Clinic Workers

I was willing to risk eternity in hell for legal abortion, then I saw one.

I traveled the same route to my house from the Planned Parenthood facility I managed day in and day out. Marshals, that came in to our facility to provide “safety training” for us annually, recommended to us changing our route home. They warned us about how dangerous the pro-lifers were outside our facility. Ha.

You never want to take the same route home. Always change it up. You never know when one of them could be following you,” they said.

I wasn’t too concerned with the pro-lifers outside my facility. I knew them. They knew me. They constantly offered me help and seemed to genuinely care about me. That was annoying. It made it really difficult, if not impossible, to hate the people who were so nice to me, despite the fact that all of my supervisors taught me to hate them.

On September 26, I had witnessed something that had shaken me to my very core, something I could not un-see. I watched a 13 week old baby die by abortion. I watched him struggle for his life, right there before my eyes on an ultrasound monitor.

I was numb, shocked, horrified, and quite honestly, I felt so stupid. How could I have fallen for the lies of this organization?  How could I have let it happen for eight years?

On October 4, I sat in my living room. I held my daughter, and I contemplated. Did I have the guts to admit that I had been wrong for so many years? Did I have the courage to admit that I was a liar? I hate liars, but it hit me that I had been the biggest liar I knew. Could I walk away from my friends? Could I walk away from my huge salary and promise of promotion?

That Sunday afternoon, I didn’t know. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable. However, I wasn’t able to justify what I witnessed. I knew I couldn’t rationalize my behavior or my life.

For several years, I had asked myself a question: “If I died, would I go to heaven or hell?” I remember thinking that I would probably go to hell for my active and proud participation in abortion. And somehow, I had convinced myself that it was okay. I was willing to spend an eternity in hell in order to provide abortions.

On October 5, I sat in my office and asked that same question. This time around, my answer changed. No, I was not willing to potentially spend an eternity in hell so that women could continue taking the lives of their children. No, I would no longer be an accomplice to this brutality.

Now, I faced new questions that emerged. Where would I go? Would these pro-lifers really accept me? They always said they would, but how could I believe that? How could they just accept me knowing my past? How could they forgive me for how I had treated them for so many years? I didn’t know what their reaction would be, but there was no going back from here. This was a risk I was willing to take.

So, I took a left instead of a right out of our parking lot. I went to their office. I spilled my guts. I admitted that yes, I had been wrong… so very wrong.

What was their reaction? Well, they forgave me. They haul off on my past faults, naming all of my sins. They didn’t make me beg or force an apology out of me. They simply extended their forgiveness.

I remember after my story hit the national news, a reporter had called and asked to talk to one of the staff members from the pro-life office where I had turned for help. This reporter wanted the scoop. How bad was I when I worked in Planned Parenthood? What were some of the terrible things I had done to them out on the sidewalk?

I expected, and I waited, for all of my embarrassing, dirty laundry to be aired when she answered his questions. Instead, I heard this from her, “I don’t even know that person anymore. Abby is a new creation in Christ and that’s the Abby I want to talk about.”

I never experienced that type of love from a friend, but now I was graced with it from a woman who I had only met three weeks earlier. This is a woman who I had cursed and yelled at. She witnessed the very worst side of me, but here she was offering me this gift of forgiveness.

Certainly, this was a gift that I didn’t deserve from her, but there it was without any strings attached. I often think about that moment.

Can you love people into truth? I definitely think so. I think it really comes down to whether or not you’re willing to love someone that much. Are you willing to put aside their past sins and see the God’s creation that He made? Are you willing to reach out with the love of God, His love and mercy, instead of anger and condemnation?

Are you willing to just meet people where they are and care for them no matter how far they are from where you want them to be? It’s more important where God wants them to be. He has the power to change the hardest of hearts, but can’t we attempt to love our neighbor the way God loves each of us?

