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July 30, 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 2 of 2)
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If we've learned anything during these turbulent times. It's all human life has intrinsic value worthy of life care and protection and that includes life in the womb. That's why at this pivotal time Focus on the Family is standing up to help the world see life. Join the movement to end abortion and love every heartbeat text heartbeat to 72,000. That's the word heartbeat to 72,000. Learn email@example.com fast the life I would wake up every day and I would have to make a decision. I could either live my life might have lived my life. My past and were Satan runs rampant because he wants to remind us of our or I can live in the present.
I could live in this gift that God had given and I could allow him to transform my into something for his glory. That's Abby Johnson she's back with us today on Focus on the Family along with soothsayer and kissed her credible sources. Your this is Focus on the Family on John Fuller engrossed his focus president and author Jim Daly Jon, I love that verse in Revelation that says they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony because it gives such weight to the fact that God works in our lives. He creates a story and in his word. He's giving that way that their testimony is a big part of convincing other people about who he is as God and Jesus who died for our sins. You know in our fight to show the world that pre-born babies are worth saving our personal testimonies, particularly of women who've gone through this and they now see that life begins at conception.
It's so critical and so compelling. That's why we are here, and that's why were talking today as we did last time with Abby, Sue and Annette who have joined us to share their stories as we heard in the first part of our conversation. All three of these women spent time working in abortion clinics. They have the street credit. They were there.
Understandably, it was difficult and they then began to see different path for themselves and for other women that they can talk to about the abortion industry. You can hear more that story today and if you missed last time, get the download get the app for your smart phone. Whatever you need to do. It was very powerful and be sure to listen to that first part of our conversation that Abby Johnson is a former Planned Parenthood clinical director and soothsayer and Annette Lancaster are both of former clinic managers and their all-male speakers for the pro-life cause there advocates for life and Abby is written a book called walls are talking former abortion clinic workers tell their stories. Of course we have the book and details at the website, Abby, Sue, Annette, welcome back to Focus on the Family as a part of me that I know this is heavy but I want to dance because I'm so grateful to all three of you and all the other women that you've convinced to come out of the industry and to persuade women to make a better choice for themselves for the baby for their spiritual journey right and it's so good for those just joining us this time.
They haven't had a chance yet to listen to yesterday's program that briefly describe what initially brought you to work at Planned Parenthood that passion. I think when things we have to understand the pro-life movement is what are women thinking when they sign up to work for Planned Parenthood and I think that for probably all of us that was just we were all sort of drawn to Planned Parenthood because we believed that we were going to be helping women and that's what you want to do is when it's help other women right.
I think what really drew me just like Abby said is I wanted to help. I wanted to be that person that was going to be there holding someone's hand when they were going through what they thought was the most difficult time of their life and be there to encourage them for what I thought at that time was the right decision. I would agree with that but also it was great pay right yeah yeah so honey was good. It was a lot of money and great benefits and flexible hours and probably benefit pretty much the best best job I ever had up to that point yet for me as well. I mean, I thought working to reduce the abortion number here mean where it will not wanting to sell abortion to me now was I came in pretty na´ve about Planned Parenthood very na´ve and I thought you know make abortion safe, legal and rare. The old language done away with that. But there's a point when all three of you had to observe an abortion when you went to work at the clinics we all experience, different reaction, Sue. I want to start with you describe that experience.
We had actually participate in doing an abortion. What did you take away from that experience. It was very difficult. You know I was not prepared for what I saw. I had started there in April 1991. So this was the early 90s when I saw my first surgical abortion and that was before they did ultrasound women knew that the later they were in their pregnancy. The more expensive it would be so they were not always forthcoming about their dates and so we would expect that we were going to be doing like a 12 week and instead it would be 15 or 16 which is developmentally a huge difference and I just remember standing there thinking wow I made it I made it through the day, but you know I remember the little bowl likely sign Abby's movie and you know standing there looking at that piece and it back together and and I remember driving home thinking, almost babies are. You know in the sewer system under Des Moines and nobody knows that.
Does anybody care. Does anybody know and what it did for me personally have had people say why didn't you just quit that. Well, it made me really commit more to the family-planning part of Planned Parenthood without really realizing you know the trap that that is and how easily women become pregnant on birth control and and all of that but it was a very difficult day.
I had to biological kids at the time and I just went home and held them and cried and thought all man what a mess.
What kind of awful things to let me ask you this in a network you can do next with your first time in the clinic and watching the abortion or participating in it, but Superman shoot that first response. Some people would say well that's societal norms being no pressed upon you.
