I remember the outrage. How could anyone do such a thing as this? The images captured on video for all the world to see.
The date was July 14, 2015. The Center for Medical Progress released the first of its many disquieting videos regarding the deplorable practices of Planned Parenthood regarding the trafficking of baby body parts harvested from the barbaric abortion “services” they provide.
I was not the only one outraged by what I saw. For the next several weeks more equally horrifying videos would be released. The discussions on Twitter and Facebook were, to say the least, intense. Amid all these discussions, a few pro-life organizations came together to help organize people across the country into groups to publicly and peacefully protest the abortion and trafficking baby parts practices of Planned Parenthood. They took on the hashtag #ProtestPP.
Many of my friends on Facebook began posting about this opportunity and linking to the #ProtestPP website. They spoke of their plans to either participate in or help lead a rally at a clinic near them in their city. Knowing that we have a clinic run by PP less than two miles from our church, I checked to see if anything was planned for that location. Nothing. Decision time. I had been encouraging our church family to be active in living their faith…sharing the Gospel, standing up for what is right. The release of these videos brought on the question, “What can we do?”
Within a week of the first video being released, I went to the clinic in our area and went in. I felt like I was entering another world. When I spoke to the ladies at the reception desk, and told them I was a local pastor who was definitely on the other side of the issue from them, I didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t either. I simply asked them how we as Christians could pray for them in the midst of the current controversy swirling around their organization. I think they were truly stunned. They didn’t say much but handed me a card telling me how I could help support Planned Parenthood financially, etc. Well, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I thanked them and headed back out the door. I shared this with our church: We are to pray that what PP does is stopped in its tracks and soon. We must also reach out to those employed by that organization that we might have the opportunity to influence them with the Gospel and consistent conviction to hopefully change their minds. It has happened through these actions and rallies like 40 Days for Life.
My next step? Jump in with both feet to lead a #ProtestPP rally. There first one was scheduled for August 22, 2015. I began setting up ways to publicize the event through Facebook, Twitter, and the Web. Understand that I am a total novice to this process. Never had even attended a rally like this. Through the planning stages I was contacted by many interested in helping. We put together a prayerful protest rally in which 200+ people attended over the course of two hours that Saturday morning.
I was stunned…and greatly encouraged! The next rally, on October 16 last year, while smaller in attendance, was covered by a local news station.
I share all of this to encourage everyone regarding an opportunity this fall. On October 15, 2016, #ProtestPP is encouraging groups to host prayer vigils at local Planned Parenthood clinics. These vigils coincide with the 100th anniversary of PP. Check out their website to see where one is being hosted near you. We will be hosting one here in the Northalnd of KC, Missouri, at the new location to which the PP clinic has moved (I am convinced that our rallies, at least in some part, played a role in them moving to a less-accessible-for-protests location in recent months). If there is no one leading a vigil at a clinic which you know is in your area, I encourage you to consider taking on the challenge of leading it yourself. If I can be of any help, please let me know, either in the comments below or through this email.
When it comes to standing up for and rescuing those who are being led away to death (Proverbs 24:11), of which the evil of abortion is one example, I truly believe not only must we never forget, we must also be proactive in their defense.
“If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:12)