Did Christ not say he who is without sin cast the first stone? We owe it to each other to explain where someone through their action is leading a life that could separate them from their Creator for eternity. However, we do not have authority to condemn them because we don’t know the state of their souls. That particular is for God alone because He knows us to our very depths and the fruit we bear in our lives, or lack of fruitfulness. We can know to some degree based on the way someone acts, but we can only correct, or try to correct, bad actions.

It always makes me laugh when I explain to people how many abortion clinic workers leave their facilities through my ministry, And Then There Were None. They are so shocked! They can’t believe 128 people have come to us in the past two years. Who knew these people could have such a profound change of heart? We pray for this to happen, and then when it does, and we are surprised!

Friends, these workers are leaving the abortion industry because they are finally able to see that there is real help for them. They don’t leave because people have told them that they are “baby killers.” They certainly don’t leave because someone tells them they will “burn in hell” for working in the industry. They leave because they are able to receive help from us and are, as well as a and a place to heal. They leave because they want something better for themselves. They leave because we are finally helping them see that we do genuinely care about them.

We need to remember as often as we are able to that people can change, and we always need to hope and pray that they do.  Even if these clinic worker’s or anyone else who chooses evil, are our enemies, Christ calls us to love our enemies more than we love those we love. We are not required to tolerate evil, but we need love those that commit it. Evil cannot be overcome with more evil. They need our prayers for their conversion.

Regardless of how rude they are to us, how much they ignore us, no matter how many times they tell us to “get a job” or something similar, they WILL eventually leave. However, that will only happen if we reflect Christ to them. We don’t have to preach to them. I remember hearing one time that “God is a gentleman.” God will not force Himself on someone, so we shouldn’t either.

Pray. Be kind. Love them. If you don’t think you can love them then stay away from them. The only thing that will keep an abortion worker in the industry longer is a pro-lifer who condemns them.

What if you were the reason an abortion worker took a left instead of a right? It’s possible. I thank God every day of my life for the people who made me “change my route.”

For more information about what you can do to help abortion facility workers, visit And Then There Were None.

*The original article was published by LifeSiteNews.com. Any reproduction or quotation from this article must give appropriate credit and sourcing to their website. 

 

 

I helped so many women abort their babies. How do I live with that?

I spent eight years of my life with Planned Parenthood, so as you could imagine I have many memories of my time there. Some of those memories are good, some are not. Nonetheless, those memories are there packed away in my mind. It’s easy to forget them. I have forgotten so much about my time there in just four and a half short years.

I found my old business card the other day. That is a tangible memory for me. It made me think of the day that I heard I had been promoted to direct the clinic. I was so happy, hugging and jumping up and down with my supervisor. She was so proud of me.

I reflected on the day I moved everything into my new, big office. I put pro-choice stickers all over my filing cabinet. I called my parents to share the news. They were, of course, proud of me, but hated my work. I can’t imagine how conflicted they were in their minds and hearts.

Human resources sent me my new paperwork. There was my new title, along with my new and amazing salary. A few days later, my new business cards arrived. I remember placing them in my new business card holder on my desk. I filled up the business card holder that I kept in my purse. I had already become used to hearing myself say my new title.

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I was proud of myself. I was proud of the hard work I had put in to earn that new title. I worked so many hours, sacrificing so much of my time with my family. But, I knew it would all be worth it, especially now that I had my new job title to prove it.

I remember proudly passing out my new business cards to anyone that would take one. Being pro-choice wasn’t only a movement to me, it was a lifestyle. I fully embraced that lifestyle and loved being a part of it.

These tangible reminders that I occasionally find are sometimes hard to work through. I remember receiving the records from my medication abortion. That tangible reminder of my past was difficult to manage.

I look at my “Employee of the Year” award that I received from Planned Parenthood and ruminate on the night I received it. I ended up deciding to place that old award on my desk as a reminder of where I came from and how much my life has changed. Seeing that plaque no longer brings back those tangible memories.

One of the reasons I was so taken aback when finding my old business card was not just because it was a reminder of how proud I had been to run an abortion clinic, something I find deplorable now. I was taken aback because of all of the things I engaged in while I had that big title.