That's because we don't embrace abortion, religious reasons, whatever might be, but that's just your heart.
Response to what you're saying.
It's always this kind of twisting of the truth that they're trying to do rather than just own up to it. If this is what you want to promote. Be honest about it, but let us confront it but you feel that hard of got their folly. It's hard to explain what that very first day they had me stand against the wall on the opposite side and I was like what you have to do this and this and will most people faint and I thought oh okay. And there's a subset there is a very distinctive sound. The sound of the suction machine and like you don't hear that anywhere else except in the surgical suite and I remember hearing that and think, and well, but I made it.
I didn't pass out. I worked in hospice and been a nurse's aide. Before that, and I ended up around a course at the foot of the bad but no. I watch the doctor come in in the room is lights are dim and she doesn't speak to the patient, you know, I'd say why doesn't she talk to you know the client and they'd say, will she doesn't want to be approached in the grocery store he or she is wanting to recognize or not.hi yeah and so when when people say will that's a choice between a woman and her doctor. I thought, and all those thousands of abortions that I witnessed there was a part of it Planned Parenthood. I don't think I ever saw the doctor talk to the patient.
Ever it will all the counseling is done by just nonmagnetic test out of Yahoo and soothe the fact that you survive the day your shown and then, because you survive, you know, part of the inner circle with a litmus test. I mean it can't survive that.
Just like you know Abby's book and movie. If you can't survive that you are out right so Annette that what's your story. There the first time you had to participate in the actual abortion. So the first time I participated.
It was very shocking, but what I did was just push it down, like Sue was saying.
I thought you know I've worked in the medical field. I've been around cadavers I've seen open heart surgery like I can do this I can do this and I was actually told by senior leadership. Later on, you know, you just don't see it in here because they could see the change in how it was starting to affect me because you were embracing was wrong in your heart yes but getting. I thought something was wrong with me because it bothered me a lot you know it's not bothering anyone else here in the clinic. It's me, something must be wrong with me.
How long was that process for you that first abortion that you participated in the unsettled mess of it and then them noticing you're not quite our star employees long was at eight months nine months or years. I was only there for a total of nine months is not an irony right very ironic that it took about a month several weeks for the just the whole thought change process to take place in me. It was really bothering me spiritually to the point where in order to be able to participate. I had to start consuming and really abusing alcohol, medicating with alcohol. Yes, I would call Medicare.
That was the only way I could get through the day and after finishing a day of tons of abortion procedures that was what I did to and how common is that I very, very, we after we were done with the day of abortions every single day that we were finished we would go out and drink. We do the same thing coming as a team for there's a quiet dirty secret. I've never really heard that we call it in our clinic we call it a staff meeting and say that you are having a staff meeting and we meet at the bar, but you connected that it was really to come, that since it something bad is happening here have five I think the people that come out. Have you priced me to this better, but the ones that I know that haven't really found forgiveness in the Lord are not doing well today. Yet now they're not.
And describe forgiveness is key right so and sometimes it's easy to say well okay I know God forgives me because God is all forgiving and he forgives everybody and he forgives everything so it's easy but it's hard sometimes to internalize that forgiveness and to really accept it so we can know it, we can say it. I know he forgives me what is that look like for me and so you know we've got women coming look. Our ultimate goal at our ministry and and then there were none is to get people into relationship with Jesus Christ.
That is the ultimate goal because we know that that is the only place where true healing will come. But until that relationship is formed. They struggle and they struggle with addiction. They struggle with suicidal ideation. We surveyed the women who come to our ministry, and over 30% of them have attempted suicide after leaving the facility and that is so much higher than the national average.
And it's because it's just all consuming you dream about it you dream about the things that you saw their terrible dreams. It affects them in their daily life and its trauma.
It's like PTSD is PTSD correct is a battlefield absolutely will. If you are struggling and need someone to talk to.
We have Karen Christian counselors here with good resources we want to help it your point of pain or number here at Focus on the Family is one 800 the letter a in the word family or check the episode notes for details and that you describe yourself as you know going out drinking afterward to numb the pain of what you've been doing, etc. you say if you stayed working there. You might not be alive today. What a powerful statement fill the blanks and therefore's absolutely I had about a 30 minute commute from the clinic to my house so if I'm going out drinking at the bar right across the street from the clinic. I'm driving home 3 to 4 days a week intoxicated so if it had not been me. I could've killed or injured someone else and just the depression that came with it with working there with seeing what I saw participating in activities because it was not just the abortion, but there were other illegal activities that took place is just a gamut of faith in that context, let me ask you the those that work in the abortion business. Those that are a good lobbyist for Planned Parenthood. The top brass there and how they approach these things have they differentiate between a breathing human being in a non-breathing human being, a human being still in the womb. Another words you dying in an accident.
