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July 29, 2020 2:00 am
Abby Johnson, Annette Lancaster, and Sue Thayer offer a behind-the-scenes look at the abortion industry as they describe their past work for Planned Parenthood wherein they initially believed they were helping women in need, but later experienced a radical transformation of their perspective which led them to become the passionate pro-life advocates they are today. (Part 1 of 2)
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There is no doubt that a brand-new life is beginning to hear from really had their eyes opened to the truth. A really powerful way. This is Focus on the Family hostess focus president and Dr. Jim Daly I'm John full also John the sound of the heartbeat brings so much clarity to the pro-life situation mentioned this before but it still fascinates me.
We did our live from New York about last year. Even the protesters fell silent when they heard that pre-born babies heartbeat over the loudspeakers throughout Times Square. There something about that sound fills you with a sense of awe and wonder. And that's why our slogan for our pro-life event this year is love every heartbeat and our online event called C life 2020 will kickoff on September 26 it's going to future interviews, great music and a course and ultrasound of a pre-born baby find out more about sea life 2020 we got the link in the episode notes and today were going to share a very eye-opening conversation about the abortion industry from three people who once worked in it. One of those people is Abby Johnson she was passionately pro-choice and worked as a clinic manager at a Planned Parenthood office until her eyes were open to the reality of abortion. She left her job to become a pro-life advocate and she's actually the mom that we did the ultrasound on in time square years ago. That was an incredible moment when she came out and there was A big reveal more now in the studio. We also had two former abortion clinic managers with us Sue Thayer and Annette Lancaster.
Sue is the director of outreach for 40 days for life and Annette is the director of clinical placement operations at the Duke University school of nursing and our conversation today will feature Abby's new book, the walls are talking former abortion clinic workers tell their stories and we do have that available here if you want to call or hit the website. As you can probably guess warning here that will be covering some mature and difficult topics today, and next time as well, which involve pregnancy loss, so you might want to use your earbuds or listen later online or user Delia. I also want to mention that these women are part of Abby's ministry called and then there were none. Her minister reaches out to abortion clinic workers and helps them transition out of that industry to find hope and healing.
Here's how we started that conversation, Jim.
You asked Abby about our event in Times Square for the listener. This is powerful. The testimony of what you've gone through and that's the spirit in which we want have this discussion today you seen so much, so much that we have not seen you've experienced so much you've been in the conversations you've set with these women in the clinics as pro-choice people and working to unpack that today and give people a real idea what goes on. I'm so grateful for you Abby. Let's start with you. Just a few weeks after that ultrasound Times Square you gave birth like a big smile on my face to that little baby boy named Fulton how's he doing. How old is he now. He is seven months old and he is just perfect. When I heard the heartbeat at the beginning of the program. It does right, that's his heartbeat if I made it clear heartbeat and I was such a special moment in your right minute was just sort of like this holy hush that went over Times Square and it was beautiful to be there and it was funny because I had always thought to myself, me if I have all these kids may have a kids that I'm ever thinking of me. You know of one of my kids could you do something in the womb Fulton. I believe that day parts were softened. Maybe they were changed, but I believe the hearts were softened toward life and I believe some more. If you remember some of the protozoan with the black lives matters community, they drop their signs walked in with us and I thought that was a victory right there. What a powerful story about let's jump in with your stories. Everyone you started working at Planned Parenthood.
You were excited about being a part of that organization. I'm assuming all three of you actually had that perspective.
I really want to paint that picture for those of us that have always been. Perhaps on the pro-life side. We don't understand the argument we don't know what would attract a person to that venture to that effort.
