Obama's Planned Parenthood claims rejected by former employee

Abby Johnson CNA US Catholic News 5 30 12 Abby Johnson

Although President Barack Obama told a Planned Parenthood conference last week that abortion opponents are stuck in the past, former clinic manager Abby Johnson says the youth of the pro-life movement suggests otherwise.

"We've seen the pro-life movement gaining. We see the abortion movement declining," Johnson told CNA April 30.

She suggested that the president may not know those who are in the pro-life movement, such as members of Students for Life of America or the youthful pro-life investigative reporting group Live Action.

"We're full of young people," she added. "I think he would be surprised to learn who is really leading up the pro-life movement and what we're really about."

Johnson is a former manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Bryan, Texas, who left her job in 2009 after witnessing an abortion live via ultrasound. She now encourages abortion clinic workers to leave their jobs through her organization, And Then There Were None.

She commented on Obama's April 26 remarks delivered to almost 1,000 supporters of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America at a Washington, D.C., hotel. Obama is the first sitting president to address the organization which performs about 300,000 abortions each year.

"It's disappointing that a president would make an address to our country's largest abortion provider, but it's not surprising at all," Johnson said, adding that the president is politically dependent on abortion supporting donors and abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

In his address, Obama described the pro-life movement as backward-looking and suited to the 1950s. He said Planned Parenthood is dedicated to the principle that "women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their own health."

However, Johnson contended that it is the abortion industry that is waning.

"The abortion numbers are declining nationally," she said. "We see clinics closing, Planned Parenthood affiliates closing. Many affiliates are having to merge for financial reasons."

She also rejected the president's contention that Planned Parenthood is dedicated to women's health.

"They've shown time and time again that their motivation is pushing abortion and selling abortion to women who knock on their doors."

The organization has put out a new mandate requiring every affiliate to perform abortions by 2014, she said, and it also has a quota system for abortions that clinics must meet.

"If they were really just about women's health care, they wouldn't be doing everything they can to promote abortion," she charged.

Johnson also observed that abortion providers and supporters are not all irreligious.

President Obama closed his remarks to Planned Parenthood with a prayer: "God bless you!" Johnson said this should be a reminder that the organization's employees "believe they are doing God's work."

"People who work at Planned Parenthood or in the abortion industry believe that they are doing sacred work. Planned Parenthood has a large board of clergy, current or former ministers, that are supporting employees," she said.

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"As someone who worked in the abortion industry, I get it. I used to think I was doing God's work too. I completely believed that I was a Christian and following God's will," Johnson continued. "I understand how people can be deceived in this way. Even our president. Even clergy. That's just the way that sin works."

She now wants to help Planned Parenthood employees realize they can leave the abortion industry.

"There is a place for them to go. They don't have to feel like they're trapped," she said.

"I believe, first of all, through my own personal experience, that there is something better out there for them. They were born to do something much bigger and much better than working in the abortion industry."

Recent abortion clinic scandals including deaths and malpractice at abortion facilities, financial fraud and the current murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell are other good reasons for abortion workers to quit, Johnson explained.

"I want them to know that they can be held responsible for that," she said. "There's no time like the present to get out of the abortion industry and start living a better life."

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