Abby Johnson’s Story

Betrayed by Planned Parenthood * (1) (2)

In 2003, I was 23 years old, a volunteer at Planned Parenthood, a college student, a woman who was 8 weeks pregnant by her husband…a husband she was divorcing. I didn’t want a baby so I had a solution…abortion. I had already had one abortion and it was easy. Surely, this time it would be the same.

Instead of a surgical abortion, I thought this time I would choose a more “natural” way to abort…the medication abortion.

It was all pills and that seemed really simple. Everything was done at home. It was private, on your schedule, under your control and seemed less invasive.

“Nothing worse than a heavy period,” according to Planned Parenthood. Sounded pretty easy to me. So, I took the bait.

The Appointment – The Exam – The Counseling – The Money

I made an appointment and got the money together. The day came and it really felt like any other day. I wasn’t nervous…I wasn’t having surgery. This was going to be simple.

At the clinic I filled out paperwork, had some basic lab work done, had an ultrasound (that I don’t remember), and got put in a room for abortion counseling. I had brought someone with me, but I, of course, had to do all of this alone.

No one except the patient was allowed past the waiting room. I remember my “counseling” as if it happened yesterday. “You will have some heavy bleeding and period like cramps. None of it should last too long. You will be back to normal in a couple days,” my counselor said.

“Sounds good,” I remember saying. And I guess it did sound pretty good. I could get rid of my biggest burden for $400.00 and a little cramping. Not a bad deal.

There didn’t appear to be any risks or side effects…or if there were, we didn’t go over them. Surely if there were risks, they would have told me about them, right?

So the exchange was made. I gave them $400.00, and they gave me a Mifeprex (mifepristone) pill and a brown bag of pills to take home.

Medication Abortion: The Do-It-Yourself at Home Procedure

After taking the Mifeprex, I felt great! No side effects…just like she said. The next day, I did as I was told. I ate a light lunch and took the 4 pills in my brown bag called Misoprostol. They told me these were the pills that would start my bleeding and cramping…but nothing a few Ibuprofen couldn’t take care of.

I was told after taking the pills at home that I would probably start bleeding in about an hour.

So, I made myself comfortable on the bed and turned the TV on.

What Abby Didn’t Expect To Happen

Ten minutes later, I started to feel pain in my abdomen unlike anything I had ever experienced. Then the blood came. It was gushing out of me. I couldn’t wear a pad…nothing was able to absorb the amount of blood I was losing.

The only thing I could do was sit on the toilet. I sat there for hours…bleeding, throwing up into the bathroom trashcan, crying and sweating.

I used to watch shows about childbirth. I would see these women in labor and they would be covered in sweat. I would always think, “Gosh, do they keep it hot in the delivery room, or what?” But at that moment, sitting on the toilet, I knew it wasn’t from heat…it was from pain.

After several hours on the toilet, I desperately wanted to soak in the bath tub. I was hoping that would make me feel better. Maybe the warm water would help the cramping. Certainly it would make me smell better.

Sitting in a Tub of Blood

I had vomit all in my hair and on my legs, not to mention how sweaty I was. I filled the tub and climbed in. It actually did feel pretty good.

I remember closing my eyes and leaning my head back. I felt exhausted. The cramps kept coming, but the water helped soothe them somewhat.

I opened my eyes after 15 minutes and was horrified.

My bathwater was bright red. It looked like I was sitting in the middle of a crime scene. And I guess it was…I had murdered my child.

I knew I had to get up and wash the blood off of me. I stood up slowly and straightened out my body.

Excruciating Pain, Heavy Bleeding & Blood Clots the Size of Lemons

As soon as I was completely upright, I felt a pain worse than any other I had experienced.

I began to sweat again and felt faint. I grabbed on to the side of the shower wall to steady myself. Then I felt a release…and a splash in the water that was draining beneath me.

A blood clot the size of a lemon had fallen into my bath water. Was that my baby?

