Friends of Mercy April_2019

I n 2009, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson of Austin, Texas, left the abortion indus- try and started down a path that would eventually lead her to the Catholic faith. She’s since become one of the most outspoken pro-life activists in the country. She started her own nonprofit organization, “AndThenThereWere None” (ATTWN), which helps abortion clinic workers transition out of the industry and heal from their experiences. Why did you leave your job as clinic director of Planned Parenthood? In 2009, I ended up leaving after witnessing a live ultrasound-guided abortion procedure, where I saw a 13-week-old baby fight and struggle for his life against the abortion instrument. I knew then that there was human- ity in the womb. That was something they really tried to keep from those of us who worked at the clinic. I knew there was life. I knew if those two things were true, then I was on the wrong side of this debate. I ended up leaving, and I ended up speaking out and talking about my experi- ences to expose the abortion industry and to bring healing to those who have been affected by abortion in some way. What does your ministry do? Over the past six years, we’ve helped about 485 people leave the abortion industry. Those workers have helped to close down 21 of their former facilities. We’re just there to provide a safety net for people who feel like they can’t leave their job, because they need to continue to put food on the table for their kids. We work with them through our healing program and hopefully get them into a relationship with Christ. How has Divine Mercy impacted you and your work? A huge part of my healing was coming into the Catholic Church and receiving the Sacraments, but I am still on that journey. Most days I feel pretty good. I feel pretty healed. Some days you get back, and you’re reminded how much you need Christ. It’s an ongoing process for me. God’s mercy is something that we use as a tool in our healing process. A lot of times the workers will say that they can’t believe Jesus would forgive them. We just say, “Jesus forgives that, too. He forgives everything.” That’s just the type of mercy that He gives us. What can we do? We’ve got to really get our hands and feet involved in this movement. It’s not going to be enough to vote and pray that things work out. God hates abortion. He abhors abortion. He wants it to end. I think every time we pray and say, “God, why don’t You just end this?” He’s looking at us and saying, “OK, do it.” He’s given us the tools to do this. We have pregnancy resource centers that need volunteers. We should be praying outside those abortion clinics. It’s a sad day when I drive by an abortion clinic and there’s not one person standing out there praying. Once you know better, you have to do better. It’s time for pro-lifers to really get active and get out of your comfort zone. God didn’t call us here to be comfortable. He called us to be witnesses, and there’s no better way to do that than in the pro-life movement. s —Marc Massery Abby Johnson will be speaking at the 14 th Annual Divine Mercy Conference at Cardinal Spellman High School in Bronx, NewYork, on Saturday,April 6. Visit for more information and to register to attend. Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception † Association of Marian Helpers Volume 31 · Number 4 · April 201 9 Pray: Praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for an end to abortion. Consider: How can I better live out my call to work and service in the Kingdom of God? Act: Share the Image of Divine Mercy with others on Divine Mercy Sunday. This month’s activities M ercy for workers at abortion clinics