Abby Johnson, Pro-Life Advocate

On Monday, Abby Johnson spoke to students at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Immediately perceived as warm and likeable, Abby easily won over the crowd when she told students that if she could turn back the clock and do things over, she would have gone to Franciscan University. Throughout her talk, Abby stressed that the most important thing in the pro-life movement is witnessing and praying outside clinics. It is not enough to say we’re against abortion, or to pray privately but never take action. Faith without works is dead. And if we don’t actively work against abortion, we are complicit to it. Admittedly, praying outside of abortion clinics can be difficult. Abby shared how her first witness was outside her old clinic, where she faced hostility from the clinic workers and her former friends. But, as she told the students, when you’re persecuted in the name of Christ, you’re blessed. From the view of the world, persecution and mockery means you’ve failed. But according to Christ, that is the ultimate measure of success. You know you’ve done a good job, when the enemies of Christ despise you. The turning point in Abby’s conversion came when she watched – on ultrasound – an abortion being performed at thirteen weeks. She watched the 13-week old child fighting for his life, trying to escape. Ultimately the child lost the fight, and she saw the dismembered parts of the child going down the suction tube. Finally, his backbone was sucked up, and she witnessed “the last part of the child’s humanity going down a tube”. That was the reality of ‘choice’. But her conversion was not because of that incident alone. If it weren’t for pro-lifers witnessing outsider her clinic for eight years, Abby admitted that she would not be in the pro-life movement now. Again emphasizing the importance of witnessing, Abby pointed out that clinic workers can’t run into your arms if you aren’t there for them. Abby’s journey to the truth will reach its climax at the Easter Vigil Mass, where she and her husband will enter into the Catholic Church, in what she says is “the natural progression of things… first pro-life, then Catholic”.

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