By Tanya Connor | The Catholic Free Press
WORCESTER – More than 60 people stood outside the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts building at 470 Pleasant St., where abortions are performed, as part of a nationwide effort Saturday asking Congress and President Donald Trump to “defund Planned Parenthood.”
The protesters formed one of 228 rallies held in 45 states, according to the coalition of pro-life organizations called #ProtestPP.
#ProtestPP is sponsored primarily by the national organizations Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal and the Pro-Life Action League, with the help of more than 60 other pro-life groups, according to its website, protestpp.com.
Due to inclement weather, the rally planned for Fitchburg Saturday was rescheduled for noon tomorrow outside the Planned Parenthood building at 391 Main St., Fitchburg.
“In 2017, #ProtestPP is focusing on the fight to strip Planned Parenthood of their federal funding and shift those taxpayer dollars to federally qualified health centers that offer a far wider range of services and do not perform abortions,” its website says.
Saturday’s rally in Worcester sent a variety of messages.
“God loves you Mom and Dad,” said one sign.
“Women deserve better than abortion,” said another. Other signs proclaimed that “Planned Parenthood lies to you” and “harvests baby parts.”
Among speakers was Catherine Adair, who once worked at Planned Parenthood in Boston. She now worships at St. Benedict Center in Still River.
“The people who claim to be speaking for all women are silencing all women – women like me who were lied to and had an abortion and suffered,” she said. “The women who are going into the clinic across the street are being lied to. They are being sold abortions. They are not being told their baby has a heartbeat.”
She said Planned Parenthood doesn’t care about women and families and gets millions in tax money.
But she encouraged fellow protesters.
“God is at work,” she said. “This building will close.”
Organizer Sandra Kucharski said that within 15 miles of this zip code there are a number of facilities where women and men can get healthcare. She said they don’t need Planned Parenthood.
A factsheet on the #ProtestPP website notes there are 13 times more of these healthcare centers than Planned Parenthood centers, they serve eight times more clients and offer a wider range of services and a higher standard of care.
“Planned Parenthood receives $553 million annually from taxpayers, 43% of their annual budget, of which $430 million comes from the federal government,” according to the website. “The balance of their taxpayer funding comes from state and local governments.” It says this money helps them run their business, even if they do not receive federal funding directly for abortion.
Miss Kucharski told rally participants about the upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign to end abortion. Volunteers are needed to sign up to pray at specific times outside the Worcester Planned Parenthood facility.
“Mothers and Fathers, I would like to thank you all,” said Alice Bernard, a mother and grandmother who has long been active in the pro-life movement. She expressed thanks for women who give birth to and rear their children and specifically mentioned women who have large families. She led the group in praying the “Our Father.”