Feature

Abortion: A pro-choicer converts

The controversy surrounding a Planned Parenthood worker who quit and joined anti-abortion protesters

A Planned Parenthood worker in a conservative Texas town shocked co-workers when she quit her job and changed sides in the battle over abortion. Abby Johnson, 29, said she had a "change of heart" after watching an ultrasound of an abortion, and after her bosses started pushing her clinic to perform more abortions and focus less on distributing contraceptives. Will Johnson's conversion make her the anti-abortion movement's new poster child? (Watch Abby Johnson discuss quitting Planned Parenthood)

Abby Johnson saw the light: Planned Parenthood is "in the mass-production abortion business, plain and simple," says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. Abby Johnson quit when she realized the truth. Planned Parenthood was probably pushing its offices to perform more abortions because "that’s their core business," and it needs to get more money "flowing into the abortion mills."
"Planned Parenthood director quits after watching abortion ultrasound"

This story smacks of right-wing propaganda:
Abby Johnson knows that abortion accounts for just 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services, says Tracy Clark-Flory in Salon. Her "stunning about-face" might have a simple explanation: She abruptly left and became a tool of local anti-abortion protesters -- the same ones who used to threaten and intimidate her and her clients -- right after her bosses told her to do a better job.
"The conversion of a pro-choice warrior"

This so-called "conversion" doesn't mean anything: For anti-abortion activists, says Lynn Harris, also in Salon, Abby Johnson's "allegedly abrupt anti-abortion 'conversion'" is "the jackpot woman-bites-dog story of the century, or at least the week." But clinic workers who see ultrasounds and provide abortions almost never have sudden spiritual "conversions." Plenty of women do "convert" -- but most of them switch from anti-abortion rights to pro-choice, when they face the reality of an unwanted pregnancy.
"I used to call myself pro-life"

Johnson deserves credit:
"Regardless of your position on the subject of abortion," says Marc Moore in PoliGazette, "you have to give Abby Johnson credit for following her own conscience." These days "we too often align ourselves socially and politically without thinking -- and without changing." Johnson had the courage to do both.
"Planned parenthood director reverses course, embraces life"

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