Friday, June 3, 2011
Book Review - unPlanned
For those who have not heard of this book, it tells the story of a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, Abby Johnson, who eventually not only left Planned Parenthood, but joined Coalition for Life. I had heard the barest outline of the story previously, but I had no idea how intensely moving this book would be.
I will warn you that this book is probably not for children to read without guidance, and parts of it can be quite graphic. The book opens as Abby assists with an ultrasound-guided abortion. For the first time, she witnesses the taking of a child's life as it happens and she tells the story in detail so intense that readers will feel the horror along with her. In the face of this murder, one cannot imagine a choice other than that of working to save the lives of these infants.
And then Abby steps back and tells the earlier part of her story. This is where the book builds even more power. It's not all wonderful pro-lifers versus evil abortionists. Abby captures not only the rightness of the pro-life stance, but also discusses some of the more difficult aspects of the abortion fight. She shows readers some of the more overzealous pro-life protesters and we learn how their extreme actions sometimes hurt the cause more than helping lead others away from abortion. We also meet Planned Parenthood workers who truly do think they are helping women rather than harming them, and Abby is able to give readers a real understanding of why someone would want to work for Planned Parenthood. We also see the real crisis of conscience that Abby had as her beliefs changed and she began to see how some of Planned Parenthood's policies hurt the women they served and more importantly, as she began to see abortion as murder and to reach out to the pro-life workers who loved and prayed for her even before her change of heart.
One thing I really admired about this book was Abby's willingness to tell her story, the ugly parts along with the good. Her openness with the reader pays off by drawing us deeply into her story and when the scales fall from her eyes and she really sees abortion for the murder that it is, one cannot help praising God for her witness. unPlanned is an emotionally powerful book and one that I will urge all of my friends to read.