So paint that picture for us. Why is a college young woman, Abby, did you feel like abortion was something to defend you when I first got involved with Planned Parenthood. I really I didn't have a really solid opinion either way about abortion, but the woman I met with Planned Parenthood was really emphatic that abortion needed to be safe and it needed to be legal and that Planned Parenthood was helping women and you know as a young woman was 21 and no service ideologue at the time. I'm thinking well I would help women doesn't want to help women and I remember the first day that I went to the clinic and I showed up and it was just it was sort of like a circus outside so you know you had people who were praying quietly and were trying to reach out. They had people who were yelling and you had people with no really huge signs that were graphic and then you had people with signs it said you know asked me about a free pregnancy test. He doesn't kinda calm there. Yeah, that was this contrast on the sidewalk, but it made it look very chaotic but I remember that first day. My job was to escort women from their car to the front door of the facility and note the other volunteers and the staff there telling me know this is said that you know they won't really hear the voices on the other side of the fence and I member thinking at the time. Okay so if we're pro-choice right which I'm here so I guess I'm pro-choice now for pro-choice deal. I mean okay they think they wanted abortion but let's say that they hear a voice on the other side of the fence and it calls to them and they go to the fence and this person offers them resources or they say have you thought about adoption, nor whatever. I mean, were virtually right if she goes the sentence makes a different choice. She gets in her car and leaves but for clarification. Planned Parenthood management didn't have your view. There I state that I mean I remember saying to someone so what's the big deal if they do go talk to somebody and in I was immediately met with Abby. They are terrible. They are manipulating these women say there to help them but they don't their Pro birth.
They're not pro-life yet all and so I thought well I mean there are the expert. Yeah, great. They know what they're talking about their day and so I just I got okay well then, if there are the bad guys coming from day one. They were painted as the enemy. Will that so often what needs to happen in this in this environment, particularly both sides can paint both sides either side is bad guys, rather than a tragic situation and that let's pick up where you came in the Planned Parenthood and that story and the soon coming to so not what was your story sure.
So, my story is very similar to Abby's Ivy I came in actually was thought-out by headhunter so I wasn't looking for Planned Parenthood. But when the opportunity presented itself, I thought this is something that I can do but eventually I realized that it was something that I couldn't do. I didn't have people telling me I didn't voice the opinion like I did about the choice you know thinking noble if these women want to make a different choice. Why can't they but I didn't think that a lot like what what is the problem. I was always told that the protesters or the people even playing on the sidewalks needed to be trespassed from the property. Make sure that they get away from the clients that were coming into the facility and it now that I think back on it. Hindsight being 2020. Just never really made sense to him.
One of things maybe so you can elaborate on this is again that consistent father Planned Parenthood and other clinics to downplay the abortion that's only a must. Do you know were really here to help women with their health issues and things like that but in reality that's the cash flow that's where the dollars come in. Is that a fair assessment. I mean all three worked in the industry, but so what was your eye day. Abortion is really the bottom line for them.
Now we had goals always for number of abortions done each month or number of referrals done and if you didn't hit it. You had to explain why you didn't hit it and what you would do differently.
You know the next month so you would hit your goal, that's amazing. If you think about it. You would think that if this were purest help.
It would be what it would be you wouldn't have targets, which means toward the end of the month for me.
Nice to be in sales years ago. The paper industry and you know if you're getting low in that month you would be more aggressive with selling more product and that is what you're talking about just so people listening get that what they're saying. Like on the 20th of the month at their behind by 20%.
Hey we need more abortion activity because were not hitting our numbers. That is exactly what we said no woman would come in for a pregnancy test and be positive and would be saying you know how are you gonna pay for diapers. Have you priced you know what car seat or fear. You know, fear-based stuff about United Mill to take care of this baby, let's go ahead and get the set for you today and you know, if you wait any longer. The price is going to go up, so we would typically have that appointment in place before she left. One thing that you mentioned somewhere. I found this Abby, but many of you can respond to this, but you actually if you're heading your goals you have pizza parties and throw us a celebration that's unbelievable again. Yeah, we did if we met our goals we would get some sort of reward. So as the manager if we met our yearly goal so financial goal quotas into things like that. Then I would get a very large bonus as a manager and then monthly. If we met our goals. Then I was allowed to reward my staff in some way you and I want to make sure people are hearing the summit incentivizing the taking of human life and that's what that is it's you. I know that you didn't connect when you're working there, and it obviously begin to connect for all three of you but I just I think most of us hearing this are just dumbfounded. It's not what the media presents is Planned Parenthood's image right we down like this were only looking for the health and welfare of the woman. If we have to do abortion. We do it know their counting the number they want the cash and you know as I look back and I think for Annette and Sue Maisel. All three of us. I sit here and I say these things about incentivizing selling abortion, incentivizing the destruction of human life and how I participated in that. I didn't think really anything about it at the time and I think what was going on in my mind that I allow that to take place that was normal to me and the only explanation people will say no because Abby, how did you do that him like I I don't know.
Let's just that's the power of sin, absolutely.
And I think I was really manipulated because my facility was a little bit different. We were told we did not have quotas but at the same time we were being charged with aggressively getting higher numbers of abortions and so that didn't sit well with me and I asked one day at a meeting as the manager.
