Abby Johnson: I Took the 'Safe' Abortion Pill and Soon Thought I Was Going to Die


When the cramps started not long after I had taken mifepristone at eight weeks pregnant, I thought I was prepared.

“Not more painful than a heavy period,” the receptionist told me at Planned Parenthood. I could deal with that. Except when I couldn’t. My RU-486 abortion was unlike any pain or terror I had ever experienced. My at-home, private abortion became a complete nightmare and I was left utterly alone to experience it.

The Biden administration is reversing a rule set by the Trump administration that forced abortion providers to administer the abortion pills in person to women who wanted them.

The abortion pill, which is actually two pills to cut off progesterone from the growing fetus and then expel it, commonly known as RU-486, is not new. The FDA approved its use in 2000.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shed a spotlight on the at-home abortion procedure as women were not able to go to abortion clinics as easily as they wanted to before the pandemic, thereby increasing demand for the pills.

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The use of medication abortion to terminate the life of the fetus has become more widespread, accounting for 39 percent of all abortions in 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

This doesn’t make the procedure any less painful. The business of abortion clinics is to sell abortions. I worked at Planned Parenthood as a clinic director for eight years in Texas and to make money, we had to push abortion upon the women who came to us.

My RU-486 abortion was my second abortion but my first medication abortion. I was told there would be cramping, some blood, nothing some ibuprofen couldn’t take care of. I ended up expelling an obscene amount of tissue and blood in my bathroom, totally alone and scared.

The bathtub, floor, and toilet looked like a scene from a horror film. The pain was unbearable. I bled for eight weeks straight. The side effects state a woman could have “light vaginal bleeding or spotting for up to 16 days.” A complete lie. No one told me this would happen or how terrible I’d feel afterward.

Do you think Planned Parenthood tries to suppress information about abortion?

RU-486 can be taken up to 11 weeks gestation and at that point is 87 percent effective, according to Planned Parenthood. And if that doesn’t work, then you can have an in-clinic abortion.

But what if a woman isn’t near an abortion facility or hospital, then what happens? What happens when a doctor has no idea who is taking the abortion pill because they’ve never even talked to them or met the patient?

I worked in the abortion industry long enough to know this doesn’t really matter because it’s all about the money and never about the women.

It’s a terrible realization to come to that years of my life were spent believing I was helping women when, in reality, I was ending the lives of their children and causing them lasting emotional pain. And I was lying to women, telling them things would be fine, that abortion was painless and easy.

One of the things that the entire abortion industry hates is information and education. They despise it when they are forced to tell women that the life growing within them has a heartbeat and arms and legs. They hate to mention the possible side effects associated with abortion.

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It’s all about the so-called right to choose abortion and nothing else matters.

I had to shove my RU-486 experience so far into the depths of my heart when I talked to women considering abortion. I rarely counseled them to choose that option because of the pain I went through, but I didn’t talk them out of having an abortion because it made my clinic money.

The FDA reports that as of Dec. 31, 2018, at least 24 women have died after taking RU-486 since its approval in 2000 plus “several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal.”

If the woman is hemorrhaging, then the bleeding needs to be stopped at a surgical facility, the FDA says. Well, what if a woman obtained the pills via telemedicine, far from her doctor or in a rural area? The consequences could be devastating.

I honestly thought I would die that day I took the abortion pill. I was in agony. I was lied to by Planned Parenthood. I was alone in a bloody bathroom. No woman deserves that, no one.

While not all women will go through what I went through, many will, and many will have no idea what is happening because they were never told by their health care provider.

Women deserve better than abortion. They also deserve to know the truth about the abortion pill, which they won’t get with the abortion lobby creating policies in the Biden administration that hurt women.

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Abby Johnson is the CEO and founder of And Then There Were None.
Abby Johnson worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years, working her way up through the ranks to become the clinic director in Bryan, Texas. She was Planned Parenthood's employee of the year in 2008 but she walked away from her job after witnessing the abortion of a 13-week-old fetus during an ultrasound-guided abortion. She left Planned Parenthood and instantly became a national news headline for her defection, which led to a pro-life speaking career. In 2012, she founded And Then There Were None, the only ministry in the nation that helps abortion workers leave their jobs and find new ones out of the industry. To date, she has helped over 550 abortion workers quit. She also founded ProLove Ministries and LoveLine in the fall of 2019. Her bestselling book, "Unplanned," was made into a feature film that debuted in theaters nationwide March 2019 under the same name, and she is the host of the podcast "Politely Rude." She and her husband, Doug, have eight children.