While Jackie was one of And Then There Were None’s very first Quitters, she did not feel comfortable fully embracing her place amongst the ATTWN Tribe until this year. In just a few months, Jackie has made an impression on everyone who is blessed to interact with her.

Jackie grew up in a rural Texas town. While her parents attended church sporadically, she never witnessed any active pursuit of Christ.


“My parents were good to us,” Jackie said. “We were sheltered in our small town, and my parents worked hard to make our upbringing better than theirs had been.”


Topics like abortion were never brought up or discussed in her home.


“Things like abortion were a non-issue. I didn’t even know what it was.”

When Jackie was 11, her world was radically altered when her mom moved out and her parents divorced.


“When my mom left and remarried, I stayed at our family home with my dad. Removing my mom from the equation left me at home with a single father who worked long hours, so I was unsupervised when he was away. That changed everything.” Jackie said. “From the age of 11 on, I was responsible for myself a lot. I started making friends with rebellious kids and doing things I would not have been allowed to do if I had supervision at home.”


After high school, Jackie wanted to get out of her small town and decided to move to Austin.


“I started school in Austin, made new friends. For a while, I was thriving,” Jackie said. “I met the man who would eventually become my husband. When I graduated with my degree as a radiology tech, we got married and I started searching for a job.”


Jackie quickly found that landing a position in her field without experience was tough and she started to become desperate.


“When I saw the ad for Austin Women’s Health Center, I just thought it was a women’s clinic,” she said. “During my initial phone interview, the manager mentioned that the various parts of the job would entail breast exams, pap smears, STD testing and treatment. The very last thing she added was abortion. She asked me if I could come in later that day and offered me the job on the spot.”


Jackie’s expectations of working at a women’s healthcare center and the reality of her work at Austin Women’s Health Center were radically different.


“I quickly learned that they rarely did breast exams, pap smears, or STD testing. The sole focus was abortion. I was trained on how to schedule them in compliance with Texas law of waiting two days before a patient could officially be added to the schedule.”


In addition to the waiting period, Texas law required clinic staff to provide an extensive amount of paperwork with resources that could help a woman in crisis decide to parent or place for adoption as an alternative to abortion.


“We had to give them adoption resources, Medicaid applications, food pantry, and WIC information,” Jackie said. “Then, we had to wait 24 hours before we could reach back out to get them on the schedule. Many of the women who actually took the time to read the paperwork and see what supports were available changed their mind or said they needed more time when we called back knowing that so much help was available.”


Jackie started at the front desk doing scheduling, checking patients in, and collections. After that, she was moved to counseling followed by the POC lab, the procedure room, and lastly, the recovery room.


“The recovery room was actually the saddest place in the entire clinic.”


When a new person started, Jackie was shifted more to the POC lab where she initially shadowed another worker.


“For the first time, I would see the baby come out of the cannula. Literally a human being in a dish. What had been a concept, or an idea became a reality. I saw it. I just kept thinking, that is a real human baby in that dish.”


Jackie left work that day feeling confused and heavy.


“I felt so hollow. I was trying so hard to process what I had seen. I couldn’t believe that this was even real. I didn’t talk to anyone, not even my husband, about it.”


The next day, Jackie was still shadowing but the clinic expected her to start being more hands-on in the POC lab. Because of the legislation that forced abortion clinics in Texas to become ambulatory surgical centers, the amount of abortion clinics decreased, drastically increasing the volume of patients at the clinic.


“Despite the fact that our facility was not equipped to handle a serious emergency, the clinic owner and abortionist started out as an OBGYN and already had admitting privileges. When abortion became legal and he realized he could make tons of money, he shifted to basically being an abortion provider only.”


Something about the doctor had an unsettling effect on Jackie and many others.


“He wasn’t necessarily a bad doctor, nor was he mean to patients, at least when they were awake,” Jackie said. “There was something about him that was off-putting. He was so harsh and when he was around, the entire mood in the room changed. I remember at least three specific times when I was checking a patient in, and he would be standing behind me talking to someone. Their faces would drop, and they would ask if that was the doctor, could they see another provider. It was clear they were immediately uncomfortable, and one even cancelled instantly. Something about him repelled people.”


