Commentary by Joey Kerlin
Whenever I am asked what is the most effective way to stop Planned Parenthood I always give the same response: Be a peaceful, prayerful presence outside its clinics.
In the time I have spent opposing Planned Parenthood I have seen more fruits from this action than any other. People are educated about what Planned Parenthood does. Lives of babies are saved from abortions. Entire clinics are closed down. But now, Planned Parenthood has a campaign that it says will diffuse this effective means of opposing it, claiming that “this campaign is a no-win situation for protesters.”
The campaign that Planned Parenthood is talking about is called “pledge a protester.” Here’s how it works: A Planned Parenthood supporter pledges to give a set amount of money for each protester that shows up on a given day. For example, if someone pledged one dollar for every protester and 200 people showed up to peacefully pray at the clinic, the donor would give Planned Parenthood $200. If just 10 people pledged this amount, then Planned Parenthood could easily make thousands of dollars in one day all because of the people who came to protest. Well, at least that’s what Planned Parenthood wants you to believe.
At times like this, we must remember that Planned Parenthood is a liar and a bully, plain and simple. The reality is that this campaign doesn’t actually raise much money. Even if it did, it could never raise enough to counter the effectiveness of a peaceful visible witness at the clinics.
The reason why such pro-life witness outside Planned Parenthood’s offices is so effective is that it encompasses all of the aspects of the fight against Planned Parenthood. It raises awareness, exposes the evil work that takes place, dissuades customers, impacts business and changes hearts.
It is effective is simply because it is a visible presence. When people are standing in protest to something it serves two purposes. For one, this presence is a clear public sign that Planned Parenthood is not welcome in the community. Furthermore, passers by begin to suspect that there is something wrong with what this place is doing and want to find out what that is. Often they will ask the protesters what is going on and learn about the evil work of Planned Parenthood. This will continue to spread the public outcry against this organization.
Another core aspect of this witness is reaching out to those who are attempting to buy dangerous contraceptive drugs or young mothers and fathers who are intent on aborting their children. Opponents of Planned Parenthood realize that these individuals are not the enemy in this fight but instead are people who must be told the truth about Planned Parenthood’s lies. By reaching out to these people in love, hearts and minds are converted and very often lives are saved. Just as importantly, however, these same people are lovingly counseled after their abortions and given the resources to help them heal from the death of their child. It is through this that even more often hearts are changed.
As with all things, the most important aspect of being a witness at Planned Parenthood’s clinics is prayer. In my experience fighting this abortion giant I have found that grace is the one thing that Planned Parenthood simply cannot withstand. I have known clinic staffers that have decided they could no longer work for Planned Parenthood because they felt convicted in their hearts to quit. High profile ex-abortionists such as Dr. Bernard Nathanson note that it was only through the grace of God that their eyes were opened to the evil of the industry. Countless miracles happen every day as fruits of the prayers of the faithful at clinics.
Planned Parenthood’s staff knows how effective it is when people peacefully, prayerfully witness at its clinics. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t feel the need to try to discourage people from coming. Planned Parenthood knows the good will of those who work to shut down its operations and it tries to use that against us. Of course no one who fights to stop Planned Parenthood would want to be responsible for helping garner donations. But, as I tell people all the time, don’t believe the lies and don’t be discouraged.
Remember this: If someone is a Planned Parenthood donor, he is already going to give money to fund its operations, whether it is through a “pledge a protester” campaign or some other vehicle. It also must be noted that limits are put on the amount of money a donor will give, regardless of the number of people that show up to protest.
Good people fighting the good fight cannot be held responsible for someone else’s actions. We are not the ones giving the money nor are we soliciting for these donations. Therefore, we cannot be held culpable if donations are given. Finally, the bottom line is this: Going to pray and be a peaceful witness at Planned Parenthood is simply the right thing to do.
During past years on Good Friday, Planned Parenthood clinics have displayed signs with messages such as, “no matter what we will stay open.” Why would Planned Parenthood feel it necessary to put up such a sign? The law currently protects the evil work it does; in fact specific laws like the FACE Act actually grant it special protections. It isn’t out of fear that another organization will topple it; Planned Parenthood is a giant in its industry. So what is Planned Parenthood so afraid of?
Jesus Christ said it best, when He instituted His Church and promised us that “the gates of hell would not prevail against it.” Remember, gates do not attack; gates protect. We are the Church that Jesus instituted, and Christ promised us that we will prevail.
When Planned Parenthood comes out with a “pledge a protester” campaign, or any campaign attempting to discourage people from confronting its evil face to face, rejoice. Rejoice because it means that Planned Parenthood is on the defensive. And do what I do; go to the clinic anyway and bring your friends. Imagine the tremendous effect it will have on Planned Parenthood’s evil business if there area 100 people praying and witnessing. Imagine the amount of money Planned Parenthood would lose from people who turned around at the clinics, or perhaps were convinced to never even enter. Imagine the outpouring of grace that much prayer would evoke. Imagine the number of lives and souls saved by this faithful witness.
This Friday, April 6, is Good Friday. While we did not stand at the foot of the cross when our Lord was crucified, we can stand at His feet now. For as Jesus Himself told us, “as you do to the least of these, so do you do unto me.” This Friday, may all of us stand in vigil for the least, the innocent preborn, at their hour of death to be a witness in visible protest of their murder and unite our prayers to the Passion of our Lord, begging for mercy upon us all.
Release issued: 5 Apr 07