.- Former abortion clinic manager Abby Johnson is organizing a day – called “Exodus 2013” – for abortion workers seeking to leave the industry to band together in solidarity and encouragement.
“We kind of thought picking one particular day might bring about a sense of camaraderie,” Johnson told CNA, “that they might all feel a little more courageous if they know they’re doing it with other people.”
“Exodus 2013 – National Leave the Abortion Industry Day” will take place across the country on April 8, helping workers wishing to leave the abortion industry to gather both the courage and resources to do so.
Johnson said that contact with pro-life organizations, including 40 Days for Life, helped her to leave her job as the director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in 2009.
She later became a pro-life advocate and founded an organization called “And Then There Were None” to help abortion workers find the information, support and funds to leave the abortion business.
The group offers emotional support and arranges for counseling, because “these workers have seen and participated in things the general public wouldn't be able to stomach,” Johnson explained. In addition, spiritual care from one’s religious tradition can be arranged for those who want it.
The organization is also able to provide pro-bono legal assistance through its partnership with legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom for individuals who are prosecuted by the abortion clinics. Since the ministry’s start last June, 47 abortion clinic workers have left the abortion industry with Johnson’s help.
“We've had amazing success through our ministry,” she said, “and we just kind of thought - maybe if we could get a day where we asked people to just pick up and leave the abortion industry...it would at least be good exposure to let clinic workers know that there is a resource for them.”
The name “Exodus 2013” was initially chosen simply to suggest a large number of people leaving the abortion industry in 2013, Johnson explained, and the date of the event was picked purely at random.
Later, however, Johnson realized that April 8 would be the celebration of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, which was moved in the Catholic liturgical calendar from its normal date of March 25 due to Holy Week and the Octave of Easter. The Catholic feast day celebrates the announcement of the archangel Gabriel to Mary that she was to conceive Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
In addition, Johnson later found out that April 8 is also the date for “Holocaust Remembrance Day,” a correlation that she describes as “pretty significant,” since “we wholeheartedly believe that abortion is a holocaust in our country.”
Furthermore, she said, after picking the name “Exodus 2013,” the organizers realized that in the Bible, Exodus 20:13 is “Thou shalt not kill.”
After discovering these meaningful connections, Johnson said that her coworkers didn’t “believe that there's any coincidence.”
“We thought that was pretty powerful,” she said.
Johnson explained that And Then There Were None is “hoping for big things” to happen with Exodus 2013. The organization is working hard to promote the event through Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.
In addition, the group is “sending flyers about Exodus 2013 into every abortion clinic across the country.”
“We're hoping someone will open it, read it, and share it with someone in their clinic that would want to utilize the service,” Johnson said of the flyer campaign.
“We're really excited, looking forward to seeing what will take place.”