The amazing conversion story of former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson in Texas is almost entirely untouched in the national press. They discussed it on The View on ABC Tuesday, which may not count as "news." The Washington Times offered it Tuesday. It's breaking today on ABCNews.com. They also discussed it on Wednesday's edition of Hannity on FNC:
HANNITY: Fascinating clip. You know, I've always been pro-life my entire life. And, especially with new technology and the advancement of new medical technology, it's fascinating, you know, when you see that heartbeat at 18 days and you see, you know, the development of a fetus, it's pretty remarkable about what we've learned about when life begins.
Planned Parenthood, a director quits after watching an abortion ultrasound. And let's show you this video.
ABBY JOHNSON, FORMER PLANNED PARENTHOOD DIRECTOR: I feel so pure in heart. I don't have this guilt. I don't have this burden on me anymore. And that's how I know that this conversion was a spiritual conversion.
HANNITY: You know, I've always said, Ralph, that this -- when people -- technology will change people's hearts. This is an example. She joined a pro-life group after that.
RALPH REED: No question about it. I mean, you remember back in the '80s. Dr. Bernard Nathan's son, who was one of the fathers of the pro-abortion movement, had a very similar conversion experience.
I was born six weeks premature, and it's very personal for me, and was able to watch my children on this technology. And that's why we support women's right to know laws. Because we don't think women should be forced or manipulated in any way. They ought to have all the information, and this is an example of a hard change.
I mean, in the end, Sean, we're going to have political disputes. We're going to have the legislative battles. And that's part of a free society.
REED: But what's ultimately going to win this is the same thing that won civil rights and the same thing that won the suffragists movement. It's going to be a change in the culture, a change in people's hearts, and here's one heart that's changed.
In Texas, the story broke on the local CBS affiliate, so CBS should already have footage it can use. The College Station Eagle's report also was distributed by the AP -- but only on the State and Regional Wire, not on the National wire. That story buried the conversion and played up Planned Parenthood's mission of protecting patient privacy. It took ten paragraphs to get to the conversion story:
Hearing set in Planned Parenthood director case
Planned Parenthood has filed a temporary injunction to prevent a former director of its Bryan clinic from teaming up with a local anti-abortion group to release records from her eight years of work at the family planning clinic.
The employee, Abby Johnson, said Monday that she never planned to release the records.
Either way, the case, which has gained national attention on conservative online media sources and anti-abortion blogs, has caused a skirmish between the clinic and the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life, which recently moved its headquarters several hundred feet away from the clinic.
A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Nov. 10 in the 85th District Court.
The injunction was filed Friday and signed by District Judge J.D. Langley. It prevents Johnson and the coalition from releasing anything that Johnson, who was executive director for about two years, may have retained while working at Planned Parenthood -- at least until the hearing.
Coalition Director Shawn Carney said Monday that there was not a campaign to reveal private information. He said Planned Parenthood's actions were unnecessary and an overreaction.
Lawyers for Planned Parenthood wrote in court documents filed Friday that Johnson was seen copying confidential personnel files and possibly other documents in the days before she abruptly resigned on Oct. 6. The clinic's lawyers expressed worry in the filings that Johnson might release clients' medical records, information about doctors who work at the clinic and the clinic's security measures.
Johnson said in a telephone interview with The Eagle that she didn't turn over any documents to the Coalition for Life.
"I didn't provide any because I don't have any," she said.
The 29-year-old said she resigned from the clinic because she felt guilty after witnessing an abortion in September. She also said she was concerned about pressure from the organization's regional manager that the Bryan clinic focus on more abortions because of financial reasons.
"Definitely the most lucrative part of their business was abortions," she said. "One of the things that kept coming up was how family planning services were really dragging down the budget, and family planning services include education about contraceptives. It was a drain on the budget, but abortion services were really running up the budget and that was keeping the center afloat."
An employee at Planned Parenthood's Bryan clinic declined to comment and referred questions to the organization's regional office in Houston. A spokeswoman from the regional office released a statement but declined to answer any questions.