Protests held at Metro area Planned Parenthood clinics

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Detroit — A group of about 30 gathered Saturday morning in front of Planned Parenthood clinic in Detroit to protest abortion and the harvesting of fetal tissue.

The gathering on Cass Avenue near Willis Street in Detroit’s Midtown district was one of more than a dozen scheduled to be held Saturday at Planned Parenthood health centers across Michigan.

“I’m pleased with the turnout,” said Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for A Pro-Life Society, one of the organizers of the protests in Michigan. “Our goal is to expose the injustice of abortion.”

For the rally, the group was split in two, with one half standing on the sidewalk in front of the clinic and the other directly across the street. Most held signs that said things like “Unborn lives matter,” “PP sells body parts” and “Value life not body parts.”

As a preacher commanded people to repent through a microphone and speaker, four pro-life supporters stood on each corner of the block, holding giant photos of infants’ bodies.

It was also one of 290 demonstrations held at its clinics across the country. The protests were organized by ProtestPP, a coalition of more than 50 pro-life groups.

Last month, Planned Parenthood came under fire after the release of two videos that allegedly show officials discussing how it provides aborted fetal organs for research.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of health care for women and men as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. It has about 700 health centers across the country.

Its critics say the videos, which were recorded by an anti-abortion organization, show Planned Parenthood is illegally harvesting and selling organs.

However, the group’s leadership says it hasn’t done anything illegal and it’s the target of a smear campaign.

The videos sparked inquiries from congressional committees.

State Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, joined protestors at the Detroit health center Saturday.

“We’re here today to bring awareness about (Planned Parenthood’s) practices that are going on,” he said. “We want to make sure people understand this isn’t just a special effects video. This is something that occurs on a daily basis.”

Colbeck is working on legislation to eliminate public funding of Planned Parenthood in the state.

Carla Reyna, said she saw the videos.

“I think it’s so sad,” the 28-year-old from Flint said. “It has to stop.”

And while activists targeted Planned Parenthood with protests Saturday, one group planned to show support.

Officials with Catholics for Choice said it delivered cakes and messages of goodwill to women’s clinics Friday to show only a small minority of Catholics agree with anti-abortion rhetoric.

“We wanted clinic workers, doctors and nurses to know that we stand with Planned Parenthood and the women they care for,” said Jon O’Brien, the group’s president.

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