By Jim Sedlak
The National Abortion Federation bills itself as the professional association of abortion providers. Members include most abortion facilities in the US and Canada.
Every year the NAF releases a report on pro-life activities at America’s physical abortion facilities. The NAF does this to try to paint pro-lifers as violent people, however the majority of the activities it reports are peaceful, prayerful pickets outside its killing centers.
This past week, the NAF released its latest report and it shows an incredible surge in picketing.
American Life League’s STOPP program has always encouraged pro-lifers to peacefully protest outside of a Planned Parenthood facility at least once a week—more if possible. The 40 Days for Life campaign organizes 40 days of constant presence outside abortion facilities twice a year. The Protest PP movement sets aside one or two days each year when pro-lifers are encouraged to picket every Planned Parenthood facility in the United States. Many other pro-life individuals and groups also have a presence outside abortion facilities because it makes a difference and saves lives.
NAF’s latest report gives specific current and historic data that show that, 45 years after Roe v. Wade, pro-life activity is the highest it has ever been. Let’s look at some of the numbers reported by NAF:
- From 1990 to 1999, NAF reports 29,937 incidents of picketing. This was an average of 2,994 a year, with the highest years being in 1997 (7,518) and 1998 (8,402).
- From 2000 to 2009, NAF reports 110,600 incidents of picketing. This was an average of 11,060 a year and was fairly evenly spread throughout the decade.
- From 2010 to 2014, NAF reports 27,809 incidents of picketing. This was an average of 5,561 a year and significantly lower than the previous 10 years.
Then came 2015 and the pro-life community was jolted into action. According to NAF, picketing incidents at its facilities escalated dramatically. There were 21,715 in 2015, 61,562 in 2016, and 78,114 in 2017.
Why this surge? July 2015 was when the Center for Medical Progress began releasing videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts business. Shock waves reverberated throughout the pro-life community. American Life League and STOPP joined the Pro-Life Action League, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal, and 60 other state and national groups to begin coordinated protests outside Planned Parenthood facilities across the country.
The CMP videos reinvigorated activists in the pro-life community. In addition, the videos drew many new people into the battle and brought them in as activists. Shortly after the initial day of protest of Planned Parenthood, in August 2015, I traveled throughout California and met numerous people who told me that protesting PP was the first pro-life activity they ever engaged in. This, of course, is the reason that the pro-abortion cartel is so desperate to stop the release of the remainder of the videos.
If we can believe the NAF data, there have been more pickets outside abortion facilities in the last three years (161,391) than in the two decades prior to that. Now is the time to increase our street activities even more. People need to see us out in front of the abortion facilities in every community in which these killing centers operate.
The NAF report is supposed to show how violent pro-lifers are. However, this year’s report shows something quite different. The numbers show that pro-lifers in America are not ready to just sit by and watch children being killed in abortion facilities. We will, and do, take action.
Let us always remember the words of Mother Teresa at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast where she said:
The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
Let us love both the mother and her child and always be in front of the killing centers—in even greater numbers.
Jim Sedlak is vice president of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a weekly talk show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.