“Your mother loves you,” “It’s a baby,” and “God loves you,” were among the things that pro-life protesters outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood clinic toldfemale patients being escorted into the clinic on Tuesday.
The protest was one of more than 50 “Women Betrayed”rallies planned nationwide that dayoutside Planned Parenthood clinics in response to the ongoing release of ‘sting’ videos by a pro-life group that have focused on Planned Parenthood staff discussingfetal organs.
“I had to come here after I heard they were selling baby parts,” said Kendra Outterbridge, 26, of the Olney neighborhood. “It just went against my morals.”
Outterbridge, a technician at a medical lab, spoke at the rally about coming close to getting an abortion, but deciding against the procedure.
“I was told it was a blood clot, it’s not a baby. … People were telling me, ‘You don’t need another child, you can’t afford it, you’re messing up your life,'” she said. “But not one of my children has stopped my progress in life.”
Tuesday saw the release online of a third undercover video by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress (CMP). The group says it spent years creating a fake medical company to tape conversations with Planned Parenthood officials about fetal tissue donations.
Founder David Daleiden has accused the organization of illegally selling organs for a profit, but Planned Parenthood says the organs are donated by patients to medical research. The videos have led to a new push by some Republicans toendfederal funding of Planned Parenthood
“False accusations are being promulgated again,” said Planned Parenthood Southeastern PA CEO Dayle Steinberg in a statement, calling the video “heavily edited” and describing the CMP as “discredited activists.”
“These protests are designed to shame the patients who seek basic health care services from Planned Parenthood and to intimidate the health care professionals who work here,” Steinberg’s statement said. “Women should be able to get health care without fear of violence, harassment, or intimidation.”
Planned Parenthoods in Pennsylvania do not participate in fetal tissue donation.
Regardless of the legality, many participants at the rally said the process is wrong.
“Because of the videos, the humanity of unborn children is becoming clear,” said EdelFinnegan, head of the Prolife Union of Greater Philadelphia.
“If you think it’s okay to harvest organs because it could help somebody, or okay to abort a baby because it has Down syndrome, that’s a conversation we should be having.”
Planned Parenthood patients who had to pass the protesters weren’t the only ones put in discomfort by the protest.
Meghan Lloyd, 27, who was passing by for work,said the protesters brought back painful memories of a similar protestwhen she wasa Planned Parenthood patient.
“It’s really upsetting,” Lloyd said. “They don’t offer any support. They’ll get violent, they’ll spit at you, say you’re doing a terrible thing,they’ll do anything to stop you. … You’re already making a hard decision and here arepeople trying to make that decision for you.”