ST. ANTHONY – Around 500 people gathered on the football pitch at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on Monday evening as Right to Life advocate Abby Johnson spoke out against abortion and spoke about her time as a clinic director and volunteer for Planned Parenthood.
“Guys it’s time to get uncomfortable,” Johnson, 40, told the crowd. “We do not intervene enough, do not go out enough of our comfort zones. Do people have to see it broadcast live on TV to see how terrible abortion is? “
Johnson said that every day she walked past a Planned Parenthood clinic in her hometown of Texas, and she noted that there was no one outside to fight or protest what was going on there. interior.
“They might as well put up a sign and say this facility is open with permission from Christian churches,” she told the crowd. “The church is not stepping up and doing our job. We are complicit in all of this.
Author of the book “Unplanned,” Johnson was the subject of a 2019 film of the same name. He told his story of working eight years for Planned Parenthood at a clinic that reportedly performed 25 to 50 abortions a day, charging $ 450 for a 9-week-old baby and $ 500 for a baby after 10 weeks. Johnson said the organization was aiming to make money, which she adds that she was not aware of at the time. She alleges that instead of taking breaks in the exam room, the clinic would show an ultrasound, give sedation and perform the abortion at the same time.
Johnson, who is an only child, said she was not always against abortions, despite growing up in a Christian home. She said she was taught it was not a baby until “the mother decides the baby is wanted.”
“I was told it was just tissue and garbage to throw away,” she said. “It was a lie.”
“Abortion should never be considered health care,” Johnson added. “It was a lie, but I didn’t know. This is what happens – people start to believe that a lie is the truth. What happens in these clandestine abortions is still happening today in abortion clinics. Women still die or are infected with dirty or mutilated utensils by staff. And there is emotional regret for the rest of their life.
After leaving the clinic, Johnson became an anti-abortion advocate. She has spoken to audiences across the country. In November 2011, she spoke at the Monroe County Right to Life Banquet at LaRoy’s Hall in LaSalle.
She thanks God and a local pro-life group for taking her out of the industry and changing her life. She also praised agencies that continue to care for women in crisis or those who have prayed in clinics or attended rallies on the State Capitol and 40 Days for Life.
She said people often come to her and ask her how a woman can kill her own baby.
“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that fear is a very powerful motivator,” Johnson said. “If you told me five years ago that all churches would close because of a virus, I wouldn’t have believed you. If people are sick (and desperate), this is when churches need to be open. It is fear that drives women to these abortion centers. We need to do a better job as a body of believers and as a community.
According to the American Center for Law & Justice, Planned Parenthood received $ 618 million in federal funding in 2020, plus an additional $ 80 million in COVID-19 relief law assistance.
Johnson concluded his 50-minute address by saying that the number of abortion clinics nationwide has grown from 1,400 to 800 today.
“Life keeps winning because we are on the right side of medical technology and logic ‘and education,” she said. “I really believe that very soon abortion is going to be illegal. But not just illegal. We want to do this is almost unthinkable.
The Reverend Robert Slaton, Pastor of St. Anthony’s, introduced the speaker. The Monroe Vicariate Evangelism Committee and parish co-sponsored his visit with donations from over 50 individuals and businesses.
Monroe’s Denise Roberts and South Rockwood’s Donna Langton both saw the movie, but wanted to hear Johnson’s own testimony.
“I cried the whole movie,” Roberts said. “She’s right, the church needs to get involved. We cannot remain silent or be afraid of offending people.
“When the opportunity arises, we need to talk and reach out to someone to know they are not alone,” Langton added.
Committee member Joe Boggs said Johnson’s message is one the nation needs to hear.
“She has a powerful message,” he said. “We must do all we can to stop the abortion.”