Washington D.C., Jul 19, 2013 / 16:02 pm
The abortion clinic formerly managed by pro-life activist Abby Johnson will close as a result of more stringent health regulations on such facilities throughout the state of Texas.
"This is what grace truly looks like," Johnson told 40 Days for Life, a national pro-life campaign. "Knowing that the former abortion clinic I once ran is now closing is the biggest personal victory of my life."
Johnson, a former abortion clinic worker and manager of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, left the industry in 2009 after participating in an ultrasound-guided abortion.
Since her departure from the abortion business, Johnson has become an outspoken pro-life speaker. She has founded a non-profit, And Then There Were None, to help abortion clinic workers who wish to leave the industry find new lines of employment.
The pro-life group 40 Days for Life hosts prayer and fasting vigils for the end to abortion in front of abortion clinics across the country. Johnson's clinic was the focal point of the first 40 Days for Life campaign in 2004.
She has credited the organization – which was engaged in a two week prayer vigil at her clinic the week she left her former job – with helping her to leave Planned Parenthood.
"From running that facility, to then advocating for its closure, and now celebrating that dream," Johnson said to the organization, "it shows that my life has indeed come full circle."
"I am honored to have worked with so many who helped with my conversion and the closure of this facility. We will continue to fight until every abortion clinic in this country has shut its doors."
The closure of the Bryan clinic comes alongside announcements that two other Texas Planned Parenthood clinics will close following the signing of a law limiting late-term abortions and increasing clinic standards by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
In a July 18 press release Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast announced that three affiliates of its Houston clinic in Bryan, Lufkin and Huntsville Texas will close due to "the combined impact of years of budget cuts to women's health care services and the dismantling of the successful Women's Health Program."
The new law bans most abortions after 20 weeks, the point at which scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can likely feel pain.
It also makes sure that abortion clinics meet the same health regulations as other outpatient surgery centers, requires physician involvement in the abortion procedure, and ensures that physicians at the abortion facility have emergency room admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
Abortion clinics will be responsible for ensuring that their clinics comply with the new health standards.