Hundreds gather at UW to hear controversial pro-life speaker

SEATTLE -- A divisive Thursday night lecture on the subject of reproductive rights brought both sides of the issue to the University of Washington, and some attendees ended their night with a trip to the police station.

On a college campus where writing is a requirement and lively debate is the norm, it's not surprising that Thursday's visit from Abby Johnson created controversy.

As she spoke, Johnson couldn't help but notice the signs and slurs and incessant interruptions from those who disagree with her views.

She knows where the protestors are coming from, because before she began touring the country as a pro-life advocate, Johnson walked on the other side of the controversial issue.

"I used to be pro-choice," she said. "I used to be a person that would be outside, picketing."

Johnson spoke to the packed house about her time working at Planned Parenthood.

"I saw a lot of corruption inside the abortion industry," she said.

She spent eight years with the organization before her outlook on abortion changed.

"If we're really going to say that we're pro-woman, how can we not be pro-life?" she said.

But in a city that's typically more pro-liberal than pro-life, the debate was divisive. Some of the attendees stood their ground and were led away in handcuffs.

As for Johnson, she said she just wants her message to stick.

"My hope is that something I say -- it may make them angry -- but something I say will stick with them," she said.