Nationwide Protest Against Planned Parenthood Draws Tens of Thousands

on August 24, 2015

This past Saturday morning was wonderfully encouraging: IRD staff joined with over 850 people in Falls Church, Virginia in order to draw attention to the unfolding scandal of Planned Parenthood trafficking the organs of aborted children.

Spread out across sidewalks lining Lee Highway and Maple Street, the two roads around our local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, we quietly prayed, cheerfully chatted with our neighbors and waved a hodgepodge of creative homemade signs.

People took notice of our ad-hoc demonstration on Saturday: several local news stations covered protests that morning, and even the Washington Post had coverage. According to World Magazine, we were among 40,000 who showed up nationwide.

I am under no illusion that we somehow made massive strides for the sanctity of life with our gathering, but it was an encouraging beginning as we called for our community to push back against a culture that all too often is willfully blind to abuse of the vulnerable.

It can be easy to fall into despair when we see legislative efforts to end federal funding of the Planned Parenthood organization stymied by a powerful and well-connected abortion lobby. But change does happen: in 2013 the largest abortion clinic in Virginia, responsible for 3,000 abortions a year, closed in Fairfax, Virginia. The clinic was the only abortion mill in Fairfax County, the largest jurisdiction in the commonwealth. Pregnancy resource centers now outnumber abortion clinics by more than 2-1 in the United States.

My own local parish, which is heavily engaged in opposing human trafficking and slavery, is not mobilized on confronting abortion. But at Saturday’s protest, I met up with half a dozen others from my congregation, plus my diocesan bishop, who has been tireless in his advocacy for the sanctity of human life. As one of my friends shared, “I’ve never protested anything before now” – but this scandal had raised her awareness of the issue and brought her out onto the sidewalk with us that morning.

This Sunday during the prayers of the people, my parish prayed for “all of those who are abused, trafficked and aborted” – the first time in six years that I have heard the “A” word uttered there.

I’m grateful for our parish work at the food bank, the shelter for abused women and partnering to end unjust incarceration or human slavery abroad. Every part of the body of Christ works to advance the Gospel in the world. Assisting women and children endangered by the practice of abortion is one part of this.

We may not see an end to federal funding of this abortion giant this year — but there are now more people protesting for the first time, gathering resources for their local pregnancy center, and considering adoption. I’m grateful.

Please mark your calendar for January 21, 2016. The Falls Church Anglican will be hosting “Mobilizing the Church for Life” a summit on sanctity of life issues. Timed to coincide with the annual March for Life, the summit is a new effort to raise the profile of these issues in our church communities.

IRD staff participate on the national day of protest against Planned Parenthood. From Left: Evangelical Director Chelsen Vicari, Bishop John Guernsey, IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith McDonnell and IRD Anglican Director Jeff Walton.
IRD staff participate on the national day of protest against Planned Parenthood. From Left: Evangelical Director Chelsen Vicari, Bishop John Guernsey, IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith McDonnell and IRD Anglican Director Jeff Walton.
  1. Comment by MarcoPolo on August 27, 2015 at 8:37 am

    It is uplifting to see devoted individuals gather en masse to protest something that they deem an atrocity to Humanity. Proof, that if the climate of tolerance has reached it’s tipping point, that many become moved to stand on the street corner for a good cause.

    Though I’m still completely puzzled why we didn’t see this same outpouring of concern during the slaughter of innocents from 2003 to 2010 when Bush-Cheney were wreaking havoc on Iraqi lives?! Astoundingly skewed priorities indeed!
    I guess, if it’s not the unborn American lives being disposed of, it really doesn’t matter! Hmmph!

  2. Comment by Reason0verhate on August 27, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Same old nonsense – whatever happens, Bush/Cheney did it. You 1960s relics don’t believe in Satan, but you believe in Bush/Cheney. You don’t have two brain cells to rub together.

  3. Comment by MarcoPolo on August 27, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Do you walk to school, or carry your lunch?

  4. Comment by MarcoPolo on August 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Nonsense, Huh?!
    I’m saddened to think you don’t care about the thousands of American (and Allied) soldiers that were sent to their deaths for an illegal War. Quite sad indeed!
    And for the sake of the subject at hand (Jeffrey Walton’s article), I don’t make comparisons of those lost soldiers’ lives to those that have been aborted over the last forty years. Simply because the unborn hold much less importance to those who have been born, and effectively affecting many more lives in the process.

    As it seems, your rate of comprehension is limited, as you totally misunderstood my reference to Bush & Cheney.
    For the record, I used to NOT believe in Satan, until Dick Cheney & Dubya came to power!

  5. Comment by Oki Mike on September 10, 2015 at 8:17 am

    You might want to throw oduma in there who is a 1000 times more satanic that President Bush & Vice President Cheney combined…

  6. Comment by MarcoPolo on September 10, 2015 at 9:07 am

    If you could present facts confirming your accusations, it would help your argument immensely.
    By comparison, Obama hasn’t created the economic devastation and human carnage, like that of his predecessors. But those facts sometimes elude low-information people.

  7. Comment by David on September 30, 2015 at 8:52 am

    You know, I heard it said one time by a woman I met in DC years ago on the anniversary March for Life that if we hadn’t allowed abortion in our country, then there wouldn’t have been these illegal wars since WW-II. Her remark puzzled me; I had to ask her how that was supposed to work. She said, that a pro-life people would NOT allow our children in the military be used as throw-away consumables in illegal wars. Our pro-life attitude would cause us to firmly make our stand and stop the warmongers cold in their tracks. She said that being pro-life begins with conception, and ends with caring for the dying, it’s not really as single-issue as demonstrating against abortion, and a people that follows God, respects life God created, and will never allow it to thrown away for any reason, but once the idea of killing our children creeps in, morality at all levels is lost.

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