In many cases it’s nothing less than “the great awakening.” The abortion worker suddenly awakes to the reality of what it is they are doing: they are killing babies. And in almost all cases they receive the grace and strength from God to leave.
Kathy Sparks began her work in the abortion industry about five years after Roe vs. Wade. She was in a desperate financial situation and needed a job. She was responsible for disposing fetal remains after abortion procedures. But one day she witnessed a horrific abortion with a woman who was 23 weeks pregnant. In her personal testimonies to pro-life groups, Sparks shares the conversion that followed this abortion: “I took the baby and I took him to the clean-up room, and I set him down, and I began weeping, uncontrollably sobbing for what I had been a part of because God showed me that was a baby, they were all babies, and I had been a part of murdering probably nearly 1,000 babies, and I cried and cried.”
This experience serves as a strict contrast when compared with the first abortion Sparks was involved with: “when I saw my first abortion procedure, I didn’t see it any differently than dissecting a frog in biology. I had blinders upon my eyes, as I believe many people involved in the abortion industry do. I believe that many of them, giving them the benefit of the doubt, didn’t really see the evil that they were partaking in.” Three decades later, Sparks is the executive director of the Mosaic Pregnancy and Health Centers in Granite City, Belleville, and Edwardsville Illinois.
Sparks is one of many who have left the abortion industry because of a single abortion; a single moment in time when God chooses to unveil the evil before their eyes. The most famous convert from abortionist to pro-life is Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who was responsible for the deaths of nearly 75,000 babies, and turned pro-life in 1979. He was not just any abortionist, however, he was a co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws which later became the National Abortion Rights Action League. He would later admit that the back alley abortion numbers were made up and that abortion advocates tried to belittle opposition to abortion as limited to a handful of religious extremists.Nathanson’s story of conversion is related in his autobiography The Hand of God and his pro-life activism includes the expose of the abortion industry, Abortion in America and the narrating of the documentary the Silent Scream, produced by the National Right to Life Federation in 1984. Nathanson passed away in 2011, after nearly three decades of pro-life activism.
Whereas Nathanson did not change his mind until after carrying out an estimated 75,000 abortions, Dr. Paul Jarrett quit in 1974 after doing 23 of them. “I was finally able to remove the head and looked squarely into the face of a human being – a human being that I had just killed,” Jarrett recounted after converting.
Judith Fetrow was an aid at a Planned Parenthood facility in California, and in 1990 she had enough. Like Sparks, Fetrow was responsible for the disposal of fetal remains; “I had to look at the tiny hands and feet,” Fetrow later admitted. She was Jewish and even as an abortuary worker would sit Shiva for the dead babies. “I said prayers for the dead,” she now says. “I also named each baby when I placed it in the contaminated waste container.” Fetrow now works for the American Life League.
Three years ago, amidst a 40 Days for Life vigil, a new convert was won over. In September 2009, Abby Johnson, a former director of Texas Planned Parenthood, began her journey to the pro-life movement. Her autobiography, Unplanned: The True Story of Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Courageous Choice in Favour of Life, explains in detail the life-altering incident that transformed her heart; Abby assisted in an ultrasound-guided abortion: “what was in this woman’s womb just a moment ago was alive. It wasn’t just tissue, just cells. That was a human baby – fighting for life!”
Like other former abortion workers Johnson is aware of the evils of this horrific industry. As a result of her experience, Johnson’s most recent venture in the pro-life movement is her new nonprofit organization: And Then There Were None. This ministry’s mission is to help former abortion clinic workers transition from their previous abortion jobs to a new job and to a new life. The enthusiasm behind this ministry was clear when 6,500 people participated in an international webcast on June 11, 2012. Abby’s organization is still in the works but she announced recently that in the past four months she has already helped 17 abortion workers escape their jobs and begin a new life and is currently helping another one.
“No more abortion clinic workers, no more abortion clinics, no more abortions. It starts with the workers,” reads the ministry’s motto. Sounds simple when you break it down, however, Johnson shared on the webcast how difficult it is to leave the abortion industry. Her family was heavily reliant on the income she made from Planned Parenthood and when she told her director about some employees that wanted to leave, the reply was, “Well, good luck getting another job, because you’ve worked in the abortion industry, and nobody will want you.” This is a black mark on a resume for those considering leaving the abortion industry but Johnson insists that, “we don’t ever want money to be a reason that someone feels like they need to stay inside the abortion industry.”
Sarah, a former abortion mill worker Johnson has been attempting to assist leave the industry, however was unable to exit for 18 months largely because of financial reasons.
Numerous other former abortion facility workers that And Then There Were None has reached out to, have yet to find salaries comparable to those at their old jobs in the abortion industry, but so far they have resisted returning to assisting in the killing of babies in the womb. Johnson expresses the necessity of her organization when she states, “this is a job that is evil, and they feel that evil inside of them everyday when they go to work.” Johnson is trying to help these workers escape their former workplaces as fast as possible.
On Johnson’s website, www.attwn.org, she writes an open letter addressed to abortion workers. She ends it with: “No one grows up wanting to have an abortion. No one grows up wanting to work at an abortion clinic.”
Johnson’s organization not only provides financial help, but it will provide emotional support, legal help, and spiritual guidance from members of their denomination.
Abby Johnson, like dozens of abortion industry workers before her, is a living testament to the saving Grace of God. Johnson says she is able to reach out to others in an effective way because others reached out to her and helped her escape her job in the abortion industry. Now she is using this experience to help others escape; not only to escape but to begin a new life without abortion and to help build the culture of life.