Unplanned: Review

Unplanned Abby JohnsonI’d been wanting to read “Unplanned” for a while. It’s the story of Abby Johnson, who joined Planned Parenthood right out of college. I was a little confused about how Abby, who’d grown up going to church and with seemingly “decent” parents, seemed pretty clueless about Planned Parenthood to the point where a volunteer recruiter totally sold her on the idea that PP was all about helping women, rainbows, and unicorns.

Anyway, Abby eventually becomes the director of a PP in Texas. She’s still mildly against abortion (although she had two herself), and convinces herself that her goal at PP is to reduce the number of abortions while helping women. There are some warning signs: one church that she and her husband want to join tells her she can’t, because of her job. At a regional PP meeting, a leader tells the directors that they need to raise more money, and the way to do this is to perform more abortions. Still, Abby loves her job overall.

After eight years of this, one day she is called in to assist with an abortion. She sees a baby actually broken up and sucked up with a tool, and it horrifies her. She realizes that she’s been complicit in causing many deaths over the years and pretty much loses it, running out of her building and over to the nearby pro-life center, whose volunteers she has mocked publicly over the years.

She does a total 180, joining the pro-lifers and even helping a couple of friends from her PP office who were also having qualms about their employment. She helps these friends work on resumes to find work elsewhere.

The rest of the book tells about her day in court, where she lands because PP files suit claiming that she compromised confidential PP information?? (either I didn’t really understand exactly what information that was, or it wasn’t fully explained, or the whole charge was bogus). She wins her case, and with that the tale wraps up.

As a pro-lifer, I enjoyed the book. It was an encouragement to keep praying — Abby mentions several pro-lifers who had prayed for her faithfully during the many years she worked at PP. We never know what may be going on in hearts, even when things look hopeless from our human perspective.