At the last minute my scheduled extra shift was cancelled and I found myself able to briefly attended the anti-abortion protest in Fitchburg which while part of a series of national protests for defending planned parenthood was delayed a week by winter storms.

In the seven years that Planned Parenthood has been in Fitchburg there have been many demonstrations there and lots of prayer but over the last year our friends on the left started counting protesting so there were two distinct groups, one near the entrance of the parking garage that was prolife and wanting to defund planned parenthood

And one directly opposite the “clinic” that was in favor of abortion and planned parenthood

When we first started protesting planned parenthood before the building even opened we had no opposition (unless you count the painter working on the building before they opened who told me that said if it gets rid of some of the Spanish in town he’s all for it) the other side never bothered to counter protest. It speaks well of the effectiveness of the pro-life prayers that our foes now, in the last year have found it necessary to counter us (if we had no effect then they’d ignore us) and it speaks even better of us that in a college town in this bluest of states we outnumbered them on a Saturday, but the most interesting part of my brief visit was completely unexpected.

At one point as the rosary began a young lady from the other side walked over and started engaging one of our group, the organizer, not wanting the prayers to be interrupted, asked her to postpone her engagement until the prayer was done at which time they’d be happy to talk to her but I was intrigued, so I walked over to her and we spoke literally between the two groups.

Other than age we had a lot in common, we attended the same university (although it was a college when I was there before she was born) we were both engineers (although she has a double major) but most important of all she was willing to talk to people she disagreed with which suggests both curiosity and a liking for people, this and her civility given what we’ve seen in the land is rare and should always be encouraged.

At this point I offered to interview her and she consented (which given my association with the other side shows a level of trust I’ve rarely experienced when engaging opponents)

I thought she did quite well, particularly on the question of funding and after the interview we talked briefly. She said that I had given her things to think about.

Meanwhile I moved back to my side of the aisle and there I found Olivia who also consented to an interview. She was a few years younger than Natasha and talked about the pressure that she gets from her peers for her open pro-life stance.

It seemed to me in many ways Natasha and Olivia were very alike and as I pondered it something clicked in my head. I asked Joyce (the protest leader for our Pro-life group) If I could speak to the group before leaving and she agreed.

I asked them to pray for the folks on the other side noting that some of the greatest pro-life warriors of our age started out on the other side and for all we know one of those young people (and most of them were college age with a few older feminists sprinkled in) might be leading our protests some day. On my way out I quietly asked a pair of people, strong in faith & prayer to pray for Natasha and found myself not only doing the same but adding her to my lengthy prayer list remembering that God changes hearts.

That very day the news of McCorvey, a.k.a. ‘Jane Roe,’ death broke:

She had a troubled, difficult life, but eventually renounced her pro-abortion views and converted to Catholicism

Her conversion story is here an excerpt in her own words

The sad story of my days as a pro-choice activist, days that I am happy are long gone, is recounted in the book I am Roe. The marvelous story of my journey to a new life in Christ and the pro-life movement is recounted in the book Won by Love. Now it is time to add a new chapter to the story of my life, because God had more in store for me even after He made me 100% pro-life and washed me in the waters of baptism.

He wanted me to “come home,” a message that scared me at first, because I did not know what it meant.

Eventually she would figure it out and become Catholic

The day finally arrived when I would be received into the Catholic Church. I did not have to be baptized again, because the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of baptism by flowing water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So the ceremony, scheduled for August 17, 1998 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Dallas, was a Mass during which I would profess my adherence to all that the Catholic Church officially teaches, and would receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and of First Holy Communion.

I did not want this day to be a media event. No part of my journey of conversion was for the media; it was for God. I did not want distractions, or a distortion of the day’s true meaning…The first time Fr. Frank Pavone interviewed me for his radio program, he started by saying, “So you are the Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade.” “No Father,” I responded, “I was the Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade, but now I am a new creation in Christ. I am Roe no more!”

The primary goal of us in the pro-life movement is to save lives, both the lives of the child (and all those generations that would follow) and the life of the mother, father and all of those who will suffer, sometimes in silence, and sometimes in public over abortion.

But the 2nd goal is to change hearts and minds, because it will be those changed hearts and changed minds that will make the first goal possible and will even more importantly lead to changed souls.

And it’s a changed soul that is the different between eternal life and eternal death which in the end is the bottom line we will all face.

Right now I have a lot on my plate and I suspect so do you but I’d ask that you add a daily prayer for both Natasha and Oliva, may they both, like the brother in scripture, find themselves in the end together in their father’s house, one there from the start, and the other after a wrong turn and a long detour, but both in the end together in celebration.

