Despite the claims of abortion proponents, the pro-life movement is not made up primarily of old, white men who get a gleeful kick out of restricting what women can do with their bodies. No, the pro-life movement is full of all kinds of people: young, old, middle-aged, male, female, former abortionists, former abortion workers, post-abortive women (and men), and the list goes on.
Many did not start out as pro-life. Instead, in these cases there has been either a gradual shift in thinking or a moment – a turning point – in which pro-choice people faced the realization that they could no longer defend the pro-abortion position as before. Following are brief statements from some individuals about their own “turning points,” which caused them to realize their actions and thinking about preborn human life needed to change…
Holly O’Donnell, former StemExpress procurement technician
O’Donnell has been featured in several of The Center for Medical Progress’s undercover videos, exposing the fetal body parts trafficking in which Planned Parenthood and various fetal procurement agencies participate to their mutual benefit. In video #7, Holly tells of the moment she realized being a fetal procurement technician wasn’t for her:
I’m thinking, “No I don’t want to do this,” and she takes the scissors and makes a small incision… She says, “Ok, so can you go the rest of the way?”… She gave me the scissors, and told me that I have to cut… and I can’t even, like, describe what that feels like. And I remember picking it up and finishing going through the rest of the face and Jessica picking up the brain and putting it in the container…. And I’m just sitting there like, “What did I just do?” And that was the moment I knew I couldn’t work for the company anymore….
Even if it’s gonna be good, if that could’ve been the cure for some kind of disease, I still wish I wouldn’t have done it. I don’t want to be that person.
Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood clinic director
Johnson was a clinic director for a PP in Bryan, Texas, when she hit her “turning point” during her first time assisting a doctor during an ultrasound-guided abortion. LifeSiteNews shares the first chapter of her book, UnPlanned, in which she writes:
I had a sudden urge to yell, “Stop!” To shake the woman and say, “Look at what is happening to your baby! Wake up! Hurry! Stop them!”
But even as I thought those words, I looked at my own hand holding the probe. I was one of “them” performing this act. My eyes shot back to the screen again. The cannula was already being rotated by the doctor, and now I could see the tiny body violently twisting with it. For the briefest moment the baby looked as if it were being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then it crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then it was gone. And the uterus was empty. Totally empty….
The image of the tiny body, mangled and sucked away, was replaying in my mind, and with it the image of Grace’s first ultrasound — how she’d been about the same size….
How much damage have these hands done over the past eight years? How many lives have been taken because of them? Not just because of my hands, but because of my words. What if I’d known the truth, and what if I’d told all those women?
My hand was still on the patient’s belly, and I had the sense that I had just taken something away from her with that hand. I’d robbed her. And my hand started to hurt — I felt an actual physical pain. And right there, standing beside the table, my hand on the weeping woman’s belly, this thought came from deep within me:
Never again! Never again.
Ramona Treviño, former Planned Parenthood worker
Kevin Kukla of ProLife365 interviewed Treviño (a Catholic who was not well-versed in church teaching at the time she worked for PP) about her experiences, asking if there was a single “turning point” for her, or a series of events. Trevino responded:
It was a series of events. It was a combination of Catholic radio, Lent, partaking in the Sacraments, praying the Rosary, 40 Days for Life, Divine Mercy Sunday, and God’s GRACE! But I always single out 40 Days for Life because this was truly God’s grace working through human form.
I could see God in these people.
Treviño makes it clear that prayerful pro-lifers made the difference:
… My first interaction was with a woman who smiled and waved at me as I exited the clinic. I later found out that she wasn’t even part of the 40 Days group. Then, my next interaction was with the man who led the 40 Days campaign that year, Gerry Brundage.
Gerry approached me after he overheard me talking with the woman I had encountered on my way out. He was loving, compassionate and understanding. It was this peaceful approach that really allowed me to open my heart even more to the seeds that were being planted by God.
Gerry spoke intelligently and I appreciated that. He was also non-judgmental. I asked for his prayers and the prayers of the others. I felt those prayers every day for the duration of those 40 Days and beyond.
Dr. Tony Levatino, former abortionist
Dr. Levatino lays claim to having performed “hundreds” of abortions personally, with money have been one of his main motivators. But his “turning point” came when he and his wife struggled with infertility:
My discomfort came at that point because there was this tremendous conflict going on within me. Here I was; I was doing my D&Cs five and six a week, and I was doing salines on a nightly basis whenever I was on call. The resident on call got the job of doing the salines and there would usually be two or three of those, and they were horrible because you saw one intact, whole baby being born, and sometimes they were alive. That was very, very frightening. It was a very stomach-turning kind of existence. Yet, I was doing that at the same time that my wife and I were trying to have a child, and we were having difficulty with that. We had been married a couple of years at that point–and no baby.
Suddenly, we realized that we had an infertility problem. I kept doing abortions; I didn’t stop. But it was tough. We were going crazy trying to find a baby to adopt because once the work-up was done, we found out, as the infertility specialist said (who was a good friend of ours), I never tell anyone they are not going to get pregnant, but don’t count on it. So we started desperately looking for a baby to adopt, and I was throwing them in the garbage at the rate of nine and ten a week….
After adopting a baby girl whom they named Heather, everything was fine for a while, says Dr. Levatino. But then Heather unexpectedly passed away after being hit by a car. He continues:
When you lose a child, your child, life is very different. Everything changes. All of a sudden, the idea of a person’s life becomes very real. It is not an embryology course anymore. It’s not just a couple of hundred dollars. It’s the real thing. It’s your child you buried. The old discomforts came back in spades. I couldn’t even think about a D&E abortion anymore. No way. I kind of carried on business as usual because you try to get on with your life’s business as usual when somebody dies, and I still did just the office abortions for the next few months.
… I became very angry. I began feeling that people were doing something to me…. I lost my child, someone who was very precious to us. And now I am taking somebody’s child and I am tearing him right out of their womb. I am killing somebody’s child.
That is what it took to get me to change. My own sense of self-esteem went down the tubes. I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was. You watch the movies; somebody goes up to somebody, pays them some money to kill somebody. That’s exactly what I was doing. And when my own sense of self-esteem went down the drain, that was all it took.
These are only a handful among many. Read about the pro-life conversions of Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade), Dr. Bernard Nathanson (founder of NARAL), and even noted atheist, the late Christopher Hitchens. Among all of these stories run the themes of the humanity of the preborn, the brutality of the abortion industry, and even the prayerful presence of pro-lifers willing to reach out to those involved with abortion. And there are thousands more in the pro-life movement who have their own stories of revelation and repentance.
May the actions we take and the words we say on behalf of the preborn and their mothers lead to even more “turning points” as the truth is heard and seen… and hearts are changed.