Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Review: unPlanned

A couple days ago a copy of Abby Johnson's book, unPlanned, appeared in my mailbox.  I was pretty excited about it's arrival, but I was determined that reading this book would have to wait until I finished reading another book that's in my review queue.  That solid determination went out the window when I decided that I'd just read the forward and introduction while I waited in the school parking lots for my daughters that day.  Reading this book was like having an open bag of Reese peanut butter trees, hearts, or eggs (it all depends on the season) in my kitchen pantry.  Once I eat one, I typically find an excuse to go back for another, and another until suddenly they're all gone and I'm left wondering what happened to them. (In this house we call this the "Patrick Effect" parents of avid Spongebob fans will understand.)

The story is simply one you won't easily put down.  Once I decided to just sit down with the book and read a few more chapters, I was hooked.  Abby tells us in the first chapter about the pivotal moment that brought about her conversion of heart from being pro-choice to pro-life.  Then she proceeds to tells us how she got to that moment.  She paints a picture of a young naive college student who latches on to a cause that she firmly believes is dedicated to helping women.  From there we learn how she went from being a volunteer at a Planned Parenthood facility to clinic director.  After the pivotal moment in which she realized she could no longer be a party to the killing of the innocent unborn, she found her way to the Coalition for Life.

In Abby's story you'll read about how Abby justified her pro-choice mentality for the eight years she was involved with Planned Parenthood because she truly thought the organization was there to help women.  In short, you come to understand how she came to believe in the organization's propaganda.  You'll also read about how she eventually came around to being pro-life and how Planned Parenthood tried to strike back legally.

Overall, I found the story rather fascinating and I don't doubt that many will find her testimony quite powerful.  Her story will certainly help to solidify those who are pro-life in their cause to end the legal murder of the unborn, perhaps her story may even serve to change the opinions of those who are pro-choice.  I think part of what makes her story so captivating is she's able to show us what it's like to be on both sides of this highly contested issue.

Once you pick up this book you're not going to want to put it down until you've read every last word of Abby's amazing conversion story.   Abby's story is one filled with grace and courage.  If nothing else, her story gives testimony to the power of prayer and the grace of God.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company.  Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on unPlanned.  They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.


  1. Thank you for this review, Karen. I heard so much about this book, and now I know exactly why everyone is so taken with it. I'll surely be purchasing a copy myself. Thanks again!

    God bless.

  2. Kathleen-Just be aware that there are two editions of this book. The one I reviewed here is the Ignatius Press edition. It includes an introduction by David Bereit from 40 Days for Life and a foreword by Fr. Frank Pavone from Priests for Life. The other edition of this book does not have them.

  3. Hi Karen,
    Great review! Once again, it seems that you & I have reviewed the same book for The Catholic Company! I, too, was hooked when I first picked it up. My 10 yo DS was shocked last night when he saw that I'd already finished it!

  4. I got this on my Kindle and LOVED it. What a needed perspective.

    Still reading your blog when I can...much love!!


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