Tuesday, March 1, 2011

unPLANNED

     I’d been looking forward to reading unPLANNED by Abby Johnson since I first heard it was coming out. My husband and I were listening to the webcast Abby Johnson did with Shawn Carney and David Bereit, among others, the night before her miraculous true story hit the shelves.
     Since my mom, husband, and I have been involved in 40 Days for Life for a few years now, I received some e-mail updates a while back from David Bereit and Shawn Carney about a major conversion that had taken place in a former Planned Parenthood director. It seemed poetic justice that the very abortion clinic where 40 Days for Life began is where Abby Johnson was director. She began volunteering with Planned Parenthood near the same time in college that Shawn Carney, co-founder and current national leader of 40 Days for Life, helped the Coalition for Life just being formed in Bryan, Texas take off.
     The book is remarkably well-written and very authentic. When Abby shares her experiences, friendships, beliefs, and passions, she does so openly, about her time volunteering, then working for Planned Parenthood and becoming a star employee and director. She describes just as candidly how she felt and what she thought from the time she began volunteering at the abortion clinic until she got to the point several years later at which she had to resign, no longer willing to participate in what assisting with one ultrasound-guided abortion made her certain the taking of innocent life.      This is a very compelling account of what Planned Parenthood teaches its employees, clients, and the media to believe wholeheartedly: that they want to make abortion rare and that they make business decisions based on what’s best for women more than on what’s going to be most profitable.
     It’s very powerful to read about how Abby, who was raised in a Christian home, and whose parents have always been pro-life, was talked into and for a time completely believed that she was working for an organization that was helping women and that the pro-lifers praying on the other side of the fence were the real enemy.
     Truly God’s grace, forgiveness, love, mercy, and compassion are evident in Abby’s conversion. The Lord placed people in her path very early on who ended up being the ones she ran to when the truth of being responsible for so many deaths completely overwhelmed her. Now they are the ones she works with to share her story, to educate everyone about what really happens inside the fenced-off, locked-down Planned Parenthood buildings.
     Many aspects of the past eight years of her life clearly show the Lord working to bring Abby Johnson and many others closer to Him. She’s now reaching out in prayer, understanding, and compassion from the other side of the fence, the one that respects and promotes the sanctity of human life.
     Her story is remarkable, the blessings amazing, and the light shed into utter darkness is striking. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, you will find part of this book speaks to your mind and your heart. Reading about the other side from someone who lived it and believed it for years has been quite an education for me, very eye-opening.
     I have spoken with, ministered to, and prayed with women who have had abortions, but I hadn’t read anything that gave as much insight and detail about what working at a Planned Parenthood is like. What an incredible miracle has unfolded thanks to the Lord working in the hearts and minds of His children!
     You can purchase this book here.
     I wrote this review of unPLANNED for the Tiber River Blogger Review program.  Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

1 comment:

  1. I learned so much about people and organizations on "both sides of the fence" by reading this book. What's really impressive is that my husband, who's not a bookworm like I am, is reading it now and is completely enthralled. I'm talking read several chapters last night of the book, even though his new Car and Driver magazine had come in the mail kind of hooked. It's kept him interested, taught him a lot, made him laugh out loud, and brought tears to his eyes. Now that's a good book!

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