Planned Parenthood supporters surrounded with pro-life signs at Federal Plaza [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
Last Wednesday, I discovered that Planned Parenthood was planning a “Rally for Women’s Health” on Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago on Friday, February 25. Planned Parenthood is on the ropes right now. They’ve never faced opposition like they’re facing in the current attempts to cut their Federal funding, and they’re freaking out. As such, we here at the League knew we couldn’t let them hold their rally unopposed.
With only two days notice, time was short, so our staff leaped into action planning a counter-protest. We alerted as many of our supporters as we could via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and phone and developed a piece of literature to hand out to passersby explaining “What’s Wrong with Planned Parenthood.” Read past the break for audio, video, news coverage and to download your own flyer!
League Hits the Ground Running
Eric Scheidler speaks to the press [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
Friday morning, we hit the streets 30 minutes before Planned Parenthood’s rally was scheduled to begin and lined both sides of Dearborn Street with volunteers holding graphic abortion photos.
We stationed folks on either end of the block passing out flyers, and waited for the rally to begin. Getting there early also gave League Executive Director Eric Scheidler a chance to get our message out to reporters and set the scene for their stories before Planned Parenthood could.
Planned Parenthood is not a public protest organization, and the first indication of that was in their choice of location. Federal Plaza is under serious construction at the moment and not at all the ideal place for a protest. Most of the plaza was fenced off, so they were confined to a very small area. This worked significantly to our advantage.
When Planned Parenthood’s supporters began to arrive, it was clear that the fix was in. Most of the crowd for their rally came in one group—likely all staff from their Michigan Avenue offices just blocks away. A few others trickled in as the rally continued, but of their 50 or so people, well over half came with that first group.
Head to Head with Abortion Inc.
Congressman Mike Quigley speaks while Eric Scheidler holds a Stop Abortion Now sign [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
After they had staked out their position, the League sent several activists into the Planned Parenthood crowd with signs reading Stop Abortion Now and Planned Parenthood LIES to You. They tried to block our signs with theirs, but the anti-Planned Parenthood message was still clearly visible. You couldn’t look at the rally from any angle without being confronted with Planned Parenthood’s dirty little secret: abortion.
Planned Parenthood had CEO Carole Brite speak on all the good Planned Parenthood claims to do and a few other testimonials. Then they got to the chanting.
Their chants were a strange mish-mash of question to which the answer was either “yes” or “no” but the questions were worded in such a way that one had to really think to figure out which the intended answer was. This made some nice holes in the chanting where myself and some other pro-lifers filled in some more accurate information about Planned Parenthood. Click the play button on the link below to listen to a clip from WBBM radio featuring the back and forth:
WBBM Radio News coverage of the protest[audio:https://prolifeaction.org/audio/ppprotest.mp3]
Eventually there was a full blown shouting match with Planned Parenthood chanting, “Hey hey, whaddya say, Planned Parenthood is here to stay” while the pro-lifers chanted, “Life—Yes, Abortion—No!” Check out the video:
That exchange nicely summarizes the day: Planned Parenthood is concerned with their own existence and funding, pro-lifers are concerned about life. Everyone’s life. For all their talk about health care, their human rights record is abysmal.
YOU Can Use the “What’s Wrong with Planned Parenthood” Flyer
The “What’s Wrong with Planned Parenthood” flyer we put together for the rally came out really well, and we thought it would be a great tool to make available to our pro-life supporters. If Planned Parenthood is rallying in your area, hold your own counter-protest!
You can download a version of this flyer for use at your own rally against a Planned Parenthood event [PDF] or a version to use for more general protest [PDF] or leafleting to show the public the truth about the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Photos of the Rally
News Coverage of the Rally
- Planned Parenthood Protest Draws Heated Debate—CBS News Chicago
- Rally Held Over Planned Parenthood Funding—ABC News Chicago
- Rally Over Planned Parenthood Funding—WJBC Radio, The Voice of Central Illinois