Hundreds of pro-lifers protest outside Boston Planned Parenthood
By Evan Lips | August 24, 2015, 14:57 EST
BOSTON – Hundreds of pro-life supporters packed the sidewalk lining Planned Parenthood’s Commonwealth Avenue clinic on Saturday to protest the use of their tax dollars to support the embattled organization.
Planned Parenthood has been under fire since earlier this summer when the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group, released undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials casually discussing and describing the process of harvesting and selling fetal organs and intact fetal cadavers. The videos have led some advocates of abortion rights to question Planned Parenthood’s motives and even to rethink the entire practice of late-term abortions.
Boston’s protests were part of a National Day of Protest against Planned Parenthood and included protests in more than 300 other locations across the country.
Speakers included state Rep. Jim Lyons (R-Andover), who recalled that last year the U.S. Supreme Court struck down (9-0) Massachusetts’ buffer-zone law, which prohibited protesters from standing on public land, such as the sidewalk lining Planned Parenthood’s clinic on Commonwealth Avenue.
Lyons reminded the peaceful protesters that during a 2010 hearing on the Massachusetts law, then-Attorney General Martha Coakley compared the protesters to terrorists.
“I turned around and introduced my wife, Bernadette, the terrorist,” Lyons recalled.
Bernadette Lyons also spoke at Saturday’s rally, noting that she has spent “many hours on this sidewalk in all kinds of weather.”
Representative Lyons then proceeded to hold up to the crowd a copy of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’s 2014 tax return, submitted by former Planned Parenthood President Martha “Marty” Walz.
“This is all about politics and all about using the power of the purse to get what the people at Planned Parenthood want,” Lyons said.
The tax return showed that Walz, who resigned from her post this past January, earned a $228,000 salary. As a former state representative from Cambridge, Walz was one of the lead sponsors of the original buffer zone bill in 2007.
“The top five executives of Planned Parenthood (Massachusetts) earn more than $175,000 per year,” Lyons pointed out. “This is done with the help of your taxpayer dollars.”
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts Executive Director C.J. Doyle also spoke and talked about the significance of the undercover Centers for Medical Progress videos.
“The mask has been torn away with these videos, and the veneer has been shattered irretrievably,” Doyle said. “The carefully constructed facade of impenetrable public respectability has cracked and crumbled.”
Doyle chastised Catholic politicians who have come out to support Planned Parenthood.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard about Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, but he just claimed that all these videos are bogus and that we must retain public funding for Planned Parenthood,” Doyle said.
The two-hour protest itself was peaceful. Pro-life advocates carried signs accusing Planned Parenthood of lying to the public, while several police officers made sure that pedestrians could access the sidewalk.
There were no counter-protesters at Saturday’s event.
Editorial: Pro-choice / Anti-science