As a small cadre of pro-life leaders travel to Washington D.C. for the March for Life, Abby Johnson will be among them. A former Planned Parenthood clinic manager, she’s founded the ministry And Then There Were None and has become a prominent and passionate pro-life advocate.
A favorite interview subject for The Daily Citizen, Johnson shares about how the future of the pro-life movement is not necessarily the burden of our federal leaders, but the responsibility of every day pro-life Americans.
“I’ve always said that our strength in the pro-life movement doesn’t have anything to do with who’s president or who’s administration it is, it’s at the grassroots level,” Johnson explained. “Going in front of abortion clinics, being there where abortions are taking place, running pregnancy centers, that’s really where the strength of our movement is and that’s where it always has been.
Johnson knows what she’s talking about. As a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, Johnson interacted with pro-life advocates nearly every day of her career at the abortion clinic. It left a profound and lifechanging impact.
“Now it’s time for the pro-life movement to get refocused and to get recommitted to getting involved at that grassroots level. I sort of have this feeling that when we had a pro-life administration, a lot of people got complacent in that. But the reality is that no president can stop abortion, it’s up to us to really create and build up a culture to make abortion unthinkable and to build up a culture that values life. That means getting involved,” Johnson said.
“There are 2,500 babies dying every single day in this country by legalized abortion. It’s interesting how people turn a blind eye to that. I think abortion remains so pervasive in this country because people can’t see the death of the primary victim.”
There’s no doubt, if 2,500 children were publicly killed every day in the United States, there would be righteous outage. But as Johnson rightly explains, abortion is something that is done not in public, but secret.
“Because we don’t see the death, we don’t see life extinguished in front of our eyes it’s easy for people to ignore,” Johnson said. “Abortion is done in secret. So many people, especially Christians, have ignored it for far too long. They’ve considered it a political issue, it’s not a political issue. It’s a human rights violation, the greatest human rights violation of our time that we’ve ever seen in history.
“Today, I will drive by an abortion clinic in my town and there will not be one single person outside praying in front of that clinic. There will not be a single person out there offering hope, offering healing, offering Jesus Christ to the women walking in. And I have to say, shame on us. Shame on the church for not getting involved and not doing something. Shame on pastors for not shouting this from their pulpit. For not talking about this grave injustice taking place every single day,” Johnson said.
“As far as I’m concerned, the escalation of abortion in our country, the pervasive nature of abortion in our country, really falls squarely on the shoulders of the Christian Church.”
Though many pastors would proclaim their pro-life convictions personally, there are few instances of abortion being directly addressed from the pulpit. For some, it’s concerns over being seen as too political and others believe that they will alienate women who’ve had abortions, which is likely has high as one in four women in the church. But that shouldn’t stop pastors from proclaiming the sanctity of life.
The inconsistency of Christians in general on the issue of abortion is compounded by President Joe Biden publicly stating his Catholic faith but perhaps being one of the most radically pro-abortion presidents in the history of the country.
“It’s absolutely disgusting,” Johnson said when asked about Biden and his stance. “I’m thankful that the United States Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishop (USCCB) came out and said what they said about Biden’s support of abortion. It’s scandalous, that’s what it is. I pray that he and others come to some sort of Godly conversion and repentance.”
There will be a great opportunity to pray for our leaders during this year’s March for Life, where pro-life Americans come together to pray and advocate for preborn babies, mothers, families and our country in general.
“The March for Life is an important event that takes place every year,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of different ways that people are participating this year. People are going online. There’s a lot of different ways people are having public events, community events or having events in their own homes. There’s a lot of ways that people can participate, and for people to get creative. It’s an opportunity for people to be bold about their convictions for life.”
“There are a lot of really cool ways to get involved with the March this year. I hope people will do that—I hope people will watch. There will be some great speakers this year. I think especially this year, it’s important for us to be reminded that we’re not alone, that there is certainly a lot of people who are supportive of life, supportive of these issues. We really do have a groundswell of pro-lifers in this country. Sometimes we feel alone but that’s one of the really great things that the March does, is help us come in community with each other.”
A suggestion that Johnson has is for families to create a neighborhood viewing party or a church live streaming event, something she would be doing if she wasn’t attending the march in person, keeping in mind the community restrictions regarding gatherings.
“I do encourage people to tune in, to join in, to listen to the March, to get creative. Have a watch party, do something at your church or do something in your home. I think there’s an opportunity to have a lot of fun with it.”
When it comes to Johnson’s own ministry, they remain busy helping clinic workers who are interested in leaving the abortion industry.
“The ministry is going great. We are just busy. This is typically a really busy time for us, December, January and February are typically a busy time for people leaving the clinics, wanting to find other jobs. I don’t know if it’s a New Year’s resolution or what.”
Though Johnson will be in D.C. as part of a small group of pro-life leaders marching, staff members and some former clinic members will be attending the Life March and Gala at Liberty University.
You can watch the March for Life livestream here.
Photo from Republican National Convention/REUTERS