Unplanned by Abby Johnson with Cindy Lambert
Unplanned is undoubtedly an eye-opening read, no matter which side of the pro-life line you fall on. In this vulnerable and dramatic story, the issue of abortion gets made personal when seen through the eyes of one woman who experienced a radical conversion from one side to the other.
‘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 .’
At the volunteer fair when Abby first notices the hot pink Planned Parenthood stall, she is told by representative, Jill, ‘Our goal at Planned Parenthood is to make abortions rare .’ This seems like a great goal to Abby and it’s understandable how she was swept up in the agenda of an organisation who, by her estimation, appeared to be helping women in crisis.
Something that stood out when reading Unplanned is how easily each side can be pitted against each other through manipulative propaganda and even, at times, violence. However, overriding all the us versus them tension from both sides of the fence is the gentle and loving persistence of the faith-filled Coalition For Life volunteers. Abby is understandably turned off by the aggressive pro-lifers holding graphic signs, but has no idea what to do with the people ‘on the other side of the fence’ who speak to her like a friend.
Abby’s story will strike a chord with many readers as her part in God’s plan unfolds in engaging, surprising and sometimes heartbreaking ways. The writing style flows well and is easy to get into from the first chapter. Whatever your stance, one thing this book will do is make you stare the facts of abortion in the face, as well as the consequences of taking a stand on either side of the debate.
For those firmly decided and for those still wrestling with the issues, Johnson offers an invaluable perspective from both inside and outside the organisation that is unforgettable. This story is a poignant and sensitive, but also frank, look at a very divisive issue that is sure to spark conversations across the dinner table and get readers thinking about what they value. Pick up your copy today and see how the pages of Unplanned impact you.
Reviewed by: Lil van Wyngaard – Veritatis Publishing Ignatius Press 2010, Excerpt from Unplanned blurb.  Johnson, A, Lambert, C 2010, Unplanned, p. 13.