Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Review - unPlanned

It's not every day that I can say I read a book that just knocked my socks off. And I almost didn't read this one. I'm already very much pro-life and I wasn't sure how much I'd get out of the book. However, I read comments on several blogs talking about what a wonderful witness unPlanned is and I have friends offline who enjoyed it as well. Add in a 40% off coupon and I caved. Am I ever glad that I did!

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.


  1. Amy,

    I have heard of this book, but I obviously have not read it. There is also a DVD movie version of this book as well, which I have also heard is good. Although I am a slow reader, and oftentimes, don't finish books that I start, this one sounds like a real page turner. I'll have to add it to my book "wish list." Thanks for the great book review!

    -L. Rose

  2. Amy, thankyou for letting me know about this book as I haven't heard of it before. I just looked it up on Amazon and the number of reviews with 5 stars completely supports what you have said. I am sure this sort of book needs some courage to read, but something probably worth reading. I will add it to my wish-list.


  3. This book is fairly short and it sucks you in right at page 1, so I found it to be a much quicker than usual read. As you can tell, I highly recommend it!