As though tested by fire, the strongest people are the purest of heart. They exhibit a beautiful simplicity that merits a second look, and when they speak, their voices rise above the chaotic din.
Whether speaking or singing, Adrienne has the kind of voice that has such a vibrancy and a richness to it, you can’t help but want to hear more. She exudes kindness and warmth, and even during her own struggles with health and family, Adrienne has a special way about her that makes whoever she is talking with feel like they are the most important person in the world.
As a teenager, Adrienne was desperate for support and family after enduring trauma and brokenness in her own home. Pearl and Kermit Gosnell took her in and gave her some semblance of stability. Her loyalty to them overshadowed even her own sense of right and wrong when she later started working in Gosnell’s infamous Women’s Medical Society. News reports, social media and even movies have depicted in depth the horror of what happened at the West Philadelphia clinic.
“People hear about the horrors that happened, and it is all true,” Adrienne said. “What I wish that people would understand is that for me, how I became entangled with the Gosnells’ clinic is so complex. In the beginning they were so good to me, they were family to me, and I felt like I owed them. Then I felt stuck. I was stuck for so long. I was crying out for help.”
Adrienne struggled with her mental health and spent over a year trying to avoid the dark.
“I would see “Jacob”, the 30-week-old baby killed by Dr. Gosnell, every time it was dark, and I was trying to sleep. It freaked me out so bad,” Adrienne said. “I just went out. I would not even try to sleep as long as it was dark. I went out to casinos or karaoke bars and would only try to sleep when the sun came up. I never saw him when the sun was up.”
Adrienne was on the verge of ending her own life a month before she was arrested for her complicity in crimes committed in Gosnell’s clinic.
“When I was arrested and went to jail, I felt at peace with everything. At least if I was in jail, I could not hurt myself. I knew as a mom that suicide would be selfish. I didn’t want to do anything to harm my daughter.”
She went willingly, exhaling in relief that the dreaded sentence had finally come. Adrienne’s approachability and warmth has served her well, even as she served her time in prison.
“Ladies were always coming to me to get advice on their situations and talk about their problems,” she said. “Even the guards would come to me. So, I decided to pursue an education in the counseling field. This is helpful for me as well to heal. I can’t help nobody if I ain’t right,” Adrienne said. “I am doing this for myself as well as others.”
After serving her time, Adrienne heard about Abby Johnson and sought help from And Then There Were None. With a felony on her record and a desperate need for healing, ATTWN was ready to come to her aid with unconditional love.
“I love going on retreats with my ‘tribe sisters!’ Adrienne said. “When I go on a retreat, it is like I get to release. We come together. We lean on each other. Everyone there has, to some extent, experienced the same things as me. I can just be comfortable and share. For some of us, it is the only time we can let it out. It is like peeling layers off, even if it can only happen once a year. It is like we are chipping away at our pain together.”
The relationships Adrienne has formed with other former abortion clinic workers has been an invaluable source of support and encouragement for her. She, in turn, is an encouragement to others who have been where she is. Adrienne, along with two of her “tribe sisters,” Sarah and Nallely, were recently featured in the documentary, She Was Stronger.
“I have grown especially close with Sarah and Nallely, and, of course, with Abby, through filming the documentary and going to screenings. My wall has really come down.”
Filming in front of Gosnell’s clinic was exceedingly difficult, but also healing for Adrienne.
“I really did lose everything in that place,” she says. “My daughter was only 12 years old when I went away to prison. I lost so much because of my involvement with that place. So much pain and regret. I hate that that building is still standing. Even if it wasn’t, the memories will always be there.”
Adrienne’s prison time and shame from working at such a notorious clinic can often isolate her, even from the other Quitters in the tribe. Healing is a lifelong journey, though, and Adrienne continues to confront her fears by being vulnerable. She puts herself out there with a new identity rooted in Christ, admonishing the whispering attempts of the enemy to make her feel as though she can never truly be accepted and loved. Contrary to those lies, it is impossible not to love Adrienne.
Watching the documentary on the big screen was surreal for Adrienne. She was able to travel to three of the screenings and open herself up for Question & Answer sessions with the audience.
“I really like doing the Q&As at the screenings. I get so emotional, especially when I talk about how God held my hand during my time in prison and about the 30-week-old baby,” Adrienne
said. “There are so many things I need to come to terms with, and this documentary has helped me in many ways to do that.”
Some incredibly special guests were present to see the She Was Stronger premiere in New York City—five of Adrienne’s brothers. Four of them learned about Adrienne’s past for the first time at the premiere. The brokenness that made her susceptible to the grooming which led into the abortion industry as a teen is now paving the way to healing in Adrienne’s family. Her continued care for her father is a model for mercy.
Additionally, Adrienne has become a force to be reckoned with for the pro-life movement. She not only attends the March for Life every year, but she speaks on panels with other former abortion workers. She has spoken at the Pro-Life Women’s Conference and shared her story on major news outlets. In the future, Adrienne would like to write a book to tell her story and encourage others who are struggling.
“My concern now is for the workers who are still in the clinics. I know many of them want out, but it is so hard,” she said. “I want them to not have the issues that I have had. I want them to get help before it comes to that.” Adrienne is expected to graduate with her Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree in Nouthetic Counseling in June of 2023.
But more than anything, Adrienne loves to use her voice to bless others with her singing. At the She Was Stronger screenings she could attend, Adrienne sang “Amazing Grace” at the end of the movie. There was not a dry eye in the house.
“When I sing, I like to think that I am serenading God alone. That is what I truly love to do.”