Saturday, June 19 was a lovely day to gather outside Planned Parenthood to pray (unlike the previous couple of weeks).
Wyoming Youth Group Prays at a Clinic for the First Time
Early that morning I met a youth group from Wyoming, who came to Chicago for a mission trip, at Mass at St. Mary of the Angels. Because of the storms Friday night, their plane landed in Des Moines to refuel, and they finally landed in Chicago around 2 a.m. They arrived at their hotel only to find their rooms had been given away.
Although they got about two hours of sleep each, the members of this group were looking forward to praying in front of an abortion clinic for the first time.
Over breakfast I explained the two aspects of clinic witness: sidewalk counseling and prayer. Not everyone is called to counsel (to speak to people entering the clinic) but we are all able to pray.
I stressed that even if we do not see the fruits of our prayers this day, it is so important that we are there. We are interceding for the babies who will not live to see their birthdays, and we are showing their mothers that there are compassionate people who are praying for them—both before and after their abortions.
Pedestrians Tell Me to Volunteer Elsewhere
Passersby made more negative comments than they have been in past weeks. They told me I should be volunteering my time in orphanages, battered women’s shelters, etc—anywhere but there, basically.
The fact that there are a number of lawsuits against this clinic and that this place injures and even kills women (not to mention the fact that they kill babies) didn’t convince them that this is just as important as other ministries.
So why shouldn’t I prevent women from being battered and abused at the hands of an abortionist? Because these people believe that Planned Parenthood helps women. But as my friend says, Planned Parenthood helps people get rid of their money and that’s it.
Satan Wants to Keep Pro-Lifers off the Streets
The thing is, Satan hates when people stand at the foot of the cross, witnessing to the sanctity of life. Satan would love for every pro-lifer in the world to give up and to spend his/her time volunteering anywhere else (I don’t mean to imply that it is bad to volunteer other places, but I believe volunteering on the sidewalks is extremely important as well).
We need to stand outside these places of death to show the world what is going on inside them.
We need to stand outside these places of death to show that abortion is not just another surgery—it is a matter of life and death for the unborn child. Giving up will give the acceptance to abortion that Satan’s workers have desired since 1973.
It’s not going to happen.
Pro-Life Counselor Assaulted
In further proof that Satan would like to get rid of us, a pro-lifer was assaulted on Saturday. She would like to keep her name private, so I’ll call her Philomena (after the patron saint of babies, infants, and youth).
Philomena was standing on Division Avenue, about 100 feet west of the abortion clinic’s entrance, distributing leaflets to those passing by. She saw a young couple walking down the street, and attempted to hand them some information.
The man, who is about 6′ 2″ tall, grabbed her shirt and pushed her away. His embarrassed girlfriend apologized for his behavior. They then walked further down the street and entered Planned Parenthood.
My friend then called the police to report that she had been assaulted. About an hour later they arrived. Their first reaction was one of outrage that the man had done this. They said they would arrest him, and a “paddy wagon” soon arrived.
Officer Hagen Blames Pro-Lifer
The mood changed, though, after Officer Hagen arrived.
Officer Hagen is the one who thinks that distributing leaflets is panhandling, that the eight foot bubble might as well be ten feet, that the bubble ordinance says 150 feet rather than 50 feet, and that the door has its own bubble.
She’s obviously not our biggest fan.
She went inside to speak with the man Philomena identified as assaulting her. Apparently he was terrified that this woman was going to hurt him and his girlfriend—despite the fact that he towered over Philomena by at least eight inches. He also said he told her repeatedly to go away, but the man said no such thing.
Hagen tried to accuse Philomena of violating the bubble zone by approaching the couple, but since the man agreed on where the event occurred, even the officer had to admit that this was more than fifty feet from the entrance.
When Philomena tried to view what the officers had written, to ensure that everything relevant was included in the police report, Officer Hagen then threatened to arrest her for arguing with a police officer on a public street.
Whether Philomena decides to press charges is up to her, but pro-lifers need to send the message that we should not be attacked simply because we are witnessing for life. Filing this police report is a good way to show that, and I’m glad she had the courage to file it.