I knew this huge clot was not going to go down the drain, so I reached down to pick it up. I was able to grasp the large clot with both hands and move it to the toilet.

I stood in the warm shower for a few minutes…feeling a little relief from the cramping. Then came the excruciating pain again.

I jumped out of the shower and sat on the toilet. Another lemon sized blood clot. Then another. And another. I thought I was dying.

This couldn’t be normal. Planned Parenthood didn’t ever tell me this could happen. This must be atypical. I decided that I would call them in the morning…if I didn’t die before then.

It was around midnight and I had been in the bathroom for a good 12 hours. I knew I couldn’t leave yet. I didn’t want to lay in the bed…the bleeding was too heavy. And the clots were still coming; not as often, but they were still coming.

So, I decided to sleep on the bathroom floor that night…right by the toilet.

The cold floor felt good on my face. I was physically depleted, but I could not sleep.

Was This a Normal Experience?

The next morning, I called Planned Parenthood as soon as they opened and asked to speak to the nurse. I was told she would call me back soon. She did. I told her about my previous day. She told me, “That is not abnormal.”

WHAT?? She could not be serious. All of the bleeding, the clotting, the pain…that was NORMAL???

“Yes,” she said. “Use heating pads, soak in a warm tub, and take Ibuprofen.” I was angry. How could they not tell me the side effects?

I felt betrayed.

Eight Terrible Weeks of Misery

Eight weeks passed. Eight weeks of blood clots. Eight weeks of nausea. Eight weeks of excruciating cramps. Eight weeks of heavy bleeding.

When it was finally over, I went back to volunteer at Planned Parenthood.

My anger was gone and had now been replaced by self-reproach. I no longer blamed Planned Parenthood, I blamed myself. And honestly, I was glad that I wasn’t pregnant. So, I just chalked it up to a terrible experience and vowed that I would do my best to never let anyone I know choose medication abortion.

I did not want anyone else to experience what I had been through.

When I started working at Planned Parenthood, I did just that. It actually became a joke around the clinic.

“Don’t let Abby see the MAB (medication abortion) clients. She will change them all to surgical and we will be here all day.”

Nothing Natural about Medication Abortion

I HATED medication abortion.

I hated that we were pushing it at all of our clinics. I did not think it was best for our patients. And I told them the risks. I told them my story. I told them about the clots, the cramping, the nausea, the bleeding.

I had seen too many women that had been hurt by this “natural” abortion method. There was nothing natural about it.

Abby Speaks Out About Her Abortion at Her Planned Parenthood Workplace

At a management meeting, I voiced my concerns. Why weren’t we talking about the risks? Why hadn’t anyone told me?

“Well, we don’t want to scare them,” my supervisor said. “Oh, like they are scared when they think they are dying from the amount of blood they are losing because we choose not to tell them that is supposedly normal,” I responded.

That didn’t go over too well. That was their answer? They didn’t want women to be scared??

The night of my medication abortion, lying on the cold bathroom floor, I had never been so scared.

What if I died there alone? Who would find me? Would my parents find out that their daughter died because she had an abortion?

That fear was real.

Planned Parenthood Is Scared to Give Women the Real Truth

To not give women all of the information about abortion because you think it will “scare” them is actually very offensive.

Doesn’t Planned Parenthood claim to “trust women?” Then why don’t they trust these women enough to give them all of the information? Do they not think women are smart enough to handle basic facts? What kind of female empowerment is that?

Here’s the truth…Planned Parenthood is not worried about women being “scared”…Planned Parenthood is scared.

They are scared women will walk out the door if they get accurate and thorough information. Every woman that walks out is lost revenue…that is Planned Parenthood’s biggest fear.

They are scared. They are scared of the truth. They are scared to give women the truth.

Abby’s Medication Abortion Compared to Her Tonsillectomy Surgery

In 2009, I had my tonsils removed. They had been bothering me for a while and no one knows what they are really for anyway…so I figured I might as well have them out. I knew a lot of tonsil-less people, so I wasn’t nervous at all about surgery.

