The director of an abortion clinic in Texas has quit her job after watching ultrasound footage of an abortion – and joined a pro-life group which protests outside the facility.
Watch a US news report
Abby Johnson, 29, spent eight years working at the Planned Parenthood centre in Bryan, Texas, two of them as director.
Miss Johnson said her growing disillusionment with the pro-abortion movement reached “breaking point” when she watched an ultrasound of an abortion taking place.
She now supports Coalition For Life, an anti-abortion group based just yards away from her former workplace.
Coalition For Life volunteers regularly hold prayer vigils outside the Planned Parenthood offices.
Coalition For Life’s director, Shawn Carney, said: “It’s truly been a testament to the power of prayer and the courage of Abby to leave a job she felt she could no longer do in good conscience.
“It has been a joy for all of our volunteers who have prayed outside of the clinic for the conversion of the clinic workers to witness that conversion actually happens.”
Miss Johnson said: “Over the past few months I had seen a change in motivation regarding the financial impact of abortions and really reached my breaking point after witnessing a particular kind of abortion on an ultrasound.”
She told America’s Fox News how bosses had pressured her to increase profits by performing more and more abortions.
She said: “Every meeting that we had was, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough money — we’ve got to keep these abortions coming’.”
“It’s a very lucrative business and that’s why they want to increase numbers.”
A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood listed other services its health centres provide, but Miss Johnson says she was told to prioritise abortions when the effects of the recession were felt.
“There’s not as much money in family planning as there is abortion,” she commented.
She said she reached her “breaking point” when she watched ultrasound footage of an abortion taking place.
“Finally what happened one day was I actually was in the room when a different type of abortion procedure was being done. And that day I just thought, I can’t do this anymore,” she said.
She described the experience as “a definite conversion in my heart”. She told a local TV station: “I don’t have this guilt, I don’t have this burden on me any more, that’s how I know this conversion was a spiritual conversion.”
Miss Johnson has now begun to pray with other volunteers outside the clinic where she used to work.
Her resignation came during a 40 Days for Life prayer and fasting vigil. 40 Days for Life originated with Coalition For Life in Bryan but now takes place in more than 200 cities across America.
During the latest campaign eight abortion industry workers voluntarily left their jobs, with Miss Johnson the most senior.
Planned Parenthood has issued a temporary restraining order against Miss Johnson and Coalition For Life.
The order prevents Miss Johnson and Coalition For Life from disclosing any information she knows from her time working for Planned Parenthood.
When it expires Planned Parenthood intends to seek a permanent court injunction to gag Miss Johnson.
A spokesman for Planned Parenthood said: “We regret being forced to turn to the courts to protect the safety and confidentiality of our clients and staff.
“However, in this instance it is absolutely necessary.”
Miss Johnson says she is surprised at the action.
“I wouldn’t say anything about the organisation that was untrue or anything that was confidential information,” she commented.