Catholic Book Spotlight: UnPlanned by Abby Johnson


I’ll admit, I’ve been procrastinating on writing this review, and that’s in part because the title of the book has me in a tither. Is it Unplanned or UnPlanned or even unPlanned?

And then there was the hype with this book. It’s good hype, mind you, and well deserved. But I struggled, wondering what I could possibly add to the many discussions and the high praise of this book.

UnPlanned is the story of Abby Johnson’s journey from director of a local Planned Parenthood center to advocate for “the other side of the fence.” It’s harrowing and heart-rending, an up-close-and-personal encounter with the inside workings of an organization made up of many people who truly do want to help women.

The journey Johnson makes involves a change of heart that spoke to the path I took from pro-choice to pro-life. I found, within these pages, an experience common to many, one that travels from both one spectrum of belief to another, but also one that finds maturity and hope instead of despair.

UnPlanned gives a first-hand account of the inner workings of the largest abortion provider in the United States. Like me, you have probably heard a lot from the pro-life folks about how bad Planned Parenthood is. Maybe, also like me, you haven’t really made time to investigate that further.

This book might settle your mind on a few things, as it did mine:

  1. Those involved in large chunks of the abortion industry are trying to help women. (Look! We have a shared goal!)
  2. Planned Parenthood, while made up of many people who want to help women, has a bottom line. That bottom line is funded by abortion.

Reading UnPlanned gave me a glimpse at a person I try not to hate: Old Sarah, the Sarah who almost made some of the same choices as Abby Johnson did in her life. It reminded me, more than anything, that there are PEOPLE on both sides of this debate, and that, despite our differences, we must never lose sight of the importance of our day-to-day example and the power of our constant prayers.

UnPlanned does not spend time on stats and arguments. It uses, instead, the compelling conversion of one woman, a woman who I found myself not only relating to but liking. I found myself not being preached to, but rather being led along in company.

Despite my continued strife over the proper way to write the title, I highly recommend UnPlanned.

Order UnPlanned and support with your purchase.

Copyright 2011 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.

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