A couple days before I went “under the knife” I had my pre-op visit with my ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat). We were going over a few things that I already knew. Then, he started talking about the risks. I guess I hadn’t really thought there would be risks with a tonsillectomy.

Severing vocal cords and being unable to speak…damage to teeth…extreme blood loss…damage to my tongue…and even death. WHAT??? Um, maybe I should just keep my annoying tonsils. I suddenly became very nervous.

My doctor assured me that my fear was kind of irrational…he just HAD to tell me those things. Needless to say, two days later, the tonsils came out. I had no problems. My throat has never been happier.

Looking back on my tonsillectomy and my abortion, one thing really stands out. When my ENT was going over all of these crazy risks, I was kind of thinking, “Hey, can you just NOT tell me any of this.” But then I was grateful. Because if I woke up and I wasn’t able to talk, or if my two front teeth were all busted up, at least I would have known that was a possibility.

At least I had the CHOICE to back out. With my abortion, I wasn’t given that CHOICE.

They didn’t tell me what was really going to happen to me…because they didn’t want to “scare” me? So much for freedom of choice.

Here is another glaring contrast. When my ENT was explaining the risks to me, I became nervous. But as he was calming my fears, I remember him saying, “Don’t worry, none of this has EVER happened before to any of my patients.” That made me feel better.

But the same cannot be said of abortion…particularly medication abortion. Women have died from medication abortion.

Thousands of women have had very serious complications. I saw many of them with my own eyes…I was one of them.

The Website that Reveals the Risks of the Abortion Pill

In 2003, a young woman died from a medication abortion. Her name was Holly Patterson. Since then, her father, Monty, has been working to expose the dangers and risks of abortion. He recently created a website,

This website is full of accurate information on the true risks of medication abortion. I encourage all of you to please share this with people you know.

Please post this website on your Facebook or Twitter.

Right now, Planned Parenthood is planning to expand their medication abortion protocols to EVERY family planning clinic in the country in the next 5 years.

We must act now. Holly didn’t have to die. Women do not have to be hurt by abortion.

Expose the truth. Someone has to trust women to make the right decision…it certainly won’t be Planned Parenthood.

Abby Johnson


Abby Johnson: Former Planned Parenthood Director

Abby’s Employment Experience at Planned Parenthood

Abby Johnson, a 29-year-old former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in southeast Texas, quit her job on October 6, 2009 after she had a "change of heart" while participating in an abortion procedure which was not part of her regular duties. (3) (4)

Abby had worked and volunteered for Planned Parenthood for eight years, the largest abortion corporation in the United States. (5) As the clinic’s director, her duties included running the family planning and abortion programs. (3)

Not interested in promoting abortion, she had come to Planned Parenthood eight years before, believing that its purpose was primarily to prevent unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing the number of abortions. (3)

During the last year of her employment, Abby had begun to question her work and the motivations of the company she had dedicated herself to for eight years. (3)

Her superiors were "pushing clinics that did have an abortion program to bring in more money."

Johnson said she became disillusioned with her job after her bosses pressured her for months to increase profits by performing more and more abortions. (4)

"For them there's not a lot of money in education," she said. "There's as not as much money in family planning as there is abortion." (4)

Johnson said "It's a very lucrative business and that's why they want to increase numbers." (4)

In September 2009, Abby was asked to assist in an ultrasound guided abortion procedure. Although she had seen ultrasounds before, Johnson said she had never seen an ultrasound image during an abortion. (3)

The procedure and experience changed her forever. (3)

When Planned Parenthood found out about Abby’s change of heart, they were frightened that other women may be influenced by her story and would change their minds on abortion. Their defense was to silence her with a temporary gag order and eventually take her to court. (5)

On November 10, 2009, Planned Parenthood faced off with Abby in the courtroom. It was easy for the judge to see that the lawsuit was a sham. After an hour of testimony from Planned Parenthood, the judge dismissed the case on the spot. (5)

For more Information about Abby Johnson please visit:


* Note: Abby’s original story, “Tonsillectomy” written by Abby Johnson. Also, see references 1 and 2. The revised version of this story is published at the website with permission from Abby Johnson. Story title, “Betrayed by Planned Parenthood”, story headlines and links by Monty Patterson.

