Abby Johnson’s Story Doesn’t Hold Water

Remember when we told you about the Planned Parenthood clinic director in Texas who quit her job to join the 40 Days for Life wingnuts? Well, Abby Johnson is back in the news – this time because her story of experiencing a radical change of heart just isn’t holding up to scrutiny. According to Texas Monthly, portions of Abby Johnson’s story may have been fabricated to cover up the real reason for her departure from Planned Parenthood – slipping job performance.

The rollout of Abby Johnson as a culture-war celebrity got off to a rocky start. In early November, the online magazine Salon reported that on September 27, the day after Johnson says she witnessed the ultrasound-guided abortion and had her epiphany, she appeared as a guest on the Bryan public radio program Fair and Feminist to discuss her work at the clinic. In the hour-long interview, Johnson gives an enthusiastic defense of the clinic and ridicules the 40 Days for Life protest. She doesn’t sound like someone who’d had a life-changing experience the previous day or who had soured on her employer’s mission . . .

Johnson’s departure from Planned Parenthood turned out to be a more complex story than it first appeared. At a court hearing for an injunction sought by Planned Parenthood to prevent Johnson from divulging confidential information to her new allies, two of Johnson’s former co-workers testified that she told them in the days before she resigned that she was afraid she was about to be fired. At one time, Johnson, who was named the regional Planned Parenthood affiliate’s employee of the year in 2008, seemed to have a promising future with the organization. By mid-2009, however, her relationship with her employer had begun to deteriorate. Salon reported that on October 2, Johnson was summoned to Houston to meet with her supervisors to discuss problems with her job performance. She was placed on what Planned Parenthood calls a “performance improvement plan.” It was just three days later, on Monday, that Johnson made her tearful appearance at the Coalition for Life. The following day she faxed Planned Parenthood a resignation letter, which mentioned nothing about a crisis of conscience . . .

Johnson’s account is so plausible and rich in detail that even Planned Parenthood seems not to have investigated whether this event ever took place. At my request, the staff at the Bryan clinic examined patient records from September 26, the day Johnson claims to have had her conversion experience, and spoke with the physician who performed abortions on that date. According to Planned Parenthood, there is no record of an ultrasound-guided abortion performed on September 26. The physician on duty told the organization that he did not use an ultrasound that day, nor did Johnson assist on any abortion procedure. “Planned Parenthood can assure you that no abortion patients underwent an ultrasound-guided abortion on September 26,” said a spokesperson. It’s difficult to imagine that Johnson simply got the date wrong; September 12 was the only other day that month that the clinic performed surgical abortions.

Could clinic staff and the physician be mistaken? The Texas Department of State Health Services requires abortion providers to fill out a form documenting basic information about each procedure performed at a clinic. This document is known as the Induced Abortion Report Form. The Bryan clinic reported performing fifteen surgical abortions on September 26. Johnson has consistently said that the patient in question was thirteen weeks pregnant, which is plausible, since thirteen weeks is right at the cusp of when physicians will consider using an ultrasound to assist with the procedure. Yet none of the patients listed on the report for that day were thirteen weeks pregnant; in fact, none were beyond ten weeks.

This has cover up written all over it. I don’t mean to be suspicious of people, but the facts in this case just aren’t holding up to close examination. I’m more apt to believe actual medical records than I am to believe a disgruntled former employee.

Kudos to Nate Blakeslee for digging up the dirt on this one.


  1. word. thanks for covering this, Serena.

  2. Yeeeeah. Her story has sounded fishy to me since day one. Who has a “life-changing,” morally altering experience like she supposedly has and DOESN’T quit that same day?

    • BECK4TRUTH says:

      If she fabricated the story, Planned Parenthood would have been all over her. According to her book the abortionist was present in court. I haven’t heard a peep out of PP.

  3. You need to watch this video. I think Abby Johnson goes into far too much detail about the doctor in question.

    I think it’s legit.

    Abby Johnson interview:

  4. You don’t have any references or documentation of your “theories”. This story sounds bogus to me. Have you even listened to her testimony? You might learn something. Maybe you should read her book that is released this evening, UnPlanned by Abby Johnson. She tells everything about PP and their agenda.

