers. The people I turned to accepted me for me…baggage and all. They knew that I was a broken person, and they loved me anyway. They knew I needed significant healing, and they helped to provide it.

I remember one story in particular which always makes me tear up when I think about it. One of the ladies, Karen, that immediately befriended me after I left Planned Parenthood, was asked a question by a reporter. He asked her, “So, what was Abby like before she became pro-life? I mean, how nasty was she?” Karen’s answer was so genuine, and so Christ-like. She simply said, “I don’t remember that person. She is a new creation in Christ. I won’t talk about her past, I only want to talk about her future.” Wow. What grace. What forgiveness. She could have really spilled the beans on me, but she chose not to. Why? Because she truly loved me…and she always had, even while I was working at Planned Parenthood. She always believed the best in me, always believed that my conversion would happen.

It was Christ who changed me. It was the merciful and compassionate words of His people. It was no condemnation. It was not prayers that I would burn in hell. It was not those who yelled and called me names. It was the words of people like Karen. Those who prayed that I would, one day, walk out of that clinic. Those who had constant faith…even when that faith was a struggle to have. I am here because of them and because of their Christ-like witness.

Don’t we want that for every abortion clinic worker and abortion provider? Don’t we want that for Kermit Gosnell? I smile every time I imagine his conversion. What a heavenly victory that will be! Can it happen? If you say no, then you do not know the God that I do. My God is in the business of miracles. And my God does not want anyone to suffer in hell. He wants all of his children to come to him…yes, even those of us “monsters” that are in or have been in the abortion industry.

Hate comes from hell. Mercy comes from Christ. When we have hate in our hearts, our spirits are damaged. Be careful with your words. Not only are you a living witness of Christ and His truth, but you could put your own soul at risk. “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” 1 John 3:15 When we hate, we are no better than those who kill.

I am not the sweetest person. I’m not the one who catches all the flies with honey…sometimes I am all vinegar. What do you expect? You expect the most tender-hearted to work in the abortion industry? Maybe we aren’t like all of you. Maybe we aren’t the most kind-hearted. Maybe you don’t understand how we could do what we have done. But those of us that leave…we are fighters. We are willing to take hits for our former sins. We are willing to stand up in places that are uncomfortable. We are willing to be bruised by others because we know that we have to…we know that will be the price we pay…it just hurts more when the bruises come from those who should be rejoicing in our repentance. We are passionate. We don’t waste time beating around the bush…not when it comes to life…especially the lives that we helped take.

Those of us that have worked in the industry all live our lives with a constant burden. One that will not be free from us until we reach heaven. We can’t let our burden slide off of our shoulders, it is what keeps us on fire. It reminds us of why we fight so hard. We have seen death and evil in a way that most haven’t…and we participated. We are forgiven.

So, should I be able to “breathe the same air as you?” That’s not really up to me to decide. But if you say things like that, know that a small piece of our heart is broken, and I have to believe that it grieves Christ. But even if you break our hearts, we forgive you. Even if you bruise us, we forgive you. He who has been forgiven much, loves much. And we love a lot. I am eagerly awaiting the day when I can call Kermit Gosnell a former and REPENTANT abortion provider.

This article has been reposted from LifeSiteNews.com, where you can find more from Abby Johnson.