Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate, is opening a pregnancy resource center in the same area where she formerly helped women end their pregnancies.
In partnership with the Guiding Star Project—an organization that provides pro-life health services to women and their families—Johnson will open Guiding Star Brazos Valley to offer “life affirming, pro-woman health care, fertility care, and pregnancy support.”
Johnson’s new project melds her passion for life with her passion for serving women. “I became pro-life but I have never stopped being pro-woman,” she said. “The Guiding Star Project, with their vision for community-based Guiding Star centers, has finally given me the opportunity to do what I have wanted all along—to help and serve women, while respecting their dignity and the dignity of the unborn as well.”
Johnson made national headlines in 2009 when she left her position as director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Bryan, Texas, and became a staunch pro-life advocate. Since then, she has been spreading the pro-life message both nationally and internationally. She also founded And Then There Were None, an organization that helps other abortion workers leave the industry.
In addition to offering pregnancy resources and care, Guiding Star Brazos Valley will include a maternity home. Its services eventually will expand to include child care instruction, fertility care, birth support, lactation consultation, and inclusive women’s health care.
“Guiding Star Brazos Valley is designed to be a place where women can come and have their needs met in a concrete, pro-active, empowering atmosphere,” said Laura Ricketts, Guiding Star Project executive director. “We don’t make empty promises. We offer substance; something every woman can appreciate.”
Guiding Star Brazos Valley will serve the same region where Johnson’s former employer operated. That facility closed last summer, a setback Planned Parenthood blamed on funding cuts but which was also likely influenced by Texas legislation tightening health and safety requirements for abortion facilities.
Johnson, who will serve as president of Guiding Star Brazos Valley, said the closing means the work of the pro-life community is only beginning: “Women in the Brazos Valley were concerned that without the Planned Parenthood they wouldn’t have access to women’s health care. We are here to meet their need—in a life-affirming and truly ‘pro-woman’ way.”