That’s a result worth praying for.


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Compere: Well, Mr Walters, what’s it like being invisible?

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Monty Python’s Flying Circus

On Saturday I posted videos & interviews from the planned parenthood protest in Fitchburg.

It was a small protest but one of 180 planned protests against planned parenthood that as Breitbart noted became 320 protests all over the nation such as louisville.

Alejandro Capote spoke at the Louisville, Kentucky, protest, where he estimates at least 500 people participated.

“I spoke about the importance of defunding Planned Parenthood,” Capote tells Breitbart News. “It’s important that women have health care that does not fund abortion.”

Falls church virginia

Theresa King, who organized the Falls Church, Virginia, #ProtestPP rally told Breitbart News she decided to be an organizer after viewing the Center for Medical Progress videos.

“I saw the Planned Parenthood videos and felt the need to act,” she said. “As a kid, I would pray outside of abortion clinics, and my mom always said that we were giving the babies the only funeral they would ever have, so I felt the need to stand for the babies in the video, but for all the babies that have died in abortion.”

and if you go to twitter you could find photos from all over the country. Ottawa Illinois

Orange California

Nashville TN

Grand Rapids:

San Diego:

Indianapolis

Dayton OH

Denver

Minnesota:

And as Twitchy and Steven Miller noted these took place without violence:

This fact is a huge problem for the MSM which has taken the side of planned parenthood in the current debate and the knowledge that this many protests took place without incident would be an awkward story for them.

However despite the photographic evidence I’ve just displayed the media’s problem was solved by the people in question apparently being totally invisible:

 

Obviously the protesters were quite invisible to most, I did a search of CBS news for planned parenthood , no coverage:
cbspp
ABC no coverage
abcpp
NBC no coverage
nbcpp

Not even a word on the net from any of them.  CNN did slightly better online here is the full text of their only story: (emphasis mine)

CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Opponents took to the streets in a nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood on Saturday. Jennifer James was driving past a Planned Parenthood in Oklahoma City when she saw hundreds of people protesting Saturday morning. ““It was a very quiet protest,” James said. “As I walked up and down it with my camera, you could have heard a pin drop. It was unusual given how contentions of an issue it is.”
zdan, CNN iReport producer

A few hundred people gather outside Planned Parenthood in Oklahoma City to protest abortion and government funding for the organization. Among the protesters were students from the Newman Center, a Catholic student organization at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Note the highlighted text, the only reason why CNN has this tiny bit of online coverage was because one of their producers noticed the protest driving by and was shocked by how orderly it was.
But who knew that so many people in the nation could be so invisible?  Particularly when they don’t have media connections who will be sure to show up to make even the tiniest protest national news

I’m a single blogger with a cheap camera and the MSM is a multi billion dollar industry, how is it that I could produce this interview

and they could not?

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IMG_0377Yesterday all over the country protests took place at Planned parenthood locations highlighting the horrors that we’ve seen from the planned parenthood videos that have been released not only selling organs of children but revealing the slaying of born alive children to get bit of them for profit.

In Massachusetts while there were large protests in Boston and Worcester and Springfield. I choose to attend the small protest in my city of Fitchburg in front of the planned parenthood location there as it was not only the closest but it started at Noon rather than 9 or 10 AM. the closest.

Because Fitchburg is the smallest of the protest cities and unlike the other Planned parenthood locations no abortions take place in Fitchburg it tends to draw small crowds from 15-30 protesters given the day I was curious as to how many people I would see.

I arrived about 11:15 and sat in my car reading in the parking lot across from PP, waiting to see when the first person would show up, at the same time there was loud music in Spanish behind me. Apparently in the city park by the river a small festival was going on and occasionally a spanish family would turn up and head down there.

Around 11:40 I say my first “Choose Life” license plate turn up. It was a family I’d never seen before and they consented to an interview.

As it got closer to Noon a few people I recognized tricked in, I asked one about the turnout and she joked. “you know us Catholics, we like to show up at the last-minute.”

She was right in one respect at about 11:55 people started showing up in quantity many of them from my new parish St. Bernard’s Parish at St. Camillus church including our Pastor and Religious solitary nun, but the turnout wasn’t strictly Catholic.

I saw many faces that I didn’t recognize including Sarah whose family had signs that I absolutely loved. She spoke to me next.

At about five past 12 the crowd was over 60 and things began. Dr. Mark Rollo was the primary speaker.

And he was followed by Tom Harvey who despite the very blue state legislature is taking the fight there and looking for help.

