“We Love Them Out”: 5 Good Minutes With Meagan and Laura of And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None was founded by Abby Johnson in 2012, and in five years, hundreds of abortion-facility workers have come through ATTWN’s assistance program. All have left the abortion industry, with help from the only organization dedicated to offering spiritual and material support for such a decision.

How?

“We love them out.” That’s from Laura Ricketts of ATTWN, who with Meagan Weber represented the group at an exhibit table at the 2017 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. They love their work, and it shows. They kindly and quickly agreed to an impromptu interview with me, which I found more constructive than anything happening on the main stage.

How do you get someone who’s doing abortion work to approach you?

Laura: The short answer is love. We love them out. The longer answer is we have several initiatives that we follow through on, including sending handwritten cards into the abortion clinics to reach out to the workers.  We do a mailing of postcards that have our information inviting them to look us up, letting them know that they can quit, we can help. Sometimes we send flowers to the clinic. If there’s a situation that happens in a community, something specific surrounding that clinic, whether it’s something horrible that might have happened with a patient, or whether there are some unkind – well-meaning, but unkind – pro-life people on the sidewalk, we will send an apology into that clinic and say “I’m sorry.”

How many people have been assisted by ATTWN?

Meagan: To date since we were founded in 2012, we’ve received over 380 workers into our assistance program. That includes seven full-time abortion-providing doctors. We’ve transitioned them all out of the industry into life-affirming work and hope & healing in Christ.

What do well-meaning people do that makes your job harder?

Meagan: Graphic imagery. Inflammatory language such as abortion mill, abortuary, murderers – I mean, yes, abortion is an act that is complicit with murder. But who comes to Jesus Christ because you’re saying “you’re a dirty rotten sinner”? Same concept. We want to affirm their value as a human being, uniquely and distinctly created by God first and foremost. I’d also say trespassing on property [doesn’t help]. We have to flip that and say if we had a bunch of Planned Parenthood employees come into our pregnancy centers and go to the waiting room, [they’d be] violating the privacy of women who are seeking our services. And then they would be telling them “they’re lying to you, They’re not going to give you truthful information about your pregnancy and your options, and it’s your right to have an abortion…” We would never tolerate that happening. So we need to make sure we’re not doing that to them. If we’re truly concerned for the woman who goes into the clinic, who did not receive our information on the sidewalk, we should wait for her, be there for her on the way out.

Laura: Creating an environment around the clinic that feels unsafe or hostile is going to drive the women into the clinic for their abortions faster. And it’s also going to make the workers inside the clinic very distrustful of people who do call themselves pro-life who are scaring them a little bit.

Learn more about And Then There Were None at prolove.com and abortionworker.com and on Facebook. Learn more about Laura’s own work as a birth and bereavement doula at filumenabirth.com, and about Meagan at her Facebook page.


“Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Your Lost Child”

Béatrice Fedor of 400 Words for Women posted this a year ago. It’s worth re-visiting, as a reflection from a woman who is post-abortive and has something to say to other women with the same experience.

I’m praying for healing, I’m praying for peace. I’m praying for a world where no woman is made to feel that she *has* to choose legal violence to solve her problems.

Read her full post: https://400wordsforwomen.com/2016/07/06/aborted-childrens-birthdays/

Weekend reading, only slightly political

If you’ve missed these best-of-the-rest posts this week, enjoy them this weekend!

Christina Chase: A Personal Plea Against Assisted Suicide (catholicsuncook.org)

This is on the web site for St. John the Baptist parish in Suncook, New Hampshire, written by a woman with chronic illness who understands the threat assisted suicide legislation poses to people with disabilities. “When voters, legislators, or judges make assisted suicide the law, it becomes an option for all terminally ill people in the state who are told that they have less than six months to live. And this option will be offered. Make no mistake about it. Those who push for this kind of legislation, and healthcare workers who support it, believe that they are being compassionate toward those who are suffering….But, there will be terminally ill people who will not want to speed up the dying process, people who will want to simply live until the natural end of their lives.  These people will be offered the ‘dignified’ way out – and they will need to say No.” Read the rest of the post. 

Jewels Green: Grandmother,  interrupted (lifesitenews.com)

“I’ve heard innumerable women share their stories of regret and conversion after their abortions. Many friends have talked about what they imagine their children might have been like had they been born and not aborted….I guess I never followed that train of thought to its logical conclusion. My missing baby is now a missing adult, and I find myself gripped by thoughts of missing grandchildren.” Read the rest of the post. 

Joan Frawley Desmond: Justice Clarence Thomas Marks a Quarter Century on the Supreme Court (ncregister.com) 

“‘He is a living testament to the principle that every man and woman has the right to think for themselves. regardless of their gender, race, religion or other personal characteristics.'” Read the rest of the post. 

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers: Chinese Family Hides to Escape Forced Abortion of Third Child

“In a triumph of investigative journalism, the BBC has released a Report, ‘China’s forbidden babies still an issue,’ confirming that under the Two-Child Policy, forced abortion remains a threat for women pregnant with a third child.  In this Report, John Sudworth, the BBC’s Beijing Correspondent, interviews the father of a family in hiding because his wife has just given birth to their third child.  The Report describes the man as ‘anxious and on edge, but still determined to tell his story.'” Read the rest of the post.  


 

When Julia Holcomb spoke, “you could hear a pin drop”

Fourth in the Voices to Trust series.

Julia Holcomb at NHRTL event, October 2014
Julia Holcomb at NHRTL event, October 2014

Julia Holcomb visited New Hampshire a little over a year ago to speak at a fundraising banquet for a pro-life group. I was there, and I can still remember how the crowd hung onto her every word. As someone at my table that night said later, “You could hear a pin drop on the floor in the back of the room.”


Julia endured a coerced saline-method abortion at the age of 17, in her fifth month of pregnancy. The father of the child was Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Many years later, Julia wrote about their relationship and the abortion in The Light of the World: the Steven Tyler and Julia Holcomb Story.  

“The doctor did not explain what the procedure would be like. Steven watched when the doctor punctured my uterus with a large needle. Then I was taken to a room to wait for the contractions.  Steven sat beside me in the hospital until it was over.  When the nurse would leave the room he was snorting cocaine on the table beside my bed….Steven, high on cocaine, was emotionally detached, witnessing the procedure but cut off from the normal reaction and feelings of horror you would expect.  At the time I was shocked and hurt by his behavior.

“But I know now that on an unconscious level, he must have been traumatized witnessing the death of his first-born son in such a horrific and direct way. Steven watched the baby come out and he told me later, when we were in New Hampshire, that it had been born alive and allowed to die.  (I was not allowed to see the baby when it was delivered.) Steven told me later that it had been a boy and that he now felt terrible guilt and a sense of dread over what he had done.  I did not know that such a thing could be legal.  I could not imagine a world where a tiny baby could be born alive and tossed aside as worthless without ever seeing his mother’s face.

“Nothing was ever the same between us after that day…”

That was a long time ago. The relationship with Tyler did not last. Better things were in store for Julia; she and her husband have been married for more than thirty years and are the parents of seven children. Julia now speaks on behalf of Silent No More Awareness campaign along with other post-abortive women who want to “break the silence” and speak “the truth about abortion’s negative consequences and the hope found in healing.”

“I pray that all those who have had abortions or have participated in any way in an abortion procedure may find in my story, not judgment or condemnation, but a renewed hope in God’s steadfast love, forgiveness and peace.”

Watch a video of Julia Holcomb’s testimony at silentnomoreawareness.org.