What follows is the winning letter in the diocesan pro-life contest, “Letters to Abby.” High school students were asked to watch Unplanned, and then imagine writing to Abby Johnson, describing the movie’s impact on them.
To see the winning video in the diocesan pro-life contest, “Letters to Abby” visit diolc.org/respect-life.
Thank you for having the courage to share your story. You had a major conversion from being a clinic director for Planned Parenthood to supporting the pro-life movement. You allowed us to gaze into your story through the movie, Unplanned. Out of the many impactful scenes from the movie, what stood out for me the most, was seeing the abortion where you held the ultrasound, your response, and how the Coalition for Life welcomed you. It showed that the baby could feel pain, twisting in agony until after he or she was bloodily torn apart by a vacuum. Your running in utmost despair reinforced that abortion is murdering an actual human being. It was also the moment that pushed you over the edge for your conversion, and in turn, finally to embrace the pro-life movement, which had been trying to help you accept God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Your movie gives so much hope to the pro-life movement. It shows the horrors of abortion and the true reality of Planned Parenthood. They focus on making revenue through abortion, so they do not really desire these invasive procedures to be rare. You provided us with insight into why their side of the fence was appealing. For example, you were manipulated to think that you were rescuing women in crisis. This movie lets people see that there are many other options available that provide aid and let life flourish. Another aspect you showed us was that someone who was stuck in a high position within Planned Parenthood could still be welcomed by the pro-life movement, change, and fight for a just cause.
If I could ask someone on the fence about abortion only one thing, it would be: Is it not better to give the baby a chance to blossom as a child of God? Life is the most wonderful, gracious gift. It’s not perfect; it can be hard and stressful, but everyone has gifts to share and has the potential to have a positive impact on the world.
Your story has shown me there are many ways to be a pro-life witness, such as by giving counsel, and by taking action, but I think one of the most important things I can do is pray. Pray for the unborn who were taken away and for those who are still alive. Pray like Shawn, the leader of the Coalition for Life in the movie, asking God to help Planned Parenthood workers to have a conversion and a change of heart like yours, Abby. Pray for those who have had or performed abortions, so they can find healing in Jesus. Pray for women who are put in the situation to have to choose between abortion and giving birth, so that they will find strength and choose life. Pray for the pro-life movement to grow in faith and hope and, lastly, for the end of abortion because every life is valuable, has meaning, and is loved by God.
Elizabeth B. | Junior, Aquinas High School in La Crosse
St. Patrick Parish, Onalaska.
Published January/February Catholic Life