After the speeches the organizers began in prayer, including the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet. In one respect this worked out pretty well because the 25 person Protestant contingent kept holding the signs while the 50 person Catholic contingent was praying, although our protestant brothers did occasionally break into song and prayer as well.

We had a few people yell at us but for me the highlight was one woman who stopped by and asked why we don’t do more than just pray and protest. She was amazed to hear about the various efforts to help pregnant women that are sponsored such as Bellmont Abbey College’s program for pregnant college students and the work done locally at Visitation House.

IMG_0345

It’s the part of the story that is rarely told.

In the end the count got up to 80 as local people who had attended the Worcester event turned up but other than one other new media person who interviewed me there was no sign of press. This was apparently consistent with the national coverage as the media either pretended we didn’t exist or avoided mentioning the videos that promoted us to come the exception being in Louisiana thanks to Bobby Jindal who beat Planned Parenthood at their own game.

The efforts of American journalist to hide and downplay these videos makes them complicit in the actions in them and unlike the German’s after world war two they don’t even have deniability.

I suspect the fight will go on long after I’m gone but the day will come when our descendants will look at us the same way as we look at Dietrich’s character above.

Update: Glenn put it well:

TRADITIONAL MEDIA COVERAGE, HOWEVER, WAS LESS THAN MASSIVE: Massive Planned Parenthood protests across US.

If this had been a black lives matter protest it would have been everywhere in the new but as more black babies are aborted than born in the US in a sense a “black lives matters” protest is exactly what it was.

Yesterday while the congress were going back and forth and while the Red Sox were losing their 6th straight there was a protest at the Fitchburg Planned Parenthood.

Peeking out through he shades

The people inside spend a lot of time peeking out

A walking protest

In front of the place there was a walking protest

He knows the origins of the group

And a standing protest

Youth isn't wasted on the young

On both sides of the Street

I interviewed several protesters Such as Ted

and Linda:

And Chris:

I also attempt to interview people from Planned parenthood but they declined to open the door or come out from behind the curtains. In fact it wasn’t till protesters left than a group of people inside left.

…but the protesters fighting Planned Parenthood in Fitchburg carry on:

Protesters in front of Planned parenthood Main street Fitchburg

Undaunted:

Valentine's day protestors in front of Planned Parenthood

These protest will not stop as long as they are in town.

A locked door and drawn shades
That was the answer of the guard as I knocked on the door of Planned parenthood at 391 Main street Fitchburg to see if anyone from the place would comment on their opening. The guard took my card and came out with the response. He had a gold badge saying “Crime Prevention Unit” but I didn’t see if the person was actually associated with any kind of law enforcement.

This was about 12:30 a.m on August 6th. Only a few of the protesters had showed up in the parking lot to this point. They were awaiting the others preparing for their day. I crossed the street to start my interviews when I noticed a gentleman in an Islamic cap heading toward the Mosque that had been on Main Street for many years.

As I never had been inside I wanted to get the views of the local Islamic community, as Catholic and protestant communities had already joined various protests. He invited me in and I ended up viewing the Islamic service and interviewing the Imam.

I’ve already told the story of that encounter but I will add after the service we talked for 45 minutes and I asked him the opinion of Islam on Abortion in general and of planned parenthood in particular.

According to Imam Bashir Uddin Mehmud Islam forbids abortion unless the choice is between the death of the mother and the death of the child.

He was unwilling to make a pronouncement on the behalf of the community but was willing to talk on behalf of himself. He talked about the changes in Fitchburg, the lack of modesty, the increase of drugs in the city and the coming of the gangs. He pointed to the strip club (the other side) on water street, and the fact that a lot of the services that the center will be offering are offered in schools and the colleges and readily available.

His point was Planned Parenthood was not so much the problem but a symptom of the bigger problem of our walk away from morality.

I left the mosque a bit after 2 p.m. and the protest was in full swing. Many familiar faces were already on the line, but the face that jumped out at me was my own pastor, Fr. Robert Bruso.

Fr Bruso of St. Anthony of Padua church picketing with the protestors

Fr. Bruso has issues with his legs but that didn’t stop him from marching for two hours in the hot sun. I greeted him and mentioned the Iman’s remark. He remarked that it really goes back to the Reformation where it was decided that Eternal Truth could be individually defined. From that point we have reached a state where people are unwilling to admit the existence of simple truth (let alone eternal ones).