Okay, that's just that's what happens. I guess what I'm getting at is this dehumanizing of life. Absolutely. What did you see there in that regard. In terms of that numbness that once you start taking innocent human life you dying on the highway when it happens the whole the abortion industry is a dehumanizing cycle. Okay, so we have to dehumanize the unborn child in order to do what we do every day but in this cycle of dehumanization, we ourselves become dehumanized. There's no way to draw that line. Absolutely not.
And I mean I remember working there and I remember seeing people praying outside of my facility and I remember when I grew up young Christian I remember thinking if I died today when I go to hell and I remember thinking, I think I would and I'm okay with that. That can only happen if you are so incredibly dehumanized you're okay with an eternity in hell. I need that warped sense of humanity for myself only very deep sin can get you to a place where you care so little about yourself right and about others with her so much and that that's been one of the arguments are made from time to time. When you look at the debate you look at 50 to 60 million children being taken through abortion and in comparison even on the issues with the gun fatalities is minuscule and there's no. It's like they can open their eyes up to the fact of the level the immense notice of the death that they've leveled on the culture through abortion but it's the greatest Holocaust that we face really soon.
Let me let me ask you, there's a moment when you decided that you couldn't handle working at the clinic anymore as well so what happened for those scales falling off euros. What was that moment. It was kind of a process that I found a church a great church. I ended up going to and they they mercifully kind of pretend like they didn't know me and didn't know where I worked and didn't say anything bad to me. They treated me with the love of Christ, so that was huge. I also found Christian radio and a small station in Northwest Iowa that's grown and grown now but just that I love it yeah is a continual word of God that I would get through this radio ministry and you know they would be talking about abortion and I would just turn it down because I was comfortable you know in my little box and I was starting to know that what I was doing was wrong but I really was quite comfortable there.
So II didn't want to be convicted, so I would turn it down when they talk about abortion and then I turn it back out. You know, so I was listening to the word of God.
Listen to Focus on the Family all the time. Got a bunch of resources from here and started reading and getting in the word of God and I knew that my days there were numbered, and finally did end up getting fired and it was really quite a relief.
You know to get out and be away from it in such a free and experience that again that says volumes you felt free when they let you go yeah that should communicate to everybody and that's one of the things that we ask the women who come to our ministry we say what is the thing that you felt when you left and you expect them to say I was so scared or you know I did. I just lost this paycheck. Writer ever. Every single one of them said so relieved. That's where I live hundred yes that's me. That right there is something let me get all of your responses, and that all start with you want your eyes were open to the reality of abortion and it was no longer kind of obscure you knew what was going on in your heart attitude begin to forgive yourself after you've touched on this, but I want for women particularly, but some into to really hear how you personally found forgiveness for what role you had an abortion that was a long journey for me.
It actually started with the women from and then there were none. When I couldn't pray for myself. They were praying for me. There's a running joke because I said every time I went to a spiritual healing retreat or an event I said these crazy ladies are always around here like praying for me.
What they won't go away and they won't stop right. Layla's absolutely because they were there praying for me and praying for my strength when I was too weak to do it for myself and just getting into the word of God really studying it and my husband was there for me a lot to really just tell me God forgives you, I forgive you, our children, forgive you and those women will forgive you.
So that's how I came to you really were able to feel it from the Lord particular, absolutely. But it took a good while and it's still a journey I may know some days you know, I'm struck by something that really makes you sad about my participation in the abortion industry and I know I remember when I left I just I would wake up every day and I would have to make a decision. I could either live my life and my past. I can live my life. My past and where Satan runs rampant right because he wants to remind us of our past or I can live in the present.
I could live in this gift that God had given me and I could allow him to transform my past into something for his glory. And you know what there were days when I woke up and I said in my past. I'm to wallow in my grief today. And I'm to throw myself a big multiparty and eventually they'll I didn't have to make the choice anymore. I would wake up and I would just say, of course, I want to live for you, Lord, but it was a process. It took time and for me I had to memorialize the life that was taken that was a big part of my healing site had two abortions so I had to memorialize I needed to memorialize those two lives that were lost and so I did that and what is that process. How did you do you know there is a memorial national memorial for the unborn and they have a wall.