1. Johnson, Abby. Abby Johnson, Tonsillectomy, Blog. Abby Johnson. [Online] October 23, 2011. [Cited: October 25, 2011.]

2. Johnson, Abby. Abby Johnson: Planned Parenthood Kept Me in the Dark on My Abortion. [Online] October 20, 2011. [Cited: October 25, 2011.]

3. Johnson, Abby. unPlanned, Read A 1st Chapter. unPlanned, The True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Courageous Choice for Life. [Online] 2010. [Cited: October 25, 2011.]

4. Abrams, Joseph. Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound. Fox News. [Online] November 2, 2009. [Cited: October 25, 2011.]

5. Johnson, Abby. Abby Johnson, About Abby. Abby Johnson. [Online] 2011. [Cited: October 25, 2011.]

Page Last Updated: 09/04/2013

Leave a Comment


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

jamie January 19, 2012

I wish so badly I would of read this before I had my medical abortion.  It was 3 weeks ago.  I have been bleeding ever since.  I do regret even having it done, but I cannot change it.  My follow up is this weekend (3 weeks after the procedure) and I am hoping everything looks ok.  With the amount of blood I'm losing daily, I've had fears I'll need the surgical to stop it.  
I was 8 weeks and 2 days.  Planned Parenthood did tell me there would be bleeding heavier than a period or lighter.  They said that should stop after 2 weeks.  I called this week because it got heavier and bright red.  They said it's normal and not to worry.  After reading online I now see it can lasts for months possibly.  I am very upset I chose medical.


kirsten April 13, 2012

i took the medical abortion, and that is EXACTLY how it feels. i sat on the toilet for hours and hours i couldn't get up and move because of the amount of blood pouring out of me, at the same time i was throwing up on my bathroom floor. it was horrible, overtime i thought it was over i went back to bed to try to sleep and was woken up by the most intense cramping of my life.
i thought i was dying.
and then when it was over, i continued to bleed for the next 8 weeks.


jmd December 17, 2013

I took the medication abortion a week ago and I am feeling fine. I believe everyone's experience is different. The Doctor I saw at Plan Parenthood was very informative and answered any questions I had (and I had several from all the information I had researched online beforehand). Before I took the second set of pills, I took Pain meds the Doctor prescribed to me and antibiotics. Then 45 minutes after taking the second set, I felt bad period cramps and I could feel myself bleeding. I went to the bathroom and clots poured out, I freaked out at first but my symptoms slowed down pretty fast. My bleeding was like a period by the end of the day and the pain meds made me drowsy to I slept on and off. A week later, I am still bleeding like a period and I am taking antibiotics but I only experienced tolerable pain for ONE day. Overall, I think the experience was worth it to me because the pain was not as bad as I expected. Someday I would love to be a mother, but like many other teens..I know I am not ready to take on such a responsibilty.


kay April 10, 2014

Everyone's experience is different i had medical 2 weeks ago i cramped for a day passed large clots for one day and i bled for one week im doing just fine


Anna July 3, 2014

Same exact thing happened to me. I was left in the dark. "The cheek" medication didn't work. So today I cried my butt off cause they said I had to take a second dose. I'm scared and so hurt. I wish I never done this. I am dissapointed that I didn't take more time to think about this. Bleeding, cramping, chills! Crazy crazy crazy. I bled for hours. I almost past out. I have lost so much blood! I'll never do this again. I do not recommend it ladies. I just thought too, that it's the more natural way. Good Luck


Lucy December 5, 2014

I am watching tv with my daughter while passing clots, I took the second set of pills over 3 hours ago and have had little to no cramps. I was also told in detail and was given lots of paper work about every single possible risk for the pill. I was also told in detail about how I will feel after taking the pills by planned parenthood. Everybody there was very nice and they asked more than once that I was absolutely sure with my decision. Not everybody is the same. You also took the pill at 8 weeks. You should have taken that into consideration before taking the pill and gone with the surgical procedure.


