Pro-Life Group Celebrates Death of Planned Parenthood

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by Lauren Lopez

Oct 9, 2013

700 guests attended the Pregnancy Help Center's Fundraiser
700 guests attended the Pregnancy Help Center's Fundraiser
Abby Johnson Spoke at Tuesday Evening's Fundraiser
Abby Johnson Spoke at Tuesday Evening's Fundraiser
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In Brief: 
  • The Pregnancy Help Center held a fundraiser on Tuesday night with keynote speaker Abby Johnson
  • Johnson, a former director of Planned Parenthood gone pro-life, told stories of her conversion and of a victory for San Angelo after the clinic's closing
  • An ASU professor acknowledged the need to discuss both sides of the issue, but, citing a Texas Monthly reporter, questioned Johnson's credibility
  • Johnson made controversial statements pertaining to Planned Parenthood's origin, claiming the founder's intent was to exterminate minority groups
  • The Pregnancy Help Center has seen an increase in clientele since Planned Parenthood's closing, and hopes to increase services

The pro-life community in San Angelo celebrated a victory at the annual Pregnancy Help Center fundraising dinner Tuesday night.

Applause and ‘amens’ were spoken as the keynote speaker Abby Johnson, expressed her excitement for the closure of San Angelo’s Planned Parenthood location.

Johnson was once a clinic director for Planned Parenthood. She started working there as a college student, with the understanding that she was helping women receive affordable health care.

“I didn’t know that there was a network of federally qualified health centers across the country. More than 10,000, in fact, compared to the now 600 Planned Parenthood locations,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who worked at Planned Parenthood up until 2009, explained how she had the understanding that if abortion was made illegal in the U.S. women would have to go to the back allies.

“I didn’t realize at the time that what takes place inside safe and legal abortion clinics is actually no different than what happened in the back ally,” Johnson said.

She explained that her views changed from pro-choice to pro-life when she helped perform an ultrasound-assisted abortion for the first time.

“I think people assume that seeing a child become dismembered and torn apart in his mother’s womb is the worst part, but you see, I knew that was going to happen because I had already seen the aftermath of abortion,” Johnson said.

She said, “It wasn’t the death of the child that caused a conversion in my heart. It was seeing the humanity of that child that caused a conversion in my heart.”

Johnson said the worst part was that, “I just stood there and did nothing.”

However, Linda Kornasky, a pro-choice professor at ASU said, “While all reasonable opinions about any such important issue deserve to be debated vigorously, Abby Johnson is clearly not a legitimate representative for the anti-abortion viewpoint.”

When criticizing Johnson, Kornasky referred to an article by Nate Blakeslee, a Texas Monthly reporter.

In Blakeslee’s report, he stated, “Johnson has told the story of her journey from pro-choice activist to pro-life celebrity many times in many venues, and the crux of the tale is always the same: her moving description of what she saw on the ultrasound that September day in the Bryan clinic’s operating room.”

Blakeslee said, “At my request, the staff at the Bryan clinic examined patient records from September 26, the day Johnson claims to have had her conversion experience, and spoke with the physician who performed abortions on that date. According to Planned Parenthood, there is no record of an ultrasound-guided abortion performed on September 26.”

When the reporter questioned Johnson, she said “Anything to discredit me is what they’re gonna do,” about Planned Parenthood’s records. 

Johnson, the speaker at Tuesday’s event,  explained that while working at Planned Parenthood she thought of herself as a feminist. 

But now she says, “I realized that I actually had no faith in women. I realize now that I saw them as weak, as people unable to navigate through a crisis.”

Johnson asserted that she now believes the mission of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, has been brought to fruition.

She said, “I didn’t know that Margaret Sanger said things like, ‘Negroes are human weeds that need to be exterminated from the human garden.’”

Johnson continued, “I didn’t know that 78% of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are centered in minority areas in order to do what Margaret Sanger said—to exterminate their race.”

She said about the community of San Angelo: “You have a very beautiful task. You live in a place that is abortion free.”

Johnson explained, “You have the bigger job of changing the culture of this community because you don’t have to worry about abortion being here. See our goal isn’t about making abortion illegal it is about making it unthinkable.” 

Sandra Franke, the director of Pregnancy Help Center in San Angelo, said she is trying to do just that.

“We are more about the whole person. It is about how we can help them spiritually, physically, and mentally,” Franke said.

According to Franke, the center has seen an influx in clients since the closing of Planned Parenthood.

“We are trying to expand our services,” she said of how they are wanting to reach out and take over the role of Planned Parenthood as an affordable health care center.

Pregnancy Help Center currently offers ultrasounds, parenting classes, healing and information services along with providing clothing and essentials for families in need. They cannot offer contraception because there is not a doctor on site, however they are working toward having STD testing at their location.

Kim Schwartz, the president of Pro-Life Rams, was present at the fundraiser. Her organization also celebrated National Pro-Life Cupcake Day on Wednesday.

Schwartz explained that they celebrated the day in order to,“...recognize the birthdays of 55 million babies that didn’t get to because of abortion.”