Because of the dramatic increase in the patient load, two people were needed in the POC lab, which was referred to as “inventory” as body parts are accounted for.


“I got through a few, but I knew that I was not meant for this. The next tray I reached for contained a 17-week-old baby, so a second term two-day procedure,” Jackie said. “I had never seen one that far along. I asked the other person in the lab to help me. As soon as she poured it in the dish, I immediately knew that this was wrong. My co-worker casually mentioned that this is where they start looking like a human. They all did. They had heads, eyes, arms, legs. I had a revelation in that moment.”


Jackie suddenly realized that everything she had learned and told others was a lie.


“I remember looking out the window and seeing the women coming in and it hit me that 200 people were coming through our doors, but only 100 would walk out alive. So many thoughts hit me at once. It was so bizarre, vile, and outright evil.”


Jackie told her trainer that she needed to talk to the manager and left the lab at once.


“I told her that I can’t work in that room. I simply could not do it,” she said. “She listened and tried to convince me that it would be fine. I felt so evil and haunted. By the end of the next day. I just knew there is no way I could work in that room again.”


Jackie again approached her manager and let her know directly that she could not, she would not ever work in that room again. Again, the manager tried to convince her, but this time, God had started a work in her heart, and she was resolute in her decision.


“I went home and told my husband that until I got another job, I could do check-in; I could do scheduling. At that time, my husband did not understand the emotional impact it was having on me and tried to explain to me that it was part of the procedure process, and I should try to work through it. He didn’t want me to risk losing my employment by refusing an assignment. He encouraged me to do what was assigned and keep looking for another job before quitting.”


Jackie returned to the clinic under the terms she would do scheduling and check-in only.


“I was still processing this 17-week-old baby. I had given him a name: Michael. My brain was trying to restore his humanity. I will never forget the manager telling me that, in reality, the POC was the most peaceful place in the clinic because everything is done. I put my foot down when she said it was part of the job. I worked check-in that day and knew I was done.”


While in the parking lot of the clinic, Jackie googled And Then There Were None.


“By the time I pulled into my driveway, Nichola was calling me,” she said. I was afraid of everything I had heard about the pro-lifers. The clinic made a point to poison us about them and make us think they were crazy and dangerous. Nichola was wonderful. She explained that everything I was going through was completely normal.”


Jackie explained to her husband that she was quitting the next day. This was the first time she experienced what it was like to step out in faith and trust God. She gave her two weeks’ notice and they tried to change her mind. During those two weeks, she answered the phones.


“When my time was done, I felt like I could decompress,” she said. “I received financial assistance from ATTWN, and they completely re-wrote my resume. They did everything they said they would do.”


Jackie applied for many jobs and in the end, she found a position that was a great fit for her. She continues to work with this practice, in which she started at an entry level position but was able to advance through the years due to her quality of character and work ethic. Today, she manages a fourth of the entire office.


“When I finally trusted God, He came through in a big way,” she said. “I still was so critical of myself and could not believe that I ever worked there. I was full of regret and remorse. I was trying to detach from it, but I finally realized that things like this need to be processed and worked through. I needed to find a way to make it a positive.”


Earlier this year, Jackie decided to attend her first ever healing retreat with ATTWN.


“I wish I had gone to a healing retreat years ago,” she said. “I had no idea what happened at these retreats. Only that group of people in that room know what I have gone through.”


A few short weeks after her first healing retreat, Jackie attended her first March for Life in D.C. and proudly marched with her fellow Quitters. She wants other workers who are on the fence about contacting ATTWN to make that first call.


“Once you reach out, the path before you becomes clearer. No one can force you to do anything and it is completely confidential and on your terms. What can it hurt?”


Jackie now loves interacting with her newfound friends.


“We all feel so comfortable sharing with each other,” she said. “Abby has her story, but now she isn’t standing alone. She has built a platform for others to share their stories. There is strength in numbers. It is such a unique thing to be a part of.”


Today, Jackie and her husband have three beautiful children adopted from foster care and have returned to her roots in a rural Texas town. Her family is now spiritually on the same page and enjoys worshipping and growing together.


“God’s timing is everything,” she said. “You just have to trust that when you close one door, that is an opportunity for another to open. I am ready and willing to share what I have been a part of to bring light to the reality in abortion.”