I finished Abby Johnson’s book, Unplanned, in about six hours. I held it in one hand and stirred dinner with the other. While my boys sang in the shower I read about “the Fence” surrounding the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas where Abby worked. Late at night I marveled at the efficient way God filled the gaps for Abby’s heated legal battle with Planned Parenthood.
I was unable to put the book down that afternoon and evening, and when I finished - well into the night - my eyes were weary but my soul energized.
Unplanned is the story of Abby’s grace-filled journey across the life line. It details the reasons she joined Planned Parenthood as a college student-volunteer, the lessons she learned from both sides of the abortion fence, and the painful betrayals she was dealt when she finally crossed the life line.
Most importantly, Unplanned tells the story of her faith awakening and personal healing in the hands of a loving, forgiving and merciful God.
Abby’s life was splashed across the national news because she quit her job as clinic director with Planned Parenthood after nearly a decade on the pro-choice side. She then sought counsel of the group on the other side of “the fence,” the pro-life Christian organization Coalition for Life. The media took off running with the story, ignited by the press release Planned Parenthood fired off after her departure.
During her years at the clinic Abby got to know the the Coalition for Life staff and volunteers while they held peaceful prayer vigils at her clinic. They offered Abby the gift of human care and friendship, but their most important gift were their prayers for her life and her heart.
Unplanned is a wonderful reminder that the prayers of God’s children are the most powerful force on earth. Our prayers for others bring about His purposes while intricately tying our lives together within His loving arms.
Unplanned is not an easy or pleasant read, but it’s necessary and worthwhile. I grieved reading about Abby’s life-changing experience watching an ultrasound-guided abortion and I shook with anger and pain reading about the twenty-three-weeks pregnant patient determined to abort her baby. I also gained an understanding of Abby’s desire to help women in crisis and how it was twisted into something ugly within the money-focused confines of the Planned Parenthood organization.
The harsh reality of the story touched me deeply and reaffirmed my belief that each and every life is purposed, important and loved by God.
Unplanned was gripping and heart-breaking, but it also healed. I finished the book better off than I started. Abby’s story shows no matter what side of the fence we’re on God can reach us, heal us, and bring us back to Him. It also showed how God can take the sinful, confused mess of our lives – and we’ve all lived this – and turn it around for His glory and for His good.
In this case, for the good of those who can’t speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8 & 9).
I’m grateful that Abby Johnson’s voice now sounds loud and clear for the cause of life, and I highly recommend her book Unplanned.