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Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line Hardcover – January 11, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


When Johnson quit her job as the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, the media went wild; lawsuits were filed; prolife advocates rejoiced. Now this former clinic director reveals the details of her dramatic move from abortion rights advocate to "the right side of the fence" and the prolife movement. Johnson began as a volunteer, moving through the ranks until becoming director of the Bryan, Tex., clinic. Then she witnessed an ultrasound-guided abortion, and she changed. "I was taking a new stand, beginning a new life," she says of her move to the other side. This emotional account reveals Johnson's remarkable journey through prochoice thinking, two abortions, her love/hate relationship with prolife advocates outside the clinic, and her eventual understanding of abortion. Prolife advocates will salivate over her story, abortion rights advocates will be skeptical,but those who oppose abortion will find inspiration, education, and emotion. Johnson offers a well-planned, well-written account that will touch nerves on both sides of the issue. (Jan.) --Publishers Weekly Bookline, December 22, 2011

From the Inside Flap

“As I took the ultrasound probe in hand, I could not have imagined how the next ten minutes would shake the foundation of my values and change the course of my life.”
Abby Johnson joined Planned Parenthood as a college student because she wanted to help women in crisis―a goal she believed the organization shared. As she rose through the ranks to become a clinic director, however, things started to shift. Finances grew tighter, clinic practices changed, and Abby became increasingly unsettled about what she was being asked to do. But it wasn’t until she helped perform an actual abortion procedure that Abby fully realized what she’d been a part of all those years.
In the pages of Unplanned, you’ll also discover:
  • What Abby found so attractive about the mission and goals of Planned Parenthood
  • The personal secret that Abby had kept buried for years
  • The things she’d believed and told patients that she discovered not to be true
  • An insider’s perspective on Planned Parenthood’s practices as well as the heartfelt but misguided efforts of some radical antiabortion activists
  • The courage and resilience she’s seen on both sides of the fence―from staff members to clients in crisis to prayerful volunteers
A compelling story of crisis and change, Unplanned is also a reminder of how grace finds us in unlikely places, and how we can all reach out with love to those who stand on opposing sides.
Abby Johnson holds a B.S. in psychology from Texas A&M University and an M.A. in counseling from Sam Houston State University. She was hired by Planned Parenthood in 2005 and progressed to the position of community services director and health educator, where she served as liaison between the community and Planned Parenthood as media correspondent. Later promoted to health center director, Johnson ran both the family planning and abortion programs. In 2009 she left Planned Parenthood and joined the local Coalition for Life as a volunteer. She continues her volunteer activities and now works on projects with the national 40 Days for Life campaign. She and her husband, Doug, have a young daughter and live in Texas.
Cindy Lambert, vice president and associate publisher at Zondervan, is a veteran of the bookselling industry. For nearly two decades she owned an award-winning bookstore before expanding into leadership roles in distribution, editorial, and publishing in such companies as Ingram, Simon & Schuster, and Zondervan. As a speaker Cindy has addressed audiences in publishing and bookselling conferences as well as churches and retreats. She and her husband, Dave, have six children and seven grandchildren, and live in Michigan.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414339399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414339399
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (582 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 199 people found the following review helpful By John Weingarten on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've rarely been so riveted or so moved by a book. All I can say is everyone who cares about life should read this book. Everyone who considers themselves pro-choice should read this book. Everyone who thinks they understand what Planned Parenthood's agenda is should read this book. Everyone who has been hurt by past abortions or is considering abortion should read this book.

Abby Johnson is a modern-day hero. For that reason alone--to read the story of person willing to walk away from an eight-year career, because it's "the right thing to do," now knowing where her heart and God were leading her, makes the book worth the read.

You'll learn why those other modern-day heroes, the pro-life prayer volunteers and sidewalk counselors, particularly those involved in the organizations the author cites as a major key to her conversion--The Coalition for Life and 40 Days for Life--deserve special recognition. Through constant peaceful vigil, prayer, and love outside her Planned Parenthood facility (and hundreds of others) over eight years from 2001 to 2009, she came to learn the truth.

Having been involved in 40 Days for Life campaigns in our community, first as a prayer volunteer, and now as a local campaign director, I've seen firsthand the power of those 40 day campaigns Abby writes about in her book. Abby writes about how she witnessed babies saved from abortions through these campaigns (though while she was working for Planned Parenthood, she viewed the sidewalk counselors "on the other side of the fence" as the enemy--for the most part).

How amazing it was to read about the long journey Abby took and her perspective on the pro-lifers on the other side of the fence.
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106 of 129 people found the following review helpful By E. Stanford on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book in one sitting because it was such a compelling story of conversion. Abby does not sugar coat her feelings, she shares them honestly, and that may be uncomfortable for some pro-lifers. Her story is a reasoned and emotional one of brokenness that is healed by God in the time and way that she could handle. It is a beautiful story with many moments that I will never forget. Buy a copy for yourself and a friend, you won't want to risk losing this book which crosses so many categories as to be a true classic. I wonder who will play Abby in the movie???
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50 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Miller VINE VOICE on January 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 2009 it made the national news that Abby Johnson the director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas had resigned and went to the Coalition for Life for help. Now it was easy to celebrate this a a victory on the pro-life front and a mark in our column. It is easy to forget the person behind the story sometimes and the new book Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line by Abby Johnson tells here story in full.

I am a sucker for a conversion story and so bought and downloaded this book just after it came out. I also sat down and read the book in basically one sitting. When you first hear the story you wonder how can a director of a Planned Parenthood clinic have her world turnaround after assisting during an ultrasound guided abortion. Surely she would know what was going on in her clinic? How did a young woman from a small town and pro-life family come to work for Planned Parenthood in the first place?

The book starts with her heart-wrenching description of the ultrasound guided abortion she was called in to assist with. Through her years at Planned Parenthood at first as a volunteer, then counselor, and later directory and even Employee of the Year for Planned Parenthood she did not assist with abortions normally. Her shock at what she saw on the ultrasound and the babies obvious attempt to escape the suction device destroyed the lies she had been taught and had passed on to so many others. She was a person who believed that abortion was no great thing and should be rare, but that it was still needed for difficult situations. She truly though that Planned Parenthood did much good with their exams and birth control. That she was even doing God's work.
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41 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David Bathon on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Couldn't put it down! Sacrificed quite a bit of sleep finishing it, but it was completely worth it, one of the most fascinating and inspirational works I've read in quite some time. Being able to walk with Johnson through the eight years she spent with Planned Parenthood and seeing her journey from one side of the fence to the other, always motivated by her desire to help women in need was enlightening. If I could rate this 6+ stars I would. After you read it you're going to want to share it with everyone you know, might want to buy a few copies!
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful By David Bereit on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading "Unplanned" for the second time, and couldn't put it down. It's riveting!

Abby's candor and compassion is captivating as she reveals the shocking details of what she saw behind the closed doors of the abortion industry, what caused her conversion of heart, and why she resigned her job as Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director and "employee of the year" to join the pro-life movement.

This transformational book speaks to people on both sides of the contentious abortion debate, and helps the reader fully understand how Planned Parenthood manipulates people to justify and sell abortions. As much as this book will impact pro-life people, I think it will be even more impactful when read by abortion advocates and workers who will see themselves in Abby's story -- and know there is hope for them as well!

God bless Abby Johnson for having the courage to share her vital story with the world, even though parts of it must have been very difficult to share.

I'm going to get copies of "Unplanned" for everyone I know!
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