Myra Neyer used to work a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood Baltimore. Today, she has left the abortion industry and is a pro-life advocate.
Instrumental to her conversion and decision to leave was a 40 Days for Life sidewalk counselor who gave her a rosary when she asked for one. She says this sidewalk counselor was far kinder than other protestors who had been outside her clinic.
“You don’t know where we’re coming from,” said Neyer. “Just be gentle.”
Neyer spoke at a Jan. 18 press conference in Washington, D.C. held by “And Then There Were None,” a nonprofit group that helps abortion clinic workers leave the industry.
rnThe organization was founded by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who left her job in 2009. Through monetary assistance, emotional, social and spiritual support, and help in finding a new job, Johnson said the organization has helped more than 400 people leave the abortion industry, including seven physicians.
Johnson said that the “overwhelming majority” of And Then There Were None’s clients were completely unaware that they were applying to work in an abortion clinic. The former clinic workers echoed this statement.
One woman said that she did not know her clinic performed abortions until two weeks into her employment, when she was told she was going to assist with a surgical procedure - which turned out to be an abortion.
“Former clinic workers are the biggest threat to Planned Parenthood,” said Johnson, explaining that when one worker leaves a clinic, oftentimes their colleagues follow. Several of the women present at the Jan. 18 event had five or six colleagues leave the abortion industry after they had decided to quit.
When a clinic worker contacts And Then There Were None seeking to leave the abortion industry, they are assigned a client manager, who becomes their main contact and support during their transition. Throughout the year, there are retreats for former clinic workers to come together and assist each other in the healing process.
“These are normal women,” said Johnson, “that were caught up in something that is not normal.” She said that it was important for pro-lifers to remember that the people working in abortion clinics are humans and should not be dehumanized.
Johnson stressed that it is important for pro-life demonstrators to be kind to clinic employees and to avoid hostility and harassment. She credits a sidewalk counselor at her former clinic for helping her leave the industry.
She suggested that sidewalk counselors have some sort of job bank resource to help provide potential employment options for clinic workers who choose to leave the industry.
More information about And Then There Were None can be found at the group’s website.