The client parking lot was nearly full at Planned Parenthood in Aurora, Illinois when I arrived for Saturday’s protest. Abortions are all they do on Saturday mornings, so likely every car in the lot represented a mother and a baby in peril. On my way to the corner of New York Street and Oakhurst Drive, where we protest, I staked some new signs in the ground. These signs read “Pregnant? Free Help 1 Block West” followed by the phone number and web address for Waterleaf Women’s Center, the Pregnancy Resource Center just a block down the road. This protest would be the first time many of our supporters, who generously funded the purchase of the signs, would see them in action. As I pushed the signs into the ground on either side of Randy, the sidewalk counselor on duty, I said a prayer for the counselors and the mothers and their babies facing abortion right across the street.
Picket Line Picks Up Steam
Starting out with five brave souls with signs, Sam Scheidler and I got a picket line moving. Gradually, pro-lifers added themselves to the line till we were over 50 people strong, reminding the cars on New York Street what Planned Parenthood really does. Protesters held signs reading “Planned Parenthood Lies to You,” “Moms for Life,” “Dads for Life” and “Planned Parenthood BAD for Aurora” and many cars honked and waved approvingly.
Knights of Columbus Join the Protest
A group of about 20 Knights of Columbus and their families came out to the clinic and prayed a rosary together in front of Planned Parenthood before joining the picket line. I spoke with John Zabinski, one of the Knights who organized the gathering of Knights at the protest, and he was very excited about the showing. Two area councils so far have committed to spending more time in prayer and protest at Planned Parenthood Aurora, and John and his brother Knights are working to get more councils interested. John sees witnessing for life at the abortion clinic as central to the Knights’ mission of building and protecting families and is excited at the prospect of the Knights taking more initiative in it.
Prayers for Planned Parenthood Patrons
Prayers are always being offered during our protests for the women inside Planned Parenthood and their babies. These prayers were focused in two specific directions at Saturday’s protest. The first was a woman I saw entering the clinic when I went to speak with Tom and Mary Kay, the sidewalk counselors on duty later in the protest. My heart was particularly pricked for this woman because she was carrying a toddler with her. As I said before, Planned Parenthood only performs abortions on Saturday mornings, so that woman was either there to accompany someone having an abortion or there for an abortion herself. As the father of two toddlers, it broke my heart to think of that little toddler being carried into that building, whichever situation his mother was in. I shared this with the pro-lifers as we gathered at the end of the protest and we all joined in prayer for that woman, her children and all the women and children in Planned Parenthood that morning. Later I saw that Cyndi from Waterleaf, had posted on the League’s Facebook Fan Page a request for prayer for a friend of hers who was in the clinic during the protest. I was happy to tell her that a great number of prayers had been offered that morning for all the patrons in the clinic, including her friend.