Family Planning Associates, 7340 Miramar Road, Saturday, May 30, 2015
Dear Pro-life Friends,
About mid-morning a counselor approached a car parked in front of Family Planning Services with the passenger side door open, and a very young pregnant woman sitting inside with a pillow on her lap. Smiling, the counselor asked her if she was waiting for someone. She said she was; her father had gone up into the abortion clinic to ask some questions. The counselor showed her a picture of an ambulance and fire truck in front of the clinic and said “This is something they don’t want you to see or know about. A woman was hurt here”.
The counselor then handed her the flier for Culture of Life Family Services. While speaking to this woman, a college-age woman protester interrupted saying “You don’t have to listen to her” and shoved a piece of paper into the door that said “Leave Me Alone”. In her haste to get it in the door, the paper folded over, and the girl did not pick it up. The counselor said, “This is what I was talking about. Let your father know what I just showed you. Please tell him to call this number so you can get a free ultrasound and the help you need. Close your door because this woman doesn’t care about you. She works on behalf of Family Planning Services and will continue to harass you.”
The counselor told her she has been helping women here for 7 years, while this was the protester’s first day here. The young woman, with the Culture of Life Family Services flier in hand, quickly shut her door and waited for her father. He came down, got into the car, and they had a short conversation before driving out of the parking lot and did not return. Please pray that this young woman and her father continue to save the life of her unborn baby.
Before this happened, when we first arrived in the morning, we found a black surplus military vehicle with macabre decorations, including a bloodied manikin arm and skull hanging upside down from a rope on the side of the truck, with bloody hand prints on the door, was parked directly in front of where we normally pray on the sidewalk. While we initially thought some pro-choice protesters had something to do with this in retaliation to our praying there, apparently a new tenant in the pyramid building decided to park it there. This may, or may not have been done on purpose with knowledge of where we pray Saturday mornings, but regardless, this demonic looking vehicle parked in in front of us is not helping things.
We haven’t wanted to give any undue attention to a group of pro-choice protesters at the abortion clinic on Miramar Road, but since they haven’t gone away after about two months of interference, we feel you should know who they are, and what is going on.
It all started about two months ago when about a dozen people showed up in the parking lot before we arrived early in the morning. About half were disheveled looking college-age men and women with signs, looking eager for a confrontation. One of them held a sign saying “We support Planned Parenthood”, apparently unaware that they were standing in front of Family Planning Associates, not Planned Parenthood. The other half were older men and women in their 50’s and 60’s, who we later learned were “invited” by one of the nurses in the clinic to come out and interfere with our counseling activities. This may have been in reaction to a noticeable decline in business for this clinic over the past 6 to 12 months. A few of the younger protesters, and most of the older ones, took it upon themselves to be escorts for the couples coming into the clinic by trying to block us from talking to them, and shouting over us. The protest signs and shouting soon moved from the parking lot to the sidewalk after the shop owners called the police. The escorts remained in the parking lot, but for the most part, stopped trying to physically block us after we informed them we would file charges for harassment.
They soon started handing out their own flyers, created by Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), bearing their logo. IWW is a radical labor union whose mission is to overthrow capitalism. This most likely came from the younger members of the group. Their flyer outlined 10 so-called myths about abortion, which were full of pro-choice propaganda, meant to discredit any information we gave to the women. However, their main tactic all along has been to inform the women that they are “with the clinic”, and to warn them we will try to harass them, and that they don’t need to talk to us. While this interference has made things more difficult, many women have chosen to dismiss the protesters and hear what we have to say.
The protesters have dropped the IWW flyer, and this morning started giving out a paper with the words “Leave Me Alone” printed on one side, and the S.D. municipal code for the establishment of fixed buffer zones printed on the other side. Most of the women we spoke with this morning chose not to use the protester’s message sign, but rather wanted to hear what we had to say. Others, simply told us they were not interested, without using the protester’s flyer.
So who are these people? There appears to be three leaders, two women and one man. The women are hard-core feminists, and at least one, if not both of them, are teachers. One of the women was heard telling someone that she had been involved in pro-choice work for years, and was actively involved in the 1980s and 1990’s. Two weeks ago she while was butting into a conversation between a counselor and two people, the protester said “I don’t like abortion either, but a woman has a right to choose”. Today we heard her tell another woman “I’m for abortion, it’s safe”. The man appears to be married to one of the women, and is one of the organizers.
Over a relatively short span of two months, several of the other older protesters who first started coming out have quit, replaced by a few others. Only a few of the younger protesters have come out more than once, and all of the younger protesters that came out this morning were here for their first time, recruited off the internet. They were all college-age, or in their mid 20s. The young protesters apparently come out expecting some confrontation and excitement, only to find their opponents peacefully praying on the sidewalk, and counselors quietly trying to have conversations with couples, which appears to be too boring for them.
Based on our observations and occasional conversations with the protesters, one of the common threads for those that have come out more than once, seems to be a disdain for God, religion, and Catholicism in particular, due to its stance on abortion. One of the younger regulars who is no longer coming out, would stand in front of the people praying on the sidewalk while holding signs with offensive language concerning the Eucharist, the Rosary, and her female organs, with upside-down crosses on the sign. She called the police who had to come out because she was offended by our image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She would regularly give the finger to counselors, and more than once mooned the counselors to try to mock and shock them. She finally broke down crying one day, and after the following week, has not returned.
The protesters have not defeated us, but they are trying new tactics every week. Please pray for their conversion, and please come out to join us in peaceful prayer for the protection of the unborn.
– the sidewalk counselors of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants San Diego