The group gave away 500 cupcakes throughout the day on the ASU campus.

She said, “Our organization isn’t focused on making abortion illegal. We are focused on creating a culture of life.”

The San Angelo Planned Parenthood clinic closed at the end of August 2013, citing political attacks and the tougher abortion clinic regulations passed by the 2013 meeting of the Texas Legislature. The San Angelo clinic did not perform abortions in San Angelo, but referred clients to the Odessa, Texas office for the procedure.


Silly Headline

Lauren, I can't tell if you were trying to make a play on words with the headline for this article, but it didn't really come across very well. I think there was more celebration of LIFE than death at this event. With PPH gone, women are free to hear the truth about the life that is growing within them. The culture of death has been run out of town. Let the healing begin!

This changes, what?

Planned parenthood didn't preform abortions here. Women wanting abortions will still be going out of town to have the procedure. This one provided a valuable resource for women in this town and it is a shame that they are closed. I really question how whacked out some of the people in this town are towards this kind of thing.


You see how effective the PPH lie is... people honestly believe that the #1 provider of abortions in the country didn't perform them here is San Angelo. Perhaps our clinc didn't conduct surgical abortion procedures, but you can bet they perscribed the RU 486 pill and conducted other "chemical" abortion procedures. Don't worry, I suspect Obama Care will once again provide for government sponsored abortions.

What happens next?

Here is what I don’t understand. You have “Christians” out there thanking “God” for closing this clinic down. Why would any kind and loving god want his people to suffer unnecessarily? There is nothing in the bible that says that abortion is wrong. In fact, it seems like God was down with killing kids often throughout the bible, why would today be any different? Planned Parenthood provided a service that some women cannot receive anywhere else, and these people are celebrating that. I am not talking about abortions, I’m talking about a real sexual education and contraception. Not the Catholic have as many kids as possible method. Please do not forget that they also provided cancer screenings for women, but I’m sure these people will find something wrong with that as well.

Truth Matters

Was PPH really the only provider of women's health services in Tom Green Co? I find that quite hard to believe. The truth is, PPH is a business like any other and they weren't able to meet their bottom line. Perhaps they should have tried some new marketing scheme or diversify their services to compete with others but they didn't and they had to close their doors because of that. No need to trash Christians or God for bad business practices. Life (get it?) goes on!

I did not say that they were

I did not say that they were the only providers of the services. They were, however, one of the few places that provided low cost healthcare to women who couldn’t afford it otherwise. You were also wrong about me trashing anybody over business practices. I was trashing them over their hypocritical words and actions. The day the clinic closed, people were out there praying and thanking god for this “miracle”. These clinics only came under scrutiny because someone somewhere got offended and felt their beliefs had been infringed upon. They then played on people’s fears and emotions to make a case that PPH is no more than baby killers rather than a multi-service facility that helps many women across the board.

More Closings

azew... if the San Angelo clinic closed because of other people's fears and beliefs (really?); why did the Midland and Abilene PPH clincs close around the same time? Sounds like a money issue to me. Women are pretty smart today, they know they don't have to subject themselves to long lasting, devastating medical practices nowadays. Abortions are so 70s.

Off point again

I was not speaking of San Angelo’s PPH clinic specifically; I was talking about the overall witch hunt to close all baby killer clinics that PPH has been lumped in with. Since the clinics have been stigmatized, they have had a harder time coming about funds. As you said, without funds…no clinics. Also again, I am not speaking solely on abortions. PPH provides a myriad of services that aren’t abortions for little to no cost to women. Where are those women supposed to go to now for said services? The article stated that the Pregnancy Help Center was not able to provide contraception, so that means the potential for more unwanted pregnancies. There was no mention of their ability to screen for various cancers, but if they can’t provide contraceptives, I’m guessing they can’t handle medical screenings either. So I will ask again, where are these women supposed to go for these needs?

Say What

Easy answer O-B-A-M-A C-A-R-E! The President put PPH out of business, not the churches. Now everyone can get whatever care they need and in the case of the underpriviledged, they'll get free (well, you'll pay for it for them). If PPH would stick to just providing women's health screenings and issuing free contraceptives to elementary aged kids and up, they would probably still be in business.


I had no idea the president was that powerful. To be able shutdown PPH while supporting it at the same time is pretty magical. PPH actually received $655,000 in three states to “help consumers navigate their insurance options under Obamacare” (Viebeck, 2013). That sure doesn’t sound like it came from the person you claimed shut down PPH. In response to your last comment, it seems that you and I agree on the fact that PPH was closed because of it providing support for abortions. Here’s the thing, regardless of how you feel about the situation, abortions are legal and as such should be available as needed. Instead, our moronic friend Rick Perry and his ilk decided that they could make that process even more difficult for a woman in need. I think it is great when middle aged men get to tell a woman what she can and cannot do to her body. ‘Murica!


I'm so glad I got my family out of that hick town this summer, I just wish I had done it years ago. Good luck with the increase of teenage pregnancy and STD's that is going to follow.