'As the cannula pressed its side, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away'
It was a human baby and It was fighting for its life! A battle it lost in the blink of an eye ...
Abby Johnson worked for 8 years as executive director of a planned parenthood abortion clinic in Bryan Texas . Identifying as "extremely pro-choice," she had had two abortions herself before the birth of her daughter .
One day In September 2009 she was called in to assist during an ultrasound guided abortion procedure . Her Job was to hold the ultrasound probe on the womans abdomen so the physician could see the woman's uterus on the ultrasound screen . What she saw that day would transform her life forever and is documented In her Book 'unplanned' : -
I applied the lubricant to the patient’s belly, then maneuvered the ultrasound probe until her uterus was displayed on the screen and adjusted the probe’s position to capture the image of the fetus.I was expecting to see what I had seen in past ultrasounds. Usually, depending on how far along the pregnancy was and how the fetus was turned, I’d first see a leg, or the head, or some partial image of the torso, and would need to maneuver a bit to get the best possible image. But this time, the image was complete. I could see the entire, perfect profile of a baby. It looks just like Grace at 12 weeks, I thought, surprised, remembering my very first peek at my daughter, three years before, snuggled securely inside my womb. The image now before me looked the same, only clearer, sharper. The detail startled me.
I could clearly see the profile of the head, both arms, legs, and even tiny fingers and toes. Perfect. And just that quickly, the flutter of the warm memory of Grace was replaced with a surge of anxiety. What am I about to see? My stomach tightened. I don’t want to watch what is about to happen. I suppose that sounds odd coming from a professional who’d been running a Planned Parenthood clinic for two years, counseling women in crisis, scheduling abortions, reviewing the clinic’s monthly budget reports, hiring and training staff. But odd or not, the simple fact is, I had never been interested in promoting abortion. I’d come to Planned Parenthood eight years before, believing that its purpose was primarily to prevent unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing the number of abortions. That had certainly been my goal. And I believed that Planned Parenthood saved lives — the lives of women who, without the services provided by this organization, might resort to some back-alley butcher. All of this sped through my mind as I carefully held the probe in place.
“Thirteen weeks,” I heard the nurse say after taking measurements to determine the fetus’s age. “Okay,” the doctor said, looking at me, “just hold the probe in place during the procedure so I can see what I’m doing.” The cool air of the exam room left me feeling chilled. My eyes still glued to the image of this perfectly formed baby, I watched as a new image entered the video screen. The cannula — a strawshaped instrument attached to the end of the suction tube — had been inserted into the uterus and was nearing the baby’s side. It looked like an invader on the screen, out of place. Wrong. It just looked wrong.
My heart sped up. Time slowed. I didn’t want to look, but I didn’t want to stop looking either. I couldn’t not watch. I was horrified, but fascinated at the same time, like a gawker slowing as he drives past some horrific automobile wreck—not wanting to see a mangled body, but looking all the same. My eyes flew to the patient’s face; tears flowed from thecorners of her eyes. I could see she was in pain. The nurse dabbed the woman’s face with a tissue. “Just breathe,” the nurse gently coached her. “Breathe.” “It’s almost over,” I whispered. I wanted to stay focused on her, but my eyes shot back to the image on the screen.
At first, the baby didn’t seem aware of the cannula. It gently probed the baby’s side, and for a quick second I felt relief. Of course, I thought. The fetus doesn’t feel pain. I had reassured countless women of this as I’d been taught by Planned Parenthood. The fetal tissue feels nothing as it is removed. Get a grip, Abby. This is a simple, quick medical procedure. My head was working hard to control my responses, but I couldn’t shake an inner disquiet that was quickly mounting to horror as I watched the screen.
The next movement was the sudden jerk of a tiny foot as the baby started kicking, as if it were trying to move away from the probing invader. As the cannula pressed its side, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. It seemed clear to me that it could feel the cannula, and it did not like what it was feeling. And then the doctor’s voice broke through, startling me.
“Beam me up, Scotty,” he said lightheartedly to the nurse. He was telling her to turn on the suction — in an abortion the suction isn’t turned on until the doctor feels he has the cannula in exactly the right place. 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.
I was frozen in disbelief. Without realizing it, I let go of the probe. It slipped off the patient’s tummy and slid onto her leg. I could feel my heart pounding — pounding so hard my neck throbbed. I tried to get a deep breath but couldn’t seem to breathe in or out. I still stared at the screen, even though it was black now because I’d lost the image. But nothing was registering to me. I felt too stunned and shaken to move. I was aware of the doctor and nurse casually chatting as they worked, but it sounded distant, like vague background noise, hard to hear over the pounding of my own blood in my ears.
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. And I could hear in my memory one of the many arguments I’d had with my husband, Doug, about abortion. “When you were pregnant with Grace, it wasn’t a fetus; it was a baby,” Doug had said. And now it hit me like a lightning bolt: He was right! What was in this woman’s womb just a moment ago was alive. It wasn’t just tissue, just cells. It was a human baby. And it was fighting for its life! A battle it lost in the blink of an eye. What I have told people for years, what I’ve believed and taught and defended, is a lie.
Suddenly I felt the eyes of the doctor and nurse on me. It shook me out of my thoughts. I noticed the probe lying on the woman’s leg and fumbled to get it back into place. But my hands were shaking now. “Abby, are you OK?” the doctor asked. The nurse’s eyes searched my face with concern. “Yeah, I’m OK.” I still didn’t have the probe correctly positioned, and now I was worried because the doctor couldn’t see inside the uterus. My right hand held the probe, and my left hand rested gingerly on the woman’s warm belly. I glanced at her face — more tears and a grimace of pain. I moved the probe until I’d recaptured the image of her now-empty uterus. My eyes traveled back to my hands. I looked at them as if they weren’t even my own. 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? What if? I had believed a lie! I had blindly promoted the “company line” for so long. Why? Why hadn’t I searched out the truth for myself? Why had I closed my ears to the arguments I’d heard? Oh, dear God, what had I done?
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.
The Following Month , October 2009 , Abby Johnson resigned her position as Clinic Director and became a pro life advocate . Today , she runs a nonprofit organization called 'And Then There Were None' , an organisation which helps abortion clinic workers leave the abortion industry and end abortion from the inside out . https://abortionworker.com .
She is the author of two books. 'Unplanned' released in January 2011 from which the above passage is taken which details her work at Planned Parenthood and her conversion to the anti-abortion cause , and 'The Walls Are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell Their Stories' which recounts stories of former abortion workers that have come through her ministry.