Clinic director resigns after witnessing abortion

|PIC1|The director of a Planned Parenthood abortion centre in Texas has resigned and embraced the pro-life movement after witnessing an abortion through an ultrasound.

Abby Johnson had worked at the clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas, for eight years before departing from the facility after her change of heart.

"I left on good terms and simply had a change of heart on this issue,” she told 40 Days for Life, which had been holding prayer and fasting initiatives outside her clinic since fall of 2004.

“Over the past few months I had seen a change in motivation regarding the financial impact of abortions and really reached my breaking point after witnessing a particular kind of abortion on an ultrasound."

Johnson had reportedly never seen an abortion take place on an ultrasound but happened to be present during one procedure, in which she saw a 13-week-old fetus trying to move away from the doctor’s probe

"I just thought, 'What am I doing?'" she told ABC News. "And then I thought, 'Never again.'"

Two weeks later, Johnson quit.

"It's truly been a testament to the power of prayer and the courage of Abby to leave a job she felt she could no longer do in good conscience," commented Shawn Carney, the director of the Coalition for Life and a 40 Days for Life board member.

"It has been a joy for all of our volunteers who have prayed outside of the clinic for the conversion of the clinic workers to witness that conversion actually happens."

According to 40 Days for Life, Johnson is one of eight abortion industry workers who left their jobs during the fifth coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign that concluded recently in 212 cities. Johnson was the highest-ranking of the eight, the campaign reported. Others who quit their clinic jobs included nurses, office staffers and security personnel.

In the wake of Johnson's departure, Planned Parenthood has gone to court to seek a restraining order against both Johnson and the Coalition for Life, the local group that originated 40 Days for Life and continued regular prayer vigils in front of the clinic for the past five years.

Planned Parenthood filed the "restraining order of disclosure" against Johnson reportedly because of fears she may have taken confidential files out of the organisation. Johnson, however, denies those allegations.

A court hearing on the order is scheduled in a Texas court next Tuesday.

Coalition for Life director Carney has been working with Johnson since she left her job last month.