I used to be an abortion facility and it's now place of healing and they have a long with thousands and thousands of little metal plaques with aborted babies names on and it's really something to behold. And when you see it just the lives that have been lost, but haven't been forgotten and so I wanted my baby's name to be there and so I contacted them and when you decide that you want to do that they will actually send you a copy of the plate that's up on the wall and so I have these plates in my home in a prominent place in my home and so you know I walked by then. Every day I see them every day and it doesn't make me sad anymore. It's just such a beautiful reminder of God's redemption in my life and it's a reminder that one day I will see those children again. I want to come back every right at the end here and we talked about the so many times our attitude toward the clinic worker give us that instruction on what opens a human heart clinic workers heart because they don't see love genuineness and relationship. There were people who consistently reached out to me on the sidewalk. It wasn't just in passing.
They knew my name they knew I was they would I get out of my car and they would say Abby. We hope you have a great day today were praying for you to pray for you. That must've been unnerving and that I got out of my car and they said hey Abby, I just want to remind you your inspection stickers almost out on your idea.
What I live right now and you know now when I go out to the clinics and pray always teleworkers. Hey, I'm out here praying. So if you ever have a prayer intention something you need me to pray about for you. Let me know it would be an honor to pray for you know people and you have no idea the amount of workers have come to me and said my grandma is having surgery or I'm really struggling with this it's relationship and it's genuine right it's not phony it's not fake they can see through that. But showing them the love of Christ. Look, we all sin. We just indifferently and I don't hate them because of their sin. I love them because God loves them and God wants all of his children to return to him when that's what I so appreciate about your testimonies were true during the ministry of the book you have all of us trying to help people see a more godly approach to this whole issue of life, and this is been really great having you here. The just hearing what the Lord is done in your life. Everything what encouraging into her two-part conversation with Abby Johnson to fear, and Annette Lancaster, John. When we air broadcasts like this one, we almost always hear from women and men who have experienced or have some part in an abortion to you the listener. If that describes you, you're not alone and you're not too far from God's forgiveness. He loves you. He is not mad at you and he wants to heal your heart and if you struggle with believing that let me urge you to give us a call. We have a team of caring Christian counselors on staff right here focus to give you a safe place to tell your story and find that pathway to healing enter number to schedule a consultation with one of our counselors is 800 K and the word family or you can find help online of the link is in the episode notes and to those of you who have a heart for saving women from the heartbreak of abortion and giving pre-born babies a chance for life.
I will let you know that pregnancy centers across the US and Canada need your help more than ever right now the centers were true, the loving alternative to the abortion clinics we talked about today that tell us they've seen a record number of women with crisis pregnancies recently and Jim, this seems to be related to the baby boom. The researchers said might come after the state owned orders earlier this year I think so John so it's crucial that are optional show ministry receive the funding that it needs to get the job done or team of supporters that makes it possible for pregnancy care centers to get ultrasound machines and nurse training and so much more. And because that support women who are understandably scared about having a baby during a global pandemic can receive real comfort and assurance see their baby on that ultrasound screen and get practical help for moving forward in the research loves gender research is pretty clear that when women see that ultrasound image of their baby they choose life over half of them choose life and just as importantly, those women are safe from the heartbreak and why that abortion will bring them relief and solve what the world calls a problem. We worked out the numbers and it takes $60 to save the baby's life and spur woman's broken heart.
Through the use of ultrasound technology and I'd I just need to ask you, would you please join us in giving hope to desperate women during this intense time around the world right now we are so grateful to some passionate pro-life donors who are willing to match every dollar given to the option ultrasound program right now so please contribute today and know that they'll match your gift dollar for dollar and help us reach that goal and fueled this crucial ministry. When you donate will send a copy of Abby's book. The walls are talking former abortion clinic workers tell their stories again. Our number is 800 K family or click the link in the social notes will be sure to join us next time.
Jonathan wiki talks about the importance of finding a good balance between bonding and boundaries as we bond with her kids and hang out with our kids and they get to know us clean so much for mustard and clean so many values that sometimes that rule of go to bed at this time or no, can't load Dell of this applet isn't going to teach them on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ Amanda's marriage was a train wreck trying to raise for young kids facing bankruptcy.
Constant arguments and then her husband had an affair. Everything like I look like around 10 when you want to deal thankfully God intervened in Amanda's life began to change as she listened to our podcast bill really family gave me hope and gave me a change in perspective. You know that not every married and there is hope. I'm Jim Daly working together we can rescue more marriages like commanders, especially during this coronavirus.
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