Pro-Lifers Protest, Pray as D.C. Planned Parenthood Headquarters Opens
After months of legal wrangling and pro-life prayer and protests, Planned Parenthood’s new D.C. headquarters and abortion center opened on Monday.
But pro-lifers aren’t giving up. A Sunday evening prayer vigil (disclosure: the vigil was attended by this reporter) drew approximately 30 people, and two events on Monday drew many more. And Lauren Handy, the full-time, self-described “Barefoot Activist,” will remain at the center after others have gone home, praying for women to choose life.
“It’s time to move from outrage to action. I refuse to celebrate the scourge of abortion and I hope our community reflects that as well,” Handy told The Stream. Larry Cirignano, Virginia Director for American Catholics for Religious Freedom and the D.C. representative at Choose Life license plates, noted that the center was built with taxpayer money, and declared it “government waste, fraud and abuse at its worst.”
The center has drawn controversy not just for its abortions and Planned Parenthood’s proven and alleged law-breaking across the country. Its location next to a popular charter school just down the street from homes has led to controversy within the community. Late last year, the school filed a lawsuit against several pro-life advocates it claims intimidated parents and children, and trespassed on school property.
One of those advocates, a felon with mental issues who had planned to bomb an abortion center in Maryland a decade ago, has agreed to stay away from the clinic. However, Handy, who is also named in the lawsuit, hasn’t let it stop her from peacefully attempting to save lives.
She criticized the Monday evening gala held by Planned Parenthood to celebrate the center’s opening, saying,“While Planned Parenthood wines and dines tonight, women and children living on the streets go hungry.”
Planned Parenthood received over $500 million from taxpayers in 2015, despite allegedly using illegal abortions to illegally sell fetal body parts. Many of its affiliates have been accused of breaking myriad state and federal laws, such as an Alabama law requiring health organizations to report possible abuse of minors.
In that case, an abortion center in Mobile, Alabama gave a 14-year old girl two abortions in four months. A state official told LifeSiteNews that he and other officials believe the abortion center did not intend to violate state law.
The new headquarters in the Nation’s Capital replaced one across town that closed last year. Pro-life activism delayed the opening of the new center, which was supposed to open this past spring, by several months.