- - Monday, November 11, 2019

A Christian crisis pregnancy center is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in Loudoun County with a gala featuring a former Planned Parenthood official who has become a leader in the pro-life movement.

Abby Johnson, author of the memoir “Unplanned,” will be the keynote speaker Tuesday at the celebration of Mosaic Virginia at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport hotel in Herndon.

Ms. Johnson, whose memoir was adapted into a feature film released in March, said Mosaic Virginia and similar centers provide important alternatives to abortion.

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“We have to work in our communities to help women facing unplanned pregnancies and who feel like they have no choice but to abort,” she said in an email. “We have to be the hands and feet of Jesus in these situations and support and love her.”

Staff members for Mosaic Virginia said they are scrambling to add overflow seating to accommodate all of the celebrants who have expressed support for the nonprofit center.

“This past year, with all of the increases in the pro-abortion movement, especially right here in Virginia — first New York and then right here in Virginia — it really has caused a lot of people to step up and say, ‘You know what? I need to get involved,’” said Executive Director Niki Mattson. “So we’ve had an outpouring of people who’ve wanted to partner with the ministry through volunteering and financial support.”

Founded in 1994 and located in Lansdowne, Mosaic Virginia is nondenominational and offers no-cost medical services, including testing of and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. It also provides pre- and postnatal peer counseling, as well as support for expectant mothers in the D.C. metropolitan area.

The crisis pregnancy center, which last year served mostly Hispanic women younger than 35, depends heavily on its annual gala for financial support. Proceeds from last year’s event brought in about $270,000, which accounted for 57% of Mosaic’s operating budget.

Ms. Mattson said the center hopes to double that amount this year, thanks in part to Ms. Johnson’s star power.

“I’ve heard from people who are table-hosting that this was the easiest year for them to fill their table. And I said, ‘Yeah, because of Abby Johnson?’ and they’ll say, ‘Well, that but — for some — it’s about the ministry,’” the clinic director said. “It’s about the pro-life movement and wanting to help people who are in need.”

The movie adaptation of Ms. Johnson’s “Unplanned” has grossed about $20 million, according to Box Office Mojo, a noteworthy achievement for a small-budget, independent film in limited release.

The former Planned Parenthood director said she hopes her memoir about eye-opening, heart-changing experiences at the abortion giant inspires others to help women and families in need.

Holly Jenter said she can attest to the assistance of Mosaic Virginia. About two years ago, the Leesburg resident was 24, pregnant and unsure of what to do next.

“When I first found out I was pregnant, I told some people pretty close to me and I was encouraged to not keep the baby,” Ms. Jenter said. “But I’d had an abortion before and I didn’t want to do that again, so I came here.”

The center gave Ms. Jenter information about her options, including adoption, and tangible resources to help sustain her and her child during and after pregnancy, she said.

“I left feeling like it was OK, that I was going to find an option that wasn’t abortion,” said Ms. Jenter, whose daughter, Tatum is 16 months old.

“My daughter wouldn’t be in my life today had it not been for Mosaic,” she said. “I always get all teary-eyed talking about it because she wouldn’t be here had I not been given the hope from them, and it’s just an amazing thing because, I mean, she’s everything and she wouldn’t be here [otherwise].”

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