Thousands protest Planned Parenthood nationwide
Abortion | Demonstrators decried the abortion giant’s sales of aborted baby body parts for medical research
by Bonnie Pritchett
Posted 8/22/15, 04:38 pm
HOUSTON—Almost 400 people rallied outside Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast this morning as part of a nationwide protest following revelations the abortion giant sells pieces of aborted babies for medical research. More than 40,000 others gathered across the country to demand authorities hold abortionists accountable (see the slideshow below for photos from Houston and other protests and listen to voices and sounds from the protest in Asheville, N.C., on The World and Everything in It).
Organized by the Pro-Life Action League, the rally at Texas’ flagship facility was one of 350 U.S. demonstrations and five international gatherings held to draw attention to the legal and moral repercussions stemming from the video series produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). The videos show Planned Parenthood employees haggling over the price each baby body part can fetch in the research market. That proved a breaking point for many demonstrators who always considered themselves pro-life but never did anything about it.
“It just opened our eyes to what is happening,” Sara Horan, 33, told me. “Yeah. We’re pro-life. But this …”
Choking back tears, Horan, a mother of two, pointed to the abortion facility unable to finish her sentence. She and her husband, Joe, the worship pastor at Old River Baptist Church in Mont Belvieu, Texas, had never participated in a pro-life event before today.
CMP’s videos convinced Joe Horan if he did not take a more active role in standing up for human life, he had no right to speak to other moral and social issues.
“The videos just peeled back the layers for our generation,” he said.
Mandy Odom, 33, and her friends Richard Hutto, 30, and Jonathan Powers, 28, agreed.
Odom said she had always been pro-life but admitted she turned a blind eye to the workings of the abortion industry and its leader, Planned Parenthood. Before today, Odom had never joined a pro-life demonstration and the event proved emotional.
“It’s unbelievable what happens here,” she said, indicating the six-story building situated between two college campuses and one of Houston’s poorer neighborhoods. “It just can’t continue. The killing of live babies has to stop.”
Hutto, the pastor of a three-week-old church plant, King’s Church in Conroe, Texas, said he wanted to raise awareness of what went on at the Gulf Coast facility. And pointing people to Christ in the process is the ultimate goal, Powers added.
Houston’s Gulf Coast center is one of the largest in the nation. In one of the CMP videos, the facility’s research director boasts her department harvests more fetal tissue than all other Planned Parenthood facilities combined. She suggests her abortionists willingly alter their procedure to procure intact aborted babies.
Even before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion a generation ago, Clara Richmond, 62, knew she needed to intercede on behalf of the unborn and their mothers. During her decades-long involvement in the pro-life movement, she has watched the rise of nihilistic disregard for life. But incremental revelations about the inner workings of abortion facilities, including the latest videos, have drawn more people to the pro-life ranks.
“There’s more young people,” she said, holding a banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe for passing motorists to see. “That’s encouraging. The message is clear. The truth has come out. It’s abuse of the babies, and it hurts the mothers.”
Nancy Shaw, a regular pro-life advocate outside the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast facility, comes within inches of cars pulling into the driveway, all too aware she has only seconds to give a message of hope to mothers and divert them to a mobile clinic across the street offering free ultrasound services. She was buoyed by today’s protest turnout. The Houston facility, she believes, will soon close.
Texas is one of several states to launch investigations into the sale of aborted babies, a violation of federal law. In addition to the Texas attorney general’s investigation, the Harris County district attorney also is looking into the facility’s practices.
Bonnie reports on First Amendment freedoms for WORLD Digital.