I remember handing women small monetary checks to pay for their silence after we had left them with a serious infection after their abortion. The memories of watching women bleed out on our abortion table and being instructed not to call the ambulance because we didn’t want to let the pro-lifers know that we had a medical emergency. The memories I have of “joking” about the babies that died in our facility by abortion. The memories I have of training our abortion facility employees on the “normalcy” of abortion and how to convince women that abortion is the best choice for them.

Part of being a former abortion clinic worker is learning how to deal with your past sins. The woman that came to your clinic for an abortion could also be the familiar face that you bump into at the store. It could be standing in front of your former abortion facility and remembering all of the damage your thoughts, words, and actions caused so many women. It could be finding that old business card that reminds you of the pride you felt when you became the director of an abortion facility.

People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it’s a true story. It’s my story.

One day I was watching the kid’s movie “Kung Fu Panda” with my daughter. In the film there is a wise, old tortoise named Oogway.  He is talking to one of his students who is frustrated with his current situation. Oogway asks his student, “Do you know why today is called the present? Because it is a gift.”

That little line by an animated tortoise hit me like a ton of bricks. Today is a gift. There is absolutely nothing we can do with our past. There is very little we can do to control our future, or if there is a tomorrow for us in this life. All there is for us is the present. We live NOW. We serve NOW. We choose to move on from our past NOW.

I don’t know what your past sins are. I don’t know how frequently you are reminded of them. However, as someone who has to face their past sins on a frequent basis, almost daily, I can tell you that you can be free from their burden. Past sins do not have to be a source of constant grief.

You have been given the opportunity to transform your past into something positive. Maybe you could help others make different choices than you did. Maybe you could help others heal from the same struggles that you lived through. I don’t know what you are being called to do, but as the saying goes, “God can turn our mess into a message.”

Carrying around past burdens doesn’t help us in any way. Sometimes you may remember the person that you were and the decisions that you made, but you can thank God for pulling you out of it each time it comes to mind. Count your blessings daily.

Just know that you can be forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Use your life to help others. The present is indeed a gift.

**The original article was published by LifeSiteNews.com. Any reproduction or quotation from this article must give appropriate credit and sourcing to their website. 

I talked her into getting an abortion, then I ran into her at the store.

I used to have a standard line that I would ask people if I thought I recognized them, “Do I look familiar to you?”. I asked that question once a week, at least. It’s been four years since I have asked that question to anyone.

Four years ago, there was a woman in a store who I recognized. I could tell that she recognized me as well, because every time we would pass each other she would give me a little smile.

Finally, I just asked, “Do I look familiar to you?”

She started laughing and said that I did look familiar, but she could not figure out where she had seen me before.  As soon as she started talking, it hit me. She sat across from me at my desk at Planned Parenthood. I convinced her to get an abortion. I remembered her story vividly. She was crying. I was reassuring her by saying things like, “Just because a decision makes us cry, doesn’t mean it’s not the right decision.”

I remember that I was trying to get her out of my office. We had been talking for at least 45 minutes and that was way over my 15 minute maximum for “counseling.” I knew I must have a stack of charts waiting in my box outside. Finally, I pulled out the last card to hurry this thing along. I told her, “If you don’t have the abortion today, you won’t be able to come back to us for at least a week and it will be more expensive. You don’t want that, do you?”

Reluctantly, she said that she was ready to go back for the abortion. Good. My job was done. Every line was signed and every box was checked.

I was now, once again, staring this young woman in the face. I had left Planned Parenthood. I was pro-life. I was sorry for what I had done to her, but what do I say now? I panicked and said, “Well, who knows? Maybe I will see you around again.” Then, I rushed off, feeling ashamed.

I really hoped that would never happen again. However, it did. It happened several times. Each time, I would look into the woman’s eyes and walk the other way. How could I face these women? My sins were staring back at me when I looked at them. I didn’t want to see it. It was too real.

