Abby Johnson shares pro-life message at St. Mary Church in Athens

Emily Booker Diocese of Knoxville, News

Abby Johnson spoke at the Full Circle Luncheon at St. Mary Church in Athens on April 11, on creating a culture that values all human life, including children in the womb.

Ms. Johnson is a pro-life author and speaker. The movie “Unplanned,” in theaters now, is based on her story as a former Planned Parenthood worker turned pro-life advocate.

Ms. Johnson shared from her own experiences, from naively believing that working for Planned Parenthood helped women to understanding that abortion really does kill children and that Planned Parenthood is a business focused on profit and fulfilling quotas.

It was while assisting with an ultrasound-guided abortion and seeing a baby struggle for life that she realized she could no longer support such a system.

“That’s what actually caused me to say, ‘I cannot do this anymore. I can no longer pretend that there is no humanity in the womb, that this baby doesn’t matter, that his life doesn’t matter, that it’s ok to separate a woman from her unborn child,” she said.

“So I ended up leaving and then working to help expose what’s taking place in abortions. I think there’s a lot of ignorance surrounding abortion in our society today, but I also think there’s a desperate desire for understanding on the issue of abortion. I think people are seeking truth.”

She challenged those attending to work toward making a difference, to reach out to women in crisis to offer support and hope, and to counter a society that doesn’t value families, God, or truth.

Full Circle Medical Center for Women in McMinn County does reach out. The center provides women medical services regarding reproductive health as well as counseling, parenting classes, abortion recovery, health education, and referrals for community resources.

“It was wonderful having Abby Johnson come to Athens and share her story,” Father John Orr, pastor of St. Mary Parish, said. “We have to continue to spread the pro-life gospel.”

Read more coverage from this event in an upcoming issue of The East Tennessee Catholic.

If you are experiencing emotional or spiritual difficulties from a past abortion or abortions, you are not alone. There is hope and healing. Catholic Charities of East Tennessee offers regular Rachel’s Vineyard healing and recovery retreats. Complete confidentiality is honored at all times. For more information, please contact Sandi Davidson at 865-776-4510 or