On Monday, June 9th, more than 700 gathered to hear Abby Johnson at the Greater Columbus Right to Life Spiritus banquet. Abby famously left her position as the clinic director for one of Planned Parenthood’s largest abortion affiliates in October of 2009, the day she was asked to assist with an ultra-sound guided abortion. Abby, in an instant, saw the truth behind all the lies she had been telling women for nearly a decade. Since then, she has been traveling the world sharing her story, exposing the reality of abortion and abortion giant Planned Parenthood, and helping hundreds to heal from the deep wound caused by abortion. Over the last two years, she has helped more than 100 former abortion clinic employees to leave the industry.
Beth Vanderkooi, executive director of Greater Columbus Right to Life, shared, “We brought Abby to Columbus because we are seeing many of the same things here in Columbus that led to her radical conversion of heart: the commitment to peaceful and loving prayer at area clinics, the development of a sidewalk counselor program, and the movement within churches and communities to reach out to women in need and say ‘There is a better choice.’”
Abby’s 45-minute speech was heart-wrenching and somber, but also funny and warmhearted. Mincing no words, she recited the abortion procedure protocol at Planned Parenthood – everything from the blind-nature of the vacuum aspiration procedure to the “POC” (products of conception) room where clinic staff members reassemble the contents of the uterus in an effort to make sure the abortion doctor did not leave any part of the baby behind. Abby encouraged the Christian faithful not to think of abortion as a problem that exists outside the church, reminding the crowd that most people having abortions are Christians, noting: “I cannot tell you the number of women who would read their Bibles and pray before having an abortion, or the number who would be laying down in the recovery chairs, hunched down, grasping their rosaries with tears running down their cheeks after the procedure. I was in church the Sunday before my abortion, and I was in church the Sunday after my abortion.”
One attendee commented, “Abby said that as she watched the baby on the ultrasound, she realized it wasn’t a blob of cells or a ‘product of conception’ but a baby who was about to die, and yet she just stood there and let it happen, not unlike how society just stands there and lets it happen. That really hit home for me. Abortion exists because we, the Church, let it. We can stop it, but we do not.”
Jennifer H., a parishioner at Church of our Lady who is active in sidewalk and music ministry and organizes sidewalk prayer for Pick-life, said: “I was just so inspired by the entire night; words cannot describe it. I was especially impacted by the challenge to become more active in our church, in our community, and to thank our clergy for their courage to stand up for the unborn. Everyone was inspired and challenged to make a difference, and at least one woman expressed the courage to go through HEART (a post-abortion recovery and healing program). We need the courage to speak out about abortion – not just that it is evil, but that the church provides a way for healing and reconciliation and forgiveness.”
For those who missed the Spiritus banquet but are interested in hearing Abby’s message, video highlights and photographs will be available over the next few weeks; we’ll share those as soon as we receive them from our photographer and videographer. It also isn’t too late to send a contribution to help make this the most successful fundraiser in our history!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2010
Contact: Ruth Yorston
Franklin County and Columbus MSA Abortion Numbers Increase in 2009
(Columbus, OH) – While abortions statewide continue to decrease, the Franklin County and the eight-county Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area both saw increases in 2009. The Ohio Department of Health’s annual Induced Abortions in Ohio report reveals that 5,581 abortions were performed in Franklin County, which is an increase of 6.87% over 2008 numbers. There were 4,291 abortions performed on residents of the eight-county region, a 2.93% increase over 2008. Of those 4,291 abortions, 5.41% (232) were performed on children 17 years of age and younger, and 45.82% (1,996) were performed on predominantly young, college-aged women, those between the ages of 18 and 24. The other large group receiving abortions are women aged 25 to 39 – the young professional woman: 45.09% (1,935) of abortions performed on Columbus MSA residents in this age group.
State-wide, there was a 3% decrease in abortions with 28,721 abortions performed, down from 29,613 in 2008.
"The increase in abortions in the Greater Columbus region demonstrates the importance of the Pro-Life community continuing to educate and advocate on abortion and other life-related issues”, said Ruth Yorston, Greater Columbus Right to Life Executive Director. “While this increase is disappointing, we must not allow ourselves to become discouraged, but instead to rise up all the more and speak for those whose voices have been silenced by abortion.”
Yorston continues: “Parents do not have to choose a death sentence for their pre-born child – there are numerous crisis pregnancy centers in the region that offer free, confidential support services and whose volunteers and staff are ready to support them throughout their pregnancy and whatever decision they make for their child after birth – either by helping them to make an adoption plan or by helping to provide the physical, emotional and educational support they need to parent their child”
Contact information for the crisis pregnancy centers in the Greater Columbus region can be found at Greater Columbus Right to Life’s Web site, www.gcrtl.org.
Greater Columbus Right to Life is Central Ohio's Pro-Life education and advocacy organization.
Sponsoring such programs as the annual Rally for Life at the Ohio Statehouse, the semi-annual 40 Days for Life Campaign, the Voice for the Voiceless Signature Ad Campaign, the Greater Columbus Pro-Life College Fund, the Youth Oratory Contest and providing resources and educational opportunities to high school and college students as well as adults throughout the central Ohio area through workshops and seminars, hosting educational booths at local fairs and festivals, and providing speakers on life-related issues such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia and assisted suicide, Greater Columbus Right to Life promotes a community that protects life from conception until natural death.