By Gibbons Cooney
California Catholic Daily Exclusive
San Francisco’s January 26 Walk for Life West Coast will be keynoted by two women with remarkably similar stories. Abby Johnson and Patricia Sandoval are former Planned Parenthood employees, have themselves had abortions, and are part of the movement of one-time employees who have repudiated the abortion giant.
Abby Johnson is well known in the pro-life movement. She worked for eight years at Planned Parenthood, eventually becoming a clinic director. Her webpage says “Abby Johnson has always been fiercely determined to help women in need. This desire is what led Johnson to a career with Planned Parenthood and caused her to flee the organization, becoming an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement.” Johnson left the organization after watching an unborn child struggle for life during an ultrasound abortion. Planned Parenthood did not take her departure sitting down. She writes “The organization is fully aware the workers who leave are their greatest threat. They took immediate action to silence Johnson with a gag order and brought her to court. The lawsuit was ultimately thrown out of court.” Johnson has documented her experiences in the autobiography Unplanned, scheduled for release as a movie in March of 2019. She has authored the 2016 The Walls Are Talking, in which other former abortion clinic workers share their experiences.
Sandoval’s story is every bit as compelling. Documented in her autobiography Transfigured, Sandoval shares her experience of a descent from a happy childhood into a life of horror. Damaged relationships, three abortions, working as a physician’s assistant at Planned Parenthood, finally seeking a way out through coke and meth, three years as a homeless drug addict. But when all seemed finally lost, redemption came. She is now one of the most riveting speakers in the pro-life movement who has been profiled and hosts her own show on EWTN, as well as Shalom World, LifeSiteNews, Queen of Peace media, among many others. After attending Rachel’s Vineyard retreat for post-abortive women, Sandoval made a promise to her children: “Since I ended your lives and didn’t give you the chance to live, I will, in your honor, do everything in my power to defend life.” Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, EWTN host and executive director of the Vida Initiative say: “She is the best speaker I’ve ever heard. She takes the pro-life message to a new level…”
Sandoval told CalCatholic: “I am honored to be speaking at the West Coast Walk for Life. My mission is to continue to share God’s mercy through my story and transmit that there is always hope after abortion. I was forgiven so much and I have made a promise to God and my three children in heaven to repair all the damage I have caused.”
Walk co-founder Eva Muntean said “I am especially delighted that we will have Johnson and Sandoval. Their experiences give their testimony a haunting and unforgettable power.”
Joining the two women at this year’s walk will be Walter Hoye, subject of the new book, Black and Pro-Life in America: The Incarceration and Exoneration of Walter B. Hoye II, and Father Shenan Boquet, President of Human Life International.
This year’s Walk for Life West Coast will be on Saturday, January 26, beginning at 12:30 pm in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. For more information, visit www.walkforlifewc.com