  5. I’m pro-life but I agree that AJ is fishy and only doing chis for attention and the $4,000 she’s getting everytime she opens her mouth. She’s Norma McCorvey all over again and thinks everyone is fooled by her crap, LOL! Thanks for this article, of course not sucking up to her psychosis sets her off, her Twitter convos wih her fmr co workers are extremely not becoming of the Christian she claims to be. I kno a gal who worked at a clinic that quit the same day she witnessed an abortion, the gal didn’t wait 6 weeks AJ admitted to me that she did to make sure she had all her ducks in a row…

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  6. Laura E. Serna says:

    Let us consider one thing that Abby Johnson said about baby’s being able to feel things at 12 weeks gestation. Either this is or isn’t true. Is PPH saying it isn’t true when it is? Is PPH telling patients that fetuses at this level of gestation can’t feel pain when they can? These are questions that can be answered independently of what we think about Abby Johnson.

    Let us consider what she said about the actual abortion procedures and the goal of PPH to increase revenue from abortion. These are more important questions than what we think of Abby Johnson

  7. Caring One says:

    I questioned if this was legit but it seems to be so far. Who’s telling the truth about the dates etc. is yet to be proven. As for people taking time to leave the industry, Dr. Anthony Levatino’s story comes to mind.

    I’ve read Abby Johnson is planning on becoming Catholic which is understandable under the circumstances but not well thought out spiritually speaking. The historically dark underbelly of this institution from priests to fallible Popes should cause anyone who thinks it through to take a serious pause.

  8. Her story is, on the contrary, one of courage and integrity in the midst of the forces of the culture of death. Read her book and reconsider the initiatives of P.P. … and be challenged to protect the life of the unborn.

  9. The writers of this website are truly blind and should report relevant facts instead of spreading bogus lies.

  10. The article mentions September 26, the day Abby supposedly had her conversion experience. If you listen to her (as I did on a live telecast) she says her conversion experience didn’t happen immediately. She didn’t suddenly just to from pro-choice to pro-life. She said she really had to think about it and really questioned herself on why she was feeling the way that she did. She said she went through a process before becoming pro-life.

  11. Steve Skeete says:

    Like Serena “I’m more apt to believe actual medical records than I am to believe a disgruntled former employee.” So out with the “actual medical records” PP so we all can take a look and judge for ourselves! Then and only then will we know who the real “wingnuts” are. Or is someone afraid that we will also discover something else – like the truth for instance.

  12. I think you may have missed the point of this story. I believe Abby’s story more than the Planned Parenthood Organization that is simply trying to cover it all up. They made the mistake of bringing Abby into the National Spotlight by placing that restraining order on her. She won, and with her story, she will inspire millions in this nation to reject this organization’s lies, and the lies of Abortion and Contraception, to instead embrace the value of LIFE for every human being. Especially those who have no voice.

    The womb indeed is the most dangerous place in the world, but it’s people like Abby who will save us from this horrible and silent genocide of our own people. I’m praying for you all, and I’m praying that the right thing will be done before too many more people are lost all in the name of convenience.

    This might clear things up for you…if you’re open.

    God Bless,

  13. There is really no doubt, at least for a rational person, to believe that Abby Johnson is telling the truth. PP would have been able to prove otherwise in a court of law. PP has a history of lying, racism, and deceit toward women and the public. I’m on Abby’s side.

  14. Centurion says:

    Abby Johnson is very credible, and factual. Why do you think PP got 5 high powered attorneys to try and silence her with a huge lawsuit? They are SCARED of the truth coming out.
    There is plenty of factual evidence available.
    This is just another knee jerk reaction from the Culture of Death community.
    AJ WINS. PP LOSES. Period.

  15. Shelley, what evidence do you have to support your claim about Planned Parenthood’s “history”? Likewise, Centurion, what “factual evidence” is available to back you up?

    As this post clearly points out, there had been credible reports that Abby Johnson had been told by her employer that there were problems with how she was doing her job; that she resigned shortly thereafter; and that she then chose to work with an organization that, until recently, she had been deeply opposed to. It is also a fact that while Abby Johnson was very specific about when she witnessed the ultrasound-guided abortion, no such procedure occurred that day.

    You’re welcome to your own opinion about Abby Johnson, of course. But to accuse someone of overlooking purported “facts” that you fail to back up, while willfully ignoring the documented facts surrounding this woman’s departure from Planned Parenthood, just undercuts whatever argument you have.

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