Former abortion worker Ruth Yorstan told her story at a 2012 conference sponsored by The Pro-Life Action League. Her parents were strongly pro-abortion; her father wrote pro-abortion editorials, and her mother went to pro-abortion marches before ultimately accepting a job at an abortion facility. Yorstan was just out of high school when her mother asked her to work at the abortion facility, too. Yorstan says, “I once said I took the job without thinking twice. The truth is I took the job without thinking once….” She was completely ignorant about the business of the abortion facility. She says:
So the girls would come up, and as quickly as possible, you would separate the girls seeking the abortions from their support network… I was the receptionist so my job – I was the first person they see. My job was to welcome them, make sure they had a place to sit, give them something to drink, calm their nerves. And that’s what I did.
Yorstan knew nothing about abortion or fetal development. But she was happy to be working with her mother. She worked as a receptionist at the facility for about a year, but never went downstairs where the abortions were committed. She never saw an aborted baby or heard a suction machine.
During her time at the abortion facility, Yorstan was very religious. She attended church regularly and read her bible at the facility. Yorstan says that at church:
No one confronted me, or had the opportunity to confront me, and we never heard from the pulpit. …. We talked about all sorts of other things that we shouldn’t do. In my tradition, don’t smoke, don’t chew, don’t hang with them that do. We didn’t drink, we didn’t smoke, we didn’t swear, we didn’t dance, we didn’t play cards. We didn’t do a lot of things. And we didn’t talk about life.
Yorstan was a devout Christian planning to attend bible college, despite working in the abortion industry. She began dating a young Christian man, and one night, when he was driving her home, she told him where she worked.
The young man, a youth pastor, was shocked. But he did not visibly react or jump out of the car. After dropping Yorstan off at her parents’ house, he spent some time in prayer, and decided to try and convince Yorstan to leave the facility. Yorstan says:
He showed up on my doorstep unexpectedly and said, “I have a little book. Would you be willing to read this? I don’t want to talk about it today but would you be willing to read this and will talk about it this weekend when we go out for dinner?” I said sure. I’ll read it.
The book was full of ultrasound pictures of preborn babies in different stages of development:
[I] saw for the first time, because you know at the abortion facility no one was talking about life before birth, we didn’t talk about human development, I didn’t really understand what was happening as children grow in the womb. We didn’t talk about that at home; this was the first time I’ve seen these pictures – the first time I’ve ever understood. And those scales fell from my eyes and I was shocked and I thought, what in the world have I been doing?
She says that it was only possible for her to be so ignorant of the truth because no one in her church every talked about abortion. Neither fellow churchgoers nor her pastor ever told her abortion was wrong:
[T]his happened, yes, because of my family dynamic. But it also happened because of the silence of the church. Silence is not an option. It must not be an option for us…. You all know this, but there are people sitting beside you in church who are not pro-life, and I don’t care how pro-life your church is. There are people who are not pro-life. And if you’re silent, if your church is silent, you are helping make it possible for people like me to exist — and I beg of you, make it hard for people like me to exist.
Let people in your church and in your life know that taking the lives of preborn children is wrong. Tell them how millions of these children are killed every day. The sad truth is, there are people out there who simply do not know the facts.