Rebecca Hagelin

As the Director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, Abby Johnson oversaw the abortions of thousands of preborn babies. She poured her energy into counseling the mothers who faced difficult pregnancies, believing that abortion was often the right solution.

Abby truly believed she was helping the women. Daily, she drove past ardent pro-lifers who deplored the deadly business Abby directed. They too believed in their mission. A high, ugly fence divided the clinic staff and the pro-lifers—starkly symbolic.

As we mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, abortion continues to be highly “divisive” – and will always remain so - because the stakes are high--life or death. And the “divide” between people on each side is a chasm, because there is no middle ground between life and death.

As the gruesome reality of abortion becomes more difficult to hide (Exhibit A: the “house of horrors” run by abortionist Kermit Gosnell, where babies born alive were murdered, a mother was killed, and scores of others injured), it’s more important than ever that pro-life advocates (note to self) show that what motivates us is our love for the mothers in trouble and the helpless lives they carry.

From Abby’s side of the fence, angry protestors were worrisome. She and her colleagues received death threats regularly. Stories of clinic violence in other parts of the country kept her on edge. Unbridled anger and the violence of a “crazy few” convinced the workers that the “enemy” is driven by hate.

How to Save Your Family – and Others – From the Tragedy of Abortion

Today, Abby stands as a powerful example of how, when we allow Christ’s love to direct our attitudes and actions, hearts can change. The Coalition for Life, which began organizing sidewalk counselors outside Abby’s clinic, offered compassion and practical help to desperate women. They became the face and helping hands of Christ and offered a love that permeated the fence in ways that angry words never could. Abby began to feel that they cared about the women as much as she did.

And they cared about her. Always sincerely reaching out in warmth, they were approachable, and held their hearts open for Abby—and years later, she felt comfortable opening her heart to them too.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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