Anti-abortion activists came together on Saturday, August 22nd to protest Planned Parenthood. After the Center for Medical Progress released several edited smear videos of Planned Parenthood staff (detailed here), several anti-abortion organizations organized a nationwide protest of the abortion provider. According to the Washington Post, protesters demonstrated at approximately 320 clinics across the U.S., calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded.
According to the Protest PP website, the demonstrations are meant to show outrage over Planned Parenthood's alleged "harvesting and selling of aborted baby parts". The end goal of such protests is the defunding and closure of Planned Parenthood offices.
"ProtestPP is a coalition of pro-life groups calling for a National Day of Protest on August 22, 2015 at Planned Parenthood facilities all across America. Our goal is to raise awareness of the heartless and even illegal activities of Planned Parenthood by going to where the killing and harvesting of body parts from aborted children takes place. The four main sponsors are: Created Equal, the Pro-Life Action League, 40 Days for Life, and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.Family Research Council, one of the co-sponsors of #ProtestPP, blasted Planned Parenthood in a recent press release. Arina Grossu, Family Research Council’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, insisted that the protests were meant to support women and denounce "human rights abuses".
Creating a presence at neighborhood Planned Parenthood facilities is essential to inform the public about what is going on behind closed doors. Local sidewalk counselors and activists are a key component to shutting down Planned Parenthood in the long term.
The National Day of Protest will strengthen local efforts by raising their profile with the local press, the community and other pro-life activists. Together, the protests held on August 22 will put pressure on the media, both local and national, to report the truth about Planned Parenthood, and on government officials to stop funding this discredited organization."
"We must to stand against the scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood on behalf of women and children who have been hurt by them and hold them accountable for all of the horrific practices they do behind closed doors. Each of us can stand up against the horrific human rights abuses going on in our midst. When Congress returns in September, they must redirect taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood to the thousands of health care centers that don’t perform abortions and are not under federal and state investigation..."Several Religious Right figures took part in the August 22nd protests. For instance, Bethlehem College & Seminary chancellor John Piper took part in a protest in St. Paul, Minnesota "to say to Planned Parenthood that killing children is not an acceptable response to crisis pregnancies". In a commentary piece at Desiring God, Piper praised his fellow Christians for attending the protest.
"The gathering this morning was explicitly Christian. The name of Jesus and his Lordship were on the lips of the leaders. We sang praises to God and to the Victor, Jesus Christ. This is a beautiful thing — that the public stand for justice for the weakest in our society would be carried by the followers of Christ. We have a great salvation, and that this would be one of the fruits is wonderful.
It is no secret that the Roman Catholic Church has been the religious backbone of the prolife movement for forty years. I thank God for this persevering clarity on the reality and dignity of unborn human life. I am not a Roman Catholic, but happily stood with them in this common cause of justice for the unborn. When the time comes, we will have our knock-down, drag-out arguments over the sacrificial Mass, baptismal regeneration, and the precious doctrine of justification by faith alone. But each thing in its own season. This morning the issue was this: God’s is weaving human life in the womb in his image; don’t kill what he is creating."
New Apostolic Reformation leader Jim Garlow (pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, California) spoke at at anti-abortion protest in San Diego, California. Tastelessly, he compared Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust and ISIS at the beginning of the video.
"[Inaudible] Jewish Holocaust survivors--when you hear the stories of what they went through, it wouldn't occur to you that it could possibly--seventy years later, we find ourselves with two manifestations of this horrible dismemberment of humanity. Now refer to that what is happening across the Middle East. We have two modern day representations of that kind of hatred. ISIS and other related jihadist groups. We read the reports and we're in shock that people could do this to other people, and Planned Parenthood is the other one, right here globally doing the same kinds of things to humanity that ISIS does as well."Garlow sneered at claims that Planned Parenthood performs valuable services, likening the organization to Adolph Hitler at the 2:50 mark.
"Some say, 'oh, Planned Parenthood does some good'. So did Hitler! He built the Autobahn and created the Volkswagen, but that's not enough for six million Jews who died. They never got a chance to use those roads. They never could drive those cars. Don't give me the line 'you do some good' when you're murdering babies right in our communities."At the 3:42 mark, Garlow complained that Planned Parenthood has supposedly forced abortions on the population, just as LGBTQ rights advocates supposedly forced same-sex marriage on the U.S.
"Some use the "optional" argument. They say, 'well, the fact is we have abortion, but we don't force it on you'. That's the line they used on same-sex marriage. Now they've forced it on all of us. The fact is, they have forced abortion on all of us."This weekend's protests showed us that the anti-abortion movement is energizing its followers and stoking their rage. Now that the movement is organized and angry, we can expect an uptick in anti-choice activism. Is the pro-choice movement ready to push back?