Note: This is a sensitive topic, so please use your discretion before reading this post.
Last night I had the privilege of hearing Abby Johnson speak at a fundraiser for The Guiding Star Project. In case you are not familiar with Abby Johnson, I’d encourage you to check out some videos such as this one to learn more about her conversion story from assisting with abortions at Planned Parenthood to becoming a fierce, Catholic pro-life advocate.
During her talk she shared graphic details about what really happens in a Planned Parenthood clinic. Details such as sedating women before completing an ultrasound and aiming to have the women on and off the exam tables in five minutes or less were just a few of the company’s practices that left me feeling sick to my stomach. If you watch the video or already know her story, you will recall that Abby’s conversion occurred when she was assisting with a 13-week old baby’s abortion, and she saw the baby writhing in pain on the ultrasound. It was at that point that she finally realized she could no longer work for a company that murdered babies.
Towards the end of Abby’s talk she challenged the audience to listen to the messages that God has been placing our hearts. Whether these messages have consisted of becoming a prayer supporter for the pro-life movement or becoming a sidewalk counselor, prayers are needed to protect the lives of these women and innocent babies. She also added that being pro-life does not just consist of the birthing process, but rather, it involves caring for the human person at all stages of life. This is the vision for the Guiding Star Project that has a vision of opening holistic clinics in three cities across the country to provide an alternative to women seeking abortions. These clinics would offer pregnancy testing, NFP counseling, day care, and a pharmacy to name a few features- what a beautiful vision!
At the end of Abby’s talk the emcee for the night announced that Abby would be signing books in the entryway. Thinking there would be a long line, I decided to head home, but when I got home from the event and checked my Facebook page, I saw Abby had posted the following status:
I always thought this day may come…and it finally did tonight.
A member of Abolish Human Abortion came to my event tonight and assaulted me…with my 6 week old son just inches away.
After a wonderful evening with an amazing organization built on prolife unity, a boy named Christopher Rush with AHA came up to me and attempted to argue with me about my Catholic faith. I recognized him from several ugly Facebook messages. After I disengaged and was walking away, he pulled up a video camera and waved it so I could see it. I put my hand in front of it and he grabbed me and started throwing me around by my arm as I was trying to get it out of his grip. A man and woman stepped in to assist me and Christopher finally let go of me and threw the young woman against a table. He started to scream at the top of his lungs and then threatened to punch me.
The police quickly responded and detained him. After some prayer, I chose not to press charges. However, because of the assault, he was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. I have also filed a restraining order against him at the suggestion of the police department.
I’m not sure I have ever been in such close proximity to so much hate. It is incredibly disheartening to know that these people are actively part of a movement that strives to be peaceful and prayerful.
After he was released, he was in the parking garage waiting to further his attack. Thankfully, I was given a ride by someone else so I wouldn’t have to walk across the campus back to the garage. They were rightly concerned that he may be there looking for me. After he screamed at the group of women in the garage for a few more minutes, he got in his car and peeled out.
Looking back, I am just very thankful that my baby boy is safe and was unharmed from the attack. My arm will heal, but I’m not sure how I could get over something happening to my baby.
In the end, I told him that we were praying for him. Please be praying that he is able to find peace in his heart.
After I read this, I felt a wave of emotions: shock, anger, and horror. Abby’s reaction to this man’s attack was to pray for him rather than to ridicule or call him names. Now that is an act of love. That is acting as Christ’s hands and feet. That is serving others.
May we strive to act in such a way that when others mistreat us, we pray for them instead of calling them names or physically attacking them. And may we keep Abby and Christopher in our prayers.