Tomorrow, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards will be Downtown Fargo for a fundraising event.
This is the same Downtown Fargo where I go most Wednesdays to pray for the women who enter the Red River Women’s Clinic — our state’s only abortion facility — with life in their wombs but fear in their hearts, and come out wounded, with an irreversible “choice” implanted on their souls.
It wouldn’t have been logical for those of us who care about our youth and women, and know the blessing of each child no matter the circumstances of conception, to let Cecile come to town without some sort of acknowledgement. And so it was that a prayerful, caroling protest was born.
“Why caroling?” some have asked. Think about the pro-life words of some of our most beloved Christmas carols. “Silent Night, Holy Night…Round yon virgin, mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild…” and “What child is this who laid to rest on Mary’s lap was sleeping, whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping?”
Downtown Fargo is always so pretty this time of year, so festive, and we all love Christmas carols. And Christmas carols are undeniably pro-life. They speak of the king of kings, an infant, a divine God who joined our mortal world and gave us hope. Just like every child gives us hope.
And so we will welcome Cecile with song in the hopes that she will hear our voices, and that her heart, with its encircling layers of hurt and disappointment, will begin to melt and see the truth of the tragic injustice she is perpetuating, and perhaps have a conversion. We will never give up on the possibilities, even when they seem so slim. God loves Cecile too, after all.
That said, we abhor what her organization does. It is unjust. And the women, victims. We want to help them. We want to bring hope to them. We want to walk with them and show them another way than killing their children, who could save them if they gave them a chance to live. We don’t want these women, who lack true, life-giving support, to live with the regret that so many of our friends live with each day.
So we will sing from 5 to 8 p.m. tomorrow downtown, at 216 N. Broadway. We will wear red, and carry signs like this:
According to an article that ran today in our local paper, the security measures will be heightened due to the recent Colorado shootings and murders that happened to take place near and in a business section that included a Planned Parenthood facility. So far, the real motives of the shooter have not come to light. Planned Parenthood has taken it upon itself to declare what the motives were, using an anonymous source to proclaim reality, putting fear in the minds of many that those of us who pray with the pro-life cause are dangerous and deranged as this man was.
They will not find anything of the sort, not from our quiet camp, on Thursday. They will only find carols. But we are happy to have the extra security measures. We appreciate law enforcement and know that their attempts will keep us safe, too. We thank them in advance.
As for the story that ran today, I’d like to shed a little light on what the pro-life source quoted shared with the reporter that wasn’t reported. Sally has posted this part of the interview on a Facebook group page set up to keep in touch about the caroling event, and gave me permission to share her longer response.
Q: What group do you represent?
A: No specific group.…
Q: I’m sure you’ve heard of the shooting in Colorado. Are you still planning to protest and if so, why?
A: Yes. We will still protest because we all have to move on. Of course, we don’t condone what that man did. It hurt everyone and maybe prolife people the most because we are peaceful and it is being used to make it seem like like we are violent. We are protesting because we believe that everyone knows in their heart that abortion is wrong, and sometimes all it takes is a little reminder. We hope that we will be a reminder to Cecile Richards and to everyone who is going to the Planned Parenthood fundraiser that abortion is wrong.
Q: Are the protestors all Catholic?
Q: Are you Catholic?
A: I used to belong to a religion that condoned abortion, but I joined the Catholic Church in part because I worked across from the Red River Women’s Clinic and this caused me to research abortion, because I’d often see women coming out of there who looked upset. Also, I was pregnant at the time and saw my baby’s ultrasound. I couldn’t be prochoice any more after that. I had been prochoice. One of my bridesmaids had worked for NARAL prochoice MN.
Q: How many people do you expect to come?
A: At least 50 over the course of the protest, which is between 5 and 8pm.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Please emphasize that this is a peaceful protest. Also, to reiterate why we are doing this in spite of the shooting– We (me and coordinators) believe that we shouldn’t act out of fear. Abortion is done out of fear. We want to represent hope and overcoming adversity.
I hope sharing Sally’s words here will be helpful to those trying to sort through fact and fiction.
Another piece that disputes the facts being reported. And an interesting video from 40 Days for Life, including an interview with a former Planned Parenthood worker. Finally, an article by Matt Walsh that I think brings a voice of clarity to what has been going on related to this story.
If you can join us on Thursday, we’d love to have you sing along. As always, we seek peaceful, prayerful solutions. Like Martin Luther King Jr., like Mahatma Gandhi , like Mother Teresa, we are about love, not hate. And if you come downtown tomorrow, you will witness the light of Christ, who brings hope to our world — something we need in abundance.
“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”