Saturday, November 2, 2019

My Book Review: Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-opening Journey Across the Life Line - An Eye-Opener

Unplanned by Abby Johnson

Book Title: Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-opening Journey Across the Life Line
Authors: Abby Johnson and Cindy Lambert

Although UNPLANNED was published in 2011 or so, I began reading the book for the first time about six months ago. In 2011, I was a pro-choice liberal who was crossing my fingers and toes that Barack Obama would be re-elected. I was nowhere near the conservative, pro-life woman I am today.

I didn't walk away from the Democratic party until 2015, and I didn't become pro-life until 2017. This is not to say that you have to be conservative to be pro-life. In fact, I hope more than just conservatives read this book. UNPLANNED is a book that every woman, and man, should read. It is a fascinating look at what goes on at Planned Parenthood and their relationship with the people on the other side of the fence – the pro-life people.

Abby Johnson started working for Bryan Planned Parenthood in Texas in 2001 and quickly worked her way up to health center director in charge of both family planning and the abortion programs. She left in 2009 to join the local pro-life movement, Coalition for Life, as a volunteer. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, which is a ministry that assists abortion clinic workers in leaving the abortion industry. She is also the author of The Walls Are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell Their Stories. She's married and has seven children.

When I started reading UNPLANNED, it was before I had the idea for this blog. I was just a casual reader. However, soon after I opened the book, I had to close it.

At the start of the book, Abby describes what happened when she was asked to help a doctor with an ultrasound-guided abortion at the Bryan clinic. She held the ultrasound probe as the procedure progressed on a 13-week old unborn baby. Abby could see "the profile of the head, both arms, legs, and even tiny fingers and toes." She vividly describes the abortion, one that is so horrible I put the book down, and I didn't open it again until six months later. It affected me that much.

Freelance writer and executive editor Cindy Lambert helped put Abby's words on paper. Abby said, "You captured my voice in every sentence. You are such a blessing to me." Yes, Cindy captured Abby's words perfectly. She is an excellent writer, and her ability to paint the picture Abby wanted us to see is well done.

Yes, the beginning was uncomfortable, but other stuff in the book was unpleasant, too. Abby doesn't hold back. She's honest about her Planned Parenthood experience, including her personal life.

Even when I was a pro-choice liberal, my attitude was, "I will never have an abortion, but I don't care if other women do." But Abby didn't just have one abortion; she had two of them.

I have to admit that as a newly pro-life woman, it bothered me that she had two abortions. I can't imagine how I would feel if I had aborted an unborn child, let alone two.

If I had had an abortion, would I think about it every day of my life? I raised two children, and they are two of the best parts of my life. Would I wonder what my unborn, aborted child would have looked like and what they would be like today?

But as Abby says, "My story is not a comfortable one to read," and she does an excellent job of explaining why pro-life people judging pro-choice people and pro-choice people judging pro-life people is not the way to go to reach the truth. She describes how the pro-life women and men that she encountered loved her long before she realized she would become pro-life herself. Abortion, for those who want to have honest conversations about it to reach the truth, is not a black and white issue.

For me, even though I'm pro-life now, I still struggle with specific issues. What about a woman who is raped and becomes pregnant? What about a 13-year-old girl who becomes pregnant because her father sexually abuses her? What about a woman who will die if she has the baby?

Abby doesn't touch on those issues much.  What she does is tell her story of her progression from pro-choice to pro-life and her leaving Planned Parenthood. Along the way, she gives us information about Planned Parenthood that everyone should know.

Planned Parenthood says they deliver "vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide." That sounds good. But what are they really? Is their focus on sex education, STD education, health and wellness, and birth control, or is their focus on abortions, a service that brings in the most money and can keep a struggling Planned Parenthood clinic open? What kind of approach do we have when the focus is on pushing abortions for financial gain? What kind of approach do we have when late-term abortions, something that nobody talked about when I was pro-choice, is becoming standard in our current society?

UNPLANNED is uncomfortable in parts but highly informative and eye-opening.  Abby covers it all from her beginnings as a pro-choice woman, to working in Planned Parenthood and encountering the pro-lifers who stood vigil at the nearby fence, to what made her quit Planned Parenthood, to her spiritual transformation, to a courtroom battle, to her life as a pro-lifer today.

I have not seen the movie "Unplanned," but I'm so glad I read the book. As with my other book reviews UNFREEDOM OF THE PRESS and THE RUSSIAN HOAX, I give this book five stars. I'll be reading lots of books for this blog, and I'm assuming I'll read many that won't get five stars from me, but that hasn't happened yet.

I give this book: *****

Next Up: The Harvest


11/18/2019 - Comments are closed.


Young Patriot Rising said...

For me, the statistics of women who have abortions when raped is much lower than those who willingly had sex and got pregnant. The women who were raped know that their child is not to blame. In the case of the life of the mother, most pro-lifers would agree that abortion is necessary, but these medical emergencies are extremely rare. Abortion is never medically necessary, and it's more dangerous to get an abortion than to give birth. Studies have been shown that abortion, not childbirth, is more likely to kill a mother. I wrote about this in my article about Planned Parenthood. If you can, go follow Sam DeLoach. She is very knowledgeable on pro-life topics. She's one of my good friends!

CBR said...

To Young Patriot Rising - Thank you for your comment! It helps me with dealing with the rape, incest, life of the mother issue. You make excellent points. For example, rape is a horrible thing to happen to a woman, but if she becomes pregnant as a result of it, it's not the unborn child's fault.

Anonymous said...

I went through a procedure to remove my first son due to severe bleeding in my first trimester but I do believe my OB/GYN did not use the term abortion. This was covered by my insurance and I was told was very rare. Before the procedure, my son had no vitals. We don't need PP for this. Doctors have done this procedure for decades, long before PP. Nov 27, 1985. A day I will always remember. I went on to have two beautiful children in 1987 and 1990 but I do think about my first son. I consider my second child my Rainbow Baby and named him Nathaniel, A Gift from God.

Regardless if a female gets pregnant by rape or incest, it's not the child's fault. There is always adoption. As YoungPatriotsRising suggests, most times abortion is never medically necessary or is very very rare, as in my case.

Thank you very much for the review of this. Because of what I went through personally I have avoided reading the book or watch the movie. I don't believe emotionally I could handle it. I believe more emphasis should be made on birth control. Abortion is not birth control. To me, abortion is murder. Any procedure needed to abort a child medically can be done by a licensed OB/GYN and Abortion clinics are not necessary. Thank you again for your review.

CBR said...

To Anonymous: Thank you very much for your comment and for sharing your story and your personal experience. I'm sure you're very proud of your two beautiful children who are now adults. (My kids are adults now, too.) ~~~ I really appreciate your sharing your views on abortion due to rape or incest. These answers truly help me with wrestling with these specifics. ~~~ Although the book is an excellent book, I can understand your not wanting to read it due to what you went through personally. I'm certain specific parts of the book would really upset you. ~~~ Enjoy your November!