Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Reviewed by:

Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life


Patti Giebink with Kimberly Shumate


Tyndall House Publishers

Publication Date:

July 2021




208 pages


For Patti Giebink, the reasons for supporting abortion seemed simple. It was a medical procedure that kept women from do-it-yourself solutions that, before Roe v. Wade, killed or scarred many women. After years of supporting abortion in public and private, a year of working as a doctor at Planned Parenthood left her less sure of her position. After being fired for unstated reasons, she took a journey into different medical work, and found faith after connecting to a church. Giebink describes the spiritual journey that led her to a pro-life position, as well as how she reconsidered her pro-choice arguments and found that they all came up wanting.

Books on any highly emotional topic have a way of being important for a few minutes, but aging badly over time. It’s easy to take a stance on the topic and spend the entire time bashing the other side, falling back on anecdotal arguments or secondary sources that don’t hold up in reasoned debate. This problem has affected both sides of the abortion debate, with pro-choice and pro-life arguments often being anything but convincing. Therefore, it’s to the authors’ credit that they combine Giebink’s personal story with an intellectual story that gives solid arguments against abortion. In the more intellectual sections, Giebink objectively explains why she began with a pro-choice position and what slowly shifted her thinking. She clearly explains why she found her initial position rational and understandable, then shows new information that she realized undermined that position. When it comes to talking about her time with Planned Parenthood, she lists several moral and ethical concerns about what she experienced, including illegal activities which were never investigated.

Even as they build an excellent intellectual case against abortion, the authors are careful not to claim that worldviews are just about getting the facts right. Much like with apologetics, knowing the facts is important, but usually people have “below the waterline” motivations for their positions. The book does an equally good job telling Giebink’s personal story – the relationships with pro-life colleagues that influenced her, dubious encounters at Planned Parenthood, and overseas medical work that showed her face-to-face why human life is so deeply important. These personal stories pair nicely with the medical discussions, creating an intelligent and also human book.

An excellent resource on the abortion debate, and a well-developed argument for a pro-life stance.


Rating (1 to 5 Stars):

5 stars

Suggested Audience:

People interested in inside look at the abortion debate, from someone who worked at planned Parenthood and has seen both the medical and the personal side of the debate.

Christian Impact:

Well not primarily a religious argument, Giebink ties her medical discussions and her own spiritual awakening to questions about the sanctity of life. This makes it a well-developed medical and spiritual case for pro-life, showing how, as Abraham Kuyper put it, there’s not one inch of a reality which God does not claim as his.

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

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