Not long after Fr. Imbarrato paid a visit to my area and spoke about the need for “decisive strategies” for pro-life activists, I read about his arrest for a sit-in at an abortion facility. Not on the sidewalk – but in the facility itself. Thirty years ago, I would have admired that.
Thirty years ago, I hadn’t met any former abortion workers.
I read Abby Johnson’s Unplanned in 2010, and later met and listened to her. I met Catherine Adair in 2011. These women told me about how, when they were working at Planned Parenthood, the actions and words of some pro-life activists actually increased the sense of solidarity among the clinic workers and the fear among clients. They forced me to see activism differently.
Please watch this 20-minute video from Sidewalk Advocates for Life. Abby and Catherine are both featured. Entitled “Desperate Measures,” the video is a direct response to recent sit-ins and “rescues.” The message is don’t do it – and here’s the better way to carry out peaceful pro-life witness.
Here’s a little story about cognitive dissonance in the big city.
Cathy of the Pray for Life Center in Manchester, New Hampshire sends out a weekly email about what goes on during her vigils outside the Planned Parenthood office on Thursdays, which are reportedly when surgical abortions are performed on site. (Cathy‘s been at this for awhile, as I noted back in 2013.) In case you’re not a subscriber, I want to share her latest. It caught me off guard.
“The Thursday vigil participants watched as the family of five (six with the unborn baby) went into Planned Parenthood. Before long, the father and three little boys said good-bye to their mother and drove off while she had the abortion. As they left, one of the boys threw an empty soda can onto the street and his father stopped to retrieve it – explaining it’s not nice to litter.”
Not all personal choices are created equal, I guess.
Here’s the link to the full email. Cathy’s message includes an announcement about a September 19 training session for sidewalk counselors. See her email for details.
“…since you are judged by so many, yet you choose to stand there for a cause that many people avoid discussing – you are certainly brave. Well brave one – I am going to challenge you to put your thick skin on, because this message isn’t going to be a ‘let me just congratulate you’ post. I am going to ask that however you stand there, whether it is with a rosary, a sign or just a quiet presence; whether you sidewalk counsel or silently make a statement . . . I am calling you to ‘add more Mercy’.” View the post…
“In our latest Life Chat, Roland Warren responds to the open letter, Little Thing, and discusses the dangerous implications of the recent shift in pro-choice rhetoric from denying the humanity of the unborn child to calling it a ‘life worth sacrificing.'” View the post…
“In addition to direct action tactics, Not Dead Yet has continued using the full array of advocacy strategies, including filing friend-of-the-court briefs in over ten cases, two with the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to briefs arguing against a constitutional right to assisted suicide, NDY has filed briefs in support of efforts to protect people with disabilities from involuntary withholding of life sustaining medical treatment by guardians or health providers, and in support of regulations protecting the right of disabled newborns to medical treatment.” View the post…