Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Former Planned Parenthood Director Scores Victory in Court

You remember Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic director who became pro-life after watching an ultrasound of an abortion. Her former employer tried to get a court injunction to shut her up. Well, they failed. This just in from 40 Days for Life:

Planned Parenthood injunction request fails; former clinic director scores victory in court

BRYAN, TEXAS – “I am gratified that Planned Parenthood has failed in its misguided effort to silence its former clinic director in Bryan/College Station, Texas, who experienced a spiritual conversion after witnessing an abortion and is now pro-life,” said David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life.

A district court judge denied a request for an injunction against Abby Johnson, who resigned as director of a Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas abortion facility in Bryan/College Station last month. The judge also denied a similar request directed at the Coalition for Life, the local pro-life organization that started the 40 Days for Life campaign in Bryan/College Station five years ago.

According to news reports, Judge J.D. Langley said Planned Parenthood did not offer convincing reasons “to warrant the extreme remedy of injunctive relief.” Planned Parenthood had initiated the court action to block disclosure of confidential information about patients, which is something Johnson said she had never intended to do.

Johnson was very pleased with the court’s decision, which opens the door for her to offer more specifics about her work at Planned Parenthood and the reasons she resigned. After watching an abortion procedure on an ultrasound machine, she had a change of heart about abortion and was unable to continue working at the clinic.

Since her departure from Planned Parenthood, Johnson’s story has received major media attention at a time when abortion has become the central issue in the national debate over healthcare reform. “The truth about abortion that Abby witnessed on an ultrasound machine at Planned Parenthood underscores the fact that abortion is not health care, and it should not be funded in any way by the government,” said Bereit.

Johnson was mentioned by name during Saturday’s U.S. House debate over an amendment that was designed to limit taxpayer funding of abortions. In remarks on the House floor, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said, “Self-described as ‘extremely pro-choice,’ but now pro-life, Abby Johnson said she watched an unborn child ‘crumple’ before her very eyes as the infant was vacuumed and dismembered by a suction device 20-30 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner. ‘I could see the baby try to move away … I just thought what am I doing … never again.’”

Since her resignation from Planned Parenthood, Johnson has spoken on behalf of 40 Days for Life and has even joined the 40 Days for Life volunteers outside her former place of employment to pray for an end to abortion.