The ‘fierce mercy’ of Christ covers a multitude of sins — even enabling abortion

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“I facilitated more than 22,000 abortions, including my own two abortions…. And yet, God has forgiven me. That’s the only reason why I can sleep at night…that I’m able to get through every day.”

ABBY JOHNSON

The mercy of God can be unfathomable to comprehend. How is it that Jesus loves us so much when we have been so offensive to Him, even after we try again and again not to sin? It’s something that I have learned to accept with a humble heart, leaning into the mystery of the love that God has for me when I could not have been more opposed to what He wanted me to be doing. 

I received a message recently from a woman I counseled when I worked at Planned Parenthood. She was angry with me, saying I had lied to her, telling her that her baby would not feel pain, that her baby was not developed at all. She said she didn’t even want an abortion. 

“I hope you feel good about the fact that all of these babies are dead because of YOU,” she wrote. “I hope you dream about them. I hope you hear them crying….You were so happy to talk me into having an abortion. I have lived with regret since that day because of your lies.” 

She told me that while I have written books and had a movie made about my life, all she is left with is a “dead baby and a lifetime of regret.” 

Her harsh words ring true. I’m certain I lied to her, and even if I did sense a hesitancy in her, I didn’t take the time to explore that. Even though I left the abortion industry, I am no hero. I stopped doing something I should have never been doing in the first place. That’s not heroic. That’s simply correcting an evil.

I’m not mad at her words. I grieve for her. I wish I would have done things differently for her sake and all the women I counseled at Planned Parenthood. During my time there, I facilitated more than 22,000 abortions, including my own two abortions. That’s a huge number of deaths — deaths of babies who were made in the image and likeness of the God I serve. And yet, God has forgiven me. That’s the only reason why I can sleep at night. It has been through the fierce mercy of God that I’m able to get through every day without the burden of what I did at the abortion clinic weighing me down.

Even though my job is to talk about all the amazing things God has done in my life, it doesn’t mean that I’m not sorry for what I did. 

The day that the U.S. Supreme Court heard the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, I was outside on the steps awaiting my turn to speak for the pro-life side. There were corrals separating the pro-lifers from the pro-choicers, and I couldn’t help but watch the abortion advocates as they chanted and held up their signs. They were so angry. But what brought me to tears was that I used to be on that side. I was chanting for the destruction of life in the womb, lying to women, telling them they needed abortion to succeed. When it was my turn to speak, I went off script and holding back my own tears, I said I was so sorry for what I did at Planned Parenthood, that I was so, so sorry for telling women that they needed to get an abortion. 

No one — no one — is beyond the mercy of God. 

God loves you immensely. He has placed you on His heart and is ready to extend an unfathomable amount of mercy to you. But that also means we need to be merciful, too, not holding grudges and keeping track of offenses against us. Keeping our eyes fixed on Christ and allowing Him to increase in us as we decrease is the key to winning hearts for God. 


Abby Johnson is the founder and CEO of And Then There Were None. Her new book, Fierce Mercy, is now available for purchase.