As time progressed, these encounters occurred less often. We moved to a different town for my work and I rarely ran into anyone that I recognized from the clinic. Even if I did, I had more confidence to deal with it as it arose. I was more comfortable than before to tell them who I was and how I knew them. I was now quick to apologize for my part in their abortion. The more healing I experienced, the easier it became.

About six months ago, I received an email that I wasn’t expecting. In those few seconds my confidence was shaken. A young woman had come to my clinic when she was just 16 years old. Admittedly, I did not remember her. She told me her story through a message and I was heartbroken for her. She had gotten hooked on drugs, dealt with very serious depression, and even attempted suicide after her abortion.

She blamed me. “You told me I would feel fine after my abortion,” she said. I told her she wouldn’t have any regrets, but she did. She told me that I caused her pain. While I read her email, I felt that pain. I also felt that shame that I hadn’t experienced in several years.

I think I read her email at least 50 times. Honestly, I thought about just deleting it, pretending I had never received it, but I knew I couldn’t do that. I had to respond. I had to apologize. After two days of discerning my response, I finally sat down to write.

I accepted the blame. I apologized at least 10 times in my first response. I didn’t try to make any excuses. I didn’t try to justify my words or actions. I just apologized, over and over again. After that, I offered help. This young woman, now in her early 20's, needed healing. We have now exchanged several conversations through email and phone. I was able to get her connected to a post-abortive healing ministry in her area. She is a different person. Due to her honesty, I am a different person.

Recently, I asked a few former abortion clinic workers a question, “If you could go back and say something to a woman who had an abortion in your clinic, what would you say?” The responses were somewhat varied, but all had the same theme. They would tell these women that they were sorry. They would apologize for lying, for misleading them.

So, here is that apology to any post-abortive woman reading this right now. I am sorry. I am sorry that we did not tell you the truth about abortion. I am sorry that you were deceived by people who you thought you could trust. I am sorry that we didn’t listen to you when you cried in our offices. I’m sorry that you were treated like a number and not the beautiful person that you are. I’m sorry for the pain you felt. I’m sorry for any regret that you felt or continue to feel because of our dishonesty.

As much as I wish I could change the past, I’m not able to. I can’t change the poor decisions that we have all made, but I can tell you that there are many of us who care about your healing. You don’t have to live with regret, pain, and shame.

If you haven’t yet, please take that first step and find help. Call your local pro-life group and ask about resources in your area.  The Catholic Church offers resources as well. Receiving the sacrament of reconciliation is a physical and spiritual healing that comes directly from Jesus. I have found freedom and healing from my past. You can find that freedom, too.

**The original article was published by LifeSiteNews.com. Any reproduction or quotation from this article must give appropriate credit and sourcing to their website.

September 7, 2013

September 7, 2013.  It seemed like I was seeing my former Planned Parenthood clinic for the first time.  The iron fence was still up.  The automatic gate keeping unwelcome guests out of the parking lot was closed.  It looked the same, yet it was so different.  

My former abortion clinic was now closed.  The sign had been removed.  The doors were locked. No one was in that building. Never again will anyone walk through those doors seeking an abortion.  No woman will ever be sold their lies again, not there. Not in Bryan, Texas.  

I had returned to my old stomping grounds to celebrate, but also to pay tribute to those who had lost their lives inside that building, including one of my own children.  I had no idea how I would feel on this day.  

Upon walking up onto that all too familiar sidewalk I was overcome with joy, strangely mixed with grief.  It was over.  No more children would die inside those walls.  Women would no longer be subject to the lies and manipulated for Planned Parenthood's gain. I was also overwhelmed with the amount of lives I had helped to take while I was there for 8 years.  

Memories of walking into and out of our back metal fence thousands of times. Thoughts of sitting in my office, looking out at the people praying for me, and not understanding the reason they came out day after day. I couldn't stop thinking about the POC lab, the place where babies were pieced together and discarded like trash.  

I thought about my old friends. I was sad that they faced unemployment, but elated that they were no longer participating in killing the unborn and wounding their mothers.  As I stood there, I prayed for them, that they would one day reach out for healing.  I think I even prayed for our reconciliation.  