Melissa February 21, 2015

I had the medication abortion and my experience was nothing like this! Thankfully! I encourage women to do what is best for them and not assume the worst because not every situation is like this. I thought it was a little bit dramatic, but everyone has a different experience. I had very light cramps that went away with medication. Clots came a few hrs after taking the medication, and I had light bleeding for a few days afterwards. I feel fine.


Tonzal February 22, 2015

I had a medication abortion 2 days ago, I can see from reading this that I was very lucky with my experience. I took the first pill at the hospital and had slight bleeding. Took the next 4 pills 38 hours later. Experienced horrible cramps for 2 hours where I lost a lot of blood clots. After the last sharp pain I felt fine, refreshed actually. I bled heavily for a couple of hours and have only bled similar to a light period since then. Minimal cramping, not as bad as my usual period pains. I guess everyone has a different experience. I do believe you should never leave the clinic with any questions left unanswered and my dr told me the same thing. She was very helpful. Thought had an okay experience, no way I would do it again, more so because of the emotional side of it all. Good luck to women reading this making their life changing decision right now. Do what you feel is right, and ask as many questions as you feel necessary. I was 8 weeks 3 days too by the way. Stay safe. 


KekeG April 11, 2015

Ladies, plz plz choose the standard surgical abortion (dnc)!!!  Hi, I just had a medication abortion 3 weeks ago, I'm 42 and in relatively good health, until now. My experience was just as bad as this original story and maybe worse. My story is the same except planned parenthood did warn me of pain and wrote me a strong pain RX before I left. I filled and took pain meds as directed 30 minutes before my 4 pills to my cheeks. I got myself comfy in bed w TV, w my 17 year old unknowing son in the next room. The pain meds made me so out of it that when I started gushing blood I didn't realize something was so wrong. I kept getting up passing blood clots the size of small puppies, yes that's right, so large it would take two hands to hold. I lost many of them, but I was too high from the pain meds to know how much time had passed or how much blood I had actually loss. I just remember that I needed to lay down. But it was more like passing out. Evenly the pain meds wore off. My flow was so heavy that I gave up try to put on yet another pair of clean panties and pads. I went through a whole box of pads and almost all my panties and ended up wearing beach towels like a diaper. utimately I used multiple beach towels. I passed out or fainted several times, one of which, I fell off the toilet right onto my face. There were times I was crawling on the floor to get to the bed. I had no energy and didn't even think I could call for help, I honestly think I was dying. I laid back in my bed, every time I would stand up I would pass a large clot and pass out. Finally, instead of running to the toliet which is in my master bedroom, I stood up and went directly to get my son. I had to tell him everything. I took the pills at 4 pm Saturday evening and 24 hours later I was finally able to call planned parenting emergency line, they called a RX into the pharmacy which my son went to go get, $166 for 8 pills to help stop postpartum bleeding.  This now brought my total to $836 spent so far for this hellish experience. my ex came over w a blood pressure machine, pressure very low. By Wednesday I was back at planned parenting, with an IV and still had to have the surgical abortion. We'd will be 3 weeks, I'm still having some bleeding, I have no energy, I had to sit down multiple time while shopping for groceries and today at the mall w my kids I just couldn't do it. I'm still cramping, still bleeding, still have a positive pregnancy test, and now I'm wondering if if will ever be back to normal, but I'm glad I didn't die. I had a surgical abortion in my 20s and it was a cake walk in comparison. If you do choose medication direction, please have someone else present when you go thru this hell. They will need to monitor your blood loss over what period of time if you are on RX pain pills. If you are sensitive to medications at all, Do Not choose this route, you might not make it out with your life.  This is not a dramatization, but an actual experience by an educated 42 year old corporate executive. Consider yourself warned.