I said so you I'm not understanding your telling me I don't have a quota but then you're telling me that my numbers are dropping. So what are they dropping from what's the quiet quota right even if I remember correctly, look at the material they would even instruct you on how to manipulate. Ironically, as you said a moment ago. You know they said that the pro-life community manipulated women, but here this woman comes in and you're giving her phraseology yes points are toward the abortion decision rather than a different decision. I called it emotional manipulation that sound like give an example of how you would do that. This is the best thing for you and your other children. This is the best thing that you can do right now I'm for your career like that one of you have the story were instructed you, if a woman were to say, will God forgive me for this. What we are told to say, that was me. I was told to say what type of God do you believe in. Do you believe in a forgiving God training that was a training actually say I don't know if he did this training, but that was a training that was put out by caps that consortium of abortion providers and it was called IDE that is training at this I don't member without it also affords ID stigmatizing anyway.
And so it was basically instructed us on how to be better sales people. So it's scripted us on what to say back to women so overcoming any objection that they may have in one of me. What I heard in my experience, the objection that I heard the most had to do with God and religion. And you know I'm still struggling. Is this a sin. I've been taught to believe this is a sin and that was exactly what we told everybody what don't you believe in a forgiving God. Don't you believe that God understand your struggle right now and that he understands that you're just trying to do what's best for your family and you know and the women are like God does forget such as idea of presumptive forgiveness was that in itself is this is will write and I want to make sure were clear on this now that you're on the other side of all of this in the scales of phone from your eyes. How would you frame that today if someone were to talk in those terms about God, how the woman came to the day and said this is God can forgive me for this answers yes of course. But there's a better choice right you don't have to make this choice that you don't have to make a choice where God has to give forgiveness right you can make a choice for life where you don't have to live with regret. You don't have to live with sin and working to help you make that choice. Working to live life with you were in a walk with you. That's Abby Johnson and I were joined as well. You're in Focus on the Family by Sue Cyr and Annette Lancaster and were encouraged to get a download or YouTube and watch the video of this and get Abby's book. The walls are talking former abortion clinic workers tell their stories. All of this is available when you call 800 a family or check the episode notes for more.
Abby was in for a minute because it's not all theoretical for you and I'm not sure Annette and Sue, your story and I want you to add to this, but you had to abortions, personal, and the impact of that on you describe, you know briefly what happened and what state of mind for you and what state of life for you and just give the listener some perspective on your own abortions. I was in college and with the guy that I probably should've then went and we had a physical relationship very quickly and I the first time I found out I was pregnant I just remember thinking this can't happen to me because I'm a good Christian girl and this doesn't happen to the creek was on birth control. So you know birth-control is supposed to hide my sin. So I this can be happening to me and I was so afraid of disappointing my parents and you know my dad like a deacon in their church you now and you know good Southern Baptist and I just sighed they can't now that this is who I am and I wished that someone would have asked the question. I wish that someone would have said to me okay having.
Yes your parents may be disappointed that you didn't follow the plan right that they've taught you your whole. The formula for marriage right but do you think they're going to be more disappointed to find out that okay you messed up you didn't follow the plan or are they going to be more disappointed to find out that you took the life of their grandchild and if somebody would have phrased that to me I would have known the answer I would have known that my parents would have wanted the opportunity to save the life of their grandchild, but I took that opportunity away from them so you quietly had the first abortion.
I quietly had my first abortion and I would love to tell you that I thought about adoption or parenting or anything like that but the guy that I was with.
He told me. I've taken other girls to this clinic before I can take you and we went I had the abortion I surgical abortion and I thought okay well I'm going to never talk about this again and then stuff it down abortion. I remember thinking at the time abortions not right, but this time it was me and you know I people just wouldn't understand my situation and so then about three years later with the same guy married him. He decided that he didn't want to be in our marriage anymore. And after he left I found I was pregnant again and I thought I cannot be stuck with this man for the rest of my life. By that time I was working at Planned Parenthood and if you were working at Planned Parenthood and he needed an abortion and it was free and so I thought well okay you know this will be easier for me this time and I chose the medication abortion because that seem more natural you know we were telling everyone I was just like heavy cycle. It's no big deal. You take an oral pill series and hell uses right you know and at the time. I just thought okay will no big deal right at me now just be like a cycle that I have every month and no big deal and I didn't think in advance of what this would look like.
I didn't think okay I'm going to essentially labor at home. I'm going to pass a baby and then I'm gonna have to make a decision about what to do with that baby's and you know medication abortion is on the rise, and Sue can talk about that because that that's really her story as well.
We don't know the long-term effects yet, a generation of women who took a series of pills were told this was going to be no big deal and then looked at their baby in the toilet. We don't know emotionally what that is doing to our women were tour culture. Yes, the desensitization of human life. Absolutely I think that plays into this and there so many questions and we covered some of that story in previous broadcast of you, but you're so many people are. I'm sure asking themselves questions right now about the change in all that will get to the next time most likely Sue, let me ask you about your experience with the medication abortion you been working either in the abortion industry or for the pro-life community.
Most of your life.
So what are you saying taken place to what part of the reason I started working at Planned Parenthood was because the clinic that I was that didn't do abortions, but then in 2007 they came up with the idea to do chemical or medication abortions like whatever you just described only by computer type connection.
So a Skype connection, so no doctor or medical people on staff nonmedical people like managers and clinic assistants were trained in a day to do transvaginal ultrasound's which is really bad idea and then for example in Iowa there is no waiting period for women seeking abortions. So a woman could come in have the three minute urine pregnancy test. Find out it's positive and we could literally say hey we can take care of the problem for you today. 45 minutes in and out all you need to do is take these pills. So aside from the fact of the nonmedical staff and just the danger of it all on top of it. There was no time at all for a mom to really ponder that. So we would have women that went to other clinics. Other Planned Parenthood facilities and I would take the first set of pills and then come back to to my center at storm Lake and say I can't believe I did that I wasn't thinking you know this was before the abortion pill reversal so there were a lot of regrets but you know we had a list I don't know if you guys did too, but of words never to use and then what we say instead, and you know I remember baby and fetus were on the never say we would call it tissue are heavy. But when women would would leave the clinic with their little brown bag of pills in and take the pills at home that start the contraction. She would often see this little tiny. You know eight or nine week baby and unprepared for that. We had women put them in little Ziploc bags and bring them back to the clinic and say you did not tell me it was a baby. Well, that's the core issue. That's why we fight in the pro-life community. The way we do.
Hopefully with the gentleness of the heart of God. Let's come back next time that we just got this role and we want to hear about.
I want to hear about how the skills begin to fall from your eyes how you transitioned into a different perspective and kind of the work that you're doing now to help women every two Jesus a little bit for the listener.
Your ministry has reached. I don't know how many women that worked in the abortion industry. What's the number that you been able to convince the they could find a better vocation 554 554 women I'm excited about that it's I'm sure downward pressure for the abortion industry. But for women to see and to know what the really part of to help them see it clearly.
You might say that's a wonderful mission that you have and I hope God continues to bless you in that return to the listener. We understand that this topic is probably one of the most painful in the culture and you're listening.
You may be in tears because something you decided to do years ago is now back to the surface.
Colonists were here for you. We have current Christian counselors who can help. We can even refer you to someone in your area that can continue to have that discussion with you.
We have additional resources tools to help you find that forgiveness that we talked about earlier and that's our goal on the side of the debate, there is forgiveness in Christ, and we want you to know all about help is a phone call away. Our number is 800 K and the word family 800-232-6459 or click the link in the episode show notes. In addition, Jon. I think the average abortion is about six or $700.
Yes, well we have a program here we been running for over 15 years called option ultrasound and we been able to get that cost to save the baby's life to $60. Think of that ticket baby's life $600.
Save a baby's life. $60 and right now we estimate that 459,000 babies have been saved because of this program. I think the Lord is freely please with that effort, and I degree Jim it really is awesome and we have some passionate pro-life donors right now who want to match every dollar you option ultrasound. It's a wonderful opportunity for you to double the impact of your giving so please join the support team today when you contribute will send a copy of Abby's book.
The walls are talking to help you further your understanding and your pro-life ministry are number to donate that book is 800 K and the word family or click the link in the show notes on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back your more from Abby that looks more help you and your family thrive in Christ. I Lord I don't think I can do that and I said no, what I need help I need to know that I'm not the only one employed full-time and raising two girls serenade felt overwhelmed. I truly think that God Focus on the Family to bring hope specially to young mom working mom or even stand home on Jim Daly.
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