Pro-life activist Joan Appleton, who previously worked as an abortion clinic nurse, died on Monday, August 20 at the age of 64.
The first time I met Joan Appleton was in 1985, and we were about 50 feet apart.
She was on the driveway of Commonwealth Women’s Clinic, an abortion clinic in Falls Church, Virginia, and I was standing on a high platform behind a ten-foot fence put up to keep pro-lifers from talking to abortion-bound women. Joan had her camera and took a picture of me standing with Earl Appleby, Debra Braun, and Christy Ann Collins.
The next time I saw Joan was in 1993, and this time we had our picture taken together along with Debra, who had converted Joan to the pro-life cause. Joan was about to speak at one of our Meet the Abortion Providers conferences. Joan told her fascinating story of her work with the abortionists and the important role Debra had taken in her conversion.
I liked to call Joan “Applejack,’ maybe because she was so calm and good natured, or maybe just to tease her. I often felt sorry for Joan and her loneliness. Even though she worked full time with Debra at Pro-Life Action Ministries in St. Paul, and made many friends there, she still seemed to miss some of her old friends.
Many pro-lifers were eager to hear her story, and she felt at times that she was just being used. This is dilemma that many converts to pro-life have. She used to call, and we would talk about it.
I already miss Joan “Applejack.” I loved this dedicated convert to the pro-life cause. I hope she is at peace now.