Nothing slowed him down and he only paused twice when different gentlemen passing by stopped and spoke with some surprise to see a Catholic priest marching. It doesn’t seem odd to me, but it got me thinking that this is the real casualty of the scandals; that people expect and many a priest has, retreated from proclaiming truths to the world. Fr. Bob is not among them.

During the entire time I witnessed the protest new people came and other left, while the owner of the building looked on nervously from the second floor of the building. Only one or two people actually entered or exited the office itself.

After taking care of a personal errand I returned for the last hour of protest. Some had come and some had gone but a core group remained and new people came to join them continuing the vigil in front of the office and making their presence known.

Planned Parenthood on main street Fitchburg is now a fact. The imprimatur of the City Council and the cash of the federal government had made it so. What remains to be seen is if the protests against them and regular picketing by those who support life will also be a fact, if today and the regular smaller protests are any measure I would say they will be.

But I keep going back to the words of the Imam and the Pastor on how we as a society have reached this point. The answer comes from something I read today from columnist and classical author Victor Davis Hanson. Commenting on the state of the country he wrote:

If one were to survey the elite campuses around 1975 and talk to those in law school, poly sci, or the humanities, then imagine them 35 years later as our elite leaders in government, the media, the universities, the foundations, and the arts, one could pretty much expect what we now have.

The answer seems to be what it always is, we get the country, the society and the culture that we deserve.

Update: Fixed some grammatical mistakes.

…at the Fitchburg Sentinel on the Planned Parenthood protest:

As Friday’s protest began at 1 p.m., there didn’t seem to be any people heading into the office, causing Hanley to question whether it had opened.

Jesse Mermell, vice president of external affairs for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, denied that the office would open Friday. Mermell declined to provide any details on when the office will open.

But at around 1:30 p.m., a woman and her son knocked on the locked door of the Planned Parenthood office, telling a man who looked to be a security guard inside she had an appointment.

Afterward, the woman, Tamu Brobbey, confirmed she had an appointment Friday. emphasis mine

You mean Planned Parenthood lied about something? Who woulda thought it?

What cowards! They know they are going to be protested, anyone following our posts here since January KNOW they are going to be protested regularly, there have been protesters almost daily since day one, and yet Planned Parenthood with the power of the Federal Money and the City Council, the Mayor’s office and the City Solicitor backing them up all the way is too afraid to either put up their shingle or even admit that they are open.

Nothing like the courage of your convictions.

Unfortunately the Abortion news is almost uniformly bad:

Pundit and Pundette reports that the president is pushing abortion in Kenya:

Administration officials have indeed sent a clear message to Kenya. After the Kenyan Parliament approved the abortion liberalizing draft constitution, the White House released a statement lauding the parliament’s decision and encouraging Kenyans to “see this important reform element through can help to turn the page to a promising new chapter of Kenyan history.”

Pundette reminds us also of the endorsement of all of this by the famously Catholic Joe Biden.

Meanwhile in the Senate Frank Lautenberg tries his best to keep American Taxpayers paying for Abortion worldwide, as Mass Citizens for life informs us:

Last Friday, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D, NJ) introduced an amendment to the foreign appropriations bill that would make permanent President Obama’s overturning of the Mexico City Policy. which stops tax dollars from going to groups that promote and perform abortions overseas.

But that’s not all:

The legislation funnels millions more taxpayer dollars to groups like the United Nations Family Planning Fund (UNFPA), which has worked hand-in-hand with the population control officials in China to enforce the nation’s one-child policy with forced abortions and other human rights abuses.

On top of the $55 million to UNFPA, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would get a $24 million raise. The USAID is currently funding (probably illegally) lobbying efforts to legalize abortion in Kenya’s constitution.

Just what we need to be financing with two wars and a bum economy.

In NJ Chris Christie vetoed a bill funding planned parenthood and the Democrats in NJ are on the warpath to override:

The vote in the Senate had been 30-10 with no abstentions and all Senators present and voting. Three of the seven Republican Senators had already told Friedman that they would vote against this bill. All four of the rest would have had to vote against party, including Beck, who would have had to come back from her China trip to cast the override vote. The latest press statement indicates that this will not happen.

However they voted to pass the override bill once, will the fold like wet blankets again? Time will tell.

Speaking of federal funding of abortion, thanks to the generous help of the US government and the support of the Fitchburg City Council Planned Parenthood will be opening its doors in town this Friday. Protests are planned for the day and your participation in them would be most welcome.

A protest is scheduled for their opening at 1 p.m. on Friday.

I still recall protesting earlier this year and having a man opposed to us going on about how good it is to rid ourselves of the minority freeloaders. What a disgrace.