I carried two roses, one red and one white. I placed one on the fence for my own child. The other, I placed in memory of the thousands of lives that had been taken by my hands, my words, my lies. One single flower didn't seem like enough, but it was all I had to offer. How do you memorialize so many children?  

Suddenly, I was overwhelmed.  I fell to my knees, weeping for these women and children.  Hundreds of people began to gather in order to pay tribute.  I could hear them taking pictures of me as I cried.

I closed my eyes. This moment was not about me. None of the work that I do is ever about me.  I was trying to tune out the noise of clicking cameras in the background.  This was my time to mourn, to really feel that loss.  

After about 15 minutes, I stood up and composed myself.  Now, it was time to thank everyone who had sacrificed so much to see this moment happen.  This was their dream.  So many people had sacrificed so much. I was blessed to be such a small part of it.  

That being said, this is my prayer, that all of you who sacrifice so much would experience this joy.  You stand and pray with faith that the abortion clinics will close.  They WILL close.  And, you will be there to witness it, to see your dreams come to fruition.  

Each of us has the opportunity to be a part of something that truly saves lives. For instance, 40 Days for Life.  If you have never participated, I encourage you to make the commitment.  No one loves praying outside of an abortion clinic.  It is a sad place.  Even though it’s uncomfortable, we MUST go.  We must be there to bring Christ out to these places of despair.  You won’t ever go alone because God will be there with you.  

You might wonder if your presence outside of an abortion clinic makes a difference.  Well, let me tell you what Planned Parenthood announced at the last national conference I attended.  They said this, "Our no-show rate goes up to 75% when people are outside our clinics praying."

You see, when you come to pray, you are saving lives even if you don't know it.  Women see you and instead of pulling into the parking lot, they drive right by. When you are on the sidewalk, women see you as an outward sign of their inward conscience.

Your presence shows them that the decision they are making is morally objectionable.  Doesn't it feel good to know that you CAN save a baby from abortion?  You just have to show up.  You have to be present.  

I am in this movement today because of ordinary people who took on an extraordinary task.  My former abortion clinic is closed because of their sacrifice.  Babies are alive because of them.  Women are no longer being hurt by abortion in their community.  You can do this.  You can save a life.  To find a location near you, visit 40DaysForLife

Former Bryan Planned Parenthood Clinic Sign Being Taken Down.

Former Bryan Planned Parenthood Clinic Sign Being Taken Down.


Bribery

There have been different ideas about how to handle abortion clinic workers. Attempts to bribe abortion clinic workers out of the abortion industry with promises of thousands of dollars in reward money generally sends one message to clinic workers, we want to use you for what you know, and we really don’t care about your well-being, your healing process, your relationship with Christ or your family.

This is not what the pro-life movement should be about.  This is certainly not what And Then There Were None (ATTWN) is about. I started this ministry not to "get stories," but to help people find healing and renew and or begin their relationship with Christ.

ATTWN has had 80 abortion clinic workers leave the industry and come through our ministry since last June. We didn’t accomplish this with bribery, intimidation or with the intention to use those who come to us. We help them pay their bills while they job hunt, get them into healing retreats, and provide them with legal aid, but only if they want it.  ATTWN offers a safe and confidential option for abortion clinic workers when they’re ready to leave. This is the reason we are successful.

I founded the ministry specifically to change minds and convert hearts.  You cannot bribe an abortion clinic worker or pay them off to what is right, that only comes from a true conversion. Former clinic workers with converted hearts can be a huge asset to the pro-life movement, but that doesn’t mean we coerce or push them to share their stories or air all the dirty little secrets of their former clinic. 

If a former abortion clinic worker wants to go public, it needs to be on their own time, on their own healing journey, if, and only if, they truly desire to speak out, not because big chunks of money are dangled in front of them. We will continue to be here for abortion clinic workers as long as they